For my first movie review I’m reviewing “Adam Had Four Sons”. I watched this movie for the first time last night and I utterly enjoyed it. It’s a true classic with a stellar cast which includes Ingrid Bergman in her second American film, Warner Baxter, Susan Hayward and Fay Wray in the role as Adam’s wife.
The story starts off in 1908 in the Stoddard family. Adam Stoddard ( Warner Baxter ) is a wealthy patriarch married to Molly ( Fay Wray ). The couple have four sons. To help with the boys they hire Emilie, a French Governess played by Ingrid Bergman. From the start the boys take a liking to their new governess and Emilie promises the boys that she will be a part of their family for a long time. However things turn for the worse when Molly becomes suddenly ill during a Thanksgiving dinner and passes away shortly after, which leaves Emilie playing mother figure for the boys. Just as Adam is getting over the death of his wife the stock market crashes and Adam’s wealth is abolished. Now with Adam’s affluence wiped out, Cousin Phillipa pays for the boys schooling so they are sent off to boarding school. Emilie is forced to return to France until Adam can retain his fortune.
Nine years later in 1917, Adam’s fortunes are reversed and Adam is able to repurchase the family estate. Emilie returns to the household as governess, but by now the boys are all grown up and fighting in the war. One of the sons return home with his new wife Hester ( Susan Hayward ). Emilie does not like Hester from the first meeting, and knows that she’s lurking a dark secret, and is not what she portrays herself to be. In truth Hester is a scheming and conniving person that wants to corrupt the family. Emilie is aware of the trouble that Hester is causing and tries to keep the family together. She keeps the whole ordeal a secret from Adam in order to preserve his happiness. As the movie unfolds Adam falls in love with Emilie, and at the end the two become engaged.
I’ve always been an avid fan of Ingrid Bergman, and I feel that she delivers a fine and touching performance as governess to Adam’s four sons. As always she appears glamorous, and is a joy to watch. I won’t go into anymore about the movie because I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not seen it. I highly recommend this film to anyone, even those that are new discoverers of classic Hollywood.