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Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  17 December 1993 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,208 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 12 critic

Two lonely, retired septuagenarians, an unkempt, hard-drinking Irish sea captain, and a fussy, well-mannered Cuban barber form an uneasy friendship.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Walter
...
Frank
...
Helen Cooney
...
...
Bernice
...
Ned Ryan
Harold Bergman ...
Sleeper
...
Georgia
...
Henry's Dad
Jag Davies ...
Henry
Rudolph X. Herrera ...
Umpire
Persephone Felder ...
Woman in Stands
Stephen G. Anthony ...
Leo Peetes
Greg Paul Meyers ...
Sid Showenstein
Aquilla Owens ...
First Girl in Park
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Storyline

Frank, a retired Irish seaman, and Walter, a retired Cuban barber, are two lonely old men trapped in the emptiness of their own lives. When they meet in a park Frank is able to start a conversation after several attempts. They begin to spend time together and become friends. But because of their different characters they often quarrel with each other and finally seperate after Frank misbehaves to Walter's friend Elaine. Written by Matthias Scheler <tron@lyssa.owl.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...and other lies your friends let you get away with.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brydekamp med Ernest Hemingway  »

Box Office

Gross:

$231,700 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At one of the Little League games, one of the players gets picked off of first base is picked off after taking too big a lead. Leads are prohibited in Little League. See more »

Quotes

Frank: I'm sober enough to know I was drunk.
See more »

Connections

Features Top Hat (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

NENA
Written by Patricio Ballagas
Performed by María Teresa Vera (as Maria Teresa Vera)
Courtesy of Kubaney Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, engaging, thoughtful movie
18 June 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

This movie isn't for everyone. There is little action, no sex, nudity, or violence, no voluptuous bodies, no chase scenes (the fastest anyone goes is on a tandem bicycle), no glitzy special effects. There are very few characters at all; nearly all dialogue comes from the five top billings, and most from the two central characters: the old men played by Duvall and Harris.

Yet it is one of the most engaging and thoughtful films I've seen in a long time. It deals with aging in a realistic way that isn't morose or gruesome, but instead pulls you into the movie as if you're one of the cast who just doesn't happen to have any lines. You are "there" for the entire two hours and you don't want to leave. You quickly care about these people as if they're your own family members, and you move through the movie with them.

Neither do you want to miss a line. The acting is superb all the way around. Duvall's performance is incredible. I didn't come to IMDb today to write a review; I came to see if Duvall won an academy award nomination for his performance. I'm disappointed that this film appears to have won no awards at all. This is probably more a result of the film's poor box office showing than the quality of the movie (it only grossed $231,700, not enough to even pay the crew, let alone the cast). It's a shame that quality films such as this can't draw enough of an audience to be successful, or to even attract enough attention from Academy members for them to even see it and vote on it.

If you didn't know that Duvall was in this film, it might take you awhile to even realize it's him. I can't say enough about it, and am not a good enough movie reviewer to do his performance justice. I hope you'll just trust me on this one and rent this film. It's worth seeing for Duvall's work alone. The rest will be gravy.

But what tasty gravy it is. If you like movies that draw you in and present characters who are real, whom you care about, who change before your eyes in ways you can relate to and understand, then you'll really like this movie. If you like movies that change you a little, that teach you something about life without being at all obvious about it, that don't try to manipulate you, that are sincere, that elicit a range of your emotions without playing you like a cheap fiddle, then you really should see this.

I'm also disappointed in the movie's rating here on IMDb. I notice that the raw numbers are much higher, but the IMDb special formula has adjusted it significantly downward to factor out "the village idiots." While I'm sure there's a good reason for IMDb's secret adjustment formula and that it is appropriate for many situations, I can't imagine that this is the kind of movie for which village idiots would try to stuff the ballot box. Most people who voted for this movie gave it very high ratings--7 to 10--and I'd recommend that you believe them. Wrestling Ernest Hemingway is a quality movie with broad appeal that will leave you feeling very glad you invested two hours in watching it.


28 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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UGH where is the DVD already! phanatic88888
What does the movie have to do with Ernest Hemingway? LyleWood
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Now this is acting as it should be photonoir
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