A Farewell to Arms

23/11/2017 19:45.
Cert PG

Ernest Hemingway was reported to detest the reproduction of his works on celluloid, and A Farewell to Arms was no exception. Dealing with the subjects of love, illegitimacy and desertion in Italy during WW1, when first released in 1932, the film managed to escape the Hays Code of censorship, only to be severely cut in 1938. At the centre of the story is a tragic love affair between American Lieutenant Henry (Gary Cooper) and English nurse Catherine Berkley (Helen Hayes). “Borzage brought out the essential melodrama of Hemingway’s story while Hemingway gave Borzage some of his richest, most ambiguous characters.” Chris Fennell, CineVue.

Dir: Frank Borzage 85mins USA 1932


  • Excellent film!
  • A classic!
  • What can you say? It was 85 years old ….
  • A great movie – great photography
  • An interesting double bill. Despite the romantic story arc being a bit of a plot convenience in places, this film was worth seeing
  • I loved this film and I loved it that she kept her false eyelashes on right to the end!
  • Another love story with an unhappy ending!
  • A slow start, with restrained ‘biological urges’. The war pageant was impressive
  • Very impressive for such an early sound movie but very unconvincing by today’s standards. Surely Catherine could have had a decent English accent?
  • Universal themes – love, death, war peace
  • Found some of it unbelievable – but maybe just dated
  • Boring
  • Yuk!
  • Were they really able to do night flying then?


A:13, B:13, C:4, D:3, E:0 to give 77% from 80% of those present.