For Whom the Bell Tolls

1943

Adventure / Drama

12
IMDb Rating 7.0

Synopsis


Downloaded 21561 times
7/8/2015 1:19:21 PM

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2.27G
1472*1080
Unrated
English
23.976 /
134 min
P/S 1 / 8
998.40M
976*720
Unrated
English
23.976 /
134 min
P/S 0 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Thomas W. Muther, Jr. (twm-2) 10

Reading some of the comments here left me wondering, in some cases, whether the writers had this film confused with some B-movie potboiler. Some have written scathing contumelies with not a single positive remark to be found. It's amazing how differently two people from the same planet, same culture, can view the same thing. For me, this has always been one of my favorite movies, with very few flaws to be found. Gary Cooper could never be accused here (or anywhere else) of over acting. His style has always been one of understatement. He, in fact, was one of the actors who helped change the style of acting from the theatricality of the silents, to the more realistic method still in vogue today. Here, he is perfectly cast (Hemingway would accept no other)--the quiet, stoic, ruggedly handsome American. Ingrid Bergman is my favorite actress, so it's probably hard for me to be objective, but I feel this is one of her greatest roles, playing the damaged, yet still innocent, Maria (it was, in fact, the role for which Bergman felt she would be most remembered). True, her accent could hardly be mistaken for Spanish, but this seems trivial when this is stacked up against her immense talent as an actress. The criticisms about her appearance have no justification at all, as has been pointed out by others. All Spaniards do not look alike. Ms. Bergman is absolutely radiant, luminous, stunningly beautiful. Her scenes with Coop are wonderful. You can see "Roberto's" interest in her immediately, first of a carnal nature, but increasingly with tenderness and concern. Their's is one of the best love stories on film. The supporting characters are superlative; Akim Tamiroff is fine as the once courageous but now cowardly (and possibly treacherous) Pablo; Vladimir Sokoloff as the lovable aging guide--but where did they find Ms. Paxinou? Her Pilar is a fascinatingly vibrant character, full of grit and valor and indomitable courage, and yet capable of being deeply wounded by the thoughtless actions of a child. She apparently never did another film either before or after this one--just taking her well deserved Oscar and slipping away {Edit (Dec. 2005): I've since discovered that Ms. Paxinou DID appear in a few less prominent films after this one.} It's true that war is not romantic, and the film shows some of the horrors of this enterprise. It is also true that it does to some extent romanticize this war in that it emphasizes the self-sacrifice and courage of these people. In any case, I feel most people will find themselves moved by the sacrifices and **SPOILERS** the doomed romance of the leads. The story has been altered a bit from the wonderful novel, but this is inevitable. Still, it follows it much more closely than most Hollywood filmizations. The scenery is spectacular--the color, the cinematography are top notch, and Victor Young has composed a lush and moving score that wonderfully underscores the action and emotions of the players--his creation being among the best in cinema history. The direction strikes an excellent balance between showing us the details of day to day survival by these hunted insurgents, the suspense of battle, and the growing romance. Some have criticized the dialogue, but I find it quite believable. That last speech of Jordan's and his thoughts right after, have in particular been singled out for scorn. But for me, it is extraordinarily real. He doesn't utter some plasticized ideal of what a parting speech should be--no it's something someone might actually say, filled with simple but heartfelt phrases. Well, dear reader, you simply must see this film. Then judge for yourself whose comments are more accurate--those above, or those who have reviled the film. I know where I'd put my money.

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Reviewed by bkoganbing 9

Ernest Hemingway was most particular about how is work should be portrayed on screen. He had hated the version of A Farewell to Arms that was done ten years earlier. What he did like was Gary Cooper's portrayal of a Hemingway hero. He and Cooper got to be good friends, so he was Papa's first and only choice to be Robert Jordan in For Whom the Bell Tolls. The novel grew out of Hemingway's experience in the Spanish Civil War that raged for almost four years. A number of generals not liking the leftist trend the new Spanish Republic was taking pulled a military coup d'etat. The whole world took sides with the Soviet Union aiding the Republic's defenders and Italy and Germany aiding the Nationalist Generals. The USA was officially neutral, but people had their opinions. Believe it or not many supported the rebelling generals seeing them as upholding traditional Catholic Spain. But some in America organized the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a group of volunteers who fought for the Republic. Some in there were U.S. Communist Party members, but a whole lot were idealists. All of them had a lot of difficulty after World War II, for shall we say being to prematurely anti-Fascist. Gary Cooper plays just such a volunteer and he's got a mission, to blow up a key bridge in the Guadarrama mountains. He makes contact with the guerrilla band of Akim Tamiroff and Katina Paxinou. Of course fighting with them is Ingrid Bergman, so we had some romantic interludes there which steamed up the screen. This was quite a year for Ingrid, she did Casablanca as well that year and her name became synonymous with romance. She was not the first choice here. Director Sam Wood did not like his original leading lady Vera Zorina and replaced her with Bergman who he really wanted in the first place. In fact Wood was a second choice. Paramount originally scheduled this film for Cecil B. DeMille. I'm betting there were some creative differences between DeMille and Papa Hemingway. If this had become a DeMille type film, it would have been a disaster. Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Akim Tamiroff, and Katina Paxinou all got Academy Award nominations. Only Paxinou won the Oscar for this film. A great performance, but also probably a tribute to her refugee status. She had fled her native Greece when the Nazis took over where she was a leading member of their national theater. She accepted her Oscar in memory of her late colleagues there. The only criticism of the film came from those that thought it lingered too long on Cooper and Bergman's romance. Something by the way they were having in real life as well. But Ernest Hemingway liked the film just fine and I think most will as well.

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Reviewed by pae-sk 5

Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, the prelude to WWII, this is one of the great action/adventure films of all time and the best screen adaption of any Hemingway novel. Cooper and Bergman set the sparks flying like Bogie and Bacall, and are sexier on screen without ever taking their clothes off than any of todays red hot lovers stark naked. Coop's hat alone deserves an honorary Oscar for Best Costume. Old pros like Vladimir Sokoloff, Akim Tamiroff and Fortunio Bonanova (whom film buffs will recognise as the opera coach from "Citizen Kane") keep that inimitable Hemingway dialogue moving at a brisk pace and Katina Paxinou, who copped the Best Supporting Actress award, is the embodiment of one of Hem's greatest characters. I have the 156 min version taped off cable and the added footage makes you hungry to see the whole 170 minute version (if it still exists). Don't miss this one. Four stars.

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