A Farewell To Arms Reviews

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jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 23, 2010
Just okay version of Hemingway story suffers from overlength although it has fine production values. Rock is pretty good in the lead. Jennifer Jones less so as Catherine, affected and rather bland.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2014
First, David O. Selznick was "Gone with the Wind", and now he's finally getting around to bidding "A Farewell to Arms". Seriously though, Selznick is back to produce yet another high-scale and romantic war melodrama, although, compared to "Gone with the Wind", this film is about as long as, well, the adaptation of this Ernest Hemingway classic that they made back in 1932. Now, with that said, you can leave it to Selznick to take something that was once made into 85-minute-long pseudo-filler, and turn it into a two-and-a-half-hour-long epic... I guess. I don't know if epic filmmaking was that big of trait for the producer, but you know that they're trying to get you to think of "Gone with the Wind" with this film. That was probably not great for Selznick's marriage to Jennifer Jones, because she shouldn't be in this film with Clark Gable on the brain, seeing as how even Rock Hudson, alone, is more than a few stones above Selznick. Man, with "Giant", and then this film, Hudson was really getting into sprawling romantic epics towards the end of the '50s, probably because he wanted to spend as much time as he could showing himself with a woman. Man, this film is cheesy that it might have added to the rumors regarding Hudson's sexuality, but hey, at least it's entertaining, even though it isn't exactly unique.

I was expecting this to be something of a formulaic Hollywood war drama, and sure enough, throughout this sprawling affair, nearly nothing new occurs, leaving predictability to set in, even if you're not already familiar with Ernest Hemingway's classic material. Really, I can't see this film doing a great amount of justice to Hemingway's story, because if nothing else defuses the momentum of this melodrama, it's all of the cheesiness, reflected partly in some lame comic relief, and largely in dialogue that ranges from flat to admittedly unbelievably bad, and whose missteps are recurrent throughout the film, aggravating you and trying your patience, while superficializing the depths of this conceptually heavier subject matter. The glaring missteps in dialogue within Ben Hecht's script are but heights in its gross Hollywood misguidance, because among the tropes hit by this film time and again is Hollywood superficialities and dated dramatic sensibilities, which take the guts out of this promising drama, and make the histrionics harder to embrace in the context of this narrative. I certainly prefer the war segments to the overwrought romance segments, but it doesn't seem as though this film can ever escape overt romanticism that tests believability through manufactures conflicts and overblown melodramatics which cause momentum to fall, though not without help from overblown structuring. This film manages to keep itself pretty busy throughout its course of two-and-a-half hours, so it's never bland, but it might end up finding too much to do, until it loses a sense of progression and conflict at times, or simply wears the audience down when it goes backed by such superficial handlings of material. There's so much value to the concept of this film, and the execution does a lot of things very well, but whenever it gets the chance, this melodrama tries your patience, with conventions, cheese, superficialities and, of course, excess, until the final product falls short of, not simply what it could have been, but rewarding. Still, with plenty of patience, many are sure to be reasonably engaged, and thoroughly entertained, thanks to the film's always working to keep things lively.

