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Barry Norton (left), Nancy Drexel, Janet Gaynor and
Charles Morton.
Photograph: Silent Era image collection.
 
4 Devils
Also known as {Four Devils}
(1928) American
B&W : Feature film
Directed by F.W. Murnau

Cast: Janet Gaynor [Marion], Charles Morton [Charles], Barry Norton [Adolf], Nancy Drexel [Louise], Anders Randolf [Cecchi], Michael Visaroff [the circus director], J. Farrell MacDonald [a clown], Claire McDowell [mother], André Cheron [old Roué], George Davis [the mean clown], Mary Duncan [the lady], Wesley Lake [old clown], Jack Parker [Charles, as a boy], Dawn O’Day [Marion, as child], Philippe de Lacy [Adolf, as a boy], Anita Fremault (Anita Louise) [Louise, as child], The Four Cordonas [trapeze stunt players]

Fox Film Corporation production; distributed by Fox Film Corporation. / Scenario by Berthold Viertel + [Carl Mayer and Marion Orth], from the novel De fire Djaevle (The Four Devils) by Hermann Bang. Art direction by William Darling, with assistance from Robert Herlth and Walter Röhring. Staging by A.F. Erickson and A.H. Van Buren. Assistant director, A.F. Erickson. Cinematography by L. William O’Connell and Ernest Palmer. Sound by Harold Hobson. Edited by Harold D. Schuster. Music by S.L. Rothafel. Song “Marion” by Erno Rapee (music) and Lew Pollock (lyrics). Presented by William Fox. / Premiered 3 October 1928 at the Gaiety Theatre in New York, New York. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. Western Electric Movietone sound-on-film sound system. / Murnau’s second Hollywood film. The circus drama suffered from studio-imposed restrictions. Carl Mayer left the project during production, and the scenario was completed (in Germany) by Berthold Viertel and Marion Orth. Murnau voided his contract and left the Fox studio in February 1929. The film was rereleased in the USA, with new sound sequences (dialogue written by John Hunter Booth) and a happy ending, in nine reels (at 8800 feet) by Fox Film Corporation on 15 June 1929. The novel was previously filmed as De fire Djaevle (1921). / Silent film, with sound sequences.

Drama: Circus.

Survival status: The film is presumed lost.

Current rights holder: (unknown)

Keywords: Circuses - Synchronized sound film

Listing updated: 21 May 2012.

References: Best-Those p. 56; Brownlow-Parade p. 232; Everson-American pp. 310u, 328; Lloyd-Seventy p. 34; Mottram-Danish p. 103; Thompson-Lost p. 263 : Cinemonkey-16 p. 15 : Website-IMDb.

 
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