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Juan David Restrepo
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During one scene at an enemy check point, the night sky is full of stars (2:23:55). We see a mounted enemy patrol riding by the check point under the moonlight (2:24:02). A few moments later, outside is clearly daylight (2:24:45), yet when the enemy soldier inside the check point booth blows into the lamp (2:25:29), the booth is in total darkness and there is no daylight coming through the windows. See more »
Another Hemingway story that fails on the screen...
Hollywood doesn't seem able to put Hemingway's works on the screen. This is a romanticized version of guerillas fighting in the mountains during the Spanish Civil War. It is supposed to be a "classic" but there are too many weaknesses to give it that status. There is no real tension. Bergman (gorgeously photographed) and Cooper fall in love instantly and we are never in any doubt about that. They are surrounded by some of the talkiest guerilla fighters hiding out in a murky cave (where much of the technicolor action takes place), each with thick accents that don't seem to match their characters. Katina Paxinou certainly does a stunning job as Pilar--and Akim Tamiroff is more than adequate--but the film becomes weary after the first hour and gets bogged down in too much talk before it finally zeros in on its main action sequence involving the blowup of a bridge. Again, Hollywood fails to inject a Hemingway story with enough human interest and fails to make us care enough about these characters. Transition to the screen just doesn't work when it comes to Hemingway whose writing style is best confined to the novels he wrote. The only bright note is Victor Young's pseudo-Spanish score which gives the picture its only lift. Not the film it was hyped to be at the time, depending on its status as a best-seller by Hemingway for a built-in audience. Satisfaction not guaranteed unless you are a huge fan of Bergman and Cooper.
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