The Fourth War (1990)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  23 March 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 930 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 16 critic

Cold War drama about two gung-ho border commanders (Roy Scheider, Jurgen Prochnow) who carry out their own private war against each other on the German - Czechoslovakia border.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Col. Jack Knowles
Col. Valachev
Lt. Col. Clark
Gen. Hackworth
Sergeant Major
MP Corporal
Gawky Soldier
Neil Grahn ...
Needle-Nose Soldier
Ernie Jackson ...
Knowles Driver
Ron Campbell ...
Young US Soldier
John Dodds ...
Richard Durven ...
Young Soldier
Harold Hecht Jr. ...
Alice Pesta ...


Can a war veteran survive when there is no war? Hardly so. And it is all the more difficult when there are two war heroes! Posted on each side of the Czech-West German border, US colonel Jack Knowles and his Soviet counterpart Colonel Valachev, have been champing at the bit since Gorbachev launched his Glasnost policy. Fortunately for them, a serious border incident (the killing of a defector) will allow them to resume war. A private war first, but a war that will involve a serious troop confrontation. Bad for Gorbachev, good for the two sworn enemies who had been craving for action... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two proud heroes with no one left to fight... But each other.


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

4'üncü savas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 22,000,000 (estimated)


$1,305,887 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though set in Eastern Europe on the border between Czechoslovakia and West Germany, the picture was actually shot in the province of Alberta in Canada which doubled for the Eastern block region of the environs of the German-Czechoslovak border. See more »


I Don't Want To Be A Soldier
Written by Herman Finck and Arthur Wimperis
See more »

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User Reviews

Absurd and teetering on "black comedy" ........
7 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Throw out logic, and enjoy the absurdity of "The Fourth War". The acting by Roy Scheider, and especially Harry Dean Stanton is terrific. The snowy landscapes are photographed to best advantage. Now about the story. Scheider is a maverick Army Comanding Officer on a personal vendetta against the Russians across the Czech border. His wild jaunts into Communist territory provokes a Soviet Officer, Jurgen Prochnow to respond. Their personal battle eventually escalates toward an international incident that threatens to erupt into war. If you allow yourself to be drawn into the maniacal plot, while overlooking the implausibilities, there is dark humor, and a creative story to enjoy. - MERK

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