During the First World War, an American soldier, Lieutenant Frederic Henry, is serving alongside the Italian army when he meets an English nurse, Catherine Barkley. During action on the front line, Henry is wounded by a mortar shell attempting to get the military ambulances to those men who have sustained injuries and is disappointed to hear that he is being transferred to a hospital tending American soldiers, with no sign of Catherine Barkley when he arrives. However, news comes that nurse Barkley will soon be arriving on a train and when she does and begins tending to his wounds, their relationship blossoms once again, almost where they left off. Just before word comes of his getting posted back into action, Catherine announces that she is pregnant with their child but only days later, Henry catches the 2am train, leaving Catherine behind.
When Henry arrives back amongst the soldiers in Orsino, he is sent to Caporetto where the Italian army are barely holding out against the approaching Germans. Warned to return, Henry, Father Galli and Major Rinaldi continue on and find the town on the verge of being overrun with Galli deciding to remain to assist with those unable to leave. Walking back to what they believe to be safer lands, Rinaldi and Henry come upon a a group of fanatical Italian soldiers who are shooting dead any retreating officers they find. Escaping from the firing squad and running back into Catherine’s arms, they plan both their escape and their leaving behind of the war, aware that, as a deserter, the Italian army will never be far from them. —Thedigitalfix.com
Director Charles Vidor came to prominence at the end of the silent film era. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1900, he worked in motion pictures most of his life, including at least three decades in Hollywood.
Vidor was regarded as a solid craftsman who made the most of what he had to work with, good or bad. With “Cover Girl” (1944), he let Gene Kelly choreograph his own dances. In the Chopin biopic “A Song to Remember” (1945), he lead Cornel Wilde to an Oscar nomination. He’s perhaps most famous for directing “Gilda” (1946) and is credited with helping to make stars out of Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford.
Among his other film successes were “The Bridge” (1929), “The Loves of Carmen” (1948), “Love Me or Leave Me” (1955), “The Swan” (1956), “The Joker Is Wild” (1957) and “A Farewell to Arms” (1957). Vidor served as a Cannes Film Festival jurist in 1958.
In 1959, Vidor was in Vienna directing “A Magic Flame,” a film based on the life of Franz Liszt. Late one evening in… read more
Adventure in many forms is the theme of many of John Huston’s films. His characters are constantly searching for “the stuff that dreams are made of” (the famous closing-line of his debut film The Maltese Falcon). Huston glorified this chase despite its frequent disillusionment and false promise, since it represented a flight from the complacent virtues of ordinary life. Like Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Conrad, Huston regarded civilization as a false surface which thinly veiled a hostile nature. Only those who lived at the edge, on the margins of society were regarded by Huston as fellow travellers. In films as diverse as The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle and Under the Volcano, Huston celebrated men who circled the abyss; characters who are driven to plunge head first into the void.
The son of the great theatre and film actor Walter Huston (who would win an Oscar under his son’s direction for his role in The Treasure of Sierra Madre) and crime journalist Rhea Gore… read more