For Whom the Bell Tolls - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

For Whom the Bell Tolls Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 8, 2013
Papa picked Coop and Bergman particularly to play his leads (no doubt as swept by Hollywood charisma as anyone) in his tale of an American abroad fighting for his beliefs. Its a good story, like Papa a bit in love with itself, and magnificent simply for the fact that Coop theoretically's the only Anglo around (there ain't many like that). The character player cast all shine. I loved this.
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2011
During the Spanish Civil War, an American mercenary works with a local group of fighters to blow up a bridge.
I've written before that if there's a heaven, it must involve being loved by Natalie Wood. There's no reason not to add Ingrid Bergman to that list. Can you imagine both of them? It's hard enough to get one.
Bergman and Gary Cooper maximize the small amount of time the story dedicates to their love affair, and they make what seems convenient believable.
In typical Hemingway fashion, the story is about manhood and war but also love. And the group of people Cooper's character encounters are all round, interesting characters with complex backstories and intentions. Nobody is villainized, but it's nonetheless clear whom Hemingway respects.
Cooper, whose reserved performance in Pride of the Yankees can't be underestimated, was, I thought, too reserved in this film, especially at the end. I think the film needed an emotional explosion, a last gasp for hope and love in spite of the degradation that surrounded him.
Overall, this is a Hemingway story, so you know it's good, and the three hours goes by quickly.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2009
Some solid performances can't compensate for the extreme overlength of this. An hour's editing could have made this a fine film but it just goes on and on, plus Cooper and Ingrid while individually fine have little chemistry.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2009
My Good Friend from flixster ViVi told me to see this movie, she has become my sweetheart. So many of the movies she has told me about I should have seen years ago, and I have found each one to be exciting. Growing up I never saw many Gary Cooper Films, oh they were on TV just didn't have a interest, that was my lost, these are good films, and his teaming up with Ingrid Bergman is a positive match. For a movie filmed in 1943, these actors were all head of the class during that time. Its an exciting film with a big flair for WWII. They just don't make them like this anymore and there isn't an actor today that can stand up to these actors (Oh you say what about Tom Cruise , PLEASE!). This gets 5 Stars.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2013
Once again, we have the dullness of a Gary Cooper performance ruining an adaptation of Hemingway. Cooper bumbles and fumbles all through the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War providing us with little that is memorable.
August 15, 2007
Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman are a made to order first-rate couple. They make this movie enjoyable. Though not the best of either of their movies, it is one that should be seen and cherished by all!
April 9, 2007
Gary Cooper as the Hemingway hero of the Spanish Civil War. This is the Hollywood version, but not bad given that.
½ February 24, 2006
It can get rather boring at times, but I love Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper far too much to complain.
November 18, 2014
Its politics might be somewhat vague. Nevertheless, it is told with poetry and strength. I have lately been reading "they don't make them like they used to", and films like these prove that such statement is entirely true.
½ November 24, 2013
While not on the level of "similar" classics, this is still a great film worth watching and an ever important history! The only reel downside is the incredible annoying soundtrack that overemphasize in every single scene exactly how you are supposed to feel at that moment.
June 2, 2013
At 170 minutes the first half of the archivally restored version drags on and on; the original theatrical release was trimmed to 134 minutes for good reason. Hemingway was unhappy with both versions, correctly claiming the political context of his novel had been ignored.

Ingrid Bergman in her first role after Casablanca is radiant; a vibrant Katina Paxinou won a well deserved Oscar for her Pilar. Paxinou plays off Cooper well and gives us a tantalizing glimpse of her fiery younger self. The rest of the guerilla band, including the great Akim Tamiroff, unfortunately come off as cartoonish.
½ September 3, 2012
This old book-adaptation was obviously underwhelming but it was still watchable despite its small, cheap visuals and the fact that it overstayed its welcome!
July 22, 2012
great movie - great novel - underrated today
½ May 17, 2012
Gary Cooper can't act and ruins this film. This is a really great American novel and it could have been much better.
October 13, 2011
To much pillow talk between Cooper and Bergman (her hair cut doesn't do her justice).
½ August 30, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

(1943) For Whom The Bells Toll

Based on Ernest Hemingway's book about an American fighter, Gary Cooper fighting alongside the Republic against fascists while in Spain by blowing things up! It wasn't until he was given another assignment to blow up a particular bridge is what 90% of this movie dwells on and while their meets a refugee (Ingrid Bergman)who eventually falls in love with him!

Despite it's running time of 156 minutes, when it was supposed to be 170 minutes, this film still feels quite long and pointless. Viewers can't seem to grasp onto anything memorable what they can't get from other films that consist of similar themes!

2 out of 4
August 29, 2006
March 8, 2011
Some say the that the movie lingered too long on the relationship between Robert & Maria, but I see this as no different from the book. Although the film comes in close to the 3 hour mark it would have been longer if Woods had captured every nuance of Hemmingways text.

Not a bad film and ready for a remake imo... but I feel the book is more satisfying and closer to the knuckle... go read
February 3, 2011
it wants to be an epic film, but it lacks the bravado and determination to do so.
½ October 17, 2010
Absolutely outstanding performances by an incredible cast that includes Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, and Katina Paxinou elevate For Whom The Bell Tolls above the mere melodrama it might have fallen in to otherwise.
It's interesting that Ingrid Bergman herself thought For Whom The Bell Tolls was a superior film to Casablanca. I mean, I don't think Bell is anywhere near the same level as Casablanca, but it does have a lot to offer in terms of its story, character complexity, and tension. There is a problem with the tension, though. Director Sam Wood doesn't always keep the tension as high as I would like, and I did think the story started to lose focus in several places. Even so, there's a lot to admire about this movie and the way it depicts war.
Gary Cooper stars as Robert Jordan, a man who sticks himself in the middle of a civil war and attempts to blow up a bridge. A lot of war films seem to like the idea of blowing up bridges.
I liked For Whom The Bell Tolls, but I thought it got really melodramatic at times. It never went way over the top, but it frequently flirted with the line. It was more or less up to the actors to sell the film, and they did. This is one of very few films I know of that was nominated for an Oscar in all four of the acting categories, and all four of these actors deserved it. Gary Cooper's as strong as always, Ingrid Bergman's impossible to dislike, Akim Tamiroff manages to stand out a lot, and Katina Paxinou probably steals the show. Her performance has come to be one of my all time favorite supporting female performances.
Still, For Whom The Bell Tolls is not what I would call the sturdiest film in terms of structure. I can't say this enough--it does try way too hard with the melodrama a lot.
But that's its biggest problem, and Cooper, Bergman, Tamiroff, and Paxinou are able to make up for that really well.
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