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Studio Classics: Set 3 [Fox 75th Anniversary] [4 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

A Farewell to Arms
Farewell to Arms is the second film version of Ernest Hemingway's World War One novel--and also the last film produced by David O. Selznick (Gone with the Wind). Rock Hudson plays an American serving in the Italian Army during the "War to End All Wars". Jennifer Jones is his lover, a Red cross nurse. They have a torrid affair, which results in Jones' pregnancy. As the months pass, Hudson and Jones lose contact with one another, and Jones believes that Hudson has forgotten her. But a battle-weary Hudson finally makes it to Switzerland, where Jones is hospitalized. The baby is stillborn, and Jones dies shortly afterward, murmuring that her death is "a dirty trick." Filmed on a simpler scale in 1932 (with Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes starring), A Farewell to Arms was blown all out of proportion to "epic" stature for the 1957 remake--so much so that its original director, John Huston, quit the film in disgust. Still, the basic love story is touchingly enacted by Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Sun Also Rises
For its time, The Sun Also Rises was a reasonably frank and faithful adaptation of the 1926 Ernest Hemingway novel. Its main concession to Hollywood formula was the casting of star players who were all too old to convincingly portray Hemingway's "Lost Generation" protagonists. Tyrone Power heads the cast as American news correspondent Jake Barnes, who, after incurring a injury in WW I that has rendered him impotent, relocates to Paris to escape his troubles. Barnes links up with several other lost souls, including the nymphomaniacal Lady Brett Ashley (Ava Gardner), irresponsible drunkard Mike Campbell (Errol Flynn) and perennial hangers-on Robert Cohn (Mel Ferrer) and Bill Gorton (Eddie Albert). In their never-ending search for new thrills, Barnes and his cohorts trundle off to Spain, where they participate in the annual Pamplona bull run and act as unofficial "sponsors" of handsome young matador Pedro Romero (played by future film executive Robert Evans). Additionally, Lady Brett pursues a romance with Jake, despite her engagement to the dissolute Campbell. Filmed on location in Pamplona, Paris, Biarritz and Mexico, The Sun Also Rises was budgeted at $5 million; like many "big" pictures of the era, it tended to be hollow and draggy at times. The film's best performance is delivered by Errol Flynn, though it can be argued that, in taking on the role of the hedonistic, hard-drinking, burned-out Mike Campbell, he was merely playing himself. A vastly inferior version of The Sun Also Rises was produced for television in 1984. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Les Miserables
Richard Boleslawski directed this lavish adaptation of Victor Hugo's oft-filmed epic novel. Fredric March stars as Jean Valjean, who is hauled into prison for stealing a loaf of bread. After ten years at hard labor, he escapes from the merciless prison but the years have taken their toll and Valjean is now a hard and embittered man. Valjean regains his compassion after the kindly Bishop Bienveenu (Cedric Harwicke) refuses to prosecute him for the theft of his candlesticks. Under an assumed name, Valjean becomes a widely liked and respected mayor. He devotes his life to helping others and adopts a young girl as his own. But the town's chief of police, Javert (Charles Laughton) is suspicious about the mayor and one day, after Valjean lifts a wagon off of a man, Javert remembers Valjean from his days on the prison galley. Javert sets out to uncover the mayor's true identity, but Valjean beats him to it -- when a man who claims to be Valjean is put on trial, Valjean appears at the court and reveals his secret. But before he is arrested, he escapes with his adopted daughter Cosette (Rochelle Hudson) to Paris. In Paris, he assumes yet another identity. Cosette falls in love with student radical Marius (John Beal) and Javert, assigned to Paris to keep an eye on the revolutionaries, latches onto Valjean's trail once again. As Paris simmers in revolution, Valjean and Javert reveal themselves to each other for a final confrontation. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Les Miserables
Not up to the classic 1935 presentation, this is still an excellent adaptation of Victor Hugo's epic novel. The familiar characters of Valjean and Javert and the agonies of injustice are all portrayed convincingly against a backdrop of 18th century France. ~ Tana Hobart, Rovi

Anna Karenina
This 1948 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was produced in England by Alexander Korda, and released in the US by 20th Century-Fox. Vivien Leigh plays the title role, a 19th-century Russian gentlewoman married to Czarist official Ralph Richardson. Though her marriage is not intolerable, Anna is swept off her feet by dashing young military officer Vronsky, played by Kieron Moore. The ensuing scandal ruins Anna's status in society. Anna Karenina had previously been filmed twice in Hollywood, with both versions starring Greta Garbo. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Rock Hudson
    Rock Hudson - Lt. Frederick Henry
  • Jennifer Jones
    Jennifer Jones - Nurse Catherine Barkley
  • Vittorio De Sica
    Vittorio De Sica - Maj. Alessandro Rinaldi
  • Alberto Sordi
    Alberto Sordi - Father Galli
  • Kurt Kasznar
    Kurt Kasznar - Bonello
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