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 »


When the boy visits the old man the morning after returning with the fish, the clouds as he walks up the path to the house are in a certain position. When he returns later carrying coffee for the old man, the clouds are in the same position. The scene was shot without the coffee and then immediately with the coffee. See more »


Referenced in Brigitte et Brigitte (1966) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Remarkable work from Tracy, but hardly grand entertainment...
5 February 2008 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

John Sturges directed this reportedly-troubled production, a handsome adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's story about an old salt who wants one last chance to catch a prized fish before he dies. This scenario puts extraordinary demands on lead actor Spencer Tracy, who is forced to hold the screen nearly alone for ninety minutes. Although he manages to ingratiate himself early on to the viewer, one still doesn't know how to take this character--is he likably stubborn or stubbornly foolish? Either way, Hemingway's tale doesn't quite make its mark as rousing cinematic material, however the finish is very satisfying. It gets a helping hand from Dimitri Tiomkin and his score, which won an Oscar. Remade as a TV-movie in 1990 starring Anthony Quinn. ** from ****

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