Four Men and a Prayer
Four Men and a Prayer FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed byJohn Ford
Written byRichard Sherman
Sonya Levien
Walter Ferris
William Faulkner (uncredited)
Screenplay byRichard Sherman
Sonya Levien
Walter Ferris
Based onFour Men and a Prayer
1937 novel
by David Garth (1908-1983)
Produced byKenneth Macgowan
StarringLoretta Young
Richard Greene
George Sanders
David Niven
C. Aubrey Smith
William Henry
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Edited byLouis R. Loeffler
Music byLouis Silvers
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • April 29, 1938 (1938-04-29)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States

Four Men and a Prayer is a 1938 American adventure film directed by John Ford and starring Loretta Young, Richard Greene and George Sanders.[1]


After Loring Leigh (C. Aubrey Smith), a British Army Officer, is cashiered in India following accusations of dereliction of duty, he summons his four sons Geoffrey (Richard Greene), Wyatt (George Sanders), Christopher (David Niven), and Rodney (William Henry) to meet him in their family home. Leigh reveals he has been framed, but before he can explain any more he is murdered. With what little they know, the four boys immediately set out to discover the truth. The boys split up and travel to South America, India, and Egypt to gather evidence and restore their father's honour. During their travels, Geoffrey's girlfriend, Lynn (Loretta Young), continuously appears in the same locations as Geoffrey and his brother, Christopher.

First, Geoffrey and Christopher encounter Lynn in Buenos Aires where they witness a mass murder of townspeople that were in a war with the government, while Wyatt and Rodney are in India.

Later, Geoffrey and Christopher run into Lynn in Alexandria while they are reuniting with Wyatt and Rodney to confront Lynn's father, Martin Cherrington (Berton Churchill) who they believe is the person responsible for their father's death. Then they discover that Lynn had no idea of the situation and was not on her father's side about his contribution to being a major arms dealer, but it is also discovered that her father had no part in the death of the boys' father.

Once they discover the real person responsible for Leigh's murder, the four boys journey back home to present the evidence that their father was innocent.


The response to Four Men and a Prayer was mixed. Mae Tinee from the Chicago Daily Tribune said "there's nothing like a good melodrama for grinding new grooves in the old thinking machine, and Four Men and a Prayer is a right pert groove grinder."[2] However, Variety said the film "starts out as exciting melodrama, promising interesting romantic and adventurous...finishes as a piece of disappointing entertainment."[3]



  1. ^ "Four Men and a Prayer". Time Out. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  2. ^ Tinee, Mae. "'Four Men and a Prayer' Tops in Melodrama: "FOUR MEN AND A PRAYER."." Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963), May 14, 1938, p. 13.
  3. ^ Flin. "Film Reviews: Four Men and a Prayer." Variety (Archive: 1905-2000) Apr 27 1938: 22.