Now, when I claim that this 1950s Hollywood epic is wholly unoriginal, you know that nothing is new within Mario Nascimbene's score, yet the film's soundtrack is recurrent and consistently delivers on some sort of perk, highlighted by a sweep that goes matched by Oswald Morris' colorfully light, yet grandly scoped cinematography. The cinematography at least gives you a fine view of the art direction by Mario Garbuglia (Do you think the art departments could use some Italians?) which is, of course nothing unique, but rich and dynamic enough to sell the setting and scale of this war melodrama, just as the performers help in selling what material they can. Well, honestly, I prefer the war segments to the romance segments partly because the beautiful Jennifer Jones doesn't simply not help in selling the hokey material, but makes it all the worse with her cloyingly flamboyant and unconvincing performance, - punctuated by surprisingly solid power in her final scenes - and because just about all of the supporting players during the war segments are surprisingly effective, with some stealing the show from Rock Hudson, who remains endearing in his charisma and sound dramatic touches, even if he can't quite hold up chemistry with the generally flat Jones. The leads' unequal abilities make it even more difficult to buy into the romantic dramatics which should play a large factor in the engagement value, thus, what effectiveness there is hinges on the directorial performance of Charles Vidor, whose sentimentality exacerbates the sting of the melodramatics, but reflects color within Vidor's efforts that frequently entertains, until realization is found, resulting in moments of resonance, especially during a powerful final act which, honestly, is more than the film deserves on the whole. Vidor's efforts are far from outstanding, but they're certainly superior to Ben Hecht's efforts as screenwriter, so much so that without all of the messy writing, this film could have perhaps rewarded, as its engagement value already has a solid head-start, thanks to a worthy story concept. Though excessive in a number of ways, this film at least attempts to capture the layers and scope of Ernest Hemingway's classic novel, and it's hard to hold a melodrama like that too far back, for Hemingway wrote a gripping modernist narrative that, loosely based on personal experiences, married real struggles with rich romanticism, and established sound potential for an epic film. This adaptation is ambitious, but ultimately relatively flat, but only relatively, for although there are many a misguidance, the intrigue of the subject matter itself, brought to life by many a highlight in storytelling, at least bring the final product to the brink of rewarding.

When it is finally time to bid farewell, consistent conventions, cloying cheese, and glaring Hollywood superficialities dilute the effectiveness of the melodrama, while momentum is shaken so greatly by the excessive structuring that the final product wears itself down to an underwhelming point, but just barely, for grand scoring, cinematography and art direction, generally effective performances, and colorful and sometimes resonant direction bring enough life to Ernest Hemingway's excellent subject matter to bring Charles Vidor's "A Farewell to Arms" to the border of rewarding, despite the flaws which still hold it a ways back.

2.75/5 - Decent
½ February 19, 2013
i prefer the 1932 version of this but this technicolor version is still watchable this is also the last film produced by the gr8 david o selznick
½ December 26, 2008
Wonderful rendtition. Hudson has the Hemingway look- big and strong and rather suave. The story was as much given the taste of the book as a movie could do. The screen lovers [Rock Hudson & Jennifer Jones] were well casted because the scenes where they had to convey being in love were somewhat tense and sparking. The location & backdrop were used very well, providing for the characters mood and the story's atmosphere where necessary. Emotive and compelling; sharp and sensible; an A++...I beleive there hasn't been a re-make, that's because this film was worth the time & effort. The book is super; this movie did not take away from that.
July 3, 2010
Well done but melodramatic in the extreme good suporting actors
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2014
First, David O. Selznick was "Gone with the Wind", and now he's finally getting around to bidding "A Farewell to Arms". Seriously though, Selznick is back to produce yet another high-scale and romantic war melodrama, although, compared to "Gone with the Wind", this film is about as long as, well, the adaptation of this Ernest Hemingway classic that they made back in 1932. Now, with that said, you can leave it to Selznick to take something that was once made into 85-minute-long pseudo-filler, and turn it into a two-and-a-half-hour-long epic... I guess. I don't know if epic filmmaking was that big of trait for the producer, but you know that they're trying to get you to think of "Gone with the Wind" with this film. That was probably not great for Selznick's marriage to Jennifer Jones, because she shouldn't be in this film with Clark Gable on the brain, seeing as how even Rock Hudson, alone, is more than a few stones above Selznick. Man, with "Giant", and then this film, Hudson was really getting into sprawling romantic epics towards the end of the '50s, probably because he wanted to spend as much time as he could showing himself with a woman. Man, this film is cheesy that it might have added to the rumors regarding Hudson's sexuality, but hey, at least it's entertaining, even though it isn't exactly unique.

