During World War II in Italy, an American sergeant and WAC lieutenant take time out for romance.



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Complete credited cast:
Sgt. Joe 'Pete' Peterson
Lt. Eleanor MacKay
Maj. Blackford
Sgt. Smiley 'Mac' McFee
Dick Wesson ...
Katherine Warren ...
Maj. Waldron


Winter, 1943. The German army has halted the American advance in the mountains of Italy; back-and-forth combat decimates Joe Peterson's platoon. On leave in Naples, Joe meets WAC lieutenant Eleanor MacKay; initially cool, she begins to melt during a bombing raid. Their romance develops despite Joe's periodic returns to the front. But whether he'll come back in the end becomes more than doubtful... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most beautiful love story ever told!


Romance | War | Drama


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Release Date:

13 August 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Girl for Joe  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Just after Frank Lovejoy (Maj.) tells William Holden (Sgt.) about his promotion to Lt.; Holden puts on a jacket with his sergeant stiles on it. They drive to a restaurant/bar (Mama Mia's) and his jacket no longer has any sign of stripes. When stripes are removed the impression of the stripes and the stitching can still be seen. His jacket is absolutely pristine. Even if the stripes came off without leaving any marks at all; there would a clean spot where the stripes were. See more »


Sgt. Joe Peterson: You mean you were a civilian once?
Lt. Eleanor MacKay: Oh, if you consider schoolteachers civilians.
Sgt. Joe Peterson: You, honest?
Lt. Eleanor MacKay: Mm-hmm.
Sgt. Joe Peterson: Well, and me without an apple!
See more »


Version of A Farewell to Arms (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Curtiz as good as Casablanca but grittier
21 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) with music by the great Max Steiner (King Kong, Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, Treasure of the Sierra Madre) The script crackles with great dialogue, William Holden is the best I've ever seen him, Nancy Olson is able to deliver the most romantic lines with real emotional honesty--not an easy thing to do. The idea here is a kind of bleak existential gallows humor mixed with a deeply felt love story. It also brings up PTSD. All the actors are at their best and believable. The photography mixes real combat footage well.The war attitude is soldiers wanting to do a job because they feel a responsibility to their brothers-in-arms and their loved ones back home. It's a real gem and I'll never forget it.

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