The idle son of a rich businessman joins the army when the U.S.A. enters World War One. He is sent to France, where he becomes friends with two working-class soldiers. He also falls in love... See full summary »
George W. Hill
A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »
Julio Madariaga is the Argentine patriarch of a wealthy family. He has two daughters, the elder wed to a Frenchman and the other to a German. He prefers the Frenchman and his family, especially his grandson Julio, causing jealousy from the German and his three sons. When Madariaga dies, the family splits up, each son-in-law returning to his own country. The Frenchman and his own move to Paris, where Julio becomes an artist and has an affair with an unhappily married woman, the lovely Marguerite Laurier. Her husband finds out, but before he can finalize a divorce, World War One rears its head and both sides of the family will endure great suffering in the conflict, especially since they must fight one another on the battlefield. Written by
Opening night film of the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The Mont Alto Orchestra provided live musical accompaniment for the Castro Theater screening. See more »
Is it not enough to lead my son into wild ways without teaching my daughter the tango?
Will you have the boy grow up like those glass-eyed, carrot-topped sharks of your sister's?
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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, released in 1921, is so well made that it overcomes the enormous obstacles of technology. The story is of epic proportions. Set immediately before World War I, it deals with a rich Argentine family, one branch recently arrived from France, the other from Germany. After the death of the patriarch each branch returns to their respective homelands as Europe slides into war. Deep, rich subplots abound, with much time spent on the adulterous affair of the indolent French grandson (Valentino) with the young married wife of an older businessman. Quite a surprising treatment of such mature subject matter.
Made when the wounds of WWI were still open and sore, the film's themes are grim and dripping with overt religiosity. But this is what The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is all about, the horror of war, and the redemption of man through personal sacrifice.
An excellent film, recommended highly.
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