The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

“The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”  is a 1921 Hollywood silent movie. It was based on a Spanish novel of the same name by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. The story depicts an Argentinean family which was divided during WWI and ended up fighting on opposite sides. It stars actor Rudoph Valentino in the role of Julio Desnoyers, grandson of Argentine landowner Madariaga.

The movie is famous for a scene involving tango dancing. It occurs in a club of La Boca where Julio goes to enjoy an evening with his grand father. He notices a couple on the dance floor, walks up to them pretending to get the woman for himself, knocks out his rival and conquers her while dancing a very particular sort of tango in his gaucho attire. After looking down on him and laughing in his face, the woman fall head over heels, kisses him on the lips in front of everyone and ends up sitting on his lap at his table.

“The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” became the the top-grossing film of 1921, beating Charlie Chaplin and turning Rudolph Valentino into a superstar. The latin lover’s effect was such that men were seen wearing gel in their hair and people began learning to dance the tango. [1] Another silent movie involving tango dancing and gauchos in the Andes was released in Hollywood in 1928. [5] Tango remained a recurrent theme in american films ever since, unfortunately perpetuating fantasists clichés for the most part. [3]

In 1995 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. It now pertains to the public domain and can be viewed or downloaded online on the Internet Archive website. [4] π


[1] GROPPA, Carlos G. The tango in the United states. Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc. 2004. Print.

[2] QUIN, Eleanor. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921). Turner Classic Movies. Online. 

[3] GROPPA, Carlos. Hollywood vs Tango. Tango reporter. Online. 

[4] The Four horsemen of the Apocalypse [4]  

[5] The Gauho (1927). IMDb. Online. ref_=tt_ov_pl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s