Arch of Triumph (1948 film)

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Arch of Triumph
Film poster
Directed byLewis Milestone
Produced byDavid Lewis
Written byLewis Milestone
Harry Brown
Screenplay byLewis Milestone
Harry Brown
Irwin Shaw (uncredited)
Based onArch of Triumph
by Erich Maria Remarque
StarringIngrid Bergman
Charles Boyer
Charles Laughton
Music byLouis Gruenberg
CinematographyRussell Metty
Edited byDuncan Mansfield
Enterprise Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • February 17, 1948 (1948-02-17) (Miami, Beach, Florida)
  • March 6, 1948 (1948-03-06) (United States)
Running time
120 minutes
133 minutes
(restored version)
CountryUnited States
BudgetUSD 5,000,000[1][2]
Box office$4,250,000[3]
$1.7 million (US rentals)[4]
$4,100,000 (total)[3]

Arch of Triumph is a 1948 American romantic war drama film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer and Charles Laughton. It is based on the 1945 novel Arch of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque, which he wrote during his nine-year exile in the United States.


Pre-World War II Paris is crowded with illegal refugees, trying to evade deportation. One of them is Dr. Ravic (Charles Boyer), who under a false name practices medicine illegally, helping other refugees. He saves Joan Madou (Ingrid Bergman) from committing suicide after the sudden death of her lover. They become involved, but he is deported and she becomes the mistress of a wealthy man, Alex (Stephen Bekassy). All this time Ravic seeks revenge against the Nazi officer Haake (Charles Laughton), with war eventually declared between France and Germany.


Background and production[edit]

The film's name is a reference to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, where the film is set. The rough cut of the film was four hours long, and in reducing it to two hours several actors were cut. Irwin Shaw spent five months writing the screenplay, but quit when Lewis Milestone wanted him to add a love story. Milestone then rewrote the script himself together with Harry Brown. Ingrid Bergman's salary for the part was $175,000 + 25% of net profits.

William Conrad, in just his fourth film, has a small important (uncredited) role, as a policeman.

The MPAA's head of the Production Code Administration at the time, Joseph Breen, made the film's studio tone down the violence in the script. The scene where Ravic kills Haake also included him stuffing Haake in the car's trunk, stripping him naked, burying him and burning his clothes — this was cut from the film. Breen also objected to the murder going unpunished, but relented. Breen's initial objection contradicted the novel which made clear that Haake was a torturer whose many victims included Ravic and a girl he loved.

In 1985, under the same title, the film was remade as a made-for-television movie with Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Ravic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brady, Thomas F. (1 February 1948). "Hollywood Deals - Prospects Brighten for United Artists - Budget Runs Wild and Other Matters". The New York Times. p. X5. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  2. ^ Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3.
  3. ^ a b "Ent's Loan". Variety. 14 July 1948. p. 12. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Top Grossers of 1948". Variety. 5 January 1949. p. 46. Retrieved 29 March 2016.

External links[edit]