I was expecting this to be something of a formulaic Hollywood war drama, and sure enough, throughout this sprawling affair, nearly nothing new occurs, leaving predictability to set in, even if you're not already familiar with Ernest Hemingway's classic material. Really, I can't see this film doing a great amount of justice to Hemingway's story, because if nothing else defuses the momentum of this melodrama, it's all of the cheesiness, reflected partly in some lame comic relief, and largely in dialogue that ranges from flat to admittedly unbelievably bad, and whose missteps are recurrent throughout the film, aggravating you and trying your patience, while superficializing the depths of this conceptually heavier subject matter. The glaring missteps in dialogue within Ben Hecht's script are but heights in its gross Hollywood misguidance, because among the tropes hit by this film time and again is Hollywood superficialities and dated dramatic sensibilities, which take the guts out of this promising drama, and make the histrionics harder to embrace in the context of this narrative. I certainly prefer the war segments to the overwrought romance segments, but it doesn't seem as though this film can ever escape overt romanticism that tests believability through manufactures conflicts and overblown melodramatics which cause momentum to fall, though not without help from overblown structuring. This film manages to keep itself pretty busy throughout its course of two-and-a-half hours, so it's never bland, but it might end up finding too much to do, until it loses a sense of progression and conflict at times, or simply wears the audience down when it goes backed by such superficial handlings of material. There's so much value to the concept of this film, and the execution does a lot of things very well, but whenever it gets the chance, this melodrama tries your patience, with conventions, cheese, superficialities and, of course, excess, until the final product falls short of, not simply what it could have been, but rewarding. Still, with plenty of patience, many are sure to be reasonably engaged, and thoroughly entertained, thanks to the film's always working to keep things lively.

Now, when I claim that this 1950s Hollywood epic is wholly unoriginal, you know that nothing is new within Mario Nascimbene's score, yet the film's soundtrack is recurrent and consistently delivers on some sort of perk, highlighted by a sweep that goes matched by Oswald Morris' colorfully light, yet grandly scoped cinematography. The cinematography at least gives you a fine view of the art direction by Mario Garbuglia (Do you think the art departments could use some Italians?) which is, of course nothing unique, but rich and dynamic enough to sell the setting and scale of this war melodrama, just as the performers help in selling what material they can. Well, honestly, I prefer the war segments to the romance segments partly because the beautiful Jennifer Jones doesn't simply not help in selling the hokey material, but makes it all the worse with her cloyingly flamboyant and unconvincing performance, - punctuated by surprisingly solid power in her final scenes - and because just about all of the supporting players during the war segments are surprisingly effective, with some stealing the show from Rock Hudson, who remains endearing in his charisma and sound dramatic touches, even if he can't quite hold up chemistry with the generally flat Jones. The leads' unequal abilities make it even more difficult to buy into the romantic dramatics which should play a large factor in the engagement value, thus, what effectiveness there is hinges on the directorial performance of Charles Vidor, whose sentimentality exacerbates the sting of the melodramatics, but reflects color within Vidor's efforts that frequently entertains, until realization is found, resulting in moments of resonance, especially during a powerful final act which, honestly, is more than the film deserves on the whole. Vidor's efforts are far from outstanding, but they're certainly superior to Ben Hecht's efforts as screenwriter, so much so that without all of the messy writing, this film could have perhaps rewarded, as its engagement value already has a solid head-start, thanks to a worthy story concept. Though excessive in a number of ways, this film at least attempts to capture the layers and scope of Ernest Hemingway's classic novel, and it's hard to hold a melodrama like that too far back, for Hemingway wrote a gripping modernist narrative that, loosely based on personal experiences, married real struggles with rich romanticism, and established sound potential for an epic film. This adaptation is ambitious, but ultimately relatively flat, but only relatively, for although there are many a misguidance, the intrigue of the subject matter itself, brought to life by many a highlight in storytelling, at least bring the final product to the brink of rewarding.

When it is finally time to bid farewell, consistent conventions, cloying cheese, and glaring Hollywood superficialities dilute the effectiveness of the melodrama, while momentum is shaken so greatly by the excessive structuring that the final product wears itself down to an underwhelming point, but just barely, for grand scoring, cinematography and art direction, generally effective performances, and colorful and sometimes resonant direction bring enough life to Ernest Hemingway's excellent subject matter to bring Charles Vidor's "A Farewell to Arms" to the border of rewarding, despite the flaws which still hold it a ways back.

