Young and restless Nick Adams, the only son of a domineering mother and a weak but noble doctor father, leaves his rural Michigan home to embark on an eventful cross-country journey. He is touched and affected by his encounters with a punch-drunk ex-boxer, a sympathetic telegrapher, and an alcoholic advanceman for a burlesque show. After failing to get a job as reporter in New York, he enlists in the Italian army during World War I as an ambulance driver. His camaraderie with fellow soldiers and a romance with a nurse he meets after being wounded propel him to manhood. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The ten "Nick Adams" stories utilized by screenwriter A.E. Hotchner are "Indian Camp," "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife," "The End of Something," "The Three Day Blow," "The Battler," "A Very Short Story," "In Another Country," "Now I Lay Me," "The Way of the World," and "A Way You'll Never Be." The latter portion of the film set in Italy is drawn from "A Farewell to Arms." See more »
"Ernest Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man" is one of the many motion pictures I saw during my adolescence in one of the cinemas from where I grew up, the colonial part of Panamá city. Somehow I completely forgot what it was about. Last night I sat to check the opening credits for nostalgia reasons. I am not a Franz Waxman specialist, but I instantly said to myself "Waxman...", and instead I ended watching the complete film. I was surprised to find out it is an entertaining road movie, and have no explanation why I could not remember a single scene from it. Maybe I was too young to care about the ideas being voiced, even if they were neither too profound nor developed enough. Maybe Richard Beymer (as Nick Adams), Susan Strasberg and Diane Baker (as his love interests) were neither strong nor charismatic young performers to watch a whole film with them as leads. But I realized that the fine performances by the rest of the cast carry the narration along. In the first act, Arthur Kennedy as Nick's father is very good; then Paul Newman, Juano Hernández, James Dunn, Dan Dailey and Fred Clark give strong support during Nick's trip from Michigan to New York; Ricardo Montalbán and Eli Wallach follow during the third section, and Jessica Tandy does her fine act as a bitter mother (repeated a year later in "The Birds") in the resolution. Thanks to good art direction evoking the first years of the 20th century and beautiful location shooting in Italy and Wisconsin, one can overlook the carelessness of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Lee Garmes here and there, with shadows of the camera and lights equipment all over the place in different scenes. But most of all it is a film dominated by good acting. Martin Ritt was an excellent director of actors and it is quite evident in this film, which also covers some of the social and political issues he would later treat at length in his filmography, mostly in "Hud", "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", "The Front", "Norma Rae", "Sounder", "Conrack", and "Stanley and Iris".
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