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Arise, My Love

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Arise, My Love

Arise, My Love
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mitchell Leisen
Produced by Arthur Hornblow Jr.
Written by Billy Wilder
Charles Brackett
Jacques Théry
Based on story 
by Benjamin Glazer, Hans Székely (as John S. Toldy)
Starring Claudette Colbert
Ray Milland
Dennis O'Keefe
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Charles Lang
Edited by Doane Harrison
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • October 16, 1940 (1940-10-16)
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Arise, My Love is a 1940 American romantic comedy film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Mitchell Leisen, written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett and Jacques Théry. The film stars Claudette Colbert, Ray Milland and Dennis O'Keefe. Notable for its interventionist message, it tells the love story of a pilot and lady journalist who meet in the latter days of the Spanish Civil War and follows them through the early days of World War II.[1] Colbert once said that Arise, My Love was her personal favorite film of all the ones she had made.[2][3] [N 1]

Arise, My Love is based on the true story of Harold Edward Dahl. During the Spanish Civil War Dahl, who was fighting as a pilot for the Spanish Republican Air Force, was shot down and taken as prisoner of war. Initially sentenced to death, there were some diplomatic movements to free Dahl. His first wife, Edith Rogers, a known singer of impressive beauty, was said to have visited Francisco Franco herself to plead for his life. He remained in prison until 1940 and then returned to the United States.[5]


American pilot Tom Martin (Ray Milland) is a soldier of fortune who went to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. During the summer of 1939, he is languishing in a prison cell while awaiting execution. Unexpectedly granted a pardon on the morning that he is to face a firing squad, Tom's release has been managed by reporter Augusta "Gusto" Nash (Claudette Colbert), who posed as his wife. When the prison governor learns of the deception, the pair has to run for their lives.

Ending up in Paris, Tom tries, without success, to woe Gusto. When she is sent to Berlin as a correspondent, Tom pursues her with both of them again on the run as Hitler invades Poland. Booking passage on the ill-fated SS Athenia, the ship is torpedoed by a German submarine. After their rescue, Tom joins the RAF while Gusto remains in France as a war correspondent. At the fall of Paris, Tom is reunited with Gusto, and both decide to return home to convince Americans that a real danger awaits.


  • Father Jacinto: "This is my first execution."
  • Tom Martin: "Don't worry, Father, it's mine too."

  • Tom Martin: "You know, it's a funny thing that you of all people should be sitting beside me. You're precisely my type."
  • Augusta Nash: "Mmm-hmm. How long were you in that prison?"

  • Mr. Phillips: "Gusto Nash, you're fired, as of immediately!"
  • Augusta Nash: "Oh, it's not true!"
  • Mr. Phillips: I know it's not true. I just wanted to taste the words. Sheer rapture!"

  • Mr. Phillips: "I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all!"



A Stinson A trimotor was flown by Paul Mantz in Arise, My Love .

Filming for Arise, My Love began on June 24, 1940 on the Paramount lot and lasted until mid-August 1940, with the script continuously updated to incorporate actual events, such as the sinking of the SS Athenia and the signing of the armistice between France and Germany in the Forest of Compiègne. [6] The character of Augusta Nash was, reputedly based on that of Martha Gellhorn.[7]'Dream Lover, composed by Victor Schertzinger, lyrics by Clifford Grey, was sung and hummed by Claudette Colbert. The song was originally introduced in The Love Parade (1929).

A Stinson A trimotor was featured in the film as a Spanish aircraft. Noted aerial coordinator, Paul Mantz flew the aircraft.[8]


Arise, My Love Bosley Crowther, film reviewer for The New York Times considered the film a cynical way to exploit the war in Europe. "... it is simply a synthetic picture which attempts to give consequence to a pleasant April-in-Paris romance by involving it in the realities of war—but a war which is patently conceived by some one who has been reading headlines in California. Miss Colbert and Mr. Milland are very charming when tête-a-tête. But, with Europe going up in flames around them, they are, paradoxically, not so hot. Same goes for the film."[9]


Arise, My Love was adapted as a radio play on the June 8, 1942 episode of Lux Radio Theater with Milland joined by Loretta Young. It was also presented on the June 1, 1946 episode of Academy Award Theater, with Milland reprising his role.[6]

Awards and nominations

Arise, My Love won the Academy Award for Best Story (Benjamin Glazer and Hans Székely), and was nominated for Best Music (Victor Young), Best Cinematography (Charles Lang) and Best Art Direction (Hans Dreier and Robert Usher).[9]



  1. ^ The film's title comes from the Song of Solomon 2:10: "My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one ..."[4]


  1. ^ Paris 1995, p. 124.
  2. ^ "Claudette Colbert, Pure Panache: Biography." Meredy's Place. Retrieved: October 31, 2014.
  3. ^ "Claudette Colbert Biography (1903-1996)." Lenin Imports. Retrieved: October 31, 2014.
  4. ^ Dick 2008, p. 150.
  5. ^ Gustavsson, Håkan. "United States of America: Harold Evans "Whitey" Dahl."Biplane fighter aces, January 20, 2014. Retrieved: October 31, 2014.
  6. ^ a b LoBianco, Lorraine. "Articles: Arise, My Love (1940)." Turner CLassic Movies. Retrieved: October 31, 2014.
  7. ^ Finnie, Moira. "Arise, My Love (1940) on TCM on 4/28." The Skeins, April 28, 2010. Retrieved: October 31, 2014.
  8. ^ Farmer 1984, p. 294.
  9. ^ a b Crowther, Bosley. "Arise My Love (1940); The screen:'Arise My Love' at the Paramount." The New York Times, October 17, 1940.


  • Dick, Bernard F. Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 2008, ISBN 978-1-60473-087-6.
  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: Tab Books Inc., 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Paris, Michael. From the Wright Brothers to Top Gun: Aviation, Nationalism, and Popular Cinema. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-7190-4074-0.

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