IMDb > The Old Man and the Sea (1990) (TV)

The Old Man and the Sea (1990) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Writers (WGA):
Ernest Hemingway (novel)
Roger O. Hirson (written by)
View company contact information for The Old Man and the Sea on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 March 1990 (USA) See more »
Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. Santiago goes out on his usual fishing trip and makes a huge catch... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Excellent TV Adaptation See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Quinn ... Santiago

Gary Cole ... Tom Pruitt

Patricia Clarkson ... Mary Pruitt

Joe Santos ... Lopez

Valentina Quinn ... Angela

Francesco Quinn ... Santiago as a Young Man

Paul Calderon ... Anderez
Sully Diaz ... Maria

Jaime Tirelli
Raúl Dávila (as Raul Davila)

James McDaniel

Rene Rivera (as René Rivera)
Steven Rodriquez
Manuel E. Santiago ... Gomez (as Manuel Santiago)

Alexis Cruz ... Manolo

Directed by
Jud Taylor 
Writing credits
Ernest Hemingway (novel)

Roger O. Hirson (written by)

Produced by
Norman Foster .... co-producer
Robert E. Fuisz .... producer
Brian Harris .... co-executive producer
Keith Richardson .... co-executive producer
William F. Storke .... executive producer
Original Music by
Bruce Broughton 
Cinematography by
Tony Imi 
Film Editing by
Fredric Steinkamp 
Casting by
Lynn Kressel 
Production Design by
Malcolm Middleton  (as Malcolm J. Middleton)
Art Direction by
Leslie Tomkins  (as Les Tomkins)
Set Decoration by
Ian Whittaker 
Costume Design by
Ann Hollowood 
Makeup Department
Jan Archibald .... chief hair stylist
Christine Beveridge .... chief makeup artist
Production Management
Deena Kraft .... post-production supervisor
Roger Simons .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mark Goddard .... second assistant director
Roger Simons .... first assistant director
Adam Somner .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Terry Apsey .... construction manager
Peter Grant .... props
John New .... carpenter
Mickey Pugh .... property master (as Michael Pugh)
Anthony Rhone .... painter (as Tony Rhone)
Keith Vowles .... dressing props
Mickey Woolfson .... chief dressing props (as Michael Woolfson)
Sound Department
Sam Black .... sound re-recording mixer
Anthony Constantini .... sound re-recording mixer
Stephen Grubbs .... supervising sound editor
Thomas J. Huth .... sound re-recording mixer (as Tom Huth)
John Salter .... boom operator
Peter Sutton .... sound recordist
Brian Risner .... adr editor (uncredited)
Brian Risner .... sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
John Brown .... special effects technician
Neil Corbould .... special effects technician
John Morris .... special effects technician
Peter Notley .... special effects technician
Kevin Welch .... special effects technician
Joss Williams .... special effects supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Bruce Blackman .... electrician
Bob Bridges .... assistant camera
Ian Foster .... focus puller
Ron Lyons .... best boy (as Ronald Lyons)
Bruce Merwin .... assistant camera
Peter Povey .... camera operator: second unit
Luke Quigley .... camera grip
Lee Riding .... generator operator
David Rist .... crane technician
Danny Shelmerdine .... focus puller
Micky Wilson .... supervising electrician (as Michael Wilson)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Daryl Bristow .... wardrobe master
Geoff Lawrence .... wardrobe assistant (as Geoffrey Lawrence)
Editorial Department
Karl F. Steinkamp .... assistant editor (as Karl Steinkamp)
Steven Tabolsky .... apprentice editor
Music Department
Richard C. Allen .... music editor
Mike Ross-Trevor .... music engineer (as Mike Ross)
Paul Talkington .... music coordinator
Other crew
Marilyn Clarke .... continuity
Sidney Feinberg .... legal counsel: Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman (as Sydney Feinberg)
Rosemary Spokes .... production coordinator (as Rose Spokes)
Gareth Tandy .... location manager
Michele Tandy .... production accountant
Jim Walpole .... producer: marlin footage
Betty Williams .... assistant accountant
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Anthony Quinn requested his part as a birthday present (his 75th) from his producer.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Old Man and the Sea (1958)See more »


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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Excellent TV Adaptation, 23 September 2008
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan

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.

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