The Last Picture Show

A Farewell to Arms (1932)

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Director :
Writers :
Frank Borzage
Benjamin Glazer (screenplay)
Oliver H.P. Garrett (screenplay)
Cast :
Helen Hayes as Catherine Barkley
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[2]
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.

Plot


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.

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