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The Devil at 4 O'clock (1961)

Spencer Tracy , Frank Sinatra , Mervyn LeRoy  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Kerwin Mathews, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Grégoire Aslan
  • Directors: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Writers: Liam O'Brien, Max Catto
  • Producers: Mervyn LeRoy, Fred Kohlmar
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (Unknown), English (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Portuguese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007ELD2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,183 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Devil at 4 O'clock" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Scene Selections

Editorial Reviews

Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra. A priest struggles to save the patients of a small children's hospital in the South Pacific when a volcanic eruption threatens to destroy it. 1961/color/126 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starring The Volcano - Tracy, Sinatra supporting cast January 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie was one of the orginal "disaster films," originating the genre. Actually, only part of the film was shot on Maui (mostly around Lahaina and the Maui Needle). The rest was done with some amazing soundstages. The volcano (built in the middle of a pond in Fallbrook, California) provided stock footage for many films that came after, and you'll be amazed how realistic the earthquake shots look. All this with low-tech special effects!
If you are bored or unaffected by the actual movie, you're way too jaded to be watching this human drama of an alcoholic priest whose life and vocation have lost their meaning. Go watch a blockbuster disaster flick and root for the special effects. Yeah, it's a little hokily sentimental at times, but I've shown this one to friends who marvelled at what a great story of human experience it told, got a lump in their throats at the end, etc. Then they recommended it to their friends. (Admittedly, Sinatra is NOT at his best. However, Spencer Tracy and the rest of the cast carry the movie.)
(Yes, my father was the art director, which is how I know so much about the special effects and technical aspects, but it's still one of my all-time favorite films, even discounting that.)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ERUPTING DRAMA June 22, 2004
I first saw this movie when I was ten years old, and of all the things that have stuck with me, the beautiful theme song by George Duning has haunted me since. The story of a disillusioned priest played by Spencer Tracy is an old one, but it is acted with such fervor, it remains powerful in its concept of God, faith and hope. Tracy is as always impeccable, but Frank Sinatra seems a little disinterested in his role. Kerwin Mathews previously known for his roles in the Ray Harryhausen movies (7th Voyage of Sinbad, 3 Worlds of Gulliver) brings his solemn and gentlemanly nature to the role of Father Perreau, the young priest who is scheduled to replace Tracy. Bernie Hamilton and Gregoire Aslan turn in delightful performances as the other two prisoners; Alexander Scourby makes a good island governor; Barbara Luna is beautiful as the blind Charisse; Cathy Lewis is memorable as Marguerite; Martin Brandt makes an impression as the atheist doctor who still admires Tracy; and Jean Pierre Aumont is good as the pilot.
Though slow in spots, the volcanic eruption explodes onto the screen and the escape scene is heartwarming and suspenseful.
A very good movie!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Synopsis: A small plane headed for Tahiti carrying three convicts makes a layover on a small, volcanic South Pacific Island named Kalaua. The local Catholic priest Father Doonan (Spencer Tracy) convinces the local authorities to allow him to borrow the incarcerated trio to help with repairs at a secluded hospital for lepers during their stay. When the volcano begins to awaken the island residents are forced to evacuate Father Doonan and the convicts are the only ones brave enough to attempt a rescue of the lepers and hospital staff. Will they be able to escape the dangerous eruptions and lava and get to the docks before the schooner leaves at four o'clock? Only God knows.

Critique: The '61 film `Devil At 4 O'Clock' is one of the lesser classics of the early `60's. Spencer Tracy delivers one of his usual strong performances as the ill-tempered, disillusioned Catholic priest and Frank Sinatra rises to the occasion with one of his best on-screen performances as the hard-nosed convict Harry.

This is a surprisingly good film; the cast is superior, the dialogue intelligent and believable, the scenery breathtaking, the soundtrack memorable and the volcano magnificent. If that's not enough the film also co-stars the beautiful Barbara Luna in the role of Camille, unquestionably one of the most beautiful Hispanic actresses to ever grace the silver screen.

Footnote: Here's a little something that might be of interest to all you trivia collectors out there. Take note of the first couple of minutes of the film when the plane comes in for a landing. Did you catch the island boy running into Father Duggin's office shouting "the plane, the plane!" Now you know where little Tattoo from the popular late 70's television series `Fantasy Island' got that phrase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie Greatest Actor March 22, 2008
Surely the greatest actor ever Spencer Tracy outdoes himself in this most interesting and entertaining movie. I bought a VHS copy in the 1980's and recently bought the outstanding DVD version. I will never tire of this wonderful classic. It is one of Tracy's best roles in my opinion. The movie is unique in its story line and powerful in its message. When you view the end of this film you can judge for yourself whether or not he in real life was a deeply religious man. Whether it's Father Doonon (Devil at 4 O'Clock), Father Mullin (San Francisco) or Father Flanagan (Boy's Town) Spencer Tracy is unequaled in Hollywood history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sheshe's review February 8, 2008
By sheshe
This is a story of faith, forgiveness, humbling oneself, and atonement of sins made right. I have had this movie in my library many years. When it became available on DVD I had to have it. I love to watch Frank Sinatra and Spencer Tracy work together. The musical score is haunting - but then that is what makes a movie - as far as I am concerned! The Devil may have come at 4 O'Clock - but he was too late, they were already saved!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
Decent old movie, Sinatra and Tracy together, kind of a canned plot, been done before, but done well here. Good.
Published 2 days ago by ManicBobo
5.0 out of 5 stars top notch entertainment
clean good story line. a movie like they are supposed to be made. It's good to see actors getting by on their talent instead of good looks alone.
Published 3 days ago by Rita A. Young
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay and no more.
It's hard to beat Sinatra and Tracy together in the same film. It's pretty good, too. The stereotypical bad guys become heroes and get killed along with the stereotypical aging... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Skip Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil at 4 O'clock
Great flick with Sinatra and Tracy. Classic Tracy and tough guy Sinatra with volcano's, Island beauties and high adventure in the rescue of orphans.
Published 15 days ago by Stan Buford
5.0 out of 5 stars devil at 4 oclock.
My husband thought it was wonderful, we were in Hawaii in December 2013 and went to the island and saw the volcano, my husband was over the moon to see where it was flimed.
Published 2 months ago by Yvonne
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinarta & Tracy
Saw this as a teen in the theater and never forgot it. I just bought it and it is as good as I remembered.
Published 2 months ago by S. Flynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Ageless entertainment, the early effects very good, the direction astoundingly good, the cluster of stars in this movie makes it a keeper!
Published 3 months ago by William E. Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil at 4 O'clock
I first watched The Devil at 4 O'clock when I was a kid. It is one of several potion pictures Sinatra stared in during his film making career. Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. Botello
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great purchase!
I purchased this movie for my Fathers birthday and he loved it! We watched it together and it was an awesome experience! From beginning to end, the quality was great!
Published 6 months ago by Joe Martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie.
i bought this movie because no cable company had it.i was only able to watch part of this movie on tv until i purchasd it.
Published 6 months ago by Dana M. Evans
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