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Joseph M. Newman
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Paris in the 1920s. The American journalist Jake and his friends spend the time at cafés. He has a special interest in his ex-fiancée Lady Ashley. They take a vacation in Pamplona to watch the bull-fights. Written by
In the preparation for the running of the bulls, while the bulls are being driven down the chute to the holding pen, a handler behind the safety walls shirt changes color from blue to white, then back again during the same sequence. See more »
Lady Brett Ashley:
You know English very well, don't you?
Si, pretty well sometime, but I must not let anybody know. It would be very bad for a torero who speaks English.
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There are several films from the '40's to the '60's that I prefer to experience, rather than jump into Pauline Kael's skin. Let her successors dissect and occasionally say something of pith.
George Herbert said, "Time is the rider that breaks youth."
All the principal characters in this sad tale are broken. In their dissipation and aimless, joyless pursuits, they didn't stand for much of anything. It has been said that the cast was just too old for these roles. But they looked perfect for their roles, a group of people who were caught in a tepid tide pool, waiting to be washed out to sea. They were all tarnished goods.
I was especially impressed by Errol Flynn's performance. Of all of them, he was the most pitiful. Remember the song, "Tired of living and scared of dying?" That's him-a far cry from Captain Peter Blood.
Next is Robert Cohn (Mel Ferrer). He was a rich aimless child, eager to fasten himself to others, like a limpet. College had done nothing for him, except to make him an even greater useless snob. Then Lady Brett transformed him into a swine before casting him aside, because 'she couldn't stand his damned suffering.' After a crushing defeat at the hands of Brett and her bullfighter, he wisely headed home to Frances, if she would still have him.
Now we come to Jake and Lady Brett Ashley. These two truly loved one another, but in a very unhealthy way. She lost a husband to the Great War and never recovered. He gave "more then his life" to the war. His impotence was probably not the real reason Brett would not marry him, nor he, her. Damaged goods.
This film is excellent. Important, as is the book, emotional Tours De Force. Hemmingway is incredible.
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