Synopsis by Hal Erickson
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.
Cold-War, defector, feud, killing, nuclear-holocaust, political-intrigue, romance