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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)


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Product Details

  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0050DOQ02
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,298 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Director: Rex Ingram
Cast: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon, Josef Swickard, Virginia Warwick, Alan Hale, Wallace Beery, Mabel Van Buren, Nigel De Brulier.
Description: When his girlfriend's husband is blinded in the war, a wealthy Argentinian's son is persuaded to enlist in the war effort, spurred on by a recruiter who believes that WWI is the beginning of the Apocalypse. Produced by Rex Ingram, Screenplay by June Mathis. Original music score by Keith Taylor.
Color/B&W: B&W. Running Time: 132 mins.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
72%
4 star
16%
3 star
12%
2 star
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See all 25 customer reviews
Interesting, colorful, exciting --- this is one of the best silent movies ever.
Allegra C. Williams
We see how the war affects civilians, soldiers, loved ones, villages, families, and homes.
John Kimball
Considering this is a silent movie, Valentino's expressions fit every mood and scene.
Mae Tinee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This 1921 anti-war masterpiece by Rex Ingram is an amazing cinematic experience. The photography by John Seitz is breathtaking, and for the most part (there is one section that's a little dark) it's very clear.
It's also a delight to read the adaptation of the Blasco Ibañez story by June Mathis. It has the flourishes in keeping with the era, and the poetic quality of it is lovely. It was Mathis who insisted on the casting of Valentino as Julio, giving him his first big heroic part.
This exquisite work of art is a massive production, 2 1/2 hours long, and wonderfully acted by all...even the monkey is terrific ! This video has the original score by Blaine L. Gale, and it fits the action perfectly.
The performance by Rudolph Valentino is a treasure. His grace and beauty have had few equals in film history, if any. He's simply gorgeous in this, and to watch him dance the tango in that smoky La Boca club is enthralling. I rewind it and watch it over and over...the musicality of it is absolutely astounding. Yes, Rudy lives in my heart, and in the hearts of many, for as long as the magic of film exists.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 15, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
In some respects THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE suffers from being known as the film that made Rudolph Valentino a star; consequently, it is usually regarded as a Valentino vehicle rather than as a powerful film of World War I on an equal footing with the more widely acclaimed THE BIG PARADE and WINGS. Even so, HORSEMEN's deeper message far surpasses either and in an artistic sense leaves WINGS in the dust and is at least the equal of PARADE.
The film is not really a Valentino vehicle per se, for Valentino's role is equalled by the roles played by Josef Swickard and Alice Terry; consequently it has an ensemble nature quite unlike most other Valentino films. Based on the once famous but rather heavy-handed Ibanez novel, HORSEMEN tells the story of an extremely wealthy Argentine rancher whose two daughters marry European men, one from France (Swickard) and one from Germany (Alan Hale.) When the rancher dies, dividing his estate between his daughters, the women return with their families to Europe, one family residing in Germany and the other in France. The German family's sons quickly rise to high status, but the French family has a more difficult time, with father Swickard becoming increasingly materialistic and spolied son Valentino emerging as a womanizer who provokes a scandal by a torrid affair with the wife (Alice Terry) of his father's closest friend. Just as these various plot lines reach a climax, World War I explodes around them, reducing their personal concerns to so much trivia and placing the two families on opposing sides.
Interestingly, the performances in HORSEMAN bridge the gap between the very broad efforts of most early silent film and the considerably more subtle playing of the late silent era.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on January 23, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
This movie was a huge blockbuster when it came out in the Spring of 1921; it goes without saying that had the Oscars and Academies been around back then, it so would have been nominated in every relevant category and probably would have swept the awards as well! It's even better because it was directed by the incredible Rex Ingram (whose lovely-looking wife Alice Terry plays Marguerite, the married woman whom Julio has an affair with) and had the screenplay written by the legendary June Mathis, who was one of the most powerful women in Hollywood at the time. Ms. Mathis was very heavily into spiritualism and mystic overtones in her movies, and she made these leanings manifest in the philosopher with the long beard who foresees the coming apocalypse and the subsequent havoc wrought by the four horsemen. The scenes of the horsemen galloping across the sky at periodic intervals as chaos reigns are some chilling powerful stuff. The battle scenes, images of destruction, and the part where Julio's father's house is taken over by the enemy are also incredibly powerful, and made even more powerful and effective because there's no sound (apart of course from the background music) to get in the way of conveying these powerful moments and images.Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on November 17, 2010
Format: DVD
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse may be the finest anti-war film ever made, but it is remembered mostly as the film that launched Rudolph Valentino on his meteoric career. The title of this 1921 film comes from the biblical chapter Revelations and the 1919 novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez. It was adapted by June Mathis, a screenwriter and director who was the head of Metro Pictures (later to become MGM).

The film has more than 50 principal characters including Rudolph Valentino, Alan Hale, Wallace Beery, Josef Swickard, and Alice Terry.

Valentino (1895-1926) started in films in 1914 and slowly made his way up the food chain, often playing a dancer. He got the role as the son of a Frenchman (Josef Wickland) married to an Argentine woman (Bridgetta Clark) for which he was paid $350 a week and required to provide his own costumes. He was an overnight success, and release later that same year of "The Sheik" transformed him into the biggest box office star of the era and created "the Latin lover" type that would endure. He followed up these successes with "Blood and Sand" in 1922. He died in 1926 at the age of 31 from a burst appendix. His final film "Son of the Sheik" was released that year.

Alan Hale (1892-1950) appears as Valentino's German uncle. Hale made more than 200 films and was a frequent sidekick to Errol Flynn in films such as "Robin Hood" (1938), "Dodge City" (1939), "Virginia City" (1940), "The Sea Hawk" (1940), "Santa fe Trail" (1940), and "Gentleman Jim" (1942). He has the distinction of appearing as Little John in the 1922 version with Douglas Fairbanks, again in 1938 with Flynn, and finally in 1950 in "Rogues of Sherwood Forest" with John Derek.

Wallace Beery (1885-1949) plays an evil German officer.
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