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Four Daughters Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Fannie Hurst's Sister Act was the source for this money-making Warners weeper. The four daughters of the title are played by the Lane Sisters--Priscilla, Rosemary and Lola--and by Gale Page. All are musical prodigies, and all are daughters of master-musician Claude Rains. To help make ends meet, Rains rents several rooms of his home to boarders--most of whom, thanks to the dictates of the plot, seem to be marriageable men. We're supposed to care the most about the mutual attraction the daughters feel towards handsome Jeffrey Lynn, but the film really belongs to John Garfield, making his movie debut (no, he wasn't in 1933's Footlight Parade) as an embittered piano genius. Garfield has us in the palm of his scruffy hand the moment he begins philosophizing about "the fates:" "So they flipped a coin...heads he's poor, tails he's rich....they flipped a coin--with two heads." Aware that he can bring only unhappiness to Priscilla Lane, the daughter who cares most for him, Garfield obligingly drives into a heavy snowstorm and is killed in an auto accident (but it's not staged as a suicide, lest the Hays Office spank). John Garfield made so powerful an impression in Four Daughters that Warners was compelled to write him into the sequel Four Wives, first as a flashback and then as (implicitly) a ghost. Another film, Daughters Courageous, was hastily constructed using the same cast, but with different character names so as to accommodate a happier denouement for Garfield and Lane. Four Daughters was remade in 1954 as Young at Heart, with Frank Sinatra and Doris Day in the John Garfield and Priscilla Lane roles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nathan Levinson Best Sound 1938 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Michael Curtiz Best Director 1938 Nominee
National Board of Review John Garfield Best Acting 1938 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Garfield Best Supporting Actor 1938 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Julius J. Epstein Best Screenplay 1938 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lenore J. Coffee Best Screenplay 1938 Nominee

Cast

Claude Rains
as Adam Lemp
May Robson
as Aunt Etta
Priscilla Lane
as Ann Lemp
Lola Lane
as Thea Lemp
Rosemary Lane
as Kay Lemp
John Garfield
as Mickey Borden
Gale Page
as Emma Lemp
Dick Foran
as Ernest Talbot
Jeffrey Lynn
as Felix Deitz
Frank McHugh
as Ben Crowley
Vera Lewis
as Mrs. Ridgefield
Tom Dugan
as Jake
Eddie Acuff
as Sam
Donald Kerr
as Earl
Wilfred Lucas
as Doctor

Crew

Michael Curtiz
Director
Hal B. Wallis
Producer
Julius J. Epstein
Screenwriter
Lenore J. Coffee
Screenwriter
Fannie Hurst
Book Author
Ernest Haller
Cinematographer
Max Steiner
Composer (Music Score)
Leo F. Forbstein
Musical Direction/Supervision
Ralph Dawson
Editor
Henry Blanke
Associate Producer
Benjamin Glazer
Associate Producer
Orry-Kelly
Costume Designer
Sherry Shourds
First Assistant Director
Nathan Levinson
Sound Recordist
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