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Friday, October 07, 2011

An Upcoming Movie: Hemingway & Gellhorn

Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway with unidentified Chinese military officers, Chungking, China, 1941
unknown photographer
(Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)

HBO announces for 2012 Hemingway & Gellhorn, a movie telling the story of one of XXth century most famous literary couples. Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway met in 1936 in a bar in Key West, Florida. She was already a renowned journalist, he was a renowned author. They began a relationship, with on and off episodes. In 1937 they went together in Spain to cover the Civil War.

Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway in Sun Valley, Idaho, at the time of their wedding, November 1940.
The photo was taken for Life magazine. Robert Capa © 2001 by Cornell Capa


They married in 1940. She traveled extensively during WWII, reporting from Finland, Hong Kong, Burma, Singapore and Britain. Lacking official press credentials to witness the D-Day landings, she impersonated a stretcher bearer! She was then among the first journalists to report from Dachau, after the camp was liberated.

In 1945 she asked for divorce. Both were too independent guys, too determined, too strong personalities, to cope each other.

Maria from Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls was partly modeled after Martha Gellhorn: her hair was the golden brow of a grain field.

After their divorce, Martha Gellhorn continued her carrier of war correspondent, covering the Vietnam War, the Six-Day War, civil wars in Central America, the American invasion of Panama. She had to give up when the Bosnian War started: she was already late in her eighties!

Her end was tragic: at 89 she committed suicide, after a long battle with cancer and near total blindness.

Nicole Kidman will play Martha Gellhorn in the movie. Clive Owen will be Hemingway, and David Strathairn will be in the role of John Dos Passos (it was on the Spanish front that Dos Passos and Hemingway broke their friendship, due to divergent political views).

Read also the HBO Greenlights about the movie:





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