The Old Man and the Sea
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Ernest Hemingway's short novel The Old Man and the Sea was probably unfilmable to begin with, but this didn't stop John Sturges from trying to cinematize Hemingway's tight little character study. Spencer Tracy is the Old Man, a Cuban fisherman who tries to haul in a huge fish that he catches far from shore. Tracy's tiny boat is besieged by sharks and by natural elements, but the Old Man stubbornly sticks to his job. In the end, the fish is nothing more than a skeleton, and the Old Man returns to his tiny hovel to "dream about the lions." Spencer Tracy may have been… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film can't do proper justice to the literary masterpiece."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Tracy with a hokey accent floats in a studio tank for what seems like forever."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The 1958 film, made six years after publication of the book, is a faithful adaptation - virtually a word-for-word copy of Hemingway's dialogue and prose - that is not without its faults."
‑ Christopher Lloyd, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"Tracy reading Hemingway's lines...brings to them a simple dignity and nobility that is hard to match."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Talky, but not surprising, since it is based on Hemingway story of old man (Tracy) musing about catching huge fish."
‑ Steve Crum,
More reviews for The Old Man and the Sea on Rotten Tomatoes