Four Daughters

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Four Daughters
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Written by
  • Lawrence Kimble
  • Thyra Samter Winslow
Screenplay by
Based on Sister Act
by Fannie Hurst
Starring Priscilla Lane
Rosemary Lane
Lola Lane
Gale Page
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Ernest Haller
Edited by Ralph Dawson
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • August 9, 1938 (1938-08-09) (USA)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Four Daughters is a 1938 musical drama film that tells the story of a happy musical family whose lives and loves are disrupted by the arrival of a cynical young composer who interjects himself into the daughters' romantic lives. The movie stars the Lane Sisters (Priscilla Lane, Rosemary Lane, and Lola Lane) and Gale Page, and features Claude Rains, Jeffrey Lynn, John Garfield, and Dick Foran. The three Lanes were sisters and members of a family singing trio.

The film was written by Lenore J. Coffee and Julius J. Epstein, adapted from the Fannie Hurst novel Sister Act, and was directed by Michael Curtiz. The movie's success led to two sequels with more or less the same cast: Four Wives and Four Mothers.


The Lemp sisters, Emma (Gale Page), Thea (Lola Lane), Kay (Rosemary Lane), and Ann (Priscilla Lane) are prodigies in a musical family headed by their father, Adam (Claude Rains). The Lemps also run a boarding house, and among the tenants is Felix Deitz (Jeffrey Lynn), a young composer whom the four daughters want to attract.

Emma, the oldest daughter, is the object of affection of a neighbor, Ernest (Dick Foran), but she rebuffs his attentions. Thea, a pianist and the second eldest, is courted by wealthy Ben Crowley (Frank McHugh), another neighbor, but she is not sure she loves him. Kay, the third daughter, is a talented singer and has a chance at a music school scholarship but doesn't want to leave home. The youngest daughter is Ann, a violinist. Mickey (John Garfield), an orchestral arranger and friend of Felix, falls for Ann, but Felix also has had his eyes on her and proposes marriage.


Priscilla Lane in Four Daughters trailer.jpg Priscilla Lane as Ann Lemp John Garfield in Four Daughters trailer.jpg John Garfield as Mickey Borden
Rosemary Lane in Four Daughters trailer.jpg Rosemary Lane as Kay Lemp Jeffrey Lynn in Four Daughters trailer 2.jpg Jeffrey Lynn as Felix Deitz
Lola Lane in Four Daughters trailer.jpg Lola Lane as Thea Lemp May Robson in Four Daughters trailer.jpg May Robson as Aunt Etta
Gale Page in Four Daughters trailer.jpg Gale Page as Emma Lemp Frank McHugh in Four Daughters trailer.jpg Frank McHugh as Ben Crowley
Claude Rains in Four Daughters trailer.jpg Claude Rains as Adam Lemp Dick Foran in Four Daughters trailer.jpg Dick Foran as Ernest Talbot


Academy Awards[edit]



The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Four Daughters film series[edit]

Four Daughters is the first in a series of four films by Warner Bros. featuring the Lane Sisters and the other cast members. It was followed by 1939's Daughters Courageous, also directed by Michael Curtiz and co-starring Claude Rains and John Garfield, though it is a story about a different family. However, the storyline of Four Daughters and the Lemp family is continued in the 1940 film, Four Wives, and 1941's Four Mothers.


Four Daughters was remade in 1954 as Young at Heart starring Frank Sinatra and Doris Day.


The New York Times movie review said: "A charming, at times heartbreakingly human, little comedy about life in a musical family of attractive daughters which occasionally is ruffled by the drama of a masculine world outside, Four Daughters, at the Music Hall, tempts one to agree with Jack Warner's recent assertion in the advertisements that it is the climax of his career. Putting aside Mr. Warner's career for the nonce, we may assert with equal confidence that Four Daughters is one of the best pictures of anybody's career, if only for the sake of the marvelously meaningful character of Mickey Borden as portrayed by John (formerly Jules) Garfield, who bites off his lines with a delivery so eloquent that we still aren't sure whether it is the dialogue or Mr. Garfield who is so bitterly brilliant."[3]

Home media[edit]

Warner Archive released Four Daughters on DVD in August 4, 2009. The film was also released by Warner Archive in the "Four Daughters Movie Series Collection" in August 1, 2011.


  1. ^ "The 11th Academy Awards (1939) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  2. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  3. ^ Crisler, B. R. (August 19, 1938). "MOVIE REVIEW: FOUR DAUGHTERS". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 

External links[edit]