Four Daughters (1938)

fourdaughters

Starring: Priscilla Lane, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, Gale Page, Claude Rains, John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn

Director: Michael Curtiz

Summary: A small-town family’s peaceful life is shattered when one daughter falls for a rebellious musician.

Other Nominations: Director, Supporting Actor (Garfield), Screenplay, Sound Recording

Positives

-Well-written and entertaining romance story that really picks up in the second half. While it’s definitely on the melodramatic side, it has some real meat on it and the main love triangle in the movie is well done.

-I liked Garfield in this (his first) movie, he does a great job playing a cynical, flawed but ultimately good person who acts and talks like a stereotypical film noir detective. He earned his nomination

Negatives

-Only the relationships involving the main daughter are really developed at all and only two of the daughters feel necessary to the plot at all. The rest feel like they’re there to fill time and to complete the theme of a bunch of daughters falling in love at the same time.

-While he’s perfectly fine in the role as the father, Claude Rains’ talents are kind of wasted in a role that could have been played equally well by tons of other people.

Overall

Better than I expected, this is a step above most romance movies of this period. I am definitely a fan of Michael Curtiz at this point (and the best is of course yet to come).

Rating: B-

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