(aka 'Les Quatre cavaliers de l'apocalypse')

Directed by Vincente Minnelli
USA 1962

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) is a remake of the silent film version, directed by Rex Ingram in 1921. The remake has only a little in common with the 1921 version. Both films have the same characters, and the same intricate network of relationships between them. Otherwise, almost everything has been changed. The setting has been moved up from World War I to War World II, and a new anti-Nazi theme has been added to the story. The two versions have few scenes in common. Far from being the sort of close remake that is fashionable today, the Minnelli film is a complete reworking from the ground up.

Minnelli originally wanted Alain Delon for the playboy protagonist of the film, but was forced to use Glenn Ford instead. Delon would have been far closer to the irresponsible playboy of the novel. Ford has an innate nobility that does not really express the character. Delon would have been much closer in personality to Rudolph Valentino, who created the role in 1921, and would also have been another of Minnelli's gentle young men. Still, Ford has always been one of my favorites. If he is miscast, he is certainly worth watching, too.

Minnelli's hero is an affable, apparently genial young man, who has social entree into all circles. This entree plays an increasing role in the plot through the course of the picture, being used by other people for hidden ends. In this, he is much like the heroine's brother Lon in Meet Me in St. Louis, another young man of apparent total conventionality, but who also has hidden ambiguities in his allegiances and inner identity. Just as Lon used his social acceptability to help his sisters make an end run around the patriarchy who ran their society, so here is the hero's social entree exploited by another oppressed group, the French Resistance, against the sinister men who run their society, the Nazi occupiers.

Excerpt from The Films of Vincente Minelli website located HERE

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Theatrical Release: February 7th, 1962

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DVD Review: Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Warner Home Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 2:27:00 (4% PAL speedup) 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.11 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Vidéo

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: June 7th, 2006

Keep Case inside a cardboard box
Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments:

Another strong 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer here from Warner Europe - progressive, decent detail, tight to the screen edges and no noticeable artefacts. Colors (skin tones) look true with no untoward manipulations. This is a dual-layered DVD (7.71 Gig) with no extras and the additional space supports the excellent image quality. There are optional French subtitles and an optional French DUB to go along with the original 2.0 channel English track.

Unfortunately there are no extras. As far as the film goes I moderately liked it but have a desire to see it again in the future as it has an intangible quality that I couldn't nail down. I always enjoy Glenn Ford but his casting seems marginally out of place. It's a film that has something to offer but may take me a few viewings to decipher it. The obvious DUBBING of Ingrid Thulin by Angela Lansbury seems weakly done but it didn't deter me from enjoying the film as it did many others. Minelli fans will definitely want to pick it up. 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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Distribution Warner Home Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL



 

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