In this film version of the Ernest Hemingway novel, American Lieutenant Frederick Henry is serving with the Italian Army during World War I. He and Catherine Barkley, a Red Cross nurse, have a passionate affair. Catherine becomes pregnant as Henry is sent off to fight. She writes many letters to Henry - but Henry's "friend", Major Rinaldi, is jealous of their affair, and makes sure her letters never reach him. With her letters unreplied to, Catherine sadly assumes that Henry has forgotten her. In fact, Henry, tired and battle-weary, is trying hard to make his way back to the hospital in Switzerland where she is stationed. When he finally arrives, so does the baby - stillborn, and Catherine is dying.