Saturday, January 30, 2010

1928, FOUR SONS, John Ford's very moving and impressive World War 1 drama

Another good John Ford silent film.  This is a tragic and sentimental story about the destruction of a family in Germany during World War I.  Ford found the story and this was apparently one of his favorite films.

Ford had studied the German silent films and had even made a trip to UFA studios where Metropolis had been shot to understand and absorb their methods. Ford used what he had learned to tell this story with lots of symbolism and expressionist photography.   Four Sons was made entirely in the studio so he could carefully control the lighting and mood.


Ford was never afraid to put lots of emotion and sentimantality in his films and in Four Sons he achieves a better balance than usual.

Society destroying a family, was a theme Ford was to return to several times in other films like The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Was My Valley,  Four Sons is one of his best films on this theme.

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