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Four Frightened People  /  This Day and Age

February 13, 2015 - 7:30 pm
Robert S. Birchard, author, "Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood."

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive from Cecil B. DeMille's personal 35mm nitrate print, with funding provided by The Cecil B. DeMille Foundation and the cooperation of Universal Studios.

Four Frightened People  (1934)

A British socialite, an introverted chemist (Herbert Marshall), a famous journalist and a mousy schoolteacher (Claudette Colbert) renegotiate their personas and power relations when they are put off of a cruise ship beset with disease, and must survive the Malayan jungle with only the help of a native guide.  Tellingly, in director Cecil B. DeMille's world, the jungle humbles the self-important, and brings out the animal in the formerly meek, infusing this absurdist DeMille curiosity with trenchant social commentary. 

Paramount Productions, Inc.  Director: Cecil B. DeMille.  Screenwriter: Bartlett Cormack, Lenore Coffee.  Cinematographer: Karl Struss.  Editor: Anne Bauchens.  Cast: Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland, William Gargan, Leo Carrillo.  35mm, b/w, 95 min.

This Day and Age  (1933)

In director Cecil B. DeMille's modern-dress follow-up to The Sign of the Cross (1932), a group of high school students, temporarily acting as public officials (police chief, district attorney) as part of an educational exercise, take advantage of their positions to entrap and try a dangerous criminal who has murdered a local tailor.  A thunderous paean to public engagement, the film rings with typically DeMillean moral certitude, pitting good citizens against lawless gangsters. 

Paramount Pictures, Inc.  Director: Cecil B. DeMille.  Screenwriter: Bartlett Cormack.  Cinematographer: Peverell Marley.  Editor: Anne Bauchens.  Cast: Charles Bickford, Richard Cromwell, Judith Allen, Harry Green, Bradley Page.  35mm, b/w, 86 min.