For Whom the Bell Tolls ★★

Considering that For Whom the Bell Tolls is so long, there sure isn’t much going on. I was surprised how it kept feeling like the movie was spinning its wheels in the caves as the characters worked out their differences. It wasn’t until halfway through that I realized we wouldn’t actually get to the bridge job until the climax of the film. Therefore, what needs to carry this story is the relationships between the characters. This can work if you have strong actors and enough nuance to the characters to keep it interesting. Sadly, I think this film lacked both. Sure there were a couple of good actors in the cast, but the entire thing centers around Gary Cooper, and he is as bland as white bread. His performance is so flat and uninspiring that I almost felt embarrassed for Ingrid Bergman because she was trying so hard. She is putting everything into her performance, and she is the big bright spot in the film. There is a case of shifting alliance within the story, but that’s about all that the film had as far as intrigue. Most of the time is just spent talking about things that happened in the past, or things that are going to happen in the future, in long flat monologues. By the end I was so disinterested that even the exciting climax wasn’t enough to get me back into the story. It feels like For Whom the Bell Tolls is a story that would be more engaging in its original form as a novel, than it was as presented here.

Ranking on my Flickchart
Loses to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Wins against The Happytime Murders
Loses to Faults
Loses to Gothika
Loses to Eddie the Eagle
Loses to Kings Row
Loses to My Dinner with Andre
Loses to The Bourne Ultimatum
Loses to Sleepless in Seattle
Wins against Mystery Train
Loses to Contagion

For Whom the Bell Tolls ranked 1411 out of 1894 or 25%