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 <email@example.com>
In the café while Catherine is in hospital, Frederick is shown placing the sugar cubes on the table, with three already there and his hand moving to place there the fourth one. Camera cuts to a different angle and there are suddenly five sugar cubes on the table. Later in the same scene, after he flattens the sugar cubes with his hand, the position of his hand (and sugar cubes) changes instantly and he's holding one sugar cube that he wasn't holding a split second before. 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 »
Obviously, a great deal of time and money was lavished on this project. Producer Selznick intended it to be a vindication of a career that peaked with "Gone With The Wind" in 1939, and then began a long, slow, almost painful decline. By the mid fifties he had become something of a "has-been" in Hollywood. The result? Pretty much a miss. The book is probably unfilmable, of course, but the screenplay still leaves much to be desired. Rock Hudson is far too shallow to make a go at the over-the-top emotionalism this story needs. The usually wonderful Jennifer Jones, for whom this project was conceived, somehow doesn't seem to exhibit the idealism and resolve the part needs, and that she demonstrated with such seemingly effortlessness in many other films. The direction is stilted and sometimes downright awkward, more the fault of producer Selznick, I would bet, who had a reputation for micro-managing his films, than famed director Charles Vidor.
Simply put, I'm never convinced, not even for a moment, that what is happening is real and not just another movie. Too bad.
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