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The Fourth War (1990)

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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.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Stephen Peters (novel), Stephen Peters (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Scheider ... Col. Jack Knowles
Jürgen Prochnow ... Col. Valachev
Tim Reid ... Lt. Col. Clark
Lara Harris ... Elena
Harry Dean Stanton ... Gen. Hackworth
Dale Dye ... Sergeant Major
William MacDonald ... MP Corporal
David Palffy ... Gawky Soldier
Neil Grahn Neil Grahn ... Needle-Nose Soldier
Ernie Jackson Ernie Jackson ... Knowles Driver
Ron Campbell Ron Campbell ... Young US Soldier
John Dodds John Dodds ... Defector
Richard Durven Richard Durven ... Young Soldier
Harold Hecht Jr. Harold Hecht Jr. ... Dwayne
Alice Pesta Alice Pesta ... Hannelore
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

When the world declared peace, their battle began. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English | Russian | Czech

Release Date:

23 March 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

4'üncü savas See more »

Filming Locations:

Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,305,887
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title "The Fourth War" is derived from a famous quote from Albert Einstein which states: "I cannot predict how the Third World War shall be fought, or with what; I can, however, predict that the Fourth World War shall be waged with sticks and stones". Similarly, the film's closing epilogue states: "I cannot predict what breed of weapons will be employed in the waging of the Third World War; what I can predict is that the Fourth World War shall be fought with sticks and stones". See more »


Soundtracks

Washington Affair
Written by Don Great, Andrea Great and Alan Ett
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User Reviews

a great "Cold War" parable
29 September 2001 | by dtucker86See all my reviews

John Frankenheimer is an amazing director who has never been given the credit that he deserves. The Manchurian Candidate, Birdman Of Alcatraz, Seven Days In May and Black Sunday are among the great films that he has directed. This film deserves to be listed with them as well because it is a brilliant parable of what happens when two heroes only trained to fight in war have to live in a peacetime situation. Roy Schieder gives an awesome performance as a war weary colonel who just can't function in a peacetime setting. That very great character actor Harry Dean Stanton has a great scene where he chews him out. I think that the most chilling part of the film however is the one where Stanton quotes Albert Einstein when he was asked what kinds of weapons would be used in World War III and he replied that he did not know but that the fourth war would be fought with stones.


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