An American fighting in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the anti-fascists falls in love with an innocent young partisan. — Item Type: DVD Movie — Item Rating: NR — Street Date: 09/02/03 — Wide Screen: no — Director Cut: no... more »
Like all War stories, this one ends sadly.
But the acting is awesome, the plot moves along well (although like most old films it does run a bit long) and the dialogue is rich. (My favorite line: (The young girl says she has never been kissed and asks, "Where do the noses go?"
( Although I STILL don't get the poem. I remember we read it for English Lit. Class, and I used this movie to try and explain the meaning. I failed. So don't bother with that, just enjoy the show. )
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A great Hemingway adaptation
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 01/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Hemingway picked Cooper and Bergman for this 1943 film, he couldn't have done better. They're heavenly to look at, and the chemistry between them is palpable. The dialogue has retained the style of the book, and they make it so natural, which is not an easy feat. Set in 1937 Spain, this Civil War story is an action packed adventure, but above all, it's a love story.Terrific cinematography by Ray Rennahan, a good atmospheric score by Victor Young, and a slew of interesting character actors (Katina Paxinou won the Oscar for best supporting actress) back the magnificent leads.
Cooper is not only gorgeous, but gives a subtle, lovely performance, and Bergaman, looking younger than her 29 years with her short, curly hair, is luminous...I love the scene where she gets her first kiss, and says "I always wondered where the noses went".Directed by Sam Wood, who a year earlier had directed one of Cooper's most famous films, "The Pride of the Yankees" (and in '45, was to team again with Cooper and Bergman in "Saratoga Trunk"), did a wonderful job with Hemingway's novel...it stands up to many viewings, and is a must for Cooper and Bergman fans."
INGRID AND GARY FOREVER
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 12/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No doubt about it ! This DVD deserves a perfect 5 (this is the second that I give after ROBOCOP director's cut). 130 minutes of absolute pleasure with actors who were real stars : Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper. The colors are wonderful, the scenery superb and the musical score terrific. But I hear someone out there complaining : Gosh ! It's a 1943 movie, an antiquity. Don't be afraid, you will not be disappointed. There are also in this movie explosions, gunfires and even torrid love scenes. Just observe how Ingrid Bergman plays with her hair in order to seduce Gary and you will forget all the actual little starlets. This story of a three-days love affair during the spain civil war is about idealism, self-sacrifice and hope. Themes that , I agree, are not specially "in" in 1998 but were developed by Ernest Hemingway, one of the best american writers. A healthy DVD in order to clean our eyes and ears."
A Highly Improved Version
Billyjack D'Urberville | USA | 01/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hemingway's acknowledged masterpiece about Spanish Civil War guerillas was censored both in print and in film. In print, the four letter words were cut and stilted pseudo-Spanish substituted. That defect of course remains in this pretty much faithful transmission of the text; it is what gives it a funny archaic sound most do not understand. Also, 2 key scenes were cut from the cinema release, to make the story less "brutal" and to emphasize the romance. These episodes were Pilar's telling of the execution of the fascists in her village, and El Sordo's final stand. Thankfully, this version restores both magnificent scenes, making a much tougher, grittier film that is worthy of Hemingway's realism. One could only rate the prior version 3 stars, at best. This however is a first rate American film now being seen for the first time, 60 years later.
The plot is very simple. An American joins the anti-Franco guerillas in the mountains to help them blow a key bridge. The guerillas suspect him and have their own internal problems. The Yank falls in love with a girl who has been brutalized by the fascists. With pluck he sticks to his mission until the film stops.
The romance was tough going in the book, rather euphemistically treated. You could not deal with that realistically at the time, either; Hemingway's story pushed the limits of its time. Cooper and Bergman made the coupling palatable for an American audience then, and reviews here still attest that it works now. Fine; I visualize it much more differently but am confident that EH's idea still would not sell, albeit for different reasons. In any event the romance provides a plot engine to take one through part of a key historical event of the 20th century. Hemingway got over there as a partisan of the Communist opposition, but the novel was balanced enough to infuriate many prominent American reds in the media of his day.
People should read the book, of course. This film is however, a sincere adaptation and faithful to the spirit of its day. Ultimately, Cooper's signature performance nails just the right tone for this presentation of what critics of the day called "grace under pressure.""
Bergman Steals It
R. A Rubin | Eastern, PA United States | 03/30/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Cooper was a friend of Hemingway and pushed for a script faithful to the book. I must say, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that it is very close to the book plotline. All the characters are fleshed out. Ingrid Bergman played a Spanish girl raped by the fascists after they kill her parents. It's a meaty role, and you would think a blond Swede could never pull it off. Well you don't know young Bergman till you see her as Maria. What a beautiful young actress she was.
All the actors were good repeating Hem's short simple sentences, some of them rather formal in order to simulate a Spanish dialect. If we look back to the Americans that volunteered to fight Franco in 1937, you have to wonder what possessed them to leave their cushy jobs in academia or the arts to get into a bloodbath. Perhaps it was the appeal of Communism, which for so many Depression weary intellectuals looked attractive. The battle between the Republic backed by Stalin versus Franco backed by evil personified, Hitler, it seemed to be a crucible. The rest is pure American romanticism, which has its roots way back, before Huckleberry Finn. "
A Love Story and An Anti-War Film
Rosemary Brunschwyler | Homewood, Alabama, USA | 11/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The more I watch FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS the more I appreciate it. Although the movie drags a bit in places - especially in the beginning - the suspense and action eventually build to a magnificant climax making the wait worthwhile.The film deserves its many Academy Award nominations. Gary Cooper is an excellent choice for Robert Jordan, an idealistic college instructor who joins the loyalist cause as a demolition expert. Ingrid Bergman is so good in the role of the young Maria that it is actually possible to forget that she is Swedish and not Spanish. I can't remember ever seeing much better acting than that of Cooper and Bergman in their final scene together. Of course there are many other memorable moments in this movie such as El Sordo's last stand on a hill against the Fascist forces.Katina Paxinou received an Academy Award for best supporting actress as Pilar who is one of the guerilla leaders and a thoroughly liberated female Gypsy.FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS is faithful to Hemingway's novel. The special effects are excellent for their time. However, the army tanks in particular seem to be very unconvincing.Sam Wood was an outstanding director. He also directed PRIDE OF THE YANKEES and the original GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS with Robert Donat and Greer Garson.Above all FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS is a love story. It is also an anti-war film and a story told mostly about guerillas fighting on the losing side in the Spanish Civil War."