starring Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry
February 19, 1921

Intelligent construction of plot, skillful acting, expert direction, successful typing, and general intelligent handling, has made "The Four Horsement of the Apocalypse," though a war play, a distinctive feature. There is good human appeal in almost every situation, and the interest is well maintained from beginning to end.

It is a story of a Spanish immigrant who became a wealthy cattle and land owner in Argentine. One of his two daughter marries a Frenchman; the other a German. After the Spaniard's death, the two men dispose of their holdings, take their families, and move to Europe. The German with his three sons goes to Berlin, and the Frenchman with his son and daughter goes to Paris. War breaks out, and the German's sons become officers in the German Army. The Frenhchman, to save his treasures from his Villa on the Marne, takes a trip there. The Germans soon invade the town, and the officers lodge in his castle. He is mistreated, and his treasures carried away. He tastes, in full measure, the bitterness of war. He is treated brutally even by his own nephew, now a staff officer, passing through the town on orders. The officer lays the blame for the brutalities on the war. The Germans are soon driven out of their positions, and the Frenchman returns to Paris full of bitterness against the Germans. His son, with whom he was at odds on account of the young man's dissolute life, joins the French Army, and the father admonishes him to kill even his own cousins should he meet them. The Frenchman's son is eventually killed in a battle; so are the three Germans, sons of his brother-in-law.

The gruesome features of the book by the famous Spanish novelest Ibanez, have either been eliminated or touched slightly. The love affair of the Frenchman's son and a married woman is dealt with delicately -- not in an offensive manner. The boy's joining the French Army, although being an Argentine citizen he did not have to, and his sweethearrt's becoming a Red Cross Nurse, win sympathy for each, particularly for the latter, because she eventually stands by her husband who was blinded in a battle.

The sight of he war's ravages sets one keenly against war for ever.

As the picture has been based on a well-known book, it should draw.

starring Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry
May, 1921

We may talk all we like about the perfect picture, the technically fine and the disappointingly slipshod, the possible and the impossible, the ideal and the commonplace picture, but, so far as I have been able to discover, the real and practically the only test the public that supports pictures applies to the screen is the test of entertainment. It is either a good picture or a poor picture as it amuses or thrills, interests or bores; as it is convincingly told or stupidly exaggerated, as it is artificial or real. There is a public that likes "war stuff" and a public that doesn't. But roll them together and you will find they represent one public when the picture is entertaining. "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" is interesting, and suffficiently away from the conventional story of the screen to give it a distinctive value of its own. It is a war picture, and the war scenes are its big scenes. Yet is has a character and story value that in effect, put the war in the background. The horrors of the great conflict, the still remembered ruthlessness of the German invasion, the fine thrill we get from the stand of the French at the first Marne, are as graphically reproduced as it is possible for the camera to reproduce them with a dummy village and a trick army to shoot at. But I am inclined to believe the scenes that will be longest remembered are those of the prologue, the South American cattle country, the tango district in Buenos Aires, which is particularly well done, and the gradual wakening of the young Argentinian to his duty to his father's country. Rex Ingram is to be credited with a good job of directing. The cast is well chosen, with an attractive boy, Rudolph Valentino, playing Julio, and Joseph Swickard giving an intense characterization as the father. Smaller parts are well played by Alice Terry, John Sainpolis, Edward Connelly, Wallace Beery and "Bull" Montana.

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