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A Farewell to Arms

Screening on Film
Recently Restored
Directed by Frank Borzage.
With Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou.
US, 1932, 35mm, black & white, 89 min.
Print source: UCLA

Hemingway’s loosely autobiographical love story between a nurse and an ambulance driver became the great American novel aboutWorld War I almost as soon as it was published in 1928. From Hollywood’s perspective, Frank Borzage was the perfect director for the inevitable film adaptation; he had directed several silent films that counterposed tender love stories to the carnage of World War I. Hemingway, however, felt that Borzage’s style was much too Romantic. While it’s true that the film is more emotional than the restrained novel, Borzage’s version was further burdened by a studio-imposed happy ending and, later, several minutes’ worth of cuts when the film was re-released after the 1934 imposition of the Production Code. This restoration by UCLA restores the original ending and all the censored bits, revealing the power of Borzage’s heartfelt vision. 35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive; preservation funded by the Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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Grand Illusions
The Cinema of World War I

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