The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (1962)

Okay, which genius thought it was a good idea for Glenn Ford to play a devastatingly charming and sexy Latin playboy previously incarnated by Rudolph Valentino? And cast him opposite Ingrid Thulin, who could barely speak English (so she’s dubbed right through) and with whom he shares about the same sexual chemistry as a housebrick shares with a nail? And then let Lee J. Cobb explore the outer recesses of the Hamiverse? And cast Yvette Mimieux as a plucky resistance chick? And twenty years after Casablanca, cast Paul Henreid yet again as a freedom fighter whose wife screws around? There’s good patches here and there, with Vincente Minneli’s gift for lovingly decorated framings and dance-like staging of physical action. Andre Previn gives it a lovely score, and a particularly good scene late in the film between Paul Lukas and Charles Boyer as grieving fathers, but for the most part this film doesn’t seem to have any clue why it’s been made.

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