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A Farewell to Arms


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Product Details

  • Actors: Rock Hudson, Jennifer Jones, Vittorio De Sica, Oskar Homolka, Mercedes McCambridge
  • Directors: Charles Vidor, John Huston
  • Writers: Ben Hecht, Ernest Hemingway, Laurence Stallings
  • Producers: Arthur Fellows, David O. Selznick
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 3.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005
  • Run Time: 152 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007PALN4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,725 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Farewell to Arms" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Set against the backdrop of the Italian front during World War I, an American Army volunteer (Rock Hudson) meets a British nurse (Jennifer Jones) on the eve of the big offensive in the Alps and they fall passionately in love. Torn apart, then reunited, they escape to Switzerland to await the birth of their child - and the tragic conclusion to their once-in-a-lifetime romance. "Moving and realistic" (The Hollywood Reporter), this sweeping epic remains a powerful and emotional experience.

Customer Reviews

Probably at his best looking in this film.
K. Nolting
With their beauty & talent & style of acting, Esther Williams and Rock Hudson would have been a phenomenal pairing on screen!!
Once Upon A Time
I'm not sure how much of this story is really Hemingway's as the movie gets a bit preachy in the end.
H. F. Corbin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By a viewer on February 6, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
When David O. Selznick undertook to remake "A Farewell to Arms" he was hoping to top Gone With the Wind. Needless to say, every movie he made after GWTW would be compared to it and deemed inferior. Most of his films have merit. However, "A Farewell to Arms" is a bona-fide disaster on most counts. David O. Selznick, who broke up Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker, was only concerned with Jones and her portrayal. Unfortunately, Jennifer Jones with her distracting facial contortions (which the director should have kept in check) is terrible in this film right down to the last reel where we have to endure an interminable child birth scene and her subsequent death. "A Farewell to Arms" could have been a superb film. Instead, it is an overlong, talky, mishmash of romanticism between two characters who are portrayed by good actors who have no chemistry between them. Hudson was perfect. He did the best he could under less than ideal circumstances. But Jones is the flaw in this film. A fine actress if directed properly and that twisted mouth and deep voice inflection distracting kept in check, Jones is horribly miscast. At the age of 38 she is certainly too old to be playing Catherine, a 23 year old nurse. She is supposed to be british but her playing is stilted and forced, not to mention over-intense. Even the musical score is unmemorable. No wonder this film failed at the box office. And no wonder David O. Selznick never made another film. He was an anachronism by this time. Skip this one folks unless you are a die hard JOnes and Hudson fan. I recommend "Song of Bernadette", "Portait of Jennie" or "Love Letters" if you want to see Jones at her best!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2006
Format: DVD
I saw this film years ago and was curious to see if it is still worth seeing after 50 years. The movie is beautifully filmed; the panoramic views are spectacular. The evacuation of the Italian Army is extremely well done. Rock Hudson as Lt. Frederick Henry, an American ambulance driver in World War I, proves that he can act in addition to being extremely handsome. He is by far the best thing about the movie. Jennifer Jones does not fair as well. One suspects that she may have gotten the part of Catherine Barkley, an English nurse, because she was married to the producer David O. Selznick of GONE WITH THE WIND fame. She says "darling" way, way too many times. Then there are the 50's censors to deal with. Catherine would never say she was "pregnant," but rather is going to have a baby. Had she not informed us of that, we couldn't have been sure that she and Henry actually went to bed together as she's always buttoned up to her neck in her nurse's uniform although Mr. Hudson does take his shirt off from time to time.

I'm not sure how much of this story is really Hemingway's as the movie gets a bit preachy in the end. Henry keeps talking about that he has been bad. I do not know what he has done that is so wrong. Certainly fleeing from a military court martial where he would have certainly been shot is not a bad thing to have done.

The DVD version has some black and white footage of the premiere of the movie, along with a clip of PHOTOPLAY awards connected with it-- certainly interesting from a historical standpoint.

This is a story that is ripe for a remake. Hemingway's love story is worth repeating.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Phillip O. VINE VOICE on July 4, 2005
Format: DVD
There is no question that David O. Selznick was one of Hollywood's greatest producers - anyone can look at his list credits and see that he was responsible for some of the most memorable films to come out of Hollywood. Following his magnum opus, "Gone With The Wind" in 1939, however, Selznick kept trying to out-do himself, striving to create yet another great film on an epic scale. He did make some wonderful movies following "GWTW" ("Rebecca," "Since You Went Away," "Portrait of Jennie") but many of them (like "Since You Went Away" and "Duel In The Sun") were hurt by his attempts at over producing.

"A Farewell To Arms," which was sadly Selznick's last film, is the prime example of Selznick at his worse - attempting to make a simple war love story into an epic production. The sweeping title credits racing across the screen (just like in "Gone With The Wind") should serve as a warning. While the production is an attractive one (exquisite wide-screen cinematography, beautiful locations, lovely score, etc.), it is not enough to warrant a grand scale for such a simple story. Rock Hudson is simply gorgeous in this film - he had to have been at his peak here. Jennifer Jones, as the love interest, doesn't fare as well. She is a beautiful and talented actress and one of the most interesting women to grace the screen, but she is miscast here. At 36, she is too mature to be playing Hudson's love interest (she is in her young 20s in the book) and their scenes together lack chemistry. The film also suffers from being overlong and padded with scenes that could have been easily left out. Thus we get 30 minutes of lovey-dovey between Jones and Hudson in the Swiss Alps followed by a birth scene that seems to go on forever.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rater25 on October 7, 2010
Format: DVD
This film is as underrated as the book is overrated. Selznick was obviously trying to outproduce his own GONE WITH THE WIND, and as a production, I think he succeeded. The location shooting alone (Cinemascope) is a real advance on the elaborate GWTW studio settings. Seen on a large widescreen, the landscape scenes of northern Italy and Switzerland are second only to being there (and in 1957, they were breathtakingly beautiful). The retreat of the Italian army was the perfect use of the new widescreen and Selznick exploited it fully. The same can be said for the interiors, most of which were shot in actual palazzi which were in existence in 1918. The same deluxe period feel was sought in the decor and costumes - with complete success.

The screenplay is credited to Ben Hecht, considered by many to be the finest writer of Hollywood's Golden Age. As a cohesive narrative, the film holds together better than the vast majority of those made today. Much of the dialogue is interesting. Some of it (particularly the love scenes) is risible and dated. But having just read the novel, I can tell you that nearly all of the dialogue came directly from the book. So if there is any problem with the film, it is that the novel's questionable status as a classic seems to have inhibited the film makers. If you giggle, blame "Papa" Hemingway.

That leaves the acting. Hudson is his handsome, forthright self. Jones gives a variable performance. The early parts of the script gave her little to work with. By the finale, she is giving her considerable all. Her scrunched mouth (was she Renée Zellweger's mother?) was just part of her face and is evident in all her films. The supporting cast of De Sica, McCambridge and Stritch are all excellent.

All in all, the film is one of the most important Hollywood productions of the fifties. If it's not a cinematic masterpiece (and neither is GWTW), we are still very fortunate to have it.
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