The Old Man and the Sea

"Good"

The Old Man and the Sea Review


I can't really think of a better actor to play Hemingway's Santiago than Anthony Quinn, and sure enough he's about the only reason to check out this 1990 TV rendition of The Old Man and the Sea.

Jud Taylor's rendition adds two new characters, an American writer (Gary Cole, with a moustache!) and his wife (Patricia Clarkson, without a moustache), who are lazing about in Cuba while our fisherman is out at sea. Cole is obviously a metaphor for Hemingway himself, and while it does serve to break the monotony of spending the entire movie out on the water, the addition is perplexing and a bit jarring.

The remainder of the film is generally faithful to the book: Santiago fights with an enormous marlin, talking to himself and the fish throughout a three-day adventure. But the fabulous catch is not to be, as the sharks are hungry.

Quinn embodies Santiago well, but, like the book, the end result is on the small side and lacking in grandeur. That's part of what makes the novella a classic: It's a very simple tale with a straightforward story of man vs. nature, with a little self-doubt thrown in. But the telefilm's attempts to liven the story, while understandable, serve mainly to cheapen the work instead of give it more scope. They also feel like unnecessary padding: Probably to pad the film out long enough so it would work as a feature.

Hell, I bet you could read the book in less time than it takes to watch the movie. Remember that, you kids who are looking to bypass your school assignments.



The Old Man and the Sea

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 11th October 1958

Distributed by: WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Production compaines: Leland Hayward Productions, Warner Bros.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Robert E. Fuisz

Starring: as The Old Man, Felipe Pazos as The Boy, as Martin, Don Diamond as Cafe Proprietor

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