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For Whom The Bell Tolls [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Akim Tamiroff, Arturo de Córdova, Vladimir Sokoloff
  • Directors: Sam Wood
  • Writers: Dudley Nichols, Ernest Hemingway, Jeanie Macpherson, Louis Bromfield
  • Producers: Sam Wood, Buddy G. DeSylva
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Finnish, Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Russian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Nov. 2003
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DC15R
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,178 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

This adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel stars Gary Cooper as Robert Jordan, a demolition expert who journeys to Spain to fight against the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. He becomes involved with a small band of freedom fighters, including the headstrong Pilar (Katina Paxinou), the erratic Pablo (Akim Tamiroff) and the beautiful and innocent Maria (Ingrid Bergman). Against the backdrop of the bloody battle for liberty, Robert and Maria find themselves falling in love. Katina Paxinou won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance.

Synopsis

Ernest Hemingway's 1939 novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, stands among the great pieces of American literature. Sam Wood's direction of the script by Dudley Nichols stars Gary Cooper as Hemingway's pain-ridden, love-torn hero, Robert Jordan, a Montana schoolteacher who risks his life to fight Franco's forces during the Spanish Civil War.Jordan joins a group of Spanish guerrilla fighters whose mission is to blow up a bridge behind enemy lines. Ingrid Bergman plays Maria, a beautiful Spanish refugee who has been rendered mute by the trauma of a rape. Over the course of four days, Maria and Jordan fall head over heels in love, a plotline that subsumes the fighting and the war itself. Still, it is Katina Paxinou as Pilar, the mother hen of the guerrilla troop, who steals the show in her Oscar-winning performance. For Whom the Bell Tolls is not to be missed by any Hemingway fan.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 22 Nov. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
When Hemingway picked Cooper and Bergman for this 1943 film, he could not have done better. They are heavenly to look at, and the chemistry between them is palpable. The dialogue has retained the style of the book, and they make it sound so natural, which is not an easy feat. Set in 1937 Spain, this Civil War story is an action packed adventure, but above all, it is a love story.
Terrific cinematography by Ray Rennahan, a good atmospheric score by Victor Young, and a slew of interesting character actors (Katina Paxinou won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) back the magnificent leads.
Cooper is not only gorgeous, but gives a subtle, lovely performance, and Bergman, looking younger than her 29 years, with short, curly hair, is luminous. I love the scene where she gets her first kiss, and says "I always wondered where the noses went".
Directed by Sam Wood, who a year earlier had directed one of Cooper's most famous films, "The Pride of the Yankees" (and in '45 was to team again with Cooper and Bergman for "Saratoga Trunk"), did a wonderful job with Hemingway's novel...it stands up to many viewings, and is a must for Cooper and Bergman fans.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Black cat on 28 May 2009
Format: DVD
This film has got to be one of the classics,in my opinion.Set in the Spanish civil war,it is a story of love and courage and also high drama.The charectors are hugely engaging in both depth and humour.Many have said it is a dark story,and,partly that is true,but,there is also a great depth to the human emotions on show.The action pieces are even by todays standards are exciting giving more than just cgi+pyrotecnics that seem to dominate todays cinema.
All in all a classic piece of cinema,only one more thing to say-BUY IT!.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Big Al on 20 April 2006
Format: DVD
I bought this for a friend, and to be honest the film didn't do a lot for me, but the real purpose of my review is to alert potential buyers to an oddity about the DVD that could lead them to believing it is faulty. I sent the DVD back to Amazon because the first chapter (supposedly containing the titles etc) appeared to have sound but no vision at all. The replacement was the same. However I let ths one play on and eventually the opening titles appeared. It seems there is a very long empty gap at the beginning where the screen is completely blank. Normally an overture is accompanied by a colour wash or something visual, but not in this case. Beware!
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By bernie VINE VOICE on 31 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD
"Because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore send to know
for who the bell tolls.
It tolls for thee."

Spain 1937. Robert Jordan (Gary Cooper) came to Spain o fight for "The Republic" (a nice way to say for the commies) and against nationalists. He also had a dislike for Germans and Italians. His assignment was to go behind the nationalist lines and blow up a bridge at a strategic moment. There this stoic hero meets a peasant girl (a much too young for Gary, Ingrid Bergman) with a bad haircut and that barely escaped a train ride. They naturally fall in love which complicates things. Will this jeopardize the mission? Do we care?

Along with this we have the classic mixture of characters that you cannot tell if they are the good guys or the bad guys. The two that stand out besides the hero and his girl are Katina Paxinou (sort of a female Antony Quinn) as the doyenne, and Akim Tamiroff as the once good guerilla who may be bad or just self-centered. Who they were and how the acted was quite a predicable formula.

The story is an adoption from the Ernest Hemingway novel. Of course they could not put everything in the story and took a few liberties. We also miss the dialog that people read Hemmingway for.

The initial credits are in some annoying script (Parchment) make it hard to read at a glance.

The Fountainhead [DVD] [1949] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fusgus on 5 Sept. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Another great Hemingway book and fairly faithfully played out on screen, Gary Cooper seemed a little older than he should be as Roberto and Bergman just wrong for me as Maria but that aside the supporting cast are superb, Akim Tamiroff as Pablo and Katina Paxinou as Pilar are brilliant as if they stepped right out of the book. Some forgiveable extra drama to the story in the final battle, and the motorcycle dash to report to General Golz lost the point about internal issues within Republican hierarchy but was still dramatic all the same.
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By byzantian on 13 April 2014
Format: DVD
...marvellous acting from Paxinou and deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner. Beautfully filmed and lovely colours although it's a pity it did not delve a bit wider into the Spanish Civil War. Important to remember this film was made in 1943. Bergmann is slightly OTT in her portrayal of Maria...at times you feel like smacking her in the mouth. The film is also better than the really heavy-going (to me anyway) book, which is slow and laced with 'thee' and 'thous' which, even for the period, seems slightly strange. A great classic movie that is well-worth watching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Douglas J. Warth on 21 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A golden oldie. Many thanks. djW
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harold 1 on 6 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Classic Hemingway, Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman are mesmerizing in this fantastic Spanish war film.

The only strange thing is the blank screen at the start and half way through, when music plays ,which must be the interludes, one assumes?
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