Adam Had Four Sons - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Adam Had Four Sons Reviews

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May 5, 2016
This was a good early melodrama--the first of Ratoff's films I have seen (at least to my knowledge) and American films starring Ingrid Bergman, one of my favourite actresses (three earlier Swedish films she's in, that I found in an inexpensive boxed set by Kino Lorber, is delightful). This boasted a strong supporting cast too, as Bergman's Emilie does everything she can to provide support for the family she loves working for so dearly.

It was short and sweet, and is good value for the cinephile if you like the 30's-and-40's style of filmmaking, and enjoy melodramas. Other fine directors who are great at this style are John Stahl, Douglas Sirk, and, more recently, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Todd Haynes.

At this stage of her career, Bergman isn't as fun to watch, at least for me, as similar actresses of her era, such as Bette Davis, Greta Garbo or Joan Crawford. I prefer Bergman's work after she risked everything to marry Roberto Rossellini. I believe the great difficulties she had to endure gave her a much deeper palette of possible behaviours for her to choose from. I significantly feel that if a thespian can survive trauma, it's the best thing in the world for their craft. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger--and I would definitely posit it makes one a much better actor as well.
February 6, 2014
A wonderful film from start to finish. Make sure to add this one to your collection.
April 23, 2013
Well scripted and directed, Bergan stars in this tale as a governess who promises a dying mother to look after the family. She keeps her promise, at a price to the fondness and respect she had earned of all - including herself.
½ August 29, 2012
Ingrid Bergman. Just amazing.
August 28, 2012
good movie american film #2 for bergman
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2012
I have to admit that it's embarrassing how did I found this movie... I was checking movies I've seen from Bergman and on data base I found this one. Got it and too late realize that it wasn't the director Bergman's movie but Ingrid Bergman's... it was her second movie in America! It is typical romance movie of that time in which Warner Baxter portrays the wealthy, easy-going patriarch of a family that falls on hard times after the death of his wife and a stock market crash. Recently arrived governess Emilie (played by Bergman) works to keep the family together but the financial loss of Adam Stoddards (Baxter) fortune means that Emilie must return to France. Reversing his fortunes takes several years and after that Adam recalls Emilie to look after it... but there is a twist!

One of the sons, David, returns with his new wife, Hester, (played by Susan Hayward), who turns out be a conniving woman who wants to rule the roost...

Screenplay was engaging, but I have to say that cinematography was below the average. I liked the acting of all the stars in this movie, while directing could be done by any film student and no one will notice the difference! It's a good material for anyone interested in the film history...
March 28, 2011
good stuff all star cast
½ July 23, 2009
Adam Had Four Sons (1941) -- [5.5] -- Ingrid Bergman takes a job as governess to a wealthy family of four sons. Then the mother dies, the stock market crashes, and many years later, one of the boys marries a treacherous slut who threatens to tear the family apart. Ingrid does her best to keep things together, all while falling in love with the father. It's a bizarre movie. Ingrid is good (and beautiful as always) and Susan Hayward sinks her teeth into the slut role. Unfortunately, the relationship between Bergman and the father isn't very well written, and the ending isn't enough of a payoff for all the tension that builds up between Bergman and Hayward.
March 14, 2009
Ingrid Berman is so beautiful and charming. She captures the screen on this simple love story.
March 9, 2008
Blech. This is pretty schmaltzy by even Hollywood standards. Bergman plays a saintly au pair willing to sacrifice anything to help the patrician family that employs her. The family, of course, comes to lover her and her as one of their own, even as they ship her back to Europe when they can't afford her! The film reflects a very naive attitude towards domestic labor relationships and a hostile one towards female sexuality. It is definitely a product of its time. I could barely get through it.
December 27, 2007
I liked Ingrid in this film. I like Ingrid in MOST films. Everything else was just for period "gravy". The four boys eventually go off to WW1 and they are SO jingoistic...unbelieveable...even AFTER they came back from the war...but...well, anyway. There is a scheming woman in this...and it's just funny how much everyone's eyes GLEAM in anger or GLEAM in despair, etc. It was a sweet movie, but not super-super interesting...
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2007
not a great movie, Ingrid is a little pallid but Susan Hayward is great as a scheming homewrecker.
February 9, 2007
Very fine classic film, Ingrid Bergman's second American film is a heartwarming tale, wonderfully acted. It is great to see Susan Hayward in an early bitchy role, she's terrific and it's clear why she became a huge star.
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