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
This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1995. See more »
The same shot of a cat clawing at a small poodle while sitting on top of a piano is used two different times. See more »
In a world old in hatred and bloodshed, where nation is crowded against nation and creed against creed, centuries of wars have sown their bitter seed, and the fires of resentment smouldering beneath the crust of civilization but await the breaking of the Seven Seals of Prophecy to start a mighty conflagration.
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I was fortunate enough to obtain a video of 'Four Horsemen ' recently and having read about it many years ago, I was intrigued to see whether it lived up to the legend. Considering it was made 80 years ago, I was quite astonished at the quality of this film, in terms of acting,direction and photography.To our modern eyes, the 'special effects'may,of course, seem a little quaint, but there is no denying that as an anti-war film, it stands alongside 'All Quiet on the Western Front' and 'Grande Illusion', and it has lost little of its power to move. The development of the character of Julio is a 'tour de force' of acting by Valentino and his celebrated tango in one of the murkier establishments of Buenos Aires realistically conveys the dissolute atmosphere of the cafe society of the period. My copy of the film was the tinted version with a (non-vocal) soundtrack added, which included tango music played by an apparently unsynchronised band ! To keen students of cinematic history, this film is a 'must-see'- indeed,I know of no contemporary films which comes close to matching it.
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