Stacy Keach stars in the title role of this sweeping epic about the life and loves of adventurer, sportsman, war correspondent and Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway.
Stacey Keach does a star turn as "Papa" Hemingway in this 1988 made-for-television saga, working his way through nearly five on-screen hours of womanizing, drinking, and big-game hunting--and even manages to squeeze in time to write a few canon-bound books. Although director Bernhard Sinkel's epic look at the writer suffers from a lethargic pace and highly suspect (read: glamorized) portrayals of such luminaries as Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, the film, based in part on Hemingway's letters, does offer abundant biographical glimpses into Hemingway's fabled history. Keach's portrayal, while well short of inspired, suits the medium, and won him a Golden Globe Award to boot. The film was shot on location around the globe, so Hem enthusiasts will at least be treated to a visual survey of the legendary writer's many habitats. Unfortunately, the extra features on this two-disc set are extraordinarily meager; the "Hemingway Biography" and "Keach on Hemingway" segments are merely a few screens of text outlining a scanty overview of these subjects. Nonetheless, as the only biopic available, Hemingway will no doubt be of interest to insatiable Hemingway and Modern Lit aficionados. But for a livelier, more entertaining look into the writer's life, a beaten paperback copy of A Moveable Feast will do. --Karl Wachter