Frederick Henry (Rock Hudson), 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 British nurse, Catherine Barkley (Jennifer Jones).
In the midst of war and some intrigue, the couple struggles to stay together and to survive the horrors around them.
After the Italian defeat at the battle of Caporetto, Frederick is wrongly accused of being a German spy and sentenced to death. Frederick manages to escape and to cross the border into neutral Switzerland, accompanied by the pregnant Catherine.
The film’s original director, John Huston, was fired after clashing with producer David O. Selznick. The critical and commercial failure of this film caused Selznick to stop producing movies.
The year the movie was released Jennifer Jones and David O. Selznick went to Pamplona to see the traditional bull run. Author Ernest Hemingway was also in town, and when he heard that Selznick was there he said, “I’m going to kill that S.O.B. He ruined my book!”
Lt. Frederick Henry
Major Alessandro Rinaldi
Vittorio De Sica
Miss Van Campen