10 June 2007 | yardbirdsraveup
One of a series of Lane Sisters soaps
Daughters Courageous is actually the second of a four-movie soap series produced by Warner Brothers and all directed by Michael Curtiz. Curtiz, a Hungarian immigrant, was best known for his direction of the early Errol Flynn swashbucklers that graced the silver screen from 1935 to 1941. At any rate, Daughters Courageous employs the same cast of characters from the first and last two movies, Priscilla Lane, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, and Gale Page play the sisters. Claude Rains, in this particular movie, plays the father who left home nineteen years before. Dick Foran and Frank McHugh play supporting roles as boyfriends and then there's Jeffrey Lynne who broke into films only two years before in a Warner's short feature.
The success of Four Daughters the previous year (it had been nominated for several Oscars) prompted Warner Brothers to do a sequel. The only problem they had was that their new sensation, John Garfield, was written off the script of Four Daughters (in that film he had committed suicide from an automobile crash). So, Warners was in a quandary about how to bring Garfield back to life! The problem was solved when Daughters Courageous went into production. It was actually the same cast as Four Daughters, but they portrayed a different family that was vacationing at the beach. Faye Bainter played a single parent (a daring role in 1939 during the Production Code era) supporting her four daughters with the income she makes through her dress designing business. Garfield plays a neer-do-well who has no future. He captures the heart of the youngest sister, Priscilla Lane and the romance goes as far as an elopement attempt (Lane eloped with Garfield in the first film too).
The film is brilliantly directed and flows along steadily from beginning to end. In my opinion, it is the best of the four films made by Warners. Four Daughters is available on VHS. However, this film is not. If you have the chance to see this film on TCM, make sure to copy it on VHS or DVD.