The Fourth War (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fourth War1990

The Fourth War (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Fourth War Photos

Movie Info

The Fourth War finds director John Frankenheimer delving into the same Cold-war territory he'd previously cultivated in films like The Manchurian Candidate. Col. Jack Knowles (Roy Scheider), serving at a faraway post on the German-Czech border, carries on a personal war with his Soviet counterpart, Colonel Valachev (Jurgen Prochnow). Both have been hardened by past combat experiences, and both have been embittered by the exigencies of red tape, bureaucracy, and diplomatic deal-making. Their friendly rivalry snowballs (literally so!) into a guerilla-like combat situation, culminating in a one-on-one showdown. It's essentially a shaggy dog story, but a compelling one. Based on a novel by Stephen Peters, The Fourth War was given surprisingly short shrift by Cannon Films' distribution channels.


Roy Scheider
as Col. Jack Knowles
Jürgen Prochnow
as Col. Valachev
Tim Reid
as Lt. Col. Clark
Harry Dean Stanton
as Gen. Hackworth
Dale Dye
as Sergeant Major
Bill MacDonald
as MP Corporal
David Palffy
as Gawky Soldier
Neil Grahn
as Needle-Nose Soldier
Ernie Jackson
as Knowles' Driver
Ron Campbell
as Young American Soldier
John Dodds
as Defector
Richard Durven
as Young Soldier
Alice Pesta
as Hannelore
Gregory A. Gale
as Communications Corporal
Kent McNeill
as US Private
George Scholl
as Innkeeper
Gordon Signer
as Bavarian Wife
Lilo Bahr
as Innkeeper's Wife
Claus Diedrich
as Frontier Police Captain
Igor Burstyn
as Czech Tower Guard
Matus Ginzberg
as Puppeteer
Boris Novogrudsky
as Aide to Valachev
Tom Kelly
as Sports Announcer
Garry Galinsky
as Red Army Private #1
Ed Soibelman
as Red Army Private #2
Gary Spivak
as Red Army Private #3
Yefim Korduner
as Red Army Major #1
Brent Woolsey
as Red Army Major #2
Brian Warren
as MP/Wide Soldier
Guy Buller
as Czech Guard
Roman Podhora
as Czech Guard #1
Joseph Vrba
as Czech Guard #2
Kyle Maschmeyer
as Villager #1
Kurt Darmohray
as Villager #2
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Critic Reviews for The Fourth War

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

The Fourth War is essentially a psychological study of a man coming apart at the hinges.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review… oddball premise that's employed to partially watchable yet mostly tedious effect by Frankenheimer...

January 14, 2022 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A modest but highly entertaining quirky Cold War thriller.

December 27, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Scheider is much better then the material.

January 8, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Underrated war flick with a great lead performance by Roy Scheider.

July 25, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

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