Four Boys and a Gun (1957)

73-74 mins | Drama | January 1957

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HISTORY

The names of the four principal actors do not appear in the opening credits. Instead, at the conclusion, their names are superimposed over closeups of them from the film. A HR news item of 27 Dec 1948 reported that producer Philip Yordan had purchased the novel Four Boys and a Gun and intended to make it after completing Anna Lucasta. Although the latter film was released by Columbia in 1949 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50), Yordan did not begin production on Four Boys and a Gun until the mid-1950s. The film's pressbook states that the picture was made in New York. Four Boys and a Gun marked the feature film debut of actor James Franciscus (1934--1991). ...

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The names of the four principal actors do not appear in the opening credits. Instead, at the conclusion, their names are superimposed over closeups of them from the film. A HR news item of 27 Dec 1948 reported that producer Philip Yordan had purchased the novel Four Boys and a Gun and intended to make it after completing Anna Lucasta. Although the latter film was released by Columbia in 1949 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50), Yordan did not begin production on Four Boys and a Gun until the mid-1950s. The film's pressbook states that the picture was made in New York. Four Boys and a Gun marked the feature film debut of actor James Franciscus (1934--1991).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Jan 1957
---
Daily Variety
24 Jan 1957
p. 3
Film Daily
14 Jan 1957
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
27 Dec 1948
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 1957
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Jan 1957
p. 218
Variety
30 Jan 1957
p. 6
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
George Ackerson
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Lighting
ART DIRECTOR
Set des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Jazz arr
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Asst to prod
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Four Boys and a Gun by Willard Wiener (New York, 1944).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"I'll Never Get Mad Again," words and music by Stanley Rubin.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
January 1957
Premiere Information:
San Francisco opening: 11 Jan 1957; Los Angeles opening: 23 Jan 1957
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Security Pictures, Inc.
11 January 1957
LP8132
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73-74
Length(in feet):
6,635
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18201
SYNOPSIS

Four young men with no prior criminal records, Ollie Denker, Eddie Richards, Stanley Badek and Johnny Doyle , rob the box office at a boxing arena and kill a police officer as they escape. After all are quickly traced and arrested, the city’s district attorney interrogates them and demands to know which of them shot the officer. The D.A. gives them time to discuss who will take the blame and, individually, the men think about why they became involved in the robbery: Eddie, who works for a trucking company, is being two-timed by his girl friend Marie, who works for the same company and is dating the boss who takes her places and give her presents Eddie cannot afford. Angry and frustrated by his lack of cash, Eddie breaks up with Marie and slaps her, then is fired. Ollie, a bookie’s runner who has been dating Eddie’s sister Sophie, likes to take her to expensive places and wants to buy her fancy clothes. Ollie finances their evenings by skimming money from his boss, Joe Barton, who finds out and demands repayment of the three hundred dollars Ollie has already spent. When Eddie and Ollie meet the others, they discuss their problems. Johnny, the only married member of the group, works for the same company as Eddie did, but is an amateur boxer with hopes of turning professional and buying his own truck. Johnny has just learned that his wife Elizabeth will require a caesarian operation and is concerned about its cost. To improve their financial situation, Ollie suggests holding a dance and raffle in the recreation room that the group has been overseeing. Although Ollie tells Barton that ...

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Four young men with no prior criminal records, Ollie Denker, Eddie Richards, Stanley Badek and Johnny Doyle , rob the box office at a boxing arena and kill a police officer as they escape. After all are quickly traced and arrested, the city’s district attorney interrogates them and demands to know which of them shot the officer. The D.A. gives them time to discuss who will take the blame and, individually, the men think about why they became involved in the robbery: Eddie, who works for a trucking company, is being two-timed by his girl friend Marie, who works for the same company and is dating the boss who takes her places and give her presents Eddie cannot afford. Angry and frustrated by his lack of cash, Eddie breaks up with Marie and slaps her, then is fired. Ollie, a bookie’s runner who has been dating Eddie’s sister Sophie, likes to take her to expensive places and wants to buy her fancy clothes. Ollie finances their evenings by skimming money from his boss, Joe Barton, who finds out and demands repayment of the three hundred dollars Ollie has already spent. When Eddie and Ollie meet the others, they discuss their problems. Johnny, the only married member of the group, works for the same company as Eddie did, but is an amateur boxer with hopes of turning professional and buying his own truck. Johnny has just learned that his wife Elizabeth will require a caesarian operation and is concerned about its cost. To improve their financial situation, Ollie suggests holding a dance and raffle in the recreation room that the group has been overseeing. Although Ollie tells Barton that he will soon be able to pay off his debt, he is beaten by Barton’s thugs. The dance is well attended, but while Eddie and Stanley, the youngest and meekest member of the group who lives with his parents, are counting the proceeds, they are held up by two gunmen working for Barton. His thoughts returning to the present, Stanley recalls how he, Ollie and Eddie robbed a cab driver then decided to get back at Barton by signing his name to a bill in a plush restaurant. Johnny, who is in a wheelchair as a result of being shot in the leg during his escape from the arena, remembers winning an amateur boxing championship a few days after the dance. However, the manager with whom he had hoped to sign rejected him, telling him that he would not succeed as a professional. Later, when Johnny and the others meet across the street from the arena, to drink and bemoan their situations, Ollie suggests they can all get the money they need by robbing the arena. After Eddie produces a gun, they draw straws to determine who will carry it. In the present, the district attorney informs them at police headquarters that he can send all four to the electric chair because, under the law, they are equally guilty of the murder. He then offers them a deal--three will get life sentences and be eligible for parole some day, but one has to die. When the district attorney leaves, Eddie and Ollie try to persuade the ineffectual Stanley that he can now do something significant by taking the blame. Johnny tells Ollie and Eddie to stop harassing Stanley and they quarrel among themselves. After Ollie, who fired the fatal shot, blames Eddie for bringing the gun, they decide to throw dice to select which of them will confess and Eddie loses. Although they will probably be eligible for parole in ten years, Stanley fears that he will not survive prison. Later, Eddie states that he will not go through with the deal and refuses to confess to the killing, prompting Johnny to point out that they were all responsible for killing the police officer. When the district attorney returns for their decision, Eddie stands up and states that he had the gun, but then the others also confess to having had possession of the weapon. The district attorney reminds them that this could mean the death penalty for all of them and asks if that will change their response. Ollie states that it changes nothing.

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

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