6 March 2019 | adrian-43767
Meandering script undermines good direction, excellent photography, competent acting
Director Lewis Milestone tries - and succeeds, to some extent - to make ARCH OF TRIUMPH an interesting film. To that end, he is greatly helped by the cinematography, with beautiful chiaroscuros that heighten the oppressive atmosphere, but he is let down by a meandering script, a far cry from Remarque's original novel.
Boyer, normally a middle of the road actor, does well enough here to overshadow even the great Ingrid Bergman (they had been paired together in GASLIGHT, 1944, and she had won an Oscar for that performance). I think that happened because by this point Bergman had already met, and fallen in love with, Roberto Rosselini, and that must have distracted her no end (her character even claims to be Italian, and she speaks Italian toward the end of the film). That emotional upheaval, which was about to have serious consequences for her career, pushing her out of Hollywood for about 8 years, definitely impacted on her acting in this film, and on the latter's quality.
In the end, it is the film's dark atmosphere that stays with you - and that's not much. Still, I am glad I watched it, it is better than many supposedly politically correct movies done today.