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Four Sons (1928)

Passed | | Drama, War | 13 February 1928 (USA)
A family saga in which three of a Bavarian widow's sons go to war for Germany and the fourth goes to America, Germany's eventual opponent.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Philip Klein (adapted by), I.A.R. Wylie (story) (as Miss I.A.R. Wylie)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret Mann ... Mother Bernle
James Hall ... Joseph - Her Son
Charles Morton ... Johann - Her Son
Francis X. Bushman Jr. ... Franz - Her Son
George Meeker ... Andreas - Her Son
June Collyer ... Annabelle
Earle Foxe ... Major von Stomm
Albert Gran ... The Postman
Frank Reicher ... The Schoolmaster
Archduke Leopold of Austria Archduke Leopold of Austria ... A Captain
Ferdinand Schumann-Heink Ferdinand Schumann-Heink ... A Staff Sergeant
Jack Pennick ... The Iceman
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Storyline

In Burgendorf, Bavaria, Mother Bernle has four sons. Franz is in the army, Johann works at the forge, Andreas tends the sheep. Joseph is riding a hay wagon with a pretty girl when some of the hay falls off, landing on the fearsome Maj. Von Stomm. Joseph gets a slap from the major... The jovial postman has brought a letter from America. Joseph has the offer of a job in the States. But getting there is so expensive... It's Mother Bernle's birthday and most of the town gathers for the dancing. Mother gives Joseph the money she has secreted away. He leaves for the USA... It is "Der Tag", The Day when war is declared. Franz and Johann are excited about their new uniforms. But America is still neutral. Joseph runs the German-American Delicatessen with his new wife Annabelle. The reports of the first German battles with the Russians are good. So why does the postman carry a black-edged letter for Mother Bernle? When America does enter the war, Joseph enlists and meets his friend, the iceman ... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave them up, one by one, and her heart and soul with them, on the altar of self-sacrifice. (Print Ad- Morning Bulletin, ((Rockhampton, Queensland)) 26 April 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuatro hijos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Movietone) (musical score and sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the cruel Major gets off the train with his monocle, there is a close-up of a reaction shot of another man with a monocle wearing a helmet, yet that man was not in the previous master shot, a real editing faux pas which disorients the observer. Mistakes like this show that often in the Twenties, the director had no input into the editing process, even a master auteur like John Ford. See more »

Goofs

In the New York City sequences, which take place immediately after World War I (1919-1920), all of the women's fashions are strictly in the style of 1928, and all of the automobiles are of late 1920's design. See more »

Quotes

Von Stomm's Orderly: [Giving the Major a luger to commit suicide. It is apparent to the Major that a worse fate awaits him if he doesn't] A parting gift from the regiment, Herr colonel - to speed you to a better world. Shall we say - in ten minutes?
[He closes the door slowly, leaving the Major alone with a leering smile on his face]
See more »

Connections

Featured in John Ford (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Played after Mother Bernle leaves Ellis Island
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pinnacle of Silent Film-making
13 January 2010 | by pursnicketySee all my reviews

John Ford is truly great filmmaker this is the pinnacle (well in my opinion) of silent film. Margaret Mann is a revelation her performance is so enthralling especially in some of the final scenes at the end of the picture.

The story is a strong one but the direction and the way it is put together is truly sensational Ford himself is Irish and this film i feel may be close to his roots.

I was amazed the film didn't have many title cards however it was so simple to follow and by the end of it you're moved by mann's performance. you feel and care for the characters the whole way through that's the mark of a great film.

And for the film buffs watch the early scenes in the film you got to love the tracking shot the mark of master John Ford


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