The Four Just Men (1939 film)

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The Four Just Men
"The Four Just Men" (1939).jpg
Original Australian trade ad
Directed by Walter Summers
Produced by Michael Balcon
Written by Edgar Wallace (novel)
Angus MacPhail
Sergei Nolbandov
Roland Pertwee
Starring Hugh Sinclair
Griffith Jones
Francis L. Sullivan
Frank Lawton
Anna Lee
Music by Ernest Irving
Cinematography Ronald Neame
Edited by Stephen Dalby
Charles Saunders
Production
company
Distributed by ABFD (UK)
Monogram Pictures (US)
Release date
June 1939
Running time
85 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Four Just Men, also known as The Secret Four, is a 1939 British thriller film directed by Walter Forde and starring Hugh Sinclair, Griffith Jones, Edward Chapman and Frank Lawton.[1] It is based on the novel The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace. There was a previous silent film version in 1921.[2] The film was made at Ealing Studios,[3] with sets designed by Wilfred Shingleton.

The Four Just Men was re-released in 1944 with an updated ending featuring newsreel of Winston Churchill and the Allied war effort as a fulfilment of the ideals of the Four. The adviser on the House of Commons of the United Kingdom scenes was Aneurin Bevan.[4]

Plot[edit]

The Four Men are British World War I veterans who unite to work in secret against enemies of the country. They aren't above a spot of murder or sabotage to achieve their ends, but they consider themselves true patriots.

Cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times wrote, "Four Just Men, by Edgar Wallace, whatever it might have been, was probably not a work of literature, and therefore, on that charitable assumption, it is gently, rather than harshly, that one must deal with the British-made screen version, now on view at the Globe Theatre. Like all pictures seeping over from England nowadays, it is more than a little infected with the virus propagandistus, but, over and above that common-carrier failing, it is a model of sheer incredibility crossed with what (carrying out the charity idea) we might designate as espionage melodrama" ;[5] while the Radio Times wrote, "produced by Michael Balcon at Ealing, it defiantly suggests that Britain could never fall under the sway of a dictator. But in all other respects it's a rollicking boys' own adventure, with some of the most fiendishly comic-book murders you will ever see... hugely entertaining sub-Hitchcockian antics." [6]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Perry, George. Forever Ealing. Pavilion Books, 1994.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

External links[edit]