Academy Awards 1958 -
Best Original Score: Dimitri Tiomkin
USA Today - 07/19/1996
"...Spencer Tracy stars, narrates and even got an Oscar nomination....Some of James Wong Howe's photography is lovely..."
John Sturges's adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short novel, often regarded as an allegory of the latter part of the writer's career, stars Spencer Tracy as Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman who has been nearly three months without a significant haul. Heaped with ridicule by other fisherman, he once again pushes off in his decrepit ketch, hoping that this trip will finally bring success. After a time at sea he hooks a powerful marlin that drags the man's tiny craft for a couple of days. Santiago engages in an epic battle with the monster, his hands nearly cut to ribbons as he's pushed to the limit of his dwindling strength. At rest during lulls in this war, he has dreams of his stronger and younger self, only to awaken to reality. At length, through guile, experience, and endurance, he lands the hefty marlin with a harpoon and secures him to the side of his boat. But a new danger arises, in the form of a school of hungry sharks that attacks the boat, attempting to seize his catch. Tracy's work is memorable in this stagy adaptation of the well-loved literary work.
Ernest Hemingway's 1952 allegorical tale of an aged Cuban fisherman's epic battle against a huge marlin, followed by his battle to save his catch from the sharks, is brought vividly to life in this John Sturges film.
High Seas |
Personal Triumph |
Theatrical release: October 11, 1958.
Shooting locations: Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Kona, Hawii, Nassau, Bahamas, and Havana, Cuba.
Sturges shot footage of Tracy at sea that was never used.
Cinematographer Floyd Crosby is the father of singer David Crosby.