The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

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An old Cuban fisherman's dry spell is broken when he hooks a gigantic fish that drags him out to sea. Based on Ernest Hemingway's story.


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
The Old Man / Narrator
Felipe Pazos ...
The Boy (as Felipe Pazos Jr.)
Don Diamond ...
Cafe Proprietor
Don Blackman ...
Hand Wrestler
Joey Ray ...
Mary Hemingway ...
Richard Alameda ...
Tony Rosa ...
Carlos Rivero ...
Robert Alderette ...
Mauritz Hugo ...


Now an old man, a lifelong fisherman sets out to sea to ply his trade as he has done all of his life. He's not had much good fortune of late and has gone almost three months without a major catch while others are catching one or even two large marlins every week. Many of the locals make fun of him and some say he's too old now to be fishing but he still loves what he does and is encouraged by a young boy who loves him and has faith in him. On this day he hooks the fish of a lifetime, a marlin that is larger than his skiff. As it slowly pulls him out to sea, the old man reminisces about his past, his successes and the high points of his life. When he does finally manage to land the fish he has to fight off sharks who are feeding on it as he tries to return to his Cuban village. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fisherman | sea | fish | old man | marlin | See All (44) »


SPENCER TRACY in his most suspenseful role...ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S story of Heroism...Defeat...Victory!


Adventure | Drama


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Release Date:

11 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El viejo y el mar  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1952, Humphrey Bogart attempted to purchase the film rights to Ernest Hemingway's novel through his production company, Santana Productions. Bogart identified strongly with the character of the old man and wanted to play the fisherman in the film project, with Nicholas Ray as the director. Unfortunately, the actor was unsuccessful in securing the film rights, and the film wasn't made until the year following his death, with his close friend Spencer Tracy starring. See more »


At 39:32, the boat is seen in front of a curved horizon which should be straight, revealing the shot was taken in a big basin. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003) See more »


Cancion del Pescador
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Nestor Amaral
See more »

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User Reviews

This is an excellent movie. I believe that one should read the book before viewing the movie.
26 July 2002 | by (cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

I read the book again before viewing the movie on video. The book is very short and the movie follows the narration very closely. Some of the narration is dropped, however, in the version I viewed. The fisherman is a lot like many of us as we grow older and it is very heartwarming to see how he faces his tribulations with such a wise philosophy. He does not harbor ill will toward anyone or anything, including the great fish, but accepts life and makes no judgements.

Spencer Tracy provides an excellent portrayal, as usual, of the main character. The boy acted very well and I wondered what his future had in store for him. I wondered if He would be effected by the Cuban Revolution a few years later. I told my wife that it would be interesting if he became a revolutionary if the story continued. It was very interesting to find that in real life, according to the Movie data base biography, his father was an economist and a principal participant in the Cuban Revolution a few years later.

A book well written and a film adaption that presents the story as I imagined it while reading the book.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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