Joining the partisans as the Spanish Civil War rages, idealistic American schoolteacher Robert Jordan (Cooper) is assigned to destroy a bridge. Linking up with a guerilla troop led by drunken Pedro (Tamiroff) and his steely wife, Pilar (Paxinou), he meets refugee Maria (Bergman), a young woman badly used by enemy soldiers. As he bides his time waiting to complete his mission, Robert finds himself drawn into a torrid affair with the gorgeous peasant.
A splendid adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel, this rousing, romantic adventure tells the tale of a love between a Spanish-born guerilla and an outsider who's joined the cause out of political solidarity. Featuring solid performances by Cooper and the ravishing Bergman — who gets off one of cinema's most famous kissing lines ("I always wondered where the noses went") — Wood's film is an absorbing treat. Katina Paxinou even picked up an Oscar for her fiery performance as de facto rebel leader Pilar. This "Bell" does indeed toll for thee.