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A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 8 December 1932 (USA)
A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley during World War I. The action takes place in Italy and the two fall in love during the war and will stop ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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Mary Philips ...
...
Blanche Friderici ...
Mary Forbes ...
Gilbert Emery ...
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Storyline

A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley during World War I. The action takes place in Italy and the two fall in love during the war and will stop at nothing to be together. The film also analyses Lt. Henry's feelings on war and the purpose of fighting. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every woman who has loved will understand. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adiós a las armas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though in the novel the character of Catherine Barkley is described as very tall, actress Helen Hayes is a mere five feet tall. See more »

Goofs

A night attack is shown. During World War I there was very little flying at night. And the night attacks that did occur were limited to big cities. It was almost impossible for a plane to attack specific targets in a large city. So effectively attacking people on a road in the dark was not possible. And did not happen. See more »

Quotes

Catherine Barkley: [Catherine comes to tend a wounded Henry] Hello, darling!
Lieutenant Frederic Henry: Catherine!
[she kisses him]
Lieutenant Frederic Henry: You're lovely.
Catherine Barkley: Are you badly hurt?
Lieutenant Frederic Henry: You're lovely.
Catherine Barkley: [concerned] Oh my poor darling, it's your leg, isn't it?
Lieutenant Frederic Henry: You're the loveliest thing I ever saw.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the original 1932 credits, the credits are punctuated by aerial bomb blasts, and every time there is a blast, a credit disappears to be replaced by the next one. See more »


Soundtracks

Tristan und Isolde
Written by Richard Wagner
In the score (particularly the "Liebestod" section) for the last few scenes when Frederic gets to Catherine
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Memorable Film In Need of Restoration
28 March 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

The 1932 film version of Ernest Hemmingway's A FAREWELL TO ARMS will never challenge the likes of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT--but while it fails to capture the horrors of World War I it is remarkably effective at capturing the novel's sparse and unyielding prose. A good deal of the credit goes to writers Garrett and Glaizer and director Borzage--but the real interest here is not so much in the cinematic interpretation of the Hemmingway novel as it is in the cast, which is remarkable.

Actress Helen Hayes was already among the leading lights of the New York stage when she was lured to Hollywood for a handful of films in the early 1930s--and it is easy to see what all the fuss was about. Plaintive beauty aside, unlike most stage and screen actors of the era she is completely unaffected in her performance and proves more than powerful enough to overcome the more melodramatic moments of the script. She is costarred with Gary Cooper in one of his earliest leading roles, and while the pairing is unexpected, it is also unexpectedly good: they have tremendous screen chemistry, and in spite of the film's dated approach they easily draw you into this story of an ill-fated wartime romance between a nurse and an ambulance driver.

The film is also well supplied with a solid supporting cast that includes Adolphe Menjou, Jack La Rue, and Mary Philips, and while clearly filmed on a slim budget--something most obvious in the battlefront sequences--the camera work is remarkably good. Unfortunately, all this counts for nothing unless you can find a print of the film that you can stand to watch. It is sad but true: the 1932 A FAREWELL TO ARMS seems to have fallen into public domain, and the result is a host of DVD and VHS releases that range from the merely adequate to the incredibly dire.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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