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The Fourth War (1990) - movie overview

The Fourth War (1990)

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Plot Description

Release Date
• USA: Mar 23, 1990

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 31 minutes

Country USA

Studio Kodiak Films, Warner Brothers

More info on

Other Titles
• The Fourth War

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Genre: Drama, Suspense, Spy

Tagline: Two proud heroes with no one left to fight... But each other.

Plot: John Frankenheimer returns to the subject of the cold war, the source of some his best work, nearly three decades later. But in 1988, the game is nearly over--unless Col. Jack Knowles (Roy Scheider) ignites WWIII. Despite a closetful of decorations, the quick-tempered Knowles has always been regarded by his colleagues as a loose cannon, and he has been serving only in the most harmless posts since Vietnam. But old friend General Hackworth (Harry Dean Stanton) feels he's mellowed enough to take command of a sensitive post on the Czech/West German border. Almost immediately after arriving, he witnesses the murder of a Czech escapee within feet of the border by his opposite number, Russian colonel Valachev (Jürgen Prochnow). Knowles retaliates by blowing up Valachev's Jeep, setting the stage for a series of increasingly violent confrontations between the two men, who each has the potential to trigger nuclear war. In a film that should have been titled "Man on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown," the cold war is no more than a backdrop for a profile of a bitter, alcoholic soldier incapable of adjusting to a new type of conflict. Scheider and Stanton give superb performances in this thriller.

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 Directed by
John Frankenheimer
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 Written by
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 Music By
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