The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) starring Rudolph Valentino
Introduced by acclaimed silent film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow.
Featuring a print restored under the supervision of Kevin Brownlow and David Gill with a stereo musical score composed by Carl Davis.
With Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Alan Hale, Wallace Beery, Jean Hersholt and Josef Swickard. Produced and directed by Rex Ingram. Screenplay by June Mathis, based on the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Metro Pictures. 35mm. Silent. Black and white with color tints. 132 mins.
Struggling actor Rudolph Valentino became a star and the “Valentino mystique” was born in this epic romance directed by visual stylist Rex Ingram. Touted as a $1,000,000 production in 1921, the film was among the biggest box office hits and artistically lauded successes of the silent era. The original press book hailed it as “an epic tale of surging passion sweeping from the wide plains of the Argentine through the fascinating frivolities of pre-war Paris into the blazing turmoil of the German invasion.”
Understandably a favorite of director David Lean, the film was shortened for re-release in 1926 to mark Valentino’s death, and had been seen in that truncated form for decades. When Kevin Brownlow and his team undertook the restoration work in the early 1990s, they were able to return the film to its original length with its original color tints. Most importantly they were able to return the famed tango sequence to its smooth romantic splendor. The addition of a new orchestral score by composer Carl Davis brings the film and Valentino back to life with a proper big screen treatment.
Kevin Brownlow is widely regarded as the preeminent historian of the silent film era. His books include The Parade’s Gone By; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Hollywood, The Pioneers; Behind the Mask of Innocence; David Lean and Mary Pickford Rediscovered. His documentaries have included “Hollywood,” “Unknown Chaplin,” “Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow,” “Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius,” “D.W. Griffith: Father of Film,” “Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic” and “Garbo.” Most famous among his many silent film restoration projects is Abel Gance’s 1927 epic “Napoleon.”