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. It stars the Lane Sisters plus Gale Page, Claude Rains, Jeffrey Lynn, John Garfield and Dick Foran. The Lanes were real sisters, members of a family singing trio.
The film was written by Lenore J. Coffee and Julius J. Epstein from the Fannie Hurst novel Sister Act. It was directed by Michael Curtiz.
The Lemp sisters, Ann, Kay, Thea and Emma, are prodigies in a musical family headed by their father, Adam. The Lemps also run a boarding house, and among the tenants is Felix Deitz, a young composer whom the four daughters aim to attract. Emma, the oldest daughter, is the object of affection for a nervous neighbor, Ernest, but she rebuffs his attentions. Thea, a pianist and the second oldest, is courted by a local wealthy man, Ben Crowley, but is not sure she loves him. Kay, the next oldest, 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. A new tenant to the house is an angry young man named Mickey, an orchestral arranger and friend of Felix. Mickey immediately falls in love with Ann, but Felix also has had his eyes on her and proposes marriage.
Academy Award nominations
The film was an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (John Garfield) and Best Adapted Screenplay. For Best Picture and Best Director it lost to Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You. Best supporting actor went to Walter Brennan in Kentucky, while the adapted screenplay honor went to Pygmalion.
Four Daughters film series
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 in 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.
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