Four Frightened People (1934)

“It’s not the heat really, it’s the humidity.” – Mrs. Mardick

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Sep 2022)

Brief Synopsis – Four strangers escape a disease ridden boat and must traverse a dangerous island in order to get to safety.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and was intrigued by the premise.

The film shows these four characters in a great way and they develop each of their personalities in a very distinct way from one another.

Each of them chooses a different way to respond to each of the various encounters that they come across and this diversity helps them find unique solutions to each danger.

This was directed by Cecil B. DeMille and he uses some great shots and ideas to help make this feel more realistic in all that transpires along the way.

The sets are standard fare for this era, but little aspects of the way it is presented enhance things in ways one might not have expected.

The problem here is that the story isn’t strong enough on its own and works on a much smaller scale than it really should.

The cast is great and Claudette Colbert shows here how talented an actress she can truly be even in a seemingly less powerful environment..

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to “Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood” by Robert S. Birchard, the 96-minute version of the film was only screened once, at a test screening in Huntington Park, California, on December 15, 1933. The test audience, apparently mostly composed of kids (who were there waiting to see the war aviation movie Ace of Aces (1933)), felt that the movie was too long by ten minutes, and that further character set-up was necessary. To accommodate this DeMille added in the opening blurb that the movie was filmed on real locations and he included brief bios for each of the four frightened people. DeMille then screened the movie and decided that the test audience was correct, and cut a “thousand feet” from the film, resulting in the 17 minutes cut from the test version. So then the 96-minute “longer” cut was never actually shown to a mass audience; the only certain thing about it was that it included sequences with Ethel Griffies, who played the mother of Arnold Ainger (Herbert Marshall). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

Let me Know what you think!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.