Cast & Crew
John Van Eyssen
In a small English village, local physician Dr. Harvey recalls the first time he saw eleven-year-old Lena Maitland and her playmates, Robin Grant and Bill: Lena is dressed as a queen and Bill and Robin are dueling for her loyalty in a barn. Robin is the victor and a disappointed Bill runs from the barn. "Doc" discovers that Bill has a scientific mind and later adopts the boy after Bill's parents die. Five years later, Lena's mother takes her to the United States and Bill and Robin leave for college. Following her mother's death, Lena returns to the village a cynical young adult, until Doc reintroduces her to her old friends Bill and Robin, physicists who have turned the barn into a laboratory. The bonds of friendship are soon re-formed and Lena stays on to help them with a secret experiment. When Robin's wealthy father, local squire Sir Walter Grant, discontinues his financial support, Doc sells his practice and becomes their business partner. One night, Robin and Bill announce their success in creating a machine that can exactly reproduce any object. Sir Walter witnesses the reproduction of a document, and advises them to work with the government in order to avoid future misuse of their invention. Bill later confides in Doc that he has fallen in love with Lena, but fears she will reject him. Doc offers to speak to Lena on his behalf, but at a dinner celebrating the government's approval of their company, Robin and Lena announce their engagement. Bill's disappointment is apparent, and after Lena and Robin leave for their honeymoon, he uses their invention to duplicate animals. Bill admits to Doc that he has an ulterior motive for recreating life and enlists Doc's help in creating a revivification process when the animals start dying. When Lena returns home from her honeymoon, Bill confesses his love and asks her help in creating a reproduction of herself. Lena uneasily consents but does not tell Robin, who is working with the government in London. Bill names Lena's duplicate Helen, and takes her on a vacation. Within two weeks, however, Helen is haunted by thoughts of Robin. Bill is unaware of Helen's unhappiness until she attempts to commit suicide by swimming into the ocean. Although he saves her, Helen refuses to reveal the source of her distress until Bill sends for Doc. Doc then informs Bill that, as Helen is an exact duplicate of Lena, she also possesses Lena's emotions. After Bill and Helen return home, Lena agrees to assist in erasing Helen's memory by using electric shock therapy. Robin unexpectedly returns home the same night to ask Bill's help in London, and is surprised by Doc's revelation about Bill's activities. Robin and Doc head to the barn, where Helen has awakened from the procedure. When a fire breaks out in the machinery and quickly engulfs the barn, Robin arrives in time to save one of the women, but is unable to rescue Bill. Later in the hospital, Robin fears that he has rescued the wrong woman because she has no memory. Doc informs him that Helen would have two scars on the back of her neck due to the revivification process. Robin checks and discovers that he has indeed saved his own wife, Lena.
John Van Eyssen
J. Elder Wills
The opening and ending cast credits of the film differ slightly in order. Although the onscreen credits include a 1952 copyright statement for Exclusive Films, Ltd., the picture is not listed in the Copyright Catalog. The film is partially narrated by the character "Dr. Harvey." Four Sided Triangle was shot in England and was released there under the same title in 1952, according to Monthly Film Bulletin. The film opens with the following written quotation from the Bible, Ecclesiastes II.29: "God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions." The film closes with the following written quotation from philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, contained in his Journal, October 1842: "You shall have joy or you shall have power, said God: you shall not have both."