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The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 11 October 1958 (USA)
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An old Cuban fisherman's dry spell is broken when he hooks a gigantic fish that drags him out to sea. Based on Ernest Hemingway's story.

Directors:

John Sturges, Henry King (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Ernest Hemingway (novel), Peter Viertel
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... The Old Man / Narrator
Felipe Pazos ... The Boy (as Felipe Pazos Jr.)
Harry Bellaver ... Martin
Don Diamond ... Cafe Proprietor
Don Blackman Don Blackman ... Hand Wrestler
Joey Ray Joey Ray ... Gambler
Mary Hemingway Mary Hemingway ... Tourist
Richard Alameda Richard Alameda ... Gambler
Tony Rosa Tony Rosa ... Gambler
Carlos Rivero Carlos Rivero ... Gambler
Robert Alderette Robert Alderette ... Gambler
Mauritz Hugo ... Gambler
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SPENCER TRACY in his most suspenseful role...ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S story of Heroism...Defeat...Victory!

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der alte Mann und das Meer See more »

Filming Locations:

Casablanca, Havana, Cuba See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spencer Tracy's Best Actor Oscar nominated performance was the only one in the category not in a Best Picture nominee that year. See more »

Goofs

The fin of the first shark is different in shape between surface and underwater shots. See more »

Quotes

The Old Man: Do not blame the hand, it is not the hand's fault
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Cancion del Pescador
(uncredited)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Nestor Amaral
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mediocre presentation of a great story
22 May 2008 | by sme_no_densetsuSee all my reviews

Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" is a classic literary work but it isn't well suited to screen adaptation. This film has some of the necessary ingredients for success but comes up short in several respects.

Spencer Tracy turns in a fine performance as the titular 'old man', one which was rewarded with an Oscar nomination. Felipe Pazos (as the boy), on the other hand, is a dreadful actor and almost drags Tracy's performance down in the scenes that they share. Tracy does double duty as the omniscient narrator as well, though I don't think that it made much sense to delegate that task to the actor playing the main character of the film.

John Sturges seems to have had to cobble together footage from various shoots and locations, resulting in a somewhat haphazard look. Budgetary concerns were likely a part of the problem along with limitations in technology.

Dimitri Tiomkin's score won an Oscar but I didn't think it was that exceptional. Certainly not nearly as memorable as the scores that Elmer Bernstein provided for Sturges's "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape".

While some will undoubtedly find the story boring I think that it is easily the best part of this picture. Behind the simple story of a man and his marlin there are layers upon layers of deeper meaning. I could have done without some of the narration, though, particularly when the same thing could have been conveyed with visuals.

In the end, I give the content of the film high points though the film's technical aspects are riddled with inadequacies. It's worth watching but you should be prepared for some decidedly rough edges.


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