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Old Man & the Sea [VHS]

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Quinn, Gary Cole, Patricia Clarkson, Joe Santos, Valentina Quinn
  • Directors: Jud Taylor
  • Writers: Ernest Hemingway, Roger O. Hirson
  • Producers: Brian Harris, Keith Richardson, Norman Foster, Robert E. Fuisz, William F. Storke
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Bfs Entertainment/Mu
  • VHS Release Date: July 1, 1996
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303444369
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,089 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Drama

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Making a movie of some guy fishing for three days appealing to an audience of high school kids is a daunting task. Hemingway's "Old Man" isn't exactly full of action, but kids liked reading the novella mainly because they identified with Santiago's ruminations about life and not being defeated by it. This facet of the story is wonderfully presented by Anthony Quinn in a masterful performance as Santiago.

