The Fourth War (1990)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The Fourth War finds director John Frankenheimer delving into the same Cold-war territory he'd previously cultivated in films like The Manchurian Candidate. Col. Jack Knowles (Roy Scheider), serving at a faraway post on the German-Czech border, carries on a personal war with his Soviet counterpart, Colonel Valachev (Jurgen Prochnow). Both have been hardened by past combat experiences, and both have been embittered by the exigencies of red tape, bureaucracy, and diplomatic deal-making. Their friendly rivalry snowballs (literally so!) into a guerilla-like combat situation, culminating in a one-on-one showdown. It's essentially a shaggy dog story, but a compelling one. Based on a novel by Stephen Peters, The Fourth War was given surprisingly short shrift by Cannon Films' distribution channels.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
HBO Video

Cast

Roy Scheider
as Col. Jack Knowles
Tim Reid
as Lt. Col. Clark
Harry Dean Stanton
as Gen. Hackworth
Jürgen Prochnow
as Col. Valachev
Bill MacDonald
as MP Corporal
Lara Harris
as Elena
Dale Dye
as Sergeant Major
Ron Campbell
as Young American Soldier
David Palffy
as Gawky Soldier
Roman Podhora
as Czech Guard #1
Brian Warren
as MP/Wide Soldier
Tom Kelly
as Sports Announcer
Ernie Jackson
as Knowles' Driver
Lilo Bahr
as Innkeeper's Wife
Guy Buller
as Czech Guard
Igor Burstyn
as Czech Tower Guard
Kurt Darmohray
as Villager #2
Claus Diedrich
as Frontier Police Captain
John Dodds
as Defector
Richard Durven
as Young Soldier
Gregory A. Gale
as Communications Corporal
Garry Galinsky
as Red Army Private #1
Matus Ginzberg
as Puppeteer
Neil Grahn
as Needle-Nose Soldier
Henry Kope
as Mayor
Yefim Korduner
as Red Army Major #1
Kyle Maschmeyer
as Villager #1
Kent McNeill
as US Private
Boris Novogrudsky
as Aide to Valachev
Alice Pesta
as Hannelore
George Scholl
as Innkeeper
Gordon Signer
as Bavarian Wife
Ed Soibelman
as Red Army Private #2
Gary Spivak
as Red Army Private #3
Joseph Vrba
as Czech Guard #2
Brent Woolsey
as Red Army Major #2
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Critic Reviews for The Fourth War

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

A modest but highly entertaining quirky Cold War thriller.

Full Review… | December 26, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Scheider is much better then the material.

January 8, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Underrated war flick with a great lead performance by Roy Scheider.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Quote not available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Quote not available.

August 31, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Quote not available.

August 19, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for The Fourth War

½

Confrontation. Thats what the film is all about. But this Cold War offering is quite stale by now. Most young people don't know anything about this Cold, or phoney, war. Roy Scheider does his best to make it entertaining. Director Wolfgang Schmidt was also behind Slasher. I will add to this preposterous, rather far fetched personal war between Scheider and his military counterpart on the other side. I really can't believe Scheider would entertain being in this incredibly strange and bizarre plot. Hardly a Cold War thriller in which an American colonel (Roy Scheider) and his Soviet counterpart (Jurgen Prochnow) engage in a private, potentially disastrous war. Lots of border clashes, showdowns, stuff we see in all these East-West border skirmishes. Cast Roy Scheider Jurgen Prochnow Tim Reid Lara Harris Harry Dean Stanton Crew Director: John Frankenheimer Art Director: Rick Roberts Associate Producer: Harry Bloom Associate Producer: Frank Spolar Based on a Work by: Stephen Peters Cinematographer: Gerry Fisher Composer: Bill Conti Costume Designer: Ray Summers Editor: Robert F. Shugrue Executive Producer: Sam Perlmutter Executive Producer: William Stuart Line Producer: Robert L. Rosen Producer: Wolf Schmidt (also directed Slasher) Production Designer: Alan Manzer Screenplay: Stephen Peters Screenplay: Kenneth Ross Set Decorator : Janice Blackie

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