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
Mary Hemingway, who was Ernest Hemingway's fourth wife and widow, plays the blonde tourist at the end of the film. She crosses the street and takes a seat in the café. She has no lines. 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 »
Arguably the best novella ever written gets both a reading from Spencer Tracy and a dramatization - neither of which quite mesh with each other. There is a great deal of unnecessary narration, probably owing to the fact that no one thought Hemingway's words could be improved upon. I wish this movie had been made ten years later, when the sparse style of the prose could have been matched by the sparseness of the period.
All that aside, it's a beautiful movie and Tracy is excellent. You wouldn't think that an old-hand white guy actor would be able to carry off being a old-hand white guy actor doing an old Cuban man without looking silly. But he does, without trying to do anything besides portraying an aging fisherman. This is the key to his performance - he looks so comfortable in the role that you absolutely believe him as that fisherman. One of his greatest roles.
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