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Indyfreak's Movie Reviews (498)

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For Whom the Bell Tolls 
Hemingway inspired classic could use some trimming
2.5/4 stars

A sweeping war epic set during the Spanish Civil War (not many of those) with plenty to like about except for the running time. There's little to justify the nearly 3 hour length. The battle sequences are excellently staged and hold up to the present. Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman do fine together though Bergman's inauthentic Spanish accent does become irritating. Greek actress Katina Paxinou easily gives the best performance as the matriarchal head of a motley guerrilla unit assigned to assist Cooper in blowing up a strategic bridge. She earned that Academy Award. Like I said before, there's stuff to enjoy throughout For Whom The Bell Tolls but the excessive length is just that and some scenes are entirely unnecessary. It does do a good job of illustrating the darker side of conflicts as politically and ideologically charged as the Spanish Civil War in order to set itself apart as an above-average war flick.


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