Watch The Devil at 4 O'Clock
- 2 hr 6 min
In the year 1961, MGM Studios released a thriller movie called 'The Devil at 4 O'Clock' directed by Mervyn LeRoy. The movie features an ensemble cast featuring some of the biggest names of that era such as Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra and Kerwin Mathews. Set on the volcanic island of Talua, the story begins with a massive volcanic eruption that leaves the island in serious danger of complete destruction. The only hope for the trapped inhabitants is a team of Catholic priests, led by Father Matthew Doonan (played by Spencer Tracy), who are supposed to arrive on the island and evacuate the people.
In the midst of this chaos, three imprisoned convicts are entrusted to Father Doonan's care for the transport to the mainland. Harry (played by Frank Sinatra) is an ex-convict with a cynical attitude and a disregard for authority, Marcel (played by Jean-Pierre Aumont) is a petty thief who is an expert with explosives, and Charles (played by Kerwin Mathews) is a mentally unstable man with a troubling past.
Father Doonan sets out with these three misfits on the hazardous journey, and they all face numerous obstacles and dangers as they try to reach the evacuation point before it is too late. During the extenuating journey, these four characters undergo perilous thematic journeys of moral character, responsibility and doing what is right.
The Devil at 4 O'Clock is a gripping thriller that follows the four central characters as they face their respective character arcs while trying to survive against all odds. Spencer Tracy's performance as Father Doonan is outstanding, and his calm and determined demeanor throughout the movie deeply resonates with the viewers, creating a strong sense of empathy towards his character. Tracy's presence alone helps to elevate the movie to a higher cinematic level, as he brings his signature gravitas to the role.
Frank Sinatra's character, Harry, is a stark contrast to Father Doonan. He is abrasive, cynical, and disinterested in the safety of the other characters. However, as the journey continues, Harry's character arc becomes increasingly evident, and Sinatra's performance is masterful in bringing out the complexities in Harry's personality.
The third team member, Marcel (played by Jean-Pierre Aumont), is a small-time criminal with experience in handling explosives. As the team faces many obstacles and challenges, Marcel really comes into his own, rising above his petty criminal past and exhibiting unwavering loyalty to the team on this journey.
Kerwin Mathews as Charles is the unpredictable and unreliable character that keeps everyone on edge throughout the journey. This character adds a level of danger to the group, and his mental instability raises issues of trust and the need for team members to have each other's backs.
Apart from the captivating performances, the cinematography and special effects in The Devil at 4 O'Clock are impressive, particularly for a movie made in the early 1960s. The volcanic eruptions are realistically depicted, creating a sense of urgency and heightened suspense throughout the movie. The music score by George Duning is also notable, with its intense and dramatic moments, it successfully amplifies the emotional expressions of characters and their stories.
The Devil at 4 O'Clock is the type of movie that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. The positively etched characterisation of its four protagonists and its realistic depiction of the volcanic eruptions alone elevates the movie. It is a must-see classic for fans of the thriller genre, and with its powerful story of morality, responsibility, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil, it continues to captivate and inspire viewers even today, more than half a century after its release.