A Farewell to Arms

In cinemas from 30 May 2014

Now beautifully restored by Lobster Films, A Farewell to Arms is released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

A forgotten masterpiece, Frank Borzage’s film of Ernest Hemingway’s novel, published just two years earlier, is both a persuasive picture of the nightmare that was World War One and a deeply affecting tribute to the transcendent power of love.

Sexy and irreverent, Gary Cooper excels as Frederic Henry, an American serving in the Italian ambulance brigade who meets, through his cynical, womanising doctor friend (Adolphe Menjou), Catherine (Helen Hayes), an English nurse whose fiancé died at the Somme. Frederic’s initial attempts to flirt fail to impress Catherine, but war can have an odd way of bringing people together… While the film successfully evokes the horrific carnage, cruel authoritarianism and despair-inducing dimensions of modern mechanised warfare, it centres on the flowering of a relationship so passionate and mutually regenerative that it overcomes even the constraints of time and place. Charles Lang’s fluid, painterly, Oscar-winning cinematography (combining expressionism and incandescence), several truly remarkable montage sequences and the rapt performances all add up to a delirious Romanticism characteristic of Borzage at his best; the extraordinary Liebestod that forms its climax is at once utterly exhilarating and strangely modern.

Geoff Andrew

Venues

From 30 May
BFI Southbank

30 May-5 June
Irish Film Institute, Dublin

5 June
Malvern Theatre

8 June
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith

8 June
Warwick Arts Centre

8 June
Art House, Crouch End

9-11 June
Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy

11 June
Ipswich Film Theatre

21-23 June
The Hippodrome, Bo’ness

13 July
Gulbenkian Canterbury

15 July
The Dukes, Lancaster

15 July
Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries

17 July
The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury

27-30 July
Cornerhouse, Manchester

4 August, 8 August
Eden Court Inverness

7 August
Big Screen Belfast City Hall

10 August
UPP, Oxford

24 August
Errol Flynn Northampton

16 October
Harrow Arts Centre

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