In my opinion, the film perhaps of its release date in 1963 is not at least standard for what I expect from a movie, but if you've read the book from Ernest Hemmingway it's pretty interesting watching the shark attacks, the big fish, the man and the boy and other events or protagonists of the whole story.
The visualisation makes the boring story a bit more exciting and the new elements that are implemented like the author Hemmingway itself and other persons not mentioned so directly in the novella surprise everybody who read the book at first in a positive way.
Once one said to me that a film as a visualisation of a novella could never as good as the written form. "The Old Man and the Sea" proves the contrary opinion because this movie simply is better than the original book.
Nevertheless also a good visual form cannot hide a weak story. For whose who have read the novella with pleasure or do like the great actor Anthony Quinn I can recommend the movie version.
Everyone else who don't like calm stories with philosophical background should take another video tape or DVD like "A Land Before Time" or "Predator"!