Janet Gaynor and Charles Morton
|Directed by||F. W. Murnau|
|Produced by||William Fox|
|Written by||Carl Mayer|
|Music by||Ernö Rapée
|Distributed by||Fox Film Corporation|
|Release dates||October 3, 1928 (silent version)
June 15, 1929 (sound version)
The short story ("Les Quatre Diables") on which the film is based is by the Danish author Herman Bang, who was highly esteemed in Germany. The plot concerns four orphans (Janet Gaynor, Nancy Drexel, Barry Norton, and Charles Morton) who become a high wire act, and centers around sinister goings-on at a circus.
- Janet Gaynor - Marion
- Anders Randolf - Cecchi
- Barry Norton - Adolf
- Charles Morton - Charles
- Andre Cheron - Old roue
- George Davis - Mean clown
- Philippe De Lacy - Adolf as a child
- Nancy Drexel - Louise
- Mary Duncan - The lady
- Wesley Lake - Old clown
- Anita Louise - Louise as a child
- J. Farrell MacDonald - The clown
- Claire McDowell - Woman
- Jack Parker - Charles as a child
- Anne Shirley - Marion as a girl (billed as Dawn O'Day)
4 Devils was released by Fox Film Corporation, and was produced by William Fox, who had hired Murnau to come to the United States. A sound version, incorporating "synchronised sound effects, music and dialogue sequences", was made without Murnau's cooperation.
No copies of either version of the film are known to exist, and 4 Devils remains among the most sought after lost films of the silent era. Details about the movie can be found on the DVD for Sunrise, released by Fox as part of their 20th Century Fox Studio Classics collection.
Film historian and collector William K. Everson stated that the only surviving print was lost by actress Mary Duncan who had borrowed it from Fox Studios. Martin Koerber, curator of Deutsche Kinemathek, is more hopeful, writing that the print was given to Duncan, and that her heirs, if any, may yet have it.
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