15 December 2006 | kieran-wright
Less is more
When I was around 17, I came in from a cold winter's day and became engrossed in a film that was running on the TV. The film? A farewell to arms. I could only have seen the last quarter of the film but the final scene reduced me to tears and it's something I never forgot. Consequently, some 10 years later I managed to track it down on video and was a little disappointed.
What is now obvious to me is that 1) the part I saw had little input from Jennifer Jones; 2) the emotion conveyed by Rock Hudson was deeply touching; 3) the setting was also memorable; 4) it was far too long. When viewing the film in its entirety, it is obviously badly in need of the touch of a good editor, although I was somewhat surprised to recently read that it is actually 2 hours and 32 minutes in length. What is particularly disappointing is that Jennifer Jones was clearly miscast, and yes - we all know why.
However, I have seen this actress in other productions - for example 'Gone to Earth', in which she was simply splendid; but her role in this film was most definitely not the kind of part she excelled in.
This could potentially have been Rock Hudson's finest hour, but as with other epic productions of the time e.g. Cleopatra, the best bits most probably ended up on the cutting room floor; however, that said, I can only think of a handful of films that have imprinted themselves on me like this one.
I would be interested in seeing a re-edited version of this with special features.
7 for at least one standout scene; a superb performance by Rock Hudson and its ability to touch someone.