Four Frightened People

1934

Adventure / Drama

164
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 589

Synopsis


Downloaded times
December 13, 2021

Cast

Claudette Colbert as Sally Trent, aka Mimi Benton
Herbert Marshall as Arnold Ainger
Mary Boland as Mrs. Mardick
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
718.41 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
78 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.3 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
78 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 6 / 10 / 10

Quite a departure for DeMille in many ways.....

"Four Frightened People" is a very, very unusual movie. That's because although it was directed by the infamous Cecil B. DeMille, it's the most unlike his films of any I have seen. It is not an epic film in the least and seems to have very little in common with his other films. This is NOT a criticism--especially since so many of his other films emphasize spectacle instead of characterizations. So, this smaller sort of film is most welcome. But could it provide rich, full characters that so many of his other films could not? The film begins aboard a ship in the Pacific. The crew and passengers are being decimated by plague and four passengers leave the ship surreptitiously. One (Claudette Colbert) did not come along willingly, as the other three (Mary Boland, William Gargan and Herbert Marshall) take her with them to keep her from alerting the crew. Soon they come to a tropical island where they are having a cholera outbreak!!! Wow...talk about lousy luck. So, the four are led through the jungle by an odd guy (Leo Carillo) in order to try to make it back to civilization. Can they make it or will be eaten by leopards, snakes or cannibals? See it for yourself....or not. While the basic idea was good and quite original, the film had some serious problems--problems that you do often see in other DeMille films. The characters are often quite one-dimensional and stupid. The only one who came off well was Mary Boland--she was hilarious and quite entertaining. Also, the film suffered a bit from DeMille's love of adding as much nudity as he could get--something he also did in several other films of the same time ("Cleopatra" and the religious epic "Sign of the Cross"). It really didn't fit and seemed silly--especially with Colbert then wearing dresses of leaves and leopard skins (and the skins kept changing--like there was a fashion designer living in the jungle!). It's all very trivial and silly--but also entertaining on a brain-dead sort of level. Not bad...not very good either. By the way...what is a chimp doing on an island in the Pacific?! They were off by many thousands of miles on this one.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10 / 10

DeMille Goes Hawaiian

According to Cecil B. DeMille's autobiography, Four Frightened People was the last film he made that both lost money and was not of an historical nature. Seeing it today, especially in the edited 78 minute version of it, I can see why. Not even Paramount splurging for location shooting in Hawaii to stand in for the Malay jungle and DeMille's eye for spectacle could save this one. Our Four Frightened People are spinster geography teacher Claudette Colbert, newspaper correspondent William Gargan, chemist Herbert Marshall and the wife of a British colonial official Mary Boland. Believe me this is not four people you would want in a foxhole. The bulk of the cuts to Four Frightened People seem to come at the beginning of the film where in the short version we see the radio operator requesting help because plague is on board the ship. Gargan who is a take charge sort, commanders a lifeboat and takes Marshall, Boland, and an unwilling Colbert on board to land, lest the plague outbreak become known in the steerage where a lot of Chinese coolies are packed in like on a slave ship. The next thing we know is that the four find Leo Carrillo, a mixed blood native to help guide them to safety. A whole lot of introductory material to the characters is lost here. My guess is that because Four Frightened People came in before the Code, Paramount made drastic cuts to try and salvage the film in a re-release which occurred the following year. As far as the story narrative was concerned it made it incoherent. Not that I think there was much there to begin. The two men of course end up fighting over Colbert and Mary Boland just goes about in her usual oblivious way to the dangers. As for Claudette she turns from a woman frightened of life, to Sheena Queen of the Jungle as she parades around in a leopard skin outfit that must have been borrowed from Maureen O'Sullivan at MGM. The transformation is not terribly convincing. Color might have salvaged this somewhat we were two years away from the modern Technicolor process that Paramount did in its first outdoor film in The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine. Curiously enough DeMille for all his mastery of the technical side of film making did not do a color feature until Northwest Mounted Police in 1941. The Hawaiian scenery looks beautiful, far more convincing than some standard jungle set on a studio back lot. One other story DeMille told was that Claudette Colbert had a strong aversion more than most to little creepy crawly critters and in Hawaii many unusual ones thrive. On the first day of shooting she sat down on a centipede and became hysterical. How she got through the film God only knows. But the very next film Claudette did was It Happened One Night and that was her Oscar winning part. Good recompense for going through Four Frightened People. I wasn't crazy about this film and neither was its director.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 6 / 10 / 10

Campy jungle melodrama filled with a lot of things that made pre-code fun.

This film must have either been greatly edited or quickly disappeared right after the Hays code came in to play a huge part in movie making. There's enough sexual innuendo that would have made Mae West give star Claudette Colbert thumbs up for the bawdiness of this plot of a plain jane who simply has to shed her glasses and get wet underneath a waterfall to suddenly become desirable. She is one of four people who escape from a ship overrun with Bubonic Plague although the other lady (eccentric Mary Boland) is soon carted away by friendly natives of the South Pacific without cause for concern by the three others. Shots of a small monkey being swallowed by a Venus fly trap and various other creatures seem straight out of a 30's Frank Buck movie. Claudette is rightly horrified by the shot of the monkey, but it is the shot which begins to awaken her feelings of being alive. Once fellow passenger Herbert Marshall comes across her taking a shower in the buff under the waterfall, his feelings awaken for her, and there is no turning back to the plain girl she was before. A story like this can't help but be entertaining even if preposterous. As usual, director Cecil proves his movies are not the ordinary run of DeMille. Colbert, seen as Cleopatra in another DeMille movie the same year (as well as having been in his 1932 epic "Sign of the Cross") makes an unconvincing non-beauty even with spectacles and no makeup. It is ironic that once she takes that waterfall shower, suddenly her face is fully glowing as if she had just visited Elizabeth Arden in a nearby native village. Boland adds some humor, but Marshall and William Gargan are rather bland. The final shot of Colbert back in civilization is a real eye raiser, especially if you happen to be in the teaching profession.

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