Four Daughters (1938)

29 Apr
Four Daughters (1938)

A sweet moment with the charming and sonorously-named Lemp family.

Wednesday, May 1 at 9:45 p.m. on TCM

Ah, Four Daughters. This is where I admit I have a problem: what used to be called “women’s pictures.” I am Man enough to admit I cried once watching The Clock (in fairness, I was running a fever). Yes, I’m still a sucker for Kitty Foyle. And don’t get me started on Stella Dallas. I love movies like this. “Movies like this” implies “all,” and that’s not true – there’s always junk out there – but I, like everyone, have sentimental (and Sentimental) favorites that transcend standard quality judgments.

Like Four Daughters. I have gone actively out of my way to see all four parts of this little Lemp Family Saga; yes, even Daughters Courageous, in which the first movie is remade wholesale with a slight shift in surname/parental arrangement. (Five if you want to count Seven Sweethearts, which I always think is one of them for a split second before realizing almost immediately it isn’t but still belongs in the same drawer, metaphorically.)

This one is a semi-known gem (it’s on TCM with reasonable frequency), about which I have little exciting to say beyond praising the performances of May Robson, Claude Rains, John Garfield and Frank McHugh (always McHugh) and reminiscing about my youthful crush on Priscilla Lane (must’ve been Arsenic & Old Lace). And recommending it to those who haven’t seen it. It’s going to be a week of rainy days in various parts of the country. This suits one of them.

For Fun: note that this was directed by Michael Curtiz in the same year as The Adventures of Robin Hood and Angels With Dirty Faces, among others. I don’t know what that means, but I like saying it.

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