An old Cuban fisherman's dry spell is broken when he hooks a gigantic fish that drags him out to sea.


John Sturges, Fred Zinnemann (uncredited)


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





Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... The Old Man / Narrator
Felipe Pazos ... The Boy (as Felipe Pazos Jr.)
Harry Bellaver ... The Cafe Owner


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


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


Adventure | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Spencer Tracy flew to Cuba from Los Angeles to meet Ernest Hemingway and get his approval as Santiago. See more »


(at around 30 mins) There's a white fishing line extending upward from the marlin as it jumps out of the water, which is impossible because Spencer Tracy is sitting at water level. As explained in the end titles, this footage was obtained when Alfred C. Glassell Jr. caught a record-sized marlin at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in Peru. See more »


The Old Man: Stay awake and steer. You still may have some luck. I would like to buy some...... if there is a place where they sell it. What would I buy it with? A lost harpoon? A broken knife? Two bad hands?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The only opening credit is the following: Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. The cast and crew all appear in the closing credits. There were only three cast members named and are listed in the following order: Felipe Pazos Jr., Harry Bellaver, Spencer Tracy. See more »


Referenced in Arrested Development: Hand to God (2005) See more »


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

User Reviews

" There was a time when the old man didn't worry about luck "
2 October 2008 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

From the brilliant literally mind of Earnest Hemmingway, comes the touching story of " The Old Man and The Sea ". Spencer Tracy, plays The Old Man and his fine acting in this movie, garnered him an Oscar nomination in 1958. Tracy stars in the film and narrates the story. One follows attentively as he tells his tale of the Old Cuban and the native boy. Felipe Pazos plays the Boy and the two become life long friends. The simple quest of the Old Fishman to go out into the vast ocean in his little skiff to bring back enough fish to eat is a daily chore. What transpires is that many days go by without the Old Man catching anything at all. When the boy reminds him, he can bring the old man some luck, the old man prays earnestly to catch something worthy of his life at sea. When his prayer is answered, the old man is unsure of his amazing luck. The 'Catch of a Lifetime ' sends the old man into a retrospect of his life and it's recollection become the heart of the story. This is one of those stories where, the right actor was chosen to bring life to the novel and succeeded. A great film which has become a Classic to any who enjoy a great movie. ****

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Release Date:

11 October 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Old Man and the Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

Casablanca, Havana, Cuba See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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