Four Men and a Prayer

  • Film
  • Action and adventure
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A ripping yarn in which Colonel Sir C Aubrey Smith is cashiered on the Northwest Frontier for conduct unbecoming that resulted in a massacre. His four sons (Sanders, Greene, Niven and Henry) rally round in London, and have time to learn that the old boy was framed by a munitions syndicate before he is murdered. Determined to clear the family name, the sons disperse to India, South America and Egypt. Once the preliminaries are over, their adventures are more enjoyable than they have any right to be, given that Ford directs with pace, wit, and tongue firmly in cheek. Clich├ęs are exaggerated to the point of absurdity; Niven is given a good deal of subversively funny business as the flightiest brother; and pomposities (like the royal vindication at the end) are deflated by the malice with which they are staged. Loretta Young is particularly cleverly used: a wealthy socialite in love with Greene, she keeps popping up wherever the action is, downgrading it into a romantic comedy, and making the point that heroics solve nothing (her father is the armaments king the sons unmask, but he isn't the villain).

Release details

Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Ford
Screenwriter: Richard Sherman, Sonya Levien, Walter Ferris
Cast: Loretta Young
Richard Greene
George Sanders
David Niven
Sir C Aubrey Smith
J Edward Bromberg
William Henry
Alan Hale
John Carradine
Reginald Denny
Barry Fitzgerald
Berton Churchill
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