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The Fourth War (1990)

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 »





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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?


The movie was filmed during February, March and April 1989. See more »


Swingin' Times
Written by Don Great, Andrea Great and Alan Ett
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User Reviews

1 July 2004 | by (SAINT CATHARINES,ONTARIO) – See all my reviews

THE FOURTH WAR is a menacing movie. Director John Frankenheimer does a superlative job with this and films like the MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, BLACK SUNDAY and RONIN. The novel by Stephen Peters is good and so is the screenplay. Roy Scheider (JAWS) plays Col. Jack KNOWLES who won't give an inch to the Soviet commander Col. Valachev played by Jurgen Prochnow (DAS BOOT). The snowball fight could have happened. I was talking to a retired American Intelligence Operative in the Niagara Region of Ontario and by his tennis court he revealed that KNOLL EAGLE is the codename for the American Shadow President who he believed to be none other than President JACK KENNEDY. That would make President George W Bush the second in command of AMERICA. KNOLL EAGLE comes from the 1963 alleged JFK assassination and the grassy knoll where there had to be a second shooter based on the number of shots fired and their accuracy that could not be duplicated. I believe that snipers are cowardly and advocate non-violence. I would just like to say congratulations President Kennedy on winning the cold war. Jack Knowles sounds close to Jack Kennedy Knoll Eagle. Harry Dean Stanton has a fine performance as General Hackworth. When the Russians and Chinese attack America at the same time will they torture me for calling them cowardly and uncivilized? Hopefully America will hold out and I won't have to find out. My military Intelligence course prepared me for interrogation but not torture. I gave the FOURTH WAR a 9 out of 10 for mentioning the AMERICAN nuclear detterent so directly.

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