A Farewell to Arms

Synopsis: Frederick Henry, an American serving as a volunteer ambulance driver with the Italian forces in the First World War, is wounded and falls in love with his attending nurse, the British Catherine Barkley. In the midst of war and some intrigue, the pair struggles to stay together and to survive the horrors around them.
Genre: Drama, Romance, War
Production: Fox
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
152 min

When I came back from leave,

everything looked the same...

...except the countryside

was already green.

I saw the old church in a cup

in the hills...

...and the mountains beyond, brown

mountains with green on their slopes.

The war slowed down

during the winter...

...but the troops still marched

with heavy cartridge boxes...

...bulging under their capes...

...as though they were

six months gone with child.

Our unit was stationed in the town

where we had been since autumn.

I was glad the Austrians

seemed to want to come back.

They did not bombard it

to destroy it...

...but only a little, in a military way.


Frederico! We miss you.

- Hi, Bonello.

- Look who's back. Signore lieutenant.

- Car's in good shape? How's this one?

- It's okay.

- Okay, number one.

- Having any trouble with the war?

No. Here in Orsino, the ambulance

company has no trouble with the war.

But up there, the war is bad.

Always bad.

I know how you feel.

Give me my hat

to go play with the girls.

Show me the girls and I go play.

I see nothing's changed.

How are you, Passini?

And you, Aymo.

Still causing trouble?

I, signore lieutenant? It is Passini

who keeps moaning.

You know what he told me

about you yesterday? He said:

"The lieutenant,

he don't come back."

He's wrong. I said

you don't come back...

...because Americans,

they're too smart.

Not all of them, maybe.

Think I'll check in.

Looks like you get along

better without me.

It's better to have an officer

to complain about.

Here, take these things

in signore lieutenant's quarters.

Come in.

Lieutenant Henry

reporting for duty, sir.

You'll never learn. It's not like this.

Like this.

You're back in good time.

We expect to get a road

through the snow in a few weeks.

Then we move.

Glad you're back, lieutenant.

Thank you, Major Stampi.

Your chess has improved, doctor.

God must have heard

my prayers for you.


What do you say, Father, if after

you die you find out there is no God?

I shall keep the bad news

to myself, major.

The papi returns.

Did you have a nice permission?

You're looking well.

Lying is a sin, Father.

Lieutenant Henry looks terrible.

One more kiss and he'd fall apart.

What's new? I hear from Major Stampi

we're almost ready to go.

Yes. Soon we march up the Alps,

down the Alps...

...capture Austria and finish the war.

By God's mercy.

A stubborn fellow.

Two years in war...

...and he still pretends

there is a God of mercy. Coffee?

- No, thanks.

- Did you see much of interest?

- Well, I saw some fine churches.

- From the outside, I hope.

Perhaps someday when you have

the time, you'll enter one.

God is patient.

Tell me, did you go fishing in Abruzzi?

And did you see my family?

I'm sorry, Father.

I meant to go to the Abruzzi...

...but things came up in Naples and...

We'll go together someday.

Perhaps Rini will go with us.

Yes. Unbelievers are sometimes

devout fishermen.

- How are things at the hospital?

- Since you went away, nothing.

Jaundice, pneumonia,

self-inflicted wounds.

And of course, venereal diseases.

Always harder

to evade than enemy bullets.

But tell me, I can wait no longer.

What kind of a time did you have?

- Great.

- Many beautiful girls?

- Enough.

- At your age, I never spoke that word.

I think perhaps we should finish

our game tomorrow, major.

You are a good priest, but still a priest.

- I shall be happy to beat you tomorrow.

- See you tomorrow.

- Frederico.

- So long, Father.

Now, where did you go

and what did you do?

- Tell me everything at once.

- I went everywhere.

Milan, Florence, Rome,

Naples, Taormina.

You talk like a timetable. Where was

the most beautiful adventure?

- Milan.

- Maybe because it was first.

She played the piano beautifully.

There is nothing like talent.

I remember in Verona once,

a lady artist, a contortionist...

Oh, shut up.

I bore my friend, forgive me.

However, I have something of interest.

Here we have a big improvement

in the war situation.

- We have beautiful English girls.

- Wonderful.

Yes, the British have opened

a new hospital near Orsino.

I am now in love with one

of the nurses, Miss Barkley.

I have even thought

of marrying Miss Barkley...

...but I best confess,

she has one drawback:

Her attitude is uncooperative.

You must be slipping.

No, but she is very strange,

very moody.

Who knows, she might even

prefer you to me.

You will meet her tomorrow.

Have you any money?

- Fifty lire?

- In my wallet.

I must make the impression

of a man of sufficient wealth.

You are my great and good friend,

and financial protector.

- Don't overdo it.

- In case I change my mind...

...I will need this for the Villa Rosa.

Poor girls, they have missed me.

- You and 50 lire.

- And you...

Carmelina told me, "If Frederico

does not come back soon...

...we hang the Villa Rosa

in black bunting."

Oh, shut up about dames.

I can see you had

a successful vacation.

Two new ones.

England is a great country.

- Good morning.

- Good morning.

I would like...

Excuse me.

- Miss Barkley? Good morning.

- Good morning, major.

May I present my young American

friend, Lieutenant Frederick Henry.

How do you do?


Isn't it odd for an American

to be in the Italian army?

It's not the army, only the ambulance.

- The ambulance is important service...

- It's very odd, though.

Rate this script:3.0 / 2 votes

Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht (1894–1964) was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist and novelist. A journalist in his youth, he went on to write thirty-five books and some of the most entertaining screenplays and plays in America. He received screen credits, alone or in collaboration, for the stories or screenplays of some seventy films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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