This disastrous 1996 film by Sir Richard Attenborough was meant to be part of his informal series of movies about great men, including Gandhi
, Cry Freedom
(the Steven Biko story) and Shadowlands
(CS Lewis). In Love and War
is a recounting of young Ernest Hemingway's World War I love affair with Red Cross nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, who was eight years older than he and who became the basis for the Catherine Barkley character in A Farewell to Arms
. O'Donnell is terrible, in a word, and Bullock mostly seems out of sorts when playing someone real. Except for the scene in which Hemingway is introduced, fearlessly making his way to a trench under heavy bombardment, you have no idea that this person O'Donnell "portrays" will eventually change the direction of American literature. For a much better experience, look toward Attenborough's previous works. --Tom Keogh
Richard Attenborough brings the story of Ernest Hemingway's affair with a beautiful nurse during the First World War to the screen. Having conned his way into the Red Cross, 18-year-old Hemingway (Chris O'Donnell) interviews soldiers on the Italian front. When one of them is injured during an attack, Hemingway attempts to carry him to the hospital, but is himself shot in the leg. In hospital, his leg is saved from amputation by nurse Agnes von Kurowsky (Sandra Bullock). The two fall in love, but their relationship comes under strain when Agnes is sent to the front, and finds herself torn between two men after her colleague Dr Carraciolo proposes to her.