Four Devils (1929)

120 or 125 mins | Drama | 15 September 1929

Director:

F. W. Murnau

Writer:

Cinematographers:

L. W. O'Connell, Ernest Palmer

Editor:

Harold Schuster

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a studio directory in the 18 Feb 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began 3 Jan 1928. The original stars were listed as Janet Gaynor, Charles Morton, Nancy Drexel, Barry Norton, Mary Duncan, and Farrell MacDonald. The film first opened in New York City on 3 Oct 1928 as a 120-minute silent movie with synchronized sound effects but no dialogue, and was reviewed in the 10 Oct 1928 Var. When Four Devils reopened for a second run in Jun 1929, Var reviewed it a second time (19 Jun 1929), and explained that Fox added dialogue to "the last two reels virtually or 2,000 feet... [for] a dialogue finish." The running time of the film with the dialogue sequences was 125 minutes. The cast list was expanded considerably.
       Four Devils marked Janet Gaynor's second film directed by F. W. Murnau and the first time that her speaking voice was heard onscreen. Her previous film with Murnau was Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, see ... More Less

According to a studio directory in the 18 Feb 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began 3 Jan 1928. The original stars were listed as Janet Gaynor, Charles Morton, Nancy Drexel, Barry Norton, Mary Duncan, and Farrell MacDonald. The film first opened in New York City on 3 Oct 1928 as a 120-minute silent movie with synchronized sound effects but no dialogue, and was reviewed in the 10 Oct 1928 Var. When Four Devils reopened for a second run in Jun 1929, Var reviewed it a second time (19 Jun 1929), and explained that Fox added dialogue to "the last two reels virtually or 2,000 feet... [for] a dialogue finish." The running time of the film with the dialogue sequences was 125 minutes. The cast list was expanded considerably.
       Four Devils marked Janet Gaynor's second film directed by F. W. Murnau and the first time that her speaking voice was heard onscreen. Her previous film with Murnau was Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, see entry). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
18 Feb 1928
p. 33.
Film Daily
30 Jun 1929
p. 6.
New York Times
4 Oct 1928
p. 26.
Photoplay
28 Dec 1928
p. 26.
Variety
10 Oct 1928
p. 15.
Variety
19 Jun 1929
p. 24.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Staged by
Staged by
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel De Fire Djaevle
excentrisk novelle by Herman Joachim Bang (Kristiania, 1895).
SONGS
"Marion," words by Lew Pollack, music by Erno Rapee.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Four Devils
Release Date:
15 September 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 October 1928
Production Date:
began 3 January 1928
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 October 1928
Copyright Number:
LP25737
Physical Properties:
Silent
9,295 ft.
Silent with sound sequences
Sd eff, mus score, and talking seq by Movietone
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
120 or 125
Length(in feet):
9,496
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

A kindly old clown rescues four children (Charles, Adolf, Marion, and Louise) from the brutal tutelage of a circus owner and brings up the quartet himself, training them to be acrobats. Years pass, and the children form a successful trapeze act known as the Four Devils. Charles and Marion are engaged, but while at the Cirque Olympia in Paris, Charles becomes infatuated with a beautiful vamp. Marion learns of the affair and becomes distracted; working without a net for a dangerous finale, she falls. Marion is not killed, however, and Charles is brought to his senses by the near ... +


A kindly old clown rescues four children (Charles, Adolf, Marion, and Louise) from the brutal tutelage of a circus owner and brings up the quartet himself, training them to be acrobats. Years pass, and the children form a successful trapeze act known as the Four Devils. Charles and Marion are engaged, but while at the Cirque Olympia in Paris, Charles becomes infatuated with a beautiful vamp. Marion learns of the affair and becomes distracted; working without a net for a dangerous finale, she falls. Marion is not killed, however, and Charles is brought to his senses by the near tragedy. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Carnival/Circus


Subject

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

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