Sound Feature: Four Frightened People


Studio: A Cecil B. DeMille Production
Paramount Pictures
Released: January 26, 1934

Featured Cast: Herbert Marshall, Claudette Colbert, Mary Boland

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriters: Lenore Coffee, Bartlett Cormack
Source: the E. Arnot Robertson book
Art director: Roland Anderson
Cinematographer: Karl Struss
Assistant directors: James Dugan, David MacDonald, Cullen Tate
Music: Karl Hajos
Editor: Anne Bauchens


Four people stranded on a tropical island work together to survive in the jungle.

Production Quote

“There are no nude shots in the bathing scenes. The girl wears a Kellerman suit. The scenes are staged in good taste. All who have seen the picture class these scenes as ones of artistry. I have never made a personal request to any censor board, but in this case I beseech you to reconsider your cuts, as it took us a great sum of money to take the company to Hawaii.”

– Cecil B. DeMille, letter to James Wingate, Studio Relations Committee, December 29, 1933


“Four Frightened People is an extravagant mixture of comedy and melodrama, but the terror in some of the scenes stirred up almost as much mirth from an audience yesterday afternoon as did the levity in others.”

– Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times, January 27, 1934.

Artist Comment

“A man does best what he enjoys doing and leaves whimsical stories to directors like Preston Sturges.”

– Cecil B. DeMille, Autobiography


Four Frightened People cost $509,006.96 and grossed $494,425.97.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)