90 Days of Oscar Nominees #41 – For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 41st review of the 90 chosen Films…

“A man fights for what he believes in” – Robert Jordan

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Jan 2018)

Brief Synopsis – An American living in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, is sent on a mission to help the resistance blow up a strategic bridge.

My Take on it – This is one of Ernest Hemingway’s most esteemed novels and the fact that it was adapted into a movie was supposedly a thrill for moviegoers when it came out.

It was such a popular film and that has a lot to do withe the fact that it was made during the midst of World War II and touches upon so many ideals that were seen as being very important at the time.

This film deals with patriotism, loyalty and above all love in the time of war and these themes resonated so well with viewers at the time and still ring true today.

Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman are both great here in the leads because they have great chemistry together.

Some of their scenes together get a bit too melodramatic, but they still work.

The action scenes are done quite well and the story moves along at a nice pace despite the fact that the film is nearly 3 hours long.

They do a fine job of keeping things unpredictable even though certain aspects don’t seem so original now.

The characters are developed quite well and that has partially to do with this film’s length which allows us time to get to know the characters much better as things move along.

Ive never read the novel this is based on, so I have no idea how true to the novel this adaptation really is, but it’s quite an enjoyable film.

Bottom Line – Cooper and Bergman have nice chemistry together but some of the scenes are a bit too melodramatic. The ideas presented here about patriotism, loyalty and love all come across really well. I’ve never read the novel this is based on, so I’m not sure how good of an adaptation this is. The action scenes work well and I really liked the way that eventhough things seem a bit predictable, they keep the story moving at a nice pace allowing the characters to grow on us as we slowly learn more and more about their lives. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Ernest Hemingway told Ingrid Bergman she would have to cut off her hair for the role of Maria, she shot back, “To get that part, I’d cut my head off!” She would rehearse tirelessly until all hours of the night, begging to repeat a scene long after the director was satisfied. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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7 thoughts on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #41 – For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

  1. Only seen this movie once – I should probably have another look. I remember Katina Paxinou (who won an Oscar) and the trains being blown up. Interesting that you pointed out the chemistry between Bergman and Cooper – because Ingrid was Oscar nominated for this role – NOT for another she did in the same year – opposite Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” – although both men were nominated for their respective roles (and both lost – to Paul Lukas for “Watch on the Rhine”), so I guess Ingrid brought out the best in her leading men (the tall – Cooper, and the short – Bogie – who had to wear platform shoes to stay in the same frame with the much taller Bergman).

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