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364 Ratings

A Farewell to Arms

Directed by Frank Borzage
United States, 1932
Drama, Romance, War


A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley during World War I. The action takes place in Italy and the two fall in love during the war and will stop at nothing to be together. The film also analyses Lt. Henry’s feelings on war and the purpose of fighting.

Our take

What a strange and utterly magical combo: the snub-nosed manly prose of Hemingway meeting the deeply sincere erotic romanticism of undervalued Hollywood master Frank Borzage. Starring a dreamily handsome Gary Cooper, this tops our list of all time great war films, pre-Code pictures, and romances.

A Farewell to Arms Directed by Frank Borzage

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1934 | 2 wins including: Best Cinematography

1934 | 2 nominations including: Best Picture

National Board of Review

1932 | Winner: Top Ten Films

Critics reviews

Much of the film’s final third is given over to wild montage, conveying the horrors of war through expressionistic mise-en-scène and symbolic bombardment. The ending is Wagnerian, featuring a white bedsheet as both bridal train and burial shroud, the pealing of church bells and the flight of white doves.
May 29, 2014
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