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For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

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

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(screen play), (from the celebrated novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Agustín (as Arturo de Cordova)
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Mikhail Rasumny ...
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Fernando
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Andres
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Lilo Yarson ...
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Paco
Adia Kuznetzoff ...
Gustavo
Leonid Snegoff ...
Ignacio
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Storyline

Spain in the 1930s is the place to be for a man of action like Robert Jordan. There is a civil war going on and Jordan who has joined up on the side that appeals most to idealists of that era -- like Ernest Hemingway and his friends -- has been given a high-risk assignment up in the mountains. He awaits the right time to blow up a bridge in a cave. Pilar, who is in charge there, has an ability to foretell the future. And so that night she encourages Maria, a young girl ravaged by enemy soldiers, to join Jordan who has decided to spend the night under the stars. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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All the power and passion of Hemingway's immortal lovers who clung together in the darkness before a thunderous dawn. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 April 1944 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Por Quem os Sinos Dobram  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) | (restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on Februray 12, 1945, with Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper and Akim Tamiroff reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning of the film, when the bridge is viewed through binoculars, the angle of the view is often very inconsistent with Robert Jordan's position. See more »

Quotes

Anselmo: They always spit in the gorge. It brings luck.
Robert Jordan: I wish I could spit that far.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde: and therefore never send to know For Whom The Bell Tolls It tolls for thee.

Spain, 1937 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Picket Fences: For Whom the Wind Blows (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Bell Tolls for Republican Spain
15 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Ernest Hemingway was most particular about how is work should be portrayed on screen. He had hated the version of A Farewell to Arms that was done ten years earlier.

What he did like was Gary Cooper's portrayal of a Hemingway hero. He and Cooper got to be good friends, so he was Papa's first and only choice to be Robert Jordan in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The novel grew out of Hemingway's experience in the Spanish Civil War that raged for almost four years. A number of generals not liking the leftist trend the new Spanish Republic was taking pulled a military coup d'etat. The whole world took sides with the Soviet Union aiding the Republic's defenders and Italy and Germany aiding the Nationalist Generals.

The USA was officially neutral, but people had their opinions. Believe it or not many supported the rebelling generals seeing them as upholding traditional Catholic Spain. But some in America organized the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a group of volunteers who fought for the Republic. Some in there were U.S. Communist Party members, but a whole lot were idealists. All of them had a lot of difficulty after World War II, for shall we say being to prematurely anti-Fascist.

Gary Cooper plays just such a volunteer and he's got a mission, to blow up a key bridge in the Guadarrama mountains. He makes contact with the guerrilla band of Akim Tamiroff and Katina Paxinou. Of course fighting with them is Ingrid Bergman, so we had some romantic interludes there which steamed up the screen.

This was quite a year for Ingrid, she did Casablanca as well that year and her name became synonymous with romance. She was not the first choice here. Director Sam Wood did not like his original leading lady Vera Zorina and replaced her with Bergman who he really wanted in the first place.

In fact Wood was a second choice. Paramount originally scheduled this film for Cecil B. DeMille. I'm betting there were some creative differences between DeMille and Papa Hemingway. If this had become a DeMille type film, it would have been a disaster.

Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Akim Tamiroff, and Katina Paxinou all got Academy Award nominations. Only Paxinou won the Oscar for this film. A great performance, but also probably a tribute to her refugee status. She had fled her native Greece when the Nazis took over where she was a leading member of their national theater. She accepted her Oscar in memory of her late colleagues there.

The only criticism of the film came from those that thought it lingered too long on Cooper and Bergman's romance. Something by the way they were having in real life as well.

But Ernest Hemingway liked the film just fine and I think most will as well.


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