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In the warm-hearted family drama Four Mothers (1941), Claude Rains takes his third outing playing Adam Lemp, patriarch to four married daughters embarking on motherhood for the first time. When one of the girl's husbands (Frank McHugh) encourages the Lemps and their small town neighbors in Briarwood to invest in a new Florida real estate development, disaster strikes leaving many friends, family and neighbors on the brink of ruin. Feeling personally responsible, Adam and his four sons-in-law work together to figure out a way to pay back the community.
Four Mothers was the last of three popular films made by Warner Bros. inspired by the sentimental 1937 Fannie Hurst story "Sister Act" beginning with 1938's Four Daughters and followed by Four Wives in 1939. All three films starred Claude Rains in the father role and real-life actress siblings the Lane sisters -- Priscilla, Rosemary, and Lola -- as three of the four Lemp daughters, with Gale Page filling in as the fourth.
Michael Curtiz had directed the first two films in the series, but for Four Mothers William Keighley (The Adventures of Robin Hood , The Man Who Came to Dinner ) took up the directing reins. Julius J. Epstein, who had written the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for Four Daughters and its follow up, Four Wives, was replaced with writer Stephen Morehouse Avery this time out.
Producer: Hal B. Wallis, Henry Blanke
Director: William Keighley
Screenplay: Stephen Morehouse Avery, based on the story "Sister Act" by Fannie Hurst
Cinematography: Charles Rosher
Art Direction: Robert M. Haas
Music: Heinz Roemheld
Film Editing: Ralph Dawson
Cast: Priscilla Lane (Ann Lemp Deitz), Rosemary Lane (Kay Lemp Forrest), Lola Lane (Thea Lemp Crowley), Gale Page (Emma Lemp Talbot), Claude Rains (Adam Lemp), Jeffrey Lynn (Felix Deitz), Eddie Albert (Clint Forrest), May Robson (Aunt Etta).
by Andrea Passafiume