“And when the sun rises in a few hours the world will behold the Four Horsemen — enemies of mankind!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
His early, sultry tango scenes — not part of the original novel — are so sensual and evocative that they made the dance a hit craze for a while.
As far as the story goes, it’s a fairly standard overblown saga of forbidden romance, family feuds, and the inevitable tragedy of war — with Germans emerging as the definite baddies of the bunch (it was released, after all, just three years after the end of World War I, when sentiments were still raw). Meanwhile, the integration of a “mystical” element into the story — embodied by a wacky neighbor (Nigel De Brulier) who foretells the coming of the “four horsemen of the Apocalypse” (hence the film’s title) — is simply silly and heavy-handed.
But Ingram has a fine directorial hand, framing his scenes carefully and adding unique visual touches — many of which are quite memorable (see stills below); and the “DeMille”-ian amounts of money spent on the production seem to have been put to good use, given Ingram’s ability to effectively present the devastation of war. Remade by Vincente Minnelli (!) in 1962, with Glenn Ford (!) starring as Julio.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: