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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 31 March 1923 (Portugal)
An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Vicente Blasco Ibañez), (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pomeroy Cannon ...
...
Bridgetta Clark ...
...
Virginia Warwick ...
...
Mabel Van Buren ...
...
...
Etienne Laurier (as John Sainpolis)
...
Mark Fenton ...
Sen. Lacour
Derek Ghent ...
René Lacour
...
Tchernoff (as Nigel de Brulier)
Bowditch M. Turner ...
Argensola (as Brodwitch Turner)
...
Lodgekeeper
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Storyline

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 cupcakes

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The triumphant return of Rex Ingram's The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with Rudolph Valentino.(Newspaper ad cut, 1926 reissue). See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

31 March 1923 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Die vier Reiter der Apokalypse  »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$9,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (1993 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rudolph Valentino signed onto the film for $350 a week, less than Wallace Beery earned for his small role as a German officer. Metro provided Valentino only with his Argentine gaucho costume and his French soldier's uniform. For the Parisian sequence Valentino purchased more than 25 custom-fitted suits from a New York tailor, which he spent the next year paying for. See more »

Quotes

Dona Luisa: Is it not enough to lead my son into wild ways without teaching my daughter the tango?
Madriaga: Will you have the boy grow up like those glass-eyed, carrot-topped sharks of your sister's?
See more »

Connections

Version of Debout les morts! (1916) See more »

Soundtracks

Apocalypse Theme
(1993)
Music by Carl Davis
Based on the Fantasia Sonata "Après une Lecture de Dante" by Franz Liszt (1849)
In the score of the 1993 alternate version
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (Rex Ingram, 1921) ***1/2
18 August 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I had always wanted to watch this Silent version of the Vicente Blasco Ibanez novel (who, incidentally, wrote MARE NOSTRUM as well - also filmed by Ingram in 1926), especially since it's considered to be vastly superior to the 1961 Vincente Minnelli remake in color and widescreen - which is a film I've watched quite a few times and which I've actually always liked! Still, now I can't help but agree that the remake is virtually overblown in every department by comparison with the original; the only thing I could find where it improved on the Silent version is the relationship between Julio and his German cousin, which is rather underdeveloped in Ingram's film (though in both versions, the two of them die together).

The large-scale production is truly impressive, with settings ranging from rural Argentina to the French aristocracy and the grimy battlefields of World War I - not to mention a striking vision of Hell, with a gigantic fire-breathing demon unleashing the somber and ominous titular figures. The cast is certainly efficient, though some of the familiar names actually only gained popularity years later (Alan Hale, Wallace Beery and Jean Hersholt): Rudolph Valentino was shot to super-stardom with his role of the gigolo who develops a conscience and gives his life for a country which is not even his (a miscast Glenn Ford was certainly no match for him in the remake!); the tango sequence is justly celebrated, but his performance is excellent throughout (again, this might very well constitute his best work). Needless to say, the female lead was played by Ingram's own wife Alice Terry; also worth mentioning is Nigel De Brulier as a gaunt and gloomy exiled Russian who 'sees' the Four Horsemen and predicts the extent of their havoc. Though quite slow-going, the plot is compelling and the handling vivid enough to withstand its hefty 134-minute duration; as a matter of fact, the film is probably the most notable epic 'family saga' since D.W. Griffith's THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915) which, obviously, had dealt with the American Civil War and its turbulent aftermath.

I've watched 6 Rex Ingram films so far and, apparently, the only two surviving titles of his I've yet to catch up with are THE ARAB (1924) and THE GARDEN OF ALLAH (1927); this is possibly the finest of them, however, despite being the oldest - and I'm surprised it still hasn't made it to DVD (from Warners), ideally as a 2-Disc Set in order to include the Sound remake...


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