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Frederick Henry, an American serving as a volunteer ambulance driver with the Italian forces in the First World War, is wounded and falls in love with his attending nurse, the British Catherine Barkley. In the midst of war and some intrigue, the pair struggles to stay together and to survive the horrors around them. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Hudson and Jones are in the hotel bedroom he gives her a glass of wine. The amount of wine in her glass varies between shots. See more »
Producer David O. Selznick tries to imitate the opening credits of his classic film, "Gone With The Wind", by having the letters of the title "A Farewell to Arms" sweep slowly across the screen from right to left. See more »
David Selznick loved Jennifer Jones and per John Huston in his book "put everything on the line for his adored Jennifer" I met Douglas Fairbanks Jr years ago at a party when he was in New York and Fairbanks remarked that of major producers he knew, David Selznick stood out because of Mr. Selznick's love of great literature. David Selznick's brilliant productions of Gone With The Wind, Rebecca, David Copperfield, et al reflect Selznick's great love of great novels. (David Selznick wanted to but could not get financing for War and Peace starring of course Ms.Jones) One wonders why David Selznick insisted on remaking A Farewell to Arms but push ahead he did. David Selznick made a releasing deal thru 20th (Likely because of Jennifer Jones' attachment and successes at 20th Century Fox -Song of Bernadette, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, et al) and hired John Huston to direct again possibly because of Jennifer's past history with John Huston (Beat The Devil, We Were Strangers). David Selznick micro managed his productions and fired John Huston whom he felt was titling the picture towards a war film versus a highly romantic film, i.e. favoring Rock Hudson over Jennifer Jones. Charles Vidor replaced Huston and also had clashes with David Selznick. In the mid 50's a gigantic production shot on location in Italy had to be a logistical challenge: Selznick also fired Arthur Fellows as line producer. Some of A Farewell To Arms scenes are brilliantly photographed and large in scope as is the trademark of a Selznick International picture.
Jennifer Jones was a beautiful movie star. I would recommend a review of Ms. Jones career, as Ms. Jones is sadly forgotten but was a huge box office star and acclaimed screen actress of her day: Madame Bovary, Good Morning Miss Dove, Duel In The Sun, Ruby Gentry et al Some carp over Jennifer Jones' age in this film but Jennifer Jones looks fine in this picture (but ironically would look even much better years later in a fine and underrated film 20th's Tender Is The Night). My quibble with this film is the dialogue between Jennifer Jones and Rock Hudson which seems so stilted and phony. Has anyone counted the number of times the word "darling" is used?
Rock Hudson, then a gigantic box office star after George Stevens great film Giant and his run at Universal with hits such as Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows, etc got first billing over the veteran Oscar Winning Jennifer Jones. Elaine Stritch is wonderfully sassy in a small but pivotal supporting role.
We are likely never to see the likes of David Selznick again, a pioneer in film. Of all David Selznick's movies I liked Gone With The Wind best but also the splendid WWII Film Since You Went Away starring Ms. Jones and a superb Claudette Colbert I wish Selznick had done an original film like Since You Went Away rather than a remake of A Farewell To Arms. Mr. Hudson adored by his female co-stars such as Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Jane Wyman, et al never really had much to say about working with Jennifer Jones. Ms Jones until her death never commented much about anything ever about her career, her Leading Men, or about her stormy private life.
A book on the back story filming of this movie would prove to be interesting. Reading Memo From David O Selznick and David Thomson's Showman would help understand David Selznick's obsession with Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms and Ms. Jones in particular.
This was the final film personally produced by David O Selznick.
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