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Four sons

Author: John Howard LawsonI A R WylieMilton SperlingDarryl Francis ZanuckHarry Joe BrownAll authors
Publisher: United States : Released through Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., ©1940.
Edition/Format:   Film : Film   Visual material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"In 1936, in the village of Czechoslovakian Kolna near the German border, Frau Freida Bern lovingly cares for her sons, Chris, Karl, Fritz and Joseph. The boys' father was killed in World War I when he was forced to fight for Germany, and Frau Bern is delighted that Joseph is carrying on his father's dream of going to America. Frau Bern gives the money she has saved to Joseph for the journey, and the other boys  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Drama
Material Type: Film
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: John Howard Lawson; I A R Wylie; Milton Sperling; Darryl Francis Zanuck; Harry Joe Brown; Archie L Mayo; Leon Shamroy; Richard Day; Albert Hogsett; Thomas Little; Francis D Lyon; Travis Banton; Alfred Bruzlin; Roger Heman; David Buttolph; Don Ameche; Eugenie Leontovich; Mary Beth Hughes; Alan Curtis; George Ernest; Robert Lowery; Sig Rumann; Christian Rub; Torben Meyer; Fredrik Vogeding; Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation.
OCLC Number: 81950581
Notes: Drama; feature.
Playing time on release was 89 min., according to: Film daily yearbook, 1941.
"Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording."
Copyright: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.; 14Jun40; LP9771.
"Approved, MPPDA, certificate no. 6233."
Credits: Director of photography, Leon Shamroy; art direction, Richard Day, Albert Hogsett; set decorations, Thomas Little; film editor, Francis D. Lyon; costumes, Travis Banton; sound, Alfred Bruzlin, Roger Heman; musical direction, David Buttolph.
Performer(s): Cast: Don Ameche (Chris), Eugenie Leontovich (Frau Bern), Mary Beth Hughes (Anna), Alan Curtis (Karl), George Ernest (Fritz), Robert Lowery (Joseph), Lionel Royce (Max Sturm), Sig Rumann (Newmann). Ludwig Strossel (Pastor); Christian Rub (Kapek); Torben Meyer (Gustav); Egon Brecher (Richter); Eleanor Wesselhoeft (Frau Richter); Michael Visaroff (Burgomaster); Greta Meyer (Frau Sturm); Ernst Hausman (Schmitt); Robert O. Davis (Hempel); Hans Schumm (Muller); Fredrik Vogeding (Hinckerman); William Von Brincken (Gortner); Ragnar Qvale, Robert Conway (storm troopers).
Other Titles: 4 sons.
Responsibility: Twentieth Century-Fox presents ; original screen play by John Howard Lawson ; suggested by a story by I.A.R. Wylie ; additional dialogue by Milton Sperling ; produced by Darryl F. Zanuck ; associate producer, Harry Joe Brown ; directed by Archie Mayo.

Abstract:

"In 1936, in the village of Czechoslovakian Kolna near the German border, Frau Freida Bern lovingly cares for her sons, Chris, Karl, Fritz and Joseph. The boys' father was killed in World War I when he was forced to fight for Germany, and Frau Bern is delighted that Joseph is carrying on his father's dream of going to America. Frau Bern gives the money she has saved to Joseph for the journey, and the other boys unselfishly wish him well and tell him to send for them. Meanwhile, Chris, who is very patriotic, argues with Karl, who has joined a German 'social club' and supports Germany. The rift between the brothers grows deeper when Karl and Anna, Chris's longtime girl friend, discover that they are passionately in love. Frau Bern makes peace between the brothers, and Chris puts aside his feelings to celebrate at Anna and Karl's wedding. At the reception, however, Karl is called to duty by his German friends, who are seeking to kill one of their captured spies before he talks. Anna is crushed to discover that her bridegroom has disappeared on their wedding night, but vows to stand by him and tends to his injuries when he returns home after accomplishing his mission. As time passes, Anna presents Karl with a son, and Joseph gets a good job in New York. One day, Karl is visited by Nazi officers, who wish for him to formally enlist in the Army. Chris and Karl almost come to blows after Chris pulls a gun on the men, but once again their mother urges them to forego their violence. Frau Bern tries to convince Karl that the Nazis are wrong, but he refuses to listen, and later, when the Czechs mobilize against the Nazis, Karl enlists as a Nazi officer, while Chris marches with the Czech Army. The Czechs are forced to cede Sudetenland to the Nazis in order to avoid war, and Chris bitterly decries traitors like Karl, who deserted the Czech Army. Chris and Karl return home, and after Chris discovers from Karl that the Nazis have a list of local citizens who are to be murdered so that they do not cause trouble, he rushes out to warn them. He is too late to save the burgomaster, whom he finds dead in his home, and he is then chased and wounded by Nazi soldiers. While Chris is hiding in the swamp, he sees and shoots a Nazi soldier who is searching for him. Chris makes it back home, where Frau Bern hides him before the Nazis find him. The soldiers, led by former family friend Max Sturm, arrive and instead of looking for Chris, who they do not know is the one who shot the soldier, they bring Karl, who has been badly wounded. Frau Bern realizes that Chris accidentally shot his own brother, but nonetheless tries to force Anna to keep quiet after Karl dies. Anna spitefully denounces Chris, and he is killed when the Nazis find him. Soon after, Joseph sends money for his mother and Fritz to come to America, but it is too late, for Fritz is drafted into the German Army. The grieving mother says goodbye to her youngest son, and soon he is killed in Warsaw. Frau Bern is presented with the Iron Cross for Fritz's bravery, and she bitterly comments that the first time she was presented with the medal was when her husband was killed. After Frau Bern sees a troop of young boys learning to march, she pleads with Anna to take Karl, Jr. to America. Anna finally admits that the war is senseless, and the two women go with the child to the train station. There they are bid farewell by Joseph's former schoolteacher, Herr Kapek, who has just been released from a concentration camp, and he assures them that 'barbed wire cannot hold the spirit of man.' Frau Bern, Anna and Karl, Jr. board the train, and begin the journey to a new life of freedom"--AFI catalog, 1931-1940.

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Linked Data


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