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Old Man and the Sea

Spencer Tracy , Felipe Pazos , Fred Zinnemann , Henry King    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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The classic Ernest Hemingway novel about man battling nature and the demons within himself is adapted admirably in this 1958 film starring the legendary Spencer Tracy. Playing the fisherman who goes on an intense and futile quest as he contemplates his own nature, Tracy turns in a spellbinding performance of understated power. He plays an itinerant Cuban fisherman whose luck at catching his prey has been poor of late, until he becomes embroiled in an intense pursuit of a giant marlin and in the process must confront his own frailties. Though the visual aspect of the film seems dated, Tracy is more than enough reason to see this effort at bringing one of the modern classics of literature to life on the screen. --Robert Lane

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the old man and the sea review March 28 2004
By madison
Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea is a story about an old sea fisherman and his struggle with a greatest fish he has ever seen. The story takes place on the coast of Cuba in a small fishing village. Due to the fact he has not caught a fish in eighty-four days, his young apprentice is forced to go fish in a more prosperous boat. Although the book seems to have a simple plot, there is a lot of symbolism and the ending was interesting.
Some criticize The Old Man and the Sea for dragging on, but the character development only makes it more interesting to find out what happens. The main character, Santiago, is modest and keeps up hope despite his circumstance. His willingness to keep on, even despite his outcome, is moving.
Hemingway's style of writing also creates a detailed environment. The plot may be too straightforward but what it lacks, it makes up for rich detail. The way Hemingway depicts man's battle with nature makes it a good book to read.
The symbolism in the book is hard to read at first. As the book goes on, Hemingway uses more and more words that link Santiago to Christ and are very hard to miss. During the old man's battle with the fish, fishing cable cuts his palms. When carrying a mast across his shoulders in the village, images of Christ's march to Calgary can be related.
I would suggest this book to almost anyone over fifteen. The book is short (around a hundred pages) and straightforward. Although it has such a simple plot, the symbolism is a little more difficult to understand. Writing in short declarative sentences, Hemingway's style of writing makes it harder to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eighty-Four Straight Days Without A Fish Oct. 27 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Santiago is an aged Cuban fisherman who has not caught any fish for eighty-four straight days. Because he is considered unlucky by the other villagers, the young boy who usually assists Santiago is told by his parents to join a luckier boat which has recently been catching some fish.
On the eighty-fifth day Santiago sets out alone and after a while he hooks a huge marlin. Most of the rest of the movie is about Santiago's struggle with the marlin and his battles with attacking sharks which are trying to eat the big fish. The story is also about Santiago's relationship with the boy who cares for the old man both before and after his epic voyage. The boy is indebted to Santiago for all that he has learned from him about fishing. Santiago is a widower and childless.
Much of the film shows Santiago alone at sea struggling with the marlin. In other words the movie is mostly focused on Spencer Tracy who does an excellent job of holding the viewer's interest.
In spite of Tracy's great performance, however, I still think that Anthony Quinn would have been a better choice for the role of Santiago - except for the fact that Quinn was fifteen years younger than Tracy.
The script closely follows Hemingway's novel which makes the movie even more remarkable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Movie with a Saving The Planet Message. Sept. 11 2002
When I first saw this movie, I thought this was an early save the planet movie. Well In addition to Spencer Tracy's powerful performance as a fisherman trying to catch the Marlan, there is also a lot of natural/wildlife photography in it that serves as the background for the movie and it's quite extensive for a 1958 film. I heard that Hemmingway really enjoyed the outdoor world, well this movie certainly had plenty of the natural world to show of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A mythical cycle! July 2 2004
Hemingway decide to make an apparent simple story when in reality , he would write one of his most emblematic and passionate works.
Santiago is a simple man . In all his life nothing has happened , a flat life in the middle of this fisher community.
Suddenly the fate's call comes for him . 84 days in the sea Ñ twelve weeks without getting any important piece.
This means the unavoidable journey , the invisible conflicy between the man and the nature . You have to realize that the sea has been for this single fisherman a friend and a silent lover and witeness of his miseries and hopeless.
Suddenly he catchs a gorgeous piece; a beauty blue needle fish. His triumph deserved all the hunger since three months he left his home. This means the epic fight. But the long arm of the fate smiled him just for a brief moment , the sharks will appear and the tragedy begins .
Now Santiago has to fight to preserve his piece . The fight is inhuman and awful , he must leave that zone and keep the fish .
More than a fish you've killed a man replies in loud voice our simple man.
When our hero arrives to the coast he's another man . He won the combat and no matter there were no witeness . The life in many times it's capricious , but you must never give up . You must follow your bliss , no matter how high be the prize you pay.
Spencer Tracy made a top knotch performance with this one.
The film keeps its inner force and the spirit of the original novel, since its release forty six years ago.
Watch this movie . It goes far beyond than a simple entertaining !
Dazzling direction and obviously who can fail with a script like this one?
A cult movie !
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Man And The Sea : A review by Chris SA Aug. 18 1997
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
"The Old Man And The Sea" was actually recomended to me by my father. He said that he had read it when he was my age(i'm 15). He was telling me the other day about how he could picture everything from his childhood when he read this book again last month(He is from Cuba). "Everything about this book is so realistic", He told me. From the boats, to the way the town was described to how Santiago and Manolin would leave early in the morning and come back late in the evening. Anyway, myself, This was the best book that I have ever read! I think that it is basically the story of how Santiago persevered and continued to struggle with the great marlin. He didn't give up. I don't know weather that the marlin had him or if he had the marlin, but it did show how Santiago cared for the great fish as he always called it "his brother". END
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good succinct film of Hemingway classic
Hemingway had the luxury of having a big star in his filmed book which meant many critics would see it if not that many people that was the case? Read more
Published 16 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
5.0 out of 5 stars a Classic
What can you say really?. AS good as a book can get on film.Especially for its day. Need three more words.
Published 17 months ago by Jan K. Jesser
3.0 out of 5 stars Hemingway was right...
After the film came out in 1958 Hemingway was quoted as saying Spencer Tracy was "too fat" to play the part. Read more
Published on May 4 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Movie about the Human Spirit
I was 8 years old when my Mother and I went to see this movie. I remember how determined this man was to land a fish, any fish, not just a big one. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2002 by Chet Ragsdale
3.0 out of 5 stars The One That Got Away
My expectations may have been slightly lofty when I viewed the video version of The Old Man and the Sea (1958). Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay
Even though I thought this movie was interesting I found it a little boring. I was hoping it was going to be more of a battle between the old man and the fish. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Spencer Tracy gives a great performance.
In these times where ignorance (high school high is an example) is produced for the public to consume, and special effects are the driving force in many movies, it is very pleasing... Read more
Published on May 18 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful. Return to the meaning of story and spirit.
This is a timeless tale of a passion unbroken by the rust of time. The boy in the movie has a heart so strong in a town so poor. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A great piece of cinema
This movie is a must see. The cimetography is powerful, minus a few outdated special effects during the climax, where some bluescreening is apparent. Read more
Published on Dec 15 1998 by jakacki@uiuc.edu
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