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The best romance movie ever made!
A Farewell to Arms is worth watching for its two stars Helen Hayes and Gary Cooper who are great together and for the cinematography which is strikingly sensual, but the movie's overly slow, uninteresting in many parts and simply way too melodramatic in approach, especially in that ridiculously tragic, over-the-top ending.
Both Cooper and Hayes are believable and you feel for the on-screen couple, and it has a "better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all feel," but the film for some reason still falls flat for me.
Very romantic, love story. Sad ending.
Pretty sappy, but it must have been something back in the day!
Best when Hayes and Cooper are alone on screen. These scenes are romantic and daring in pre-Hayes Code Hollywood. And both actors are splendid. There are many memorable scenes but look out for one as the lovers are walking along the street after Cooper's recovery from his injury. She questions him about his past "lovers" and it is done with wit and maturity.
SPOILER ALERT. Unfortunately we know that Catherine's "sin" cannot go unpunished. Could be compared to Romeo and Juliet plot. Everyone seems to conspire against the lovers, especially his Captain and her so-called "friend" Fergie. I wondered why Catherine had such an unsupportive friend. Her character is far too passive to be an admirable heroine.
The whole movie is very well set up from the beginning, when the pregnant nurse is sent away, Fergie's first words to Frederick bad-mouth men and the Captain's dependency on Lt. Henry for companionship/money is shown. For modern audiences, ending is too long delayed, after Frederick deserts and why he isn't allowed to visit his dying "wife" is unfathomable. And Wagner playing as Catherine dies is just too over-the-top!
Some of the delivery could be better, but as this is relatively early talkie it's an excellent effort at a war romance as well as adapting a Hemingway story.
Unquestionably, this is one of my favorite romance films of all time. The set pieces, gorgeous cinematography, epic scope, and absolutely incredible chemistry between Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes are all just fantastic.
It functions on two levels: an epic romance and a powerful anti-war statement.
There isn't anything else to say, this is an absolute masterpiece.
What must have been a great movie in its day, and is still quite good, but has lost a step or two in with what has come since in the last 80 + years.
Excellent cinematography, though a lot of it is experimental rather than necessary (see: a creative shot from the point of view of a guy moving around on a hospital bed). Good direction & acting.