Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1943. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Dudley Nichols, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. Cinematography by Ray Rennahan. Produced by Sam Wood. Music by Victor Young. Production Design by William Cameron Menzies. Costume Design by LeVaughn Larson, Pat Williams. Film Editing by John F. Link Sr., Sherman Todd. Academy Awards 1943. Golden Globe Awards 1943.
This wooden adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel might have seemed like an instant classic when originally released in 1943, but today it’s tedious. A story about patriots and foreigners joining the fight during the Spanish Civil War, the film boasts a marvelously energetic performance by Katina Paxinou as rebellious hero Pilar, but other than that the rest of the cast seems to be sleepwalking. Ingrid Bergman’s uninspiring performance in the lead is especially disappointing, particularly since Academy voters decided to nominate her for Best Actress in this dull role instead of her brilliantly subtle work in Casablanca.