Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. Santiago goes out on his usual fishing trip and makes a huge catch, the biggest of his life. Then a shark attacks and tries to steal his catch. ... See full summary »
Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee ... See full summary »
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
Ernest Hemingway can be seen sitting in the cafe in the final scene. He his wearing a tan baseball cap is talking to other fishermen. This was his movie debut. See more »
(at around 30 mins) There's a white fishing line extending upward from the marlin as it jumps out of the water, which is impossible because Spencer Tracy is sitting at water level. As explained in the end titles, this footage was obtained when a man named Gassell caught a record-sized Marlin at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in Peru. See more »
Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" is a classic literary work
but it isn't well suited to screen adaptation. This film has some of
the necessary ingredients for success but comes up short in several
Spencer Tracy turns in a fine performance as the titular 'old man', one
which was rewarded with an Oscar nomination. Felipe Pazos (as the boy),
on the other hand, is a dreadful actor and almost drags Tracy's
performance down in the scenes that they share. Tracy does double duty
as the omniscient narrator as well, though I don't think that it made
much sense to delegate that task to the actor playing the main
character of the film.
John Sturges seems to have had to cobble together footage from various
shoots and locations, resulting in a somewhat haphazard look. Budgetary
concerns were likely a part of the problem along with limitations in
Dimitri Tiomkin's score won an Oscar but I didn't think it was that
exceptional. Certainly not nearly as memorable as the scores that Elmer
Bernstein provided for Sturges's "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great
While some will undoubtedly find the story boring I think that it is
easily the best part of this picture. Behind the simple story of a man
and his marlin there are layers upon layers of deeper meaning. I could
have done without some of the narration, though, particularly when the
same thing could have been conveyed with visuals.
In the end, I give the content of the film high points though the
film's technical aspects are riddled with inadequacies. It's worth
watching but you should be prepared for some decidedly rough edges.
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