2.75/5 - Decent
½ February 17, 2014
It's the only life I want.

An English nurse has gone into celibacy and become a recluse of sorts after her husband was blown to pieces during World War 1. She encounters an American soldier fighting for the Italian army during the war and they start a torrid affair. They are separated by the war but the nurse becomes pregnant after their encounter. The soldier discovers this news and will stop at nothing to keep them together...but will the war tear them apart?

"I never felt like a whore before."
"You're not a whore."
"I know, darling, but it's not nice to feel like one."

Charles Vidor, director of Gilda, Hans Christain Anderson, Cover Girl, Love Me or Leave Me, The Joker is Wild, The Swan, She's No Lady, and Blind Alley, delivers Farwell to Arms. The storyline for this picture is amazing, compelling, and dramatic. The characters are very dynamic and the script is excellent. The acting is first rate and the cast includes Rock Hudson, Jennifer Jones, Vittorio De Sica, and Elaine Stritch.

"No one likes to attack."
"I like to attack."

I came across this film on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and decided to give it a chance. I found this film very entertaining and I am surprised this received such bad reviews. I would actually compare this to Anna Karenina. This picture receives a lot of bad reviews because of the performances by Jennifer Jones but I honestly thought she was fine and played the simple girl perfectly. Overall, I feel this is an underrated picture that is definitely worth your time.

"What if she should die?"

Grade: A
½ June 26, 2010
A Farewell to Arms is amazing film. Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones worked well together and had great chemistry. Charles Vidor did a great job bringing the screenplay to the big screen. I enjoyed watching this film because it had a remarkable storyline and characters. A Farewell to Arms is highly recommended.
May 31, 2009
Magnificent scenery but the story is just tragic.
½ April 17, 2008
[size=3]A farewell to Arms[/size]
[size=3]1957[/size]
[size=3]Directed by Charles Vidor[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
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[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]?A Farewell to Arms? is not a good movie in my opinion. The bleak spirit of Hemmingway?s novel is lost in the transition to the silver screen. While the film generally sticks to the events of the novel, (with some minor and major changes at various points) and some of the dialogue is intact. The feelings evoked by the novel?s plaintive and single minded writings are gone. And it has been replaced by a sweeping Hollywood-ized version of ?love?. The lengthy narrative descriptions of landscapes are missing in action as well. The first bit of the novel where Lt. Henry describes tired men marching through the mud has been replaced by a simple ?it was nice?? , by Rock Hudson in his wooden way. To sum up the similarities of the novel and the film is as simple as this: They end beyond the context of events and characters. [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]History tells us that the events of ?A Farewell to Arms? are accurate by dates, and since nearly none of us were there, none of us can testify how accurate A Farewell to Arms is aside from the dates. To me, ?A Farewell to Arms? Is like some small skirmish is being fought with lots of people.The chaos and furious roar of a war just isn?t present. In fact it?s kind of boring and uneventful. There is one fantastic ?war? scene in the film, when the priest stays behind with the wounded and dying in a bombarded building after a general retreat was announced. That particular scene was well constructed. And the scene where the mountain is being bombed, while the explosions are in place and it is very loud a certain intensity is lost due to the overly tame treatment of violence in the film. The amount of extras is impressive but for the most part all they do is march up and down in straight lines.[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3][/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]Among the rose colored hues of this film, a shallow, a drawn out feeling lurks. The feeling is there after the film is finished and it decreased what little enjoyment I did derive from the film. The film is overly long, and wastes stretches of time developing two boring people who you really do not feel that terribly passionate about. In my opinion, ?A Farewell to Arms? marks the beginning of the end of classic ?epics? and blockbusters. Spartacus and Ben Hur came after it and exceeded at being old fashioned entertainment. The full realization of modern American cinema in the 60s was a godsend. Finally, complex characterizations allowed films to expand past ham fisted theatrics with levels of subtlety rare in previous big studio films. This adaptation of ?A Farewell to Arms? is in my opinion more a farewell to the things that held a faithful adaptation of ?A Farewell to Arms? back. Sadly, the novel was never fully realized on screen.[/size]
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