6.6/10
3,508
46 user 42 critic

A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 8 December 1932 (USA)
An American ambulance driver and an English nurse fall in love in Italy during World War I.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 (SD) with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An English nurse and an American soldier on the Italian front during World War I fall in love, but the horrors surrounding them test their romance to the limit.

Directors: Charles Vidor, John Huston
Stars: Rock Hudson, Jennifer Jones, Vittorio De Sica
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the Spanish Civil War, an American allied with the Republicans finds romance during a desperate mission to blow up a strategically important bridge.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Akim Tamiroff
Desire (1936)
Comedy | Romance | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday
Bad Girl (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Out of jail for a crime she did not commit, Madelon turns to prostitution and thievery to send her illegitimate son to medical school.

Director: Edgar Selwyn
Stars: Helen Hayes, Lewis Stone, Neil Hamilton
Morocco (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Adolphe Menjou
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Jack Conway
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Tells how King Henry VIII came to marry five more times after his divorce from his first wife.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie have had a hard time making ends meet since Bea's husband died. Help comes in the form of Delilah Johnson, who agrees to work as Bea's housekeeper in ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson
Arrowsmith (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Based on Sinclair Lewis's novel "Arrowsmith". A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Richard Bennett
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Richard Cromwell
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adiós a las armas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

Opening credits prologue: Disaster as well as victory is written for every nation on the record of the World War, but high on the rolls of glory two names are inscribed - -

The Marne and The Piave. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bachelor Father: Bentley and the Counterspy (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Lucia
(uncredited)
Traditional Italian folksong
Sung by George Humbert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Ernie Goes To Hollywood
22 September 2008 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

Frank Borzage's 1932 version of "A Farewell To Arms" has the distinction of being the first film adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway novel. It's more Hollywood than Hemingway: Long blankets of dialogue are condensed, sharp edges softened, and the romance between Lt. Henry and Catherine made into something more befitting Douglas Sirk than the unsentimental Papa. Yet a surprising amount of the novel's spirit does survive the transition.

In a story not much different than what you might have read in high school, Lt. Henry (Gary Cooper) is an American ambulance corpsman serving with the Italian Army as it fights the Austrians along the Piave, a bloody backwater campaign of World War I. Henry meets nurse Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes) and they quickly fall in love. But the violence of war, and the interference of friends like Capt. Rinaldi (Adolphe Menjou), threaten to tear them apart.

The differences between book and movie are more in the matter of treatment than storyline. When Catherine and Lt. Henry first meet, they talk about her former lover, a war casualty. In the film, she says "If I had to do it all over again, I'd marry him". In the book, though, Catherine wasn't regretting sending him off to war unmarried, but without their having had sex.

Yet a minute later, her lines come directly from the book, Catherine noting her daydreams about her old lover turning up at her hospital with a saber cut, then adding: "He didn't have a saber cut, they blew him to bits." For Hollywood, violence was always easier material than sex.

Since this is a film made before the inhibiting Hays Code (Will, not Helen), Borzage and his writers are able to get away with a bit more than they would have just a couple of years later. Catherine and Henry still make love, and she gets pregnant.

There IS a lot of Hemingway here. Catherine is a still somewhat mixed-up woman who hates the rain "because I see myself dead in it". The folly of war is openly expressed. "If nobody would attack, the war would be over," one soldier muses. Lt. Henry is wounded, and embarrassed because it happened while he was eating cheese. Even some small exchanges survive, like one between Lt. Henry and a nasty nurse.

She: "Pity is wasted on you."

He: "Thank you."

But the film also strikes out for its own territory, successfully in the case of building up the role of Capt. Rinaldi. Menjou, who had been a real ambulance corps captain in World War I, creates a marvelously ambiguous figure, a cheerful cynic who befriends Henry and is put out by the romance with Catherine. "Why don't you be like me?" Rinaldi asks his "war brother". "All fire and smoke. Nothing inside."

Rinaldi's role here is a change from the original story, a gamble by Borzage and writers Benjamin Glazer and Oliver H. P. Garrett that pays off, devising some needed tension to the central storyline and underscoring the core message of the rottenness of war. If it wasn't for war, Rinaldi might value something more than his next bottle or bedpartner, and Menjou, in a final triumphant moment, lets you know it.

Pacifism, in movies as in life, only takes one so far. The film makes a mistake near the end by more consciously making a stand as an anti-war film, with much hysteria, bells ringing, even Cooper chanting "Peace...peace". It made those points much better as sidenotes, like an opening tracking shot where a seemingly sleeping soldier is revealed to be dead, or later on when Cooper trudges through a muddy path and notices the corpse everyone's been walking on. By contrast, too much of the movie's finale is played for the cheaper seats, and doesn't stand up today.

But the film does stand up better than many later Hemingway adaptations, with its strong cast, inspired tracking shots, and a mostly successful effort by Borzage to translate Hemingway's terse prose style into film. What you get is a short but deep examination of life during wartime.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Best DVD to buy? bjnevin
Anyone else cry over this movie? teepeewhy
Most faithful adaptation? HollyAF3
Found this online! sprinkleswithtoastandjam
Low ambitions Teutonsommelier
Location oknar1977
Discuss A Farewell to Arms (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page