IMDb > A Farewell to Arms (1932)
A Farewell to Arms
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A Farewell to Arms (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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A Farewell to Arms -- A ravishing adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's legendary novel, A FAREWELL TO ARMS stars Gary Cooper (High Noon) as Lt. Frederic Henry, a young ambulance driver for the Italian army in WWI, more interested in chasing women than the enemy.  When seeking cover during an air raid, he encounters Nurse Catherine Barkley (a radiant Helen Hayes), and the world shifts under his feet.  They fall in love, but the war keeps wrenching them apart.

Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   3,261 votes »
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Up 34% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Benjamin Glazer (screenplay) and
Oliver H.P. Garrett (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Farewell to Arms on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 December 1932 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
"Let's love tonight," they said, "There may be no tomorrow!" See more »
Plot:
A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley during World War I... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Ernie Goes To Hollywood See more (43 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Helen Hayes ... Catherine Barkley

Gary Cooper ... Lt. Frederic Henry

Adolphe Menjou ... Maj. Rinaldi
Mary Philips ... Helen Ferguson

Jack La Rue ... Priest
Blanche Friderici ... Head Nurse
Mary Forbes ... Miss Van Campen
Gilbert Emery ... British Major
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alice Adair ... Cafe Girl (uncredited)
Henry Armetta ... Bonello - Italian Ambulance Driver (uncredited)
Herman Bing ... Swiss Postal Clerk (uncredited)
Agostino Borgato ... Giulio - Hospital Porter (uncredited)
Robert Cauterio ... Gordini (uncredited)
Marcelle Corday ... Swiss Nurse (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Italian Soldier (uncredited)
Peggy Cunningham ... Molly - Disgraced Nurse (uncredited)
George Humbert ... Piani - Singer (uncredited)
Doris Lloyd ... Nurse (uncredited)
Fred Malatesta ... Manera (uncredited)
Paul Porcasi ... Harry - Innkeeper (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Borzage 
 
Writing credits
Benjamin Glazer (screenplay) and
Oliver H.P. Garrett (screenplay)

Ernest Hemingway (novel)

Laurence Stallings  play (uncredited)

Produced by
Edward A. Blatt .... associate producer (uncredited)
Benjamin Glazer .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Herman Hand (uncredited)
W. Franke Harling (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
John Leipold (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt (uncredited)
Ralph Rainger (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Charles Lang (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Otho Lovering (uncredited)
George Nichols Jr. (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Fred A. Datig (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Roland Anderson (uncredited)
Hans Dreier (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lew Borzage .... assistant director (uncredited)
Charles Griffin .... assistant director (uncredited)
Arthur Jacobson .... assistant director (uncredited)
Jean Negulesco .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Clem Jones .... props (uncredited)
Joe Robbins .... props (uncredited)
Joe Thompson .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Franklin Hansen .... sound (uncredited)
Harold Lewis .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Loyal Griggs .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... transparencies (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sherman Clark .... still photographer (uncredited)
Robert Pittack .... camera operator (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Gross .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Joe Robbins .... transportation (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Grace Dubray .... script clerk (uncredited)
Robert M. Gillham .... general press agent (uncredited)
Charles Griffin .... technical advisor: war sequences (uncredited)
Dr. Jardini .... technical advisor: hospital sequences (uncredited)
Daniel Keefe .... business manager (uncredited)
Jean Negulesco .... assistant: Benjamin Glazer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
80 min | Spain:83 min | USA:89 min (original version) | UK:79 min (DVD version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-12 (1996) | Finland:S (1989) | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | South Korea:12 | UK:PG | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #4306-R, 9 May 1938 for re-release)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 10, 1944 with Gary Cooper reprising his film role.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Videoclub (2013)See more »
Soundtrack:
Santa LuciaSee more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
Is 'A Farewell Arms' based on a book?
What are the Marne and the Piave?
See more »
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Ernie Goes To Hollywood, 22 September 2008
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

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.

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