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Farewell to Arms, A


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A Farewell to Arms is a 1932 American romance film drama film directed by Frank Borzage and starring Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, and Adolphe Menjou.< name="nytimes"></> 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 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.</> The original Broadway play starred Glenn Anders and Elissa Landi.


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In his review in The New York Times, Mordaunt Hall wrote, "There is too much sentiment and not enough strength in the pictorial conception of Ernest Hemingway's novel ... the film account skips too quickly from one episode to another and the hardships and other experiences of Lieutenant Henry are passed over too abruptly, being suggested rather than told ... Gary Cooper gives an earnest and splendid portrayal [and] Helen Hayes is admirable as Catherine ... another clever characterization is contributed by Adolphe Menjou ... it is unfortunate that these three players, serving the picture so well, do not have the opportunity to figure in more really dramatic interludes."< name="nytimes-review"></>
Dan Callahan of Slant Magazine notes, "Hemingway ... was grandly contemptuous of Frank Borzage's version of A Farewell to Arms ... but time has been kind to the film. It launders out the writer's ... pessimism and replaces it with a testament to the eternal love between a couple."< name="slant"></>
Time Out London calls it "not only the best film version of a Hemingway novel, but also one of the most thrilling visions of the power of sexual love that even Borzage ever made ... no other director created images like these, using light and movement like brushstrokes, integrating naturalism and a daring expressionism in the same shot. This is romantic melodrama raised to its highest degree."< name="timeout"></>
Channel 4 describes it as "an excellent adaptation ... the two leads are ideal and irresistible here, particularly a reliably sensitive Cooper, who milks his everyman appeal to great effect."

Awards and nominations

The film won two Academy Awards and was nominated for another two:< name="oscars"></>
  • Academy Award for Best Picture (nominee)< name="nytimes"/>
  • Academy Award for Best Art Direction (nominee)
  • Academy Award for Best Cinematography (winner)
  • Academy Award for Sound - Franklin Hansen (winner)

See also

  • List of films in the public domain
  • The House That Shadows Built (1931 promotional film by Paramount with except of film showing Eleanor Boardman, later replaced by Hayes)

  • A Farewell to Arms] on

    Category:1932 films
    Category:1930s romantic drama films
    Category:American films
    Category:American romantic drama films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:English-language films
    Category:Films based on novels
    Category:Films based on works by Ernest Hemingway
    Category:Films directed by Frank Borzage
    Category:Films made before the MPAA Production Code
    Category:Films set in Italy
    Category:Films whose cinematographer won the Best Cinematography Academy Award
    Category:Paramount Pictures films
    Category:War drama films
    Category:War romance films
    Category:World War I films set on the Italian Front
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