Four's a Crowd

Four's a Crowd is a 1938 American romantic comedy film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Rosalind Russell, and Patric Knowles. It was written by Casey Robinson and Sig Herzig from a story by Wallace Sullivan. This was the fourth of nine films that Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland appeared in.[1]

Four's a Crowd
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Produced byHal B. Wallis
Written byWallace Sullivan (story)
Screenplay byCasey Robinson
Sig Herzig
StarringErrol Flynn
Olivia de Havilland
Rosalind Russell
Patric Knowles
Music byEddie Durant
Ray Heindorf
M. K. Jerome
Heinz Eric Roemheld
CinematographyErnest Haller
Edited byClarence Kolster
Release date
  • August 4, 1938 (1938-08-04) (US)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States


Reporter Jean Christy (Rosalind Russell) works for a newspaper in danger of being thrown away by its young owner, Pat Buckley (Patric Knowles), after Buckley has a falling-out with the editor-in-chief, Robert Lansford (Errol Flynn). Meanwhile, Lansford hopes to gain tycoon John Dillingwell's (Walter Connolly) business for his public relations firm, and uses his position at Buckley's paper to drum up good press for Dillingwell. In the process, he discovers that Dillingwell's granddaughter Lorri (Olivia de Havilland) is Buckley's fiancée. Lansford decides to try to charm Lorri, while Christy makes a play for Buckley.



The film began with the working title of "All Rights Reserved",[2] and was supposedly based on the career of noted public relations man Ivy Ledbetter Lee, who worked for the Rockefeller family.[3] The film's title was changed to Four's a Crowd in February.[4]

Warner Bros. borrowed Rosalind Russell from MGM for the film.[3] William Dieterle was originally slated to direct the film,[2] and Edmund Goulding turned it down, before the studio assigned it to Michael Curtiz.[3] Although principal photography went 12 days over the allotted time, Curtiz still managed to bring it in $12,000 under budget.[3]

At the very end of the film, Flynn and De Havilland, normally the happy couple at the end of any film they're in together, start to kiss passionately, only to hear protests from Russell and Knowles, with whose characters they are now involved with. The couples switch places, with De Havilland ruefully saying "Bye, Errol."


With the success of The Adventures of Robin Hood, Errol Flynn was concerned about being typecast as a swashbuckler, and convinced Warner Bros. to cast him in other types of films, specifically screwball comedies.[3] However, Four's a Crowd was not a success at the box office, and encouraged Warner Bros. to keep Flynn in action roles.[5]



  2. "Notes" on
  3. LoBianco, Lorraine. "Four's a Crowd" on
  4. Schallert, Edwin. "'Manon' Suggested as Crawford Subject: Dick Powell Assigned Hope, Lamour Team Temple Cast Named Comment and Castings" Los Angeles Times (February 17, 1938)
  5. Thomas, Tony; Behlmer, Rudy and McCarty, Clifford. The Films of Errol Flynn, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1969. p.69
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