Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The


by Carl Davis

Metro Pictures (1921) Director: Rex Ingram
Silent Film
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Commissioned by Photoplay Productions for Channel Four

First Performance
Premiere with Davis's score: 1992, London Film Festival

Full score and parts for hire

Programme Notes
Starring: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry Director: Rex Ingram Production Company: Metro Pictures USA, 1921 Film Print: fully restored tinted print available from Photoplay Productions (Film Speed: 16-22 frames per second) An epic drama, the film begins in the expanse of the Argentinian pampas and ends on the battlefields of World War I. An Argentinian family is divided after one daughter marries a German and another a Frenchman. Rudolph Valentino (the French grandson) and his family migrate to France after his grandfather dies. He has an affair with a married woman, who then rejects him, instead devoting herself to nursing her blinded husband. Valentino enlists and goes on to meet his German cousin, and ultimately death, in battle. The highpoint of the film comes when Valentino dances the tango in one of Hollywood's most emblematic moments, a sequence which made him a star. Davis applies his customary ingenuity to this original and inspirational score, quoting Liszt's ‘After a Lecture on Dante’ to underline the film's epic themes of struggle and catastrophe.

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