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Four Sons

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Four Sons
Four Sons.jpg
Movie Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by John Ford
Release Date February 12, 1928
Language Silent
Studio Fox Film Corporation
Distributor Fox Film Corporation
Main Cast
Character Actor
Mother Bernle Margaret Mann
Joseph "Dutch" Bernle James Hall
Johann Bernle Charles Morton
Franz Bernle Francis X. Bushman Jr.
Andreas Bernle George Meeker
American Police Officer John Wayne

Four Sons is a 1928 World War I silent film directed and produced by John Ford. The story takes place in Germany during the war where a Bavarian mother Bernle deals with her four young sons, three of them fighting for the German Empire and the other joins the U.S. Army. The movie is based on the novel Grandmother Bernle Learns Her Letters by I. A. R. Wylie and features a young John Wayne in an uncredited role as an American police officer.

In 1940 a sound film remake was directed by Archie Mayo starring Don Ameche, Mary Beth Hughes, and Alan Curtis. However, this film was not set in Bavaria, but in Czechoslovakia during World War II.

The following weapons were used in the film Four Sons:


Colt M1911

An American officer carries a pistol that has the silhouette of a Colt M1911.

Colt M1911 - .45 ACP
The officer advances through the foggy No Man's Land.
"What's eatin' yuh, Dutch? Let's go, we movin' up!"

Luger P08

A German Captain (Archduke Leopold of Austria) gives Colonel von Stomm (Earle Foxe) a Luger P08 to shoot himself.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm Parabellum
"A parting gift from the regiment, Herr Colonel, to speed you to a better world!"
"Shall we say, in ten minutes?"
Von Stomm braces himself with the pistol in hand.


Mauser Gewehr 1898

German soldiers including Franz (Francis X. Bushman Jr.) and Andreas Bernle (George Meeker) carry Mauser Gewehr 1898 rifles through the movie.

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Franz shoulders his Mauser during the introduction of his mother.
The Lange Visier rear sight is seen during the changing of the guard.
Franz and other soldiers marching with Gewehr 98s.
Seitengewehr 98/05
A barracks Guard with Gewehr 98 equipped with Seitengewehr 98/05 bayonet speaks with Mother Bernle (Margaret Mann).

Krag-Jørgensen M1896

During the parade at the start of World War One, many German soldiers including Johann Bernle (Charles Morton) are seen with Krag-Jørgensen M1896 rifles standing in for Gewehr 98s.

Krag-Jørgensen Model 1896 - .30-40 Krag
The Bavarian garrison marches with full-length Krag-Jørgensen rifles to the railway station. Note the curved bolt handles and typical loading gates.
Johann carries a Krag-Jørgensen over his shoulder.

Springfield M1903

On the 9th of November 1918, Joseph "Dutch" Bernle (James Hall) and other American Doughboys can be seen wielding M1903 Springfield rifles.

Springfield M1903 with M1905 bayonet - .30-06
Joseph approaches cautiously the German Foxhole with his Springfield at the ready.
He lies beside a wounded German soldier to whom he offers something to drink.
The rifle can be seen as he gets up to move on.
A behind-the-scenes picture shows James Hall on the right with the Springfield rifle; next to the director John Ford and fellow actor George Meeker.

Mauser Karabiner 98AZ

A Mauser 98AZ Carbine is very briefly seen during the suicide of von Stomm.

Mauser Karabiner 98AZ - 7.92x57mm Mauser
The soldier in the left background holds the Kar98AZ. Note the larger front sight.
Another view of a carbine that shows the stacking hook.

Machine Guns

Maxim MG 08

A Maxim MG08 is carried by German soldiers at the railway station. Another broken Maxim is later seen in a crater.

Maxim MG 08 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
German soldiers transport the Maxim into the train carriage.
Joseph bends over the broken Maxim; the gun is separated from the 'sledge' 08 mount.

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