Up 329 this week

The Old Man and the Sea (1990)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  25 March 1990 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 875 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 7 critic

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 »



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 696 titles
created 22 Jan 2012
a list of 243 titles
created 17 Mar 2012
a list of 36 titles
created 29 Mar 2012
a list of 979 titles
created 10 Apr 2012

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Old Man and the Sea (TV Movie 1990)

The Old Man and the Sea (TV Movie 1990) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Old Man and the Sea.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Seven Servants

Director: Daryush Shokof
Stars: Anthony Quinn, David Warner, Sonja Kirchberger
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A coming of age story of a young boy, who is left to live with his grandfather. His grandfather is a famous painter and with fame comes a grand lifestyle with a lot of parties and woman. The boy learns about life, women and sex.

Director: José Antonio de la Loma
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Maud Adams, Ramon Estevez
Oriundi (2000)
Fantasy | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a love story set in Curitiba, Southern Brazil, a patriarch witnesses the crumbling of his life-long family business at the hands of his descendants. Suddenly Sofia appears. Is she from ... See full summary »

Director: Ricardo Bravo
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Paulo Betti, Letícia Spiller
Stradivari (1988)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As a boy the orphan Antonio Stradivari heard for the first time in his life the sound of a violin and he was fascinated by its voice. He tried to construct a violin and attracted the ... See full summary »

Director: Giacomo Battiato
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Stefania Sandrelli, Valérie Kaprisky
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In the Fascist Italy Pre-World War II of Benito Mussolini, the cruel General Rodolfo Graziani is directly assigned by Il Duce to fight in the colonial war in Libya to vanquish the Arab ... See full summary »

Director: Moustapha Akkad
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Biography of the life of Aristotle Onassis, a Greek who rose to become one of the world's most wealthiest men, detailing his rise to power and unhappy marriages.

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Raul Julia, Jane Seymour, Anthony Quinn
Regina Roma (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Jean-Yves Prate
Stars: Ava Gardner, Anthony Quinn, Ray Sharkey
The Killers (2013)
Short | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Set in the 1940s, two hit men grab a bite at a small town diner while waiting for a Swedish boxer to arrive so they can rub him out for a 'friend'.

Director: Alex Chikov
Stars: Lucas Bentley, Brandon Brown, Don Keaton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Jim Kaufman
Stars: Lauren Bacall, Anthony Quinn, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An uptight English writer traveling to Crete on a matter of business finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba.

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An Italian policeman investigates a series of murders involving people in prominent positions. Left behind at each murder scene is a drawing of a salamander. The policeman begins to suspect... See full summary »

Director: Peter Zinner
Stars: Franco Nero, Anthony Quinn, Martin Balsam
The Sea (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Stars: Ernest Hemingway


Complete credited cast:
Tom Pruitt
Mary Pruitt
Sully Diaz ...
Raúl Dávila ...
(as Raul Davila)
(as René Rivera)
Steven Rodriquez
Manuel E. Santiago ...
Gomez (as Manuel Santiago)


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. Santiago battles with the shark for days. He returns to the shore beaten, tattered and torn, and his catch consisting now of mostly bones. Written by Jason Ihle <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fishing | old man | marlin | cuban | boat | See All (9) »




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az öreg halász és a tenger  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

See  »

Did You Know?


Anthony Quinn requested his part as a birthday present (his 75th) from his producer. See more »


Version of The Old Man and the Sea (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Excellent TV Adaptation
23 September 2008 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Anthony Quinn makes a much better Santiago than Spencer Tracey did, and director Jud Taylor and screenwriter Roger Hirson manage to make the right decisions regarding editing and plot, distilling Hemingway's simple, powerful, story to its fundamental human elements and adding elements of characterization which a more 'faithful' adaptation would have missed.

It is remarkable that this film was made for television broadcast. It sports a cast and a pedigree well above the typical TV movie of its time, and - with a little more budget - would have made a fine big screen film.

Santiago is an old man in a small fishing village in Cuba. Some of the local men feel that his failure to catch fish for the last 84 days has brought a curse on the village, and they long for his retirement. Others, including Santiago himself, simply believe that he has had a run of bad luck. Inspired by a young man who worships the kindly old fishermen, a respectful innkeeper, and indirectly, by the sympathetic sentiments of a foreign writer (Tom Pruitt played by Gary Cole) staying in the village, Santiago begins what may be his final voyage out to sea, in search of a big catch.

Hemingway's story is one of many where the great writer expounds on his unusually sensitive and intelligent views of masculine ideals. In this adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea, however, Hemingway's tendency to diminish female roles in order to make room for men - thankfully - does not come through. Instead, the production team decided to add relationships (such as Santiago and his daughter) which nicely embellish the development of the central character as a passionately independent man who nonetheless loves those around him despite their refusal to understand him (except for his protégé, the young fisherman). The film also nicely touches on issues of aging.

Tom Pruitt (Gary Cole), is - basically - Hemingway. And this character interprets the old man for us, but subtly, and only as he learns from the example the old man sets - never as an omniscient god-figure who creates and sees clearly. As such, Pruitt and his lover (Patricia Clarkson) reveal something intimate about Hemingway's famously tortured relationship with his craft.

The story is shot and edited exactly as it should have been, and the feeling of Hemingway's story is much better developed than in the previous Oscar winning Spencer Tracey version. This is true despite the fact that Taylor's film strays much further from the original Hemingway story.

The film depicts a man struggling with the sea, a crisis of self-confidence, and accusations of uselessness - but who never once loses sight of his prospects and inner strength. The dignity of the character is very admirable, and Anthony Quinn's performance is mesmerizing. Quinn pours his soul into Santiago - and it is clear that the great actor understood his character perfectly. Excellent support is provided by Patricia Clarkson and a very good but largely unknown Latin American cast) Unfortunately, Gary Cole's portrayal of Hemingway is not one of his better efforts and some of his scenes are unconvincing.

Recommended for Hemingway and Quinn fans - but not for purists. Recommended for patient fans of human drama. Not recommended for people with limited attention spans.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
are the sharks real? sameheartcircle
Discuss The Old Man and the Sea (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: