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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


In Love and War
Directed by Richard Attenborough
Warner Home Video 12/96 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG-13 - graphic war injuries, some sensuality

In Love and War is based on the true story of 19-year-old Ernest Hemingway's affair with his 26-year-old nurse in 1918 during World War I. The great American author memorialized her in A Farewell to Arms.

This drama features Chris O'Donnell as Ernie, an enthusiastic volunteer ambulance driver who is wounded in the leg while paying a visit to the front. Luckily for him, Agnes (Sandra Bullock), a Red Cross nurse, convinces an Italian surgeon not to amputate the young man's leg. When Ernie's infatuation with her becomes clear, she tries to fend him off by calling him "kid." But he's even more persistent.

Agnes, despite being courted by the surgeon, spends an evening with Ernie before his departure to America. He tells his family and friends that they are going to get married. When Agnes changes her mind, he's devastated.

Director Richard Attenborough has made a cautionary tale about the dangers of romantic infatuation. By putting Agnes on a pedestal, Ernest is unable to accept her real flaws. Eventually his love turns to hate.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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