"Overlong," "talky" and "turgid" are three of the words film pundits have used to describe the 1957 film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
. But why take advice from a bunch of sour grapes? After all, the film was the lavish last gasp of Gone With the Wind
producer David O. Selznick, and he spared no expense trying to outdo his magnum opus. Even the soft-focus lens of 1950s Hollywood can't entirely water down Hemingway's saga of star-crossed wartime love, which follows the affair of an Army volunteer (Rock Hudson) and a British nurse (Jennifer Jones). The story casts men as skirt-chasing boozehounds and women as prim and proper housewives who say "darling" a lot, but that's all gravy with 20/20-hindsight goggles and a firm appreciation for Hemingwayisms such as "All thinking men are atheists" and "War is not won by victory." Today at 2, the National World War I Museum (100 West 26th Street, 816-784-1918) presents a free screening of the film.
National World War I Museum
Sat., Nov. 3, 2 p.m., 2007