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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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Agustín (as Arturo de Cordova)
...
Mikhail Rasumny ...
...
Fernando
...
Andres
...
...
...
Lilo Yarson ...
...
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

Taglines:

From the most thrilling novel of our years ! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 April 1944 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Por Quem os Sinos Dobram  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

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

It took 24 weeks to shoot the film (July-October 1942). The first 12 weeks were shot at Sonora Pass in the Sierra Nevada, the last 12 weeks were shot at the Paramount Studio in California. See more »

Goofs

(at around 50 mins) Pilar says "Wait" to Jordan and Maria. It is clear that the shot has been reversed, as the bolt handle and magazine on her Krag-Jorgenson carbine (see previous entry) was on the left of the rifle, whereas this weapon was only made in right-handed versions. See more »

Quotes

Pablo: I doan prowoke.
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 Married for Life: For Whom the Bell Tolls (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Spanish Microcosm
20 May 2008 | by (Berlin, GER) – See all my reviews

Based in Ernest Hemingway's world famous bestseller, this film is one of those classical melodramas, even though not in a Douglas Sirk style and maybe of quite another matter. In the book, Hemingway worked up his own experiences in the Spanish Civil War of the 30s - the film was shot in the middle of World War II - and that is why certain things are plain "clear". Of course, the whole plot of the film takes place solely within the lines of the Republican forces. Of course, it takes an unequivocal stand against Franco's fascism and its followers. Of course, the male lead, an expert for explosives, is a sincere American who stands on the right side. But without any cynicism, For Whom the Bell Tolls is in an utterly positive sense straight, straightforward, "clear", or however you want to word it.

Sam Wood shaped the story through three strands: the love between María (Ingrid Bergman) and Robert (Gary Cooper), the preparations of a detonation and the conflict in the group with Pablo (Akim Tamiroff). Here, Wood presents a set of excellent characters. Pablo, brilliantly played by Tamiroff, as the most enigmatic of the ensemble, does not only bring trouble into the group, but also impersonates a man who is torn between friendship/solidarity and personal interest. Robert is a sober, prudential, reflecting man who knows what he wants, but sees danger in his love for María. He is not an ignorant macho, but someone who carefully listens, evaluates and then decides. And then there is Pilar, played by Katina Paxinou, this rough, angular, active woman with heart, a heart which is not only on the right place, but also has a deep feeling for what is going wrong in her country and what danger is coming up for her and her people if Franco might win the war. It seems as if Wood adapted a real and important protagonist of the Civil War with the character of Pilar: the Communist leader Dolores Ibarruri aka "La Pasionaria".

With this variety of human patterns, Wood gives us a cross-section through a small, "spatially limited" civil society where the story line can be interpreted in context to the events in 1943 in Europe. Hitler and his allies are at the high peak of their conquest- and extermination campaigns. In this respect, the film asks the question, how democracy is going to work after the terror is defeated, taking also those into account who are erratic and cowardly like Pablo. And it asks the question for consideration between betrayal and solidarity, love and necessity.


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