A Farewell to Arms

1957

Action / Drama / Romance / War

Synopsis


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September 25, 2014 at 09:08 PM

Director

Cast

Jennifer Jones as Catherine Barkley
Rock Hudson as Lt. Frederick Henry
Elaine Stritch as Helen Ferguson
Bud Spencer as Carabiniere
720p 1080p
703.00 MB
1280*720
English
Approved
24.000 fps
2hr 32 min
P/S 6 / 3
1.24 GB
1920*1080
English
Approved
24.000 fps
2hr 32 min
P/S 1 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ConsultingHobbitExtractors 4 / 10

Keeps close to the story, though with a very different tone.

This movie could have gone in a number of different directions because of Hemingway's writing style. I read the book about a week before watching the movie (niether by choice) so I had a pretty good idea of where and how each was different. If you've read the novel, you can understand how the director and actors would have had a hard time getting the characters across since Hemingway provides practically no emotion or description to his dialogue. He wanted to keep the meaning behind his characters words ambiguous to make it interesting. However, that leaves a few too many options when you're an actor and have to choose one emotion to convey. I didn't like how it came off, but I'll talk about that more later. The story doesn't transition from the book to the movie well. It's not a bad subject matter, but the story is famous for its symbolism rather more than anything else, and symbolism expressed with words is extremely hard to translate into images.

Our two characters are a little hard to grasp since they were written in a way that reflected to aimlessness of the 1920's. Catherine in particular has a very romanticized perception of the war and her relationship with Frederic Henry. Frederic has an inverse view of things in which he carries a constant air of what is almost construable as apathy. Rock Hudson's sappier portrayal of him makes him seem like less of an unfeeling Bond-type and more of a star-crossed lover. There are very few other characters of significance. Rinaldi is probably the most prominent minor character, followed by the Milan nurses (Fergusson, and Van Campen), and the army priest. These parts feature the better acting performances of the movie. The scene where the priest remains in the burning hospital (which by the way was not in the book) was, in my opinion, the best scene of the movie. I don't know that Vittorio de Sica's portrayal of Rinaldi was Oscar worthy, but it was the most worthy of a nomination out of all the aspects of the film.

The story ends up being driven by a number of things. Among them are Frederic and Catherine's relationship, Frederic recovering from his injury, the general tide of the war, the impending birth of Frederic and Catherine's child, and Frederic's desire to seek solace from the war after deserting. The story as a whole just sort of exists. It doesn't feel terribly alive, but it's functional and doesn't have any logic issues or inconsistencies.

The acting from the lead roles felt pretty weak. They must be forgiven to an extent by Hemingway's ambiguous dialogue, but they certainly didn't give the best possible portrayals. When I was reading Catherine's rambling sentences in the book, I thought there might be some kind of coherence to it that would make it sound natural and hoped that an actress saying those same lines would provide that. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Jennifer Jones portrayal didn't have any more coherence than the static text and felt almost pathetically unrealistic. This even extended to her expressions like in the scene where Catherine is looking for Frederic among the advancing Italian force and she wears over exaggerated smiles and frowns. Rock Hudson's performance didn't really work for me because he seemed like he was trying to be too emotional while playing a character that has a hardened personality. Besides that, his emotions seemed kind of inconsistent and I didn't really buy that the character would have felt the way Hudson portrayed him to be. The supporting roles were all acted pretty well, though I don't think the talent was "wasted" on those parts since the supporting actors wouldn't have fit the lead roles.

The overall feel of the movie felt a bit too romantic and not quite dark enough. Now, since that statement is coming from an action fan, it will sound biased. However, Earnest Hemingway felt much the same way upon the film's release, and was disappointed that it didn't portray the horrors that he saw as an ambulance driver in WWI. I wouldn't be surprised if major he wrote the story was a means to warn people to avoid war at all costs since it was so awful for him.

If you've read and enjoyed the book, I guess it isn't a bad idea to watch this, but be warned that the tone changes drastically from book to movie. This is a much better pick as a romance movie than a war movie, though I doubt this will be at the top of your watchlist since it's kind of old. It stays pretty close to the book, which I know a lot of people can very particular about. To all prospective viewers, I'll say that it will likely come off as cheesy even if you love old movies or Earnest Hemingway's books. Overall Rating: 3.8/10.

Reviewed by hnewstadt 3 / 10

Total crap adaptation

This film should be called adventures in Cinemascope. It is like the screenwriter and director tooks the Cliff's Notes page 3 outline and decided that this would be a great vehicle for a film about the Italian Alps. Rock Hudson is pretty good here, but the dialogue bears no resemblance to Hemingway at all. This is a made up version of Hemingway. Hecht, the screenwriter, is a hack. Watch the 1932 version with Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes. That is great cinema and was made by someone who understood Hemingway and the war in Northern Italy. Gary Cooper is very, very good compared to his performance in For Whom the Bell Tolls where he is stiff as a board and thinks he is in a western.

Anyway, if you are a Hemingway fan, do yourself a favor and do not watch this film. Your best bet is to get the unabridged audio CD and just listen to one of the greatest novels ever written.

Reviewed by rooprect 7 / 10

How bout a review of the actual movie, people?

Of the top 6 reviews I currently see here, 3 are slamming Jennifer Jones for being too old, 1 is slamming producer David Selznick for being in the decline of his career, 1 is whining that it's not like the book, and 1 is slamming writer Hemingway for not doing any fighting in the war (Um... he was an ambulance driver).

While this film may not deserve an Academy award for best picture, it certainly deserves a decent review on IMDb dedicated to the film itself. So here goes my attempt.

"A Farewell to Arms" is a lavish production of a love story set against the backdrop of World War I. In that respect it's in the same genre as other classic war romances "Gone with the Wind", "Casablanca" and "Platoon ". Haha just checking to see if you're paying attention. Everyone knows "Casablanca" was not set in a war but an occupation.

Where "Farewell" differs from these other classics is in the distribution of war & romance. "Farewell" features far more battle scenes (4) compared to "Gone with the Wind" (zero) and "Casablanca" (zero). The result may be a bit disappointing in the romance department, and several reviewers (as well as the New York Times review on the film's release) have complained about the "lack of chemistry" between the two leads. I think this perception is simply due to the fact that less time is spent setting up the romance, putting more of a burden on the viewer to accept a relationship that simply happens. Viewers may also feel romantically cheated because this is not a traditional romance between two traditional individuals who dream of immediately getting married and having kids and a dog. But in fact this purposely informal, slightly dysfunctional romance is what ultimately made it interesting to me because it marked a change of formula in the age-old Hollywood romance.

If you see this movie, pay close attention to Jennifer Jones' excellent portrayal of a reluctant lover who is perhaps suffering from too many demons to actually fall in love completely, the way she wants to. She is riddled with insecurities, conflicts and possibly guilt, making her like the the stereotypical guy who can't commit. Meanwhile Rock Hudson plays a character more like the stereotypical lovesick schoolgirl. If you enjoy stereotype reversals like this, you'll definitely find yourself interested in their "lack of chemistry".

Was Jennifer Jones too old (late 30s) to play the role of Katherine as Hemingway had intended her (early 20s)? Probably. Did Jennifer get the part because she was married to producer Selznick? Absolutely. Does any of this make her a bad actress? No way. Short of Vivien Leigh, I think she was the best person to play the role as she did: the troubled lover whose cynical, morbid thoughts were always brewing not far away, despite her outwardly cheerful appearance. Actually I take back the thing about Vivien Leigh being better; the more I think about it, Jennifer was ideal for this sort of character.

A subplot involving Vittorio de Sica's war-weary character descending into madness is sure to catch your attention. It was actually my favorite part of the movie, and I wish they had spent more time on this complex character shift as well as his interesting polite antagonism of the church (with a spectacular short speech he says to the priest near the end). But alas, with the romance and the battle scenes already vying for screen time, Vittorio's story only got 2 or 3 dedicated scenes. They were powerful nonetheless.

Yes, as others mentioned, the ending seemed abrupt. But after thinking about it, I think it was perfectly in line with some of the interesting & unusual themes that the story set up. In short, this is not a straightforward soldier-meets-girl love story. The conflicts that are presented (particularly in Jennifer Jones' mysteriously troubled psyche) make this romance much more than meets the eye. If you enjoy wartime romances that are not always formulaic love stories (i.e. they may contain hidden dysfunctional surprises), check this one out.

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