The Fourth War

Synopsis: Can a war veteran survive when there is no war? Hardly so. And it is all the more difficult when there are two war heroes! Posted on each side of the Czech-West German border, US colonel Jack Knowles and his Soviet counterpart Colonel Valachev, have been champing at the bit since Gorbachev launched his Glasnost policy. Fortunately for them, a serious border incident (the killing of a defector) will allow them to resume war. A private war first, but a war that will involve a serious troop confrontation. Bad for Gorbachev, good for the two sworn enemies who had been craving for action...
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): John Frankenheimer
Production: HBO Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min


What the hell kind of a salute,

do you call that, Sergeant?


Do you know the origin of

the salute, Sergeant?

No, sir.

In the days of chivalry, when two

Knights met on the road...

they raised the visors of their helmets,

it meant peace.

If they lowered them,

it meant war.

Why don't you try

that salute again...

and put something more into it,

besides your stump.

First turn, on your right.

Last building on your right.


Thank you.

[ gavel pounding in courtroom ]

Gentlemen, Major, Look...

I don't want to get

into an arguement,

with military council, alright?

Jack Knowles was a hard-ass.

I'll give you that.

But, only with his senior officers.

His men thought,

he was one helluva' leader.

And for two very simple reasons.

He knew his job and

he was a warrior.

Good afternoon, Sir...

Colonel Knowles,

knew how to fight a war.

He breached with

more ambush patrols,

he hit hard,

and returned with a minimum

of casualities.

- Can I have a glass of water?

- Thank you.

But, there's no denying,

there was a problem.

Lieutenant Colonel Foster,

the executive officer.

Maybe, it was because

his marriage failed or...

maybe, it was the war.


However, there's not a classroom

from here, to Fort Benning...

that teaches a course on,

the Art of Defeat.

[ gavel pounding in courtroom ]

So, the army's answer was,

to put him in mothballs.

An assignment so far out of the way,

you couldn't find him on a map.

But, when we met last summer,

he had done an about-face...

and brought every indication,

that he had his sh*t together.

[ gavel pounding in courtroom ]

So, I gave him a command

in Camp Clayton.

Now, it's hardly the

glamour as a NATO counselor,

but, I wanted to get him back to

doing what he does best.

Leading troops.

To figure his way out of obscurities.

He dug his way out

of a theory, alright, but,...

it wasn't what I had in mind.

What's the problem, sergeant?

What's the problem?

Clogged fuel line, sir.

Happens all the time.

No, big deal.

No, big deal, huh?

This Trac is leading this convoy.

If it breaks down under fire,

it's all our asses' in a sh*t hole.

You got that?

- Yes, sir.

All right.

Fix it!

Move it out!

- Yes, sir.

It's seems unfortunate, sir,

but uh,

the sense of responsibility

seems now, to be a thing of the past.

That business back there with the Trac...

- You can't blame those kids!

It's the Instructors they got.

You can't teach them

combat discipline,

if you haven't given

them any combat.

It's a joke.

How did you get

your commission, Colonel?

Academy, sir. Class of '70.

West Point, huh?

Brass factory.

It was my grandmother's doing.

She figured the only way to get to

the top, was to start there.

I take it, grandma never

heard of evolution, huh?

Well, she heard about it, sir,

but, she fought back.

She made a fortune

marketing a creme rinse...

that claimed to

straighten black folks hair.

Who won?

Evolution, sir.

After 10 days, over half of the

customers finally found out.

So, she gave up the fight

and switched to wigs.

Stop here.

- Listen up!

- Smoke 'em, if you got 'em.

Want to give me an overview, as to

what's going on over there?

- Yes, sir.

Well, what we have, is a typical

Eastern blocked border.

However, there is one puzzling item

in the pass.

The Czech's can advance

into neutral territory.

Right up to our blue border markers.

Of course, if they

were pursuing someone.

We don't have a reciprocal agreement.

Why would we want one?

Who the hell would want

to go over there?

Well, sir.

You're right, of course

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Stephen Peters

Stephen Peters is a writer. He is known for The Fourth War (1990), The Wolves (1996), Wild Things (1998), Wild Things 2 (2004) and Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough (2005). more…

All Stephen Peters scripts | Stephen Peters Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Fourth War" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Aug. 2021. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Fourth War

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.