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The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

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Reviews: 45 user | 9 critic

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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, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

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(novel),
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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The Sea (1958)
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Stars: Ernest Hemingway
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Cast

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

Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El viejo y el mar  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The fin of the first shark is different in shape between surface and underwater shots. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Civil Wars: The Old Man and the 'C' (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Spencer Tracy's turn at Hemingway
5 November 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Ernest Hemingway's books have been filmed by Hollywood with varying degrees of success. Such stars as Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Tyrone Power, Rock Hudson, and Humphrey Bogart have taken a turn at being Hemingway heroes. I guess it was Spencer Tracy's turn to do it now.

I'm not sure that any actor no matter how good they are could keep the audiences attention on him for 90 minutes just alone in a boat, struggling to hook the mother of all marlins. But Spencer Tracy is as good as they get and I'm not sure he did it either. But Tracy ought to be commended for trying, in fact an Oscar nomination came in the way of a commendation.

One thing I will say, Tracy may have been the least vain actor on the screen. When a whole lot of his contemporaries were still doing romantic leads, Tracy let his age and everything else all hang out in this story of an old Cuban fisherman with two passions, baseball and fishing. His favorite ball player, who else but Joe DiMaggio the son of an Italian fisherman. The old man's passion; to go fishing with Joe DiMaggio. Actually in real life, DiMaggio honed his baseball skills to get away from the life his father and the old man led.

Of course there's that epic struggle with the marlin and what happens after. Hemingway goes Melville on us here, the big fish is the old man's white whale. Of course unlike Captain Ahab, it's an individual struggle, Tracy doesn't take a whole crew down with him because of his obsession.

It was a great effort and Tracy and director John Sturges deserve an A for effort here in trying to film an essentially plot less story. I suppose The Old Man and the Sea found an audience with fishermen and Spencer Tracy fans.


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