A Farewell to Arms

1957

Action / Drama / Romance / War

24
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 0%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 2

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
October 31, 2015 at 08:57 PM

Cast

Jennifer Jones as Catherine Barkley
Rock Hudson as Lt. Frederick Henry
Elaine Stritch as Helen Ferguson
Bud Spencer as Carabiniere
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
703.00 MB
1280*534
English
Approved
23.976 fps
2 hr 32 min
P/S 1/4
1.24 GB
1920*800
English
Approved
23.976 fps
2 hr 32 min
P/S 1/6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by CinematicInceptions 3 / 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 JamesHitchcock 4 / 10

The Great Stone Face

Had she not been married to the producer, Jennifer Jones would not have been the most obvious choice for the leading female role in this tragic tale of an affair between an American soldier and an English nurse, set against the backdrop of the First World War. Her British accent is not perfect, and in the fifties it was unusual for a big romantic lead to go to an actress in her late thirties, even one as attractive as Miss Jones, especially when she was several years older than her leading man.. There were a number of beautiful young British actresses in Hollywood around this time, such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Simmons and Joan Collins, any of whom might have been more convincing in the role, but Miss Jones had one important attribute they all lacked, namely a marriage certificate with David O. Selznick's name on it. In the event, the film turned out to be such a turkey that they were doubtless grateful not to have it on their CVs.

The film tells, at great length, the story of the romance between Frederick, an American volunteer serving with the Italian Army as an ambulance driver and Catherine, a nurse with the British Red Cross. After the Italian defeat at the battle of Caporetto, Frederick is wrongly accused of being a German spy and sentenced to death. (The film paints a very harsh picture of Italian military justice; it would appear that Italian Courts-Martial had the power to pass the death sentence after a trial lasting all of thirty seconds without hearing any evidence and without allowing the defendant to be legally represented or to speak in his defence). Frederick manages to escape and to cross the border into neutral Switzerland, accompanied by the pregnant Catherine.

Hemingway's novels have not always been a great success when filmed. Howard Hawks succeeded in making a good version of "To Have and have Not", a film that is considerably better than the book on which it is nominally based, but that is because he largely ignored Hemingway's plot and turned the film into a remake of "Casablanca", set in Martinique rather than French Morocco. Like the 1943 version of "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "A Farewell to Arms" is overlong and fatally slow moving. It is also miscast. Jennifer Jones never makes Catherine come to life. As for Rock Hudson, his assumed Christian name could be unfortunately appropriate. He could be as solid as a rock but also as impassive as one, and in this film his Frederick seems an impersonation of the Great Stone Face. Despite the passion and emotion inherent in Hemingway's plot, the emotional temperature is always far too cool. The picture has little going for it apart from some attractive picture-postcard views of Italian and Swiss scenery. It is hardly surprising that it was not a success and that its failure ended Selznick's career as a producer. 4/10

A goof. Shortly before the battle of Caporetto, an Italian officer states that Russia had already concluded a separate peace with Germany. That battle started in October 1917, at a time when Kerensky's Russia was still fighting alongside the Allies. The Russian Revolution did not take place until November; it was only the "October Revolution" by the old Julian calendar. The new Bolshevik regime signed an armistice with Germany in December 1917, but a separate peace was not signed until the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918

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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