The story follows Robert Jordan (Gary Cooper), an American demolition expert who lends his unique to the anti-fascist freedom fighters of Spain. Assisting him is a band of warriors that ides the strong-willed Pilar (Katina Paxinou), the dangerously undependable Pablo (Akim Tamiroff) and the lovely, innocent Maria (Ingrid Bergman). As danger mounts, Robert and Maria develop a closeness, an interdependence, that blossoms into one of the screen's greatest love stories. Their passion grows as they approach the hour of judgment - a climactic confrontation neither may survive.
Too long and unconvincing.
- For Whom the Bell Tolls review by MS
It's far too long, the story is confusing, and the love affair is unconvincing. Ingrid Bergman is lovely, but her character is incredibly irritating. There are a few good scenes, but they don't make up for the rest.
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A Very Long Film
- For Whom the Bell Tolls review by Cato
Quite an endurance test this one. Cooper and Bergman strive very hard, and do their best, but the plot lasts for 153 minutes, which apparently was very much reduced as time went on. When you consider that the main reason of the plot was to blow up a bridge, it did take an awfully long time to press that button. However the instant love plot between Gary and Ingmar adds a bit of fire to the story, but even this seems never to have been consecrated. Yes, a long piece of cinema, a bit like this review.