Monday, April 18, 2011

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

An epic silent war film about World War I. I found this one on archive.org. It is in the National film Registry and also in the 501-Must See Movies, under action for some reason.

My review might contain spoilers, but I've found that spoilers on silent movies actually help me. I really don't like to know what a movie is about before seeing it, so that I both have an open mind and let the director lead me rather than a review. The problem is that silent movies are very difficult to follow, even when I watch them at double speed. If I have some sort of clue were it is going it helps a lot.

So this one starts with a Argentinian cattle baron who owns a lot of land and two daughters. One daughter marries a Frenchman, the other a German. When the old man dies his daughter's families split the inheritance and move to their respective countries. When World War I breaks out the two families end up pitted on opposite sides. As you would expect the German side is ruthless and the French side is the heroic side, this was made in the USA. So where does the title come from? Well there is a subplot of how this great war is the beginning of the apocalypse, and a mystic spells all this out before the battles.

I could see how this was a pretty cool film some 90 years ago. It was difficult to get through though, long and grainy, and I couldn't get into the story very much. It took me a number of days to wrap it up.

Vote: 4/10

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0012190/

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