Starring The Volcano - Tracy, Sinatra supporting cast
Jane G. Beckman | San Jose, CA United States | 01/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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.)"
Classic forgetten Tracy/Sinatra flick...
Mark A. Wallace | Canada/Victoria | 08/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie seems to have been forgotten.You never see it on TV.So when i saw it listed on DVD,it was time to add it to my collection.The DVD is a good transfer,with lush colours and a crisp,clear picture.Spencer Tracy is at his usual best(and unusual to see him without Katherine!!)With Frank Sinatra doing a fine job co-staring.My only gripe with this DVD is the price as an import to Canada.Still a fun movie,with cool special effects considering how long ago this was filmed.It might be one of the first "so-called"disaster flicks.Cheers!!"
"Lady I Missed The Boat A Long Time Ago" ~ Faith, Disbelief
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 09/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Great Movie Greatest Actor
Edward Gallagher | Hamden, CT USA | 03/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."