In seventeenth-century Paris, poet and supreme swordsman Cyrano de Bergerac (José Ferrer) stops a play from being shown because he ostensibly cannot stand the bombastic style of the principal actor, Montfleury (Arthur Blake). An annoyed aristocratic fop, the Vicomte de Valvert (Albert Cavens), provokes him into a duel by tritely insulting Cyrano’s enormous nose. Cyrano first mocks his lack of wit, improvising numerous inventive ways in which Valvert could have phrased it (much to the amusement of the audience). He then composes a ballade for the occasion on the spot and recites it during the sword fight. With the last line, he stabs his opponent.
A Farewell to Arms (1932)
Oliver H.P. Garrett (screenplay)
Gary Cooper as Lieutenant Frederic Henry
Adolphe Menjou as Major Rinaldi
Mary Philips as Helen Ferguson
Jack La Rue as Priest
Blanche Friderici as Head Nurse
Mary Forbes as Miss Van Campen
Gilbert Emery as British Major
Agostino Borgato as Giulio (uncredited)
Tom Ricketts as Count Greffi (uncredited)
A Farewell to Arms is a 1932 American pre-Code romance drama film directed by Frank Borzage. Based on the 1929 semi-autobiographical novel A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, with a screenplay by Oliver H. P. Garrett and Benjamin Glazer, the film is about a tragic romantic love affair between an American ambulance driver and an English nurse in Italy during World War I. The film received Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound, and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Art Direction.
In 1960, the film entered the public domain in the United States because the last claimant, United Artists, did not renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.
On the Italian front during World War I, Lieutenant Frederic Henry (Gary Cooper), an American architect serving as an officer on an ambulance in the Italian Army, delivers some wounded soldiers to a hospital. While out carousing with his friend, Italian Captain Rinaldi (Adolphe Menjou), they are interrupted by a bombing raid. Frederic and English Red Cross nurse Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes), who fled from the nurses’ dormitory in her night clothes, take shelter in the same dark stairwell. The somewhat drunk Frederic makes a poor first impression.
Rinaldi persuades Frederic to go on a double date with him and two nurses, who turn out to be Catherine and her friend Helen Ferguson (Mary Philips), or “Fergie”. During a concert for officers and nurses, Frederic and Catherine walk into the garden, and Catherine reveals that she had been engaged for eight years to a soldier who was killed in battle. Away by themselves, he tries to kiss her and she slaps him, but after they talk more, she asks him to kiss her again. In the darkness, he romantically seduces her, over her resistance, and is taken aback and touched to discover she was a virgin. Frederic tell her he loves her.
In the morning, three ambulances, including Frederic’s, are leaving for what will be known as the Second Battle of the Piave River. Frederic finds Catherine and tells her that he will be away and that he wants her to know that what happened between them was important to him, and that he will survive the battle unscathed. Catherine gives him the St. Anthony medal she wears around her neck. Rinaldi observes all of this, and then enters a major’s office where it is revealed that Rinaldi had orchestrated the separation to prevent Frederic from being with Catherine. The head nurse then suggests sending Catherine back to base, but instead the Major (Gilbert Emery) transfers Catherine to Milan.
The hero, a janitor played by Chaplin, is fired from work for accidentally knocking his bucket of water out the window and onto his boss, the chief banker (Dandy). Meanwhile, one of the junior managers (Dillon) is being threatened with exposure by his bookie for his unpaid gambling debts. Thus the manager decides to steal from the company. He is caught in the act of raiding the vault by the bank secretary (Carruthers) who rings for help. Chaplin comes to the rescue only to be misjudged by the chief banker as the thief. The secretary fingers the manager and Charlie receives a just reward and a handshake for foiling the robbery.