for whom the bell tolls

Men of five still alive through the raging glow.
Gone insane from the pain that they surely know.

(Metallica)

xcerpts from the 1943 film following Hemingway’s novel. In some aspects, this is a great film, highly symbolic and dramatical, beautiful staging and casting, but still nowhere closed to the book. So read the book here (zipped text file)! It’s said that Hemingway handpicked the actors and actresses himself for the roles, but he greatly disliked the film due to it’s political content removal.

Excerpt 1: The old guerilla man of El Sordo and his last four men make their last stand on a dead-end hilltop. They’re waiting for their fate to come, and the young Joaquin does the praying when the Russian machine gun barrel turns hot on his shoulder as the planes approach: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen!.

…Dying was nothing and he had no picture of it nor fear of it in his mind. But living was a field of grain blowing in the wind on the side of a hill. Living was a hawk in the sky. Living was an earthen jar of water in the dust of the threshing with the grain flailed out and the chaff blowing. Living was a horse between your legs and a carbine under one leg and a hill and a valley and a stream with trees along it and the far side of the valley and the hills beyond…

Excerpt 2: Robert Jordan, severely wounded on the way retreat after the mission, says farewell to his lover María. He stays behind to cover the enemy for others to safely escape. The scene removes the detail of Agustín asks if Jordan need a shot or he can manage himself once left behind. Counting the last minutes of his life, in such moment, one can hear the bell tolling for his soul!

Lieutenant Berrendo, watching the trail, came riding up, his thin face serious and grave. His submachine gun lay across his saddle in the crook of his left arm. Robert Jordan lay behind the tree, holding onto himself very carefully and delicately to keep his hands steady. He was waiting until the officer reached the sunlit place where the first trees of the pine forest joined the green slope of the meadow. He could feel his heart beating against the pine needle floor of the forest.

Robert Jordan, as illustrated on this Vietnamese translate book cover, using a Lewis gun, or just called a mácquina as in the book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five × 5 =