A Farewell to Arms (1957)


“She’s very strange, very moody, who knows she might even prefer you to me.” – Major Alessandro Rinaldi

Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Dec 2018)

Brief Synopsis – An American medical volunteer during World War I in Italy falls in love with a British nurse working for the Red Cross and they try to find a way to keep their love alive despite being in the midst of a war.

My Take on it – This is a film that I was curious to see ever since I saw the original 1932 version a few years back.

I wondered what they would be able to do with the story to make it even better if they had an additional hour that the previous version lacked.

Unfortunately, the answer is quite simple; they managed to kill the story.

This is a long and drawn out version of the story and it’s actually quite boring throughout instead of gripping and thrilling as one might expect.

There is no chemistry what so ever between the two leads played by Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones.

One would expect that in a love story it would be possible to believe that the characters are in love but here it isn’t quite apparent.

The one standout of the film is Vittorio De Sica who is great in the role of Hudson best friend who is a doctor that he travels with.

He was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here yet didn’t manage to win.

Bottom Line – Really boring film that doesn’t manage to find a way to stay interesting at all. The chemistry between Hudson and Jones is terrible and it’s quite difficult to actually believe that they are suppose to be madly in love with one another.  De Sica is the one standout in this film and deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this performance.  The run time is way too long and even with an extra hour, they don’t come any  where close to being as interesting as the previous version of this film from 1932 managed in just 90 minutes.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #1 – Rock Hudson turned down Sayonara (1957) and Ben-Hur (1959) in order to make this film. He later said this was the biggest mistake of his career. (From IMDB)

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #2 – According to Carlos Baker’s 1969 biography Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story, the Nobel Laureate was informed by Selznick that he would receive a $50,000 bonus from any profits the movie made. Unhappy at Selznick’s nepotistic decision to cast his nearly 40-year-old wife as a character intended to be in her early 20s, he wrote back “If, by some chance your movie, which features the 38-year-old Mrs. Selznick as 24-year-old Catherine Barkley, does succeed in earning $50,000, I suggest that you take all of that money down to the local bank, have it converted to nickels, and then shove them up your ass until they come out your mouth.” (From Wikipedia)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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2 thoughts on “A Farewell to Arms (1957)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1957 |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1957 | MovieRob

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