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The Old Man and the Sea (1958) Poster

Trivia

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Ernest Hemingway himself was initially involved in the production, although the extent of his participation after selling his book was to go marlin fishing off the coast of Peru to try to find a fish suitable for the story. In the end, the producers used a rubber marlin and stock footage of marlin fishing in which Hemingway didn't participate. After seeing the film, Ernest Hemingway expressed his disappointment and said that Spencer Tracy looked less the Cuban peasant fisherman and more the rich old actor that he was. Tracy won an Oscar nomination for the role.
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Mary Hemingway, who was Ernest Hemingway's fourth wife and widow, plays the blonde tourist at the end of the film. She crosses the street and takes a seat in the café. She has no lines.
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Spencer Tracy personally flew to Cuba to meet Ernest Hemingway and get his approval.
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In 1952, Humphrey Bogart attempted to purchase the film rights to Ernest Hemingway's novel through his production company, Santana Productions. Bogart identified strongly with the character of the old man and wanted to play the fisherman in the film project, with Nicholas Ray as the director. Unfortunately, the actor was unsuccessful in securing the film rights, and the film wasn't made until the year following his death, with his close friend Spencer Tracy starring.
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Ernest Hemingway can be seen sitting in the cafe in the final scene. He his wearing a tan baseball cap is talking to other fishermen. This was his movie debut.
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The boy was played by Felipe Pazos Jr., son of the president of the national bank of Cuba, Felipe Pazos, whose signature is on Cuban 1949, and 1960 currency notes.
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Spencer Tracy's Best Actor Oscar nominated performance was the only one in the category not in a Best Picture nominee that year.
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Director John Sturges replaced Fred Zinnemann.
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Spencer Tracy was supposed to lose weight before the shooting of the film, but he did not. He was often drunk at the hotel bar and became paranoid; he felt everyone laughed at him behind his back.
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Producer Leland Hayward begged Jack Warner to release the film in Europe with a good dubbing to optimize the gross. He was afraid a bad dubbing lead the audiences to be reluctant to the movie.
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Anthony Quinn told that John Sturges saw him to the main character but was forced to take Tracy because the latest was a bigger star.
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Ernest Hemingway disliked the boy character; he was not the one he had in mind.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The moment that the old man manages to kill the fish and it finally stops moving, is exactly the 1:00:00 one-hour mark in the film.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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