Four Men and a Prayer (1938)

85 mins | Adventure | 29 April 1938

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HISTORY

The novel was originally serialized in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Sep 1936--Jan 1937), and the motion picture rights were purchased by Twentieth Century-Fox in May 1936, before the novel was published. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, William Faulkner was assigned as a writer to this film for a short time, but he merely read the script and did no writing. According to a HR news item, early in Jan 1938, Darryl Zanuck increased the budget for the production, and it was to be made "on a road-show scale." This was the first film of Richard Greene, an English stage actor, who was described in Var as "a good-appearing youth of the Robert Taylor-Tyrone Power type." According to a HR news item, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was originally signed for the lead. A pre-release MPH news item noted that "Darryl F. Zanuck is giving the film his personal attention." According to contemporary sources, the roles of Lionel Pape, Brandon Hurst, George Regas, Selmer Jackson and Francesco Maran may have been cut prior to the film's release. Director John Ford, in an interview published in a modern source, stated "I just didn't like the story, or anything about it, so it was a job of work." According to the legal records, some scenes were shot at Franklyn Canyon and Municipal Airport, in Los Angeles. In 1948, Twentieth Century-Fox released another film based on the same source, entitled Fury at Furnace Creek , which was directed by Bruce Humberstone and starred Victor ... More Less

The novel was originally serialized in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Sep 1936--Jan 1937), and the motion picture rights were purchased by Twentieth Century-Fox in May 1936, before the novel was published. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, William Faulkner was assigned as a writer to this film for a short time, but he merely read the script and did no writing. According to a HR news item, early in Jan 1938, Darryl Zanuck increased the budget for the production, and it was to be made "on a road-show scale." This was the first film of Richard Greene, an English stage actor, who was described in Var as "a good-appearing youth of the Robert Taylor-Tyrone Power type." According to a HR news item, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was originally signed for the lead. A pre-release MPH news item noted that "Darryl F. Zanuck is giving the film his personal attention." According to contemporary sources, the roles of Lionel Pape, Brandon Hurst, George Regas, Selmer Jackson and Francesco Maran may have been cut prior to the film's release. Director John Ford, in an interview published in a modern source, stated "I just didn't like the story, or anything about it, so it was a job of work." According to the legal records, some scenes were shot at Franklyn Canyon and Municipal Airport, in Los Angeles. In 1948, Twentieth Century-Fox released another film based on the same source, entitled Fury at Furnace Creek , which was directed by Bruce Humberstone and starred Victor Mature. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Apr 1938.
---
Daily Variety
20 Apr 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Apr 38
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 38
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 38
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 38
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Apr 38
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Apr 38
p. 45.
New York Times
7 May 38
p. 18.
Variety
27 Apr 38
p. 22.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
MartIn Garralaga
Chris Pin Martin
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
WRITERS
Contr to trmt and scr constr
Temporary scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst cutter
Asst cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Painter (A.M.)
Painter (P.M.)
COSTUMES
Cost
Ward man
Ward woman
MUSIC
Mus dir
MAKEUP
Hair
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech dir
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Scr clerk
Asst grip (A.M.)
Asst grip (P.M.)
Best boy
Asst prop man
Asst prop man
Follow-up man
Casting dir
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Four Men and a Prayer by David Garth (New York, 1937).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 April 1938
Production Date:
late January--early March 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 April 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8258
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,700
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4097
SYNOPSIS

Colonel Loring Leigh is dishonorably discharged from the British Army for issuing an order to Captain Douglas Loveland to remove the Lancers guarding a mountain pass in India, which allowed munitions to be brought to a tribe who then attempted a revolt that cost ninety lives. He cables his four sons, Rodney, a student at Oxford, Wyatt, a London barrister, Chris, an aviator and playboy, and Geoffrey, an attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, to meet him at home. As Colonel Leigh is preparing to talk with his sons about the order, which was forged by someone working with a munitions syndicate, he is shot by an assailant who steals his papers. Rodney and Wyatt travel to India to question Mulcahay, the colonel's batman, and learn that the arms came from Muros Island in South America. Chris goes to Buenos Aires to interview Loveland, who has retired there. After Lynn Cherrington, a rich American who fell in love with Geoffrey in Washington, turns up at Leigh Hall, Captain Drake, who has evidence for Geoffrey, is murdered. Geoffrey goes to Buenos Aires, while Lynn, who knows Loveland, secretly arrives there before Geoffrey, and Chris falls in love with her. She flirts with Loveland, who does not know that Geoffrey and Chris are Colonel Leigh's sons, and gets him to invite them on a trip up river on the yacht of Furnoy, a rich American. At Marlanda, Lynn witnesses the militia massacre a group of rebels and learns, after Loveland is shot while confessing the forgery to Geoffrey and Chris, that her father is the president of Atlas Arms, which provided munitions to both ... +


Colonel Loring Leigh is dishonorably discharged from the British Army for issuing an order to Captain Douglas Loveland to remove the Lancers guarding a mountain pass in India, which allowed munitions to be brought to a tribe who then attempted a revolt that cost ninety lives. He cables his four sons, Rodney, a student at Oxford, Wyatt, a London barrister, Chris, an aviator and playboy, and Geoffrey, an attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, to meet him at home. As Colonel Leigh is preparing to talk with his sons about the order, which was forged by someone working with a munitions syndicate, he is shot by an assailant who steals his papers. Rodney and Wyatt travel to India to question Mulcahay, the colonel's batman, and learn that the arms came from Muros Island in South America. Chris goes to Buenos Aires to interview Loveland, who has retired there. After Lynn Cherrington, a rich American who fell in love with Geoffrey in Washington, turns up at Leigh Hall, Captain Drake, who has evidence for Geoffrey, is murdered. Geoffrey goes to Buenos Aires, while Lynn, who knows Loveland, secretly arrives there before Geoffrey, and Chris falls in love with her. She flirts with Loveland, who does not know that Geoffrey and Chris are Colonel Leigh's sons, and gets him to invite them on a trip up river on the yacht of Furnoy, a rich American. At Marlanda, Lynn witnesses the militia massacre a group of rebels and learns, after Loveland is shot while confessing the forgery to Geoffrey and Chris, that her father is the president of Atlas Arms, which provided munitions to both the militia and the rebels in Marlanda, and to the rebels in India. Although Geoffrey believes Lynn to be untrustworthy, she arranges a meeting between the four brothers and her father in Alexandria, Egypt, where he professes that he knew nothing about the murders, but suspects Furnoy, who is in charge of Atlas' operations. Geoffrey and Lynn are reconciled, and the brothers swim to Furnoy's yacht, which is about to leave. After a struggle in which Rodney is shot in the arm, they make Furnoy sign a confession. Finally, they meet with the king, who restores the colonel's good name and gives them his medal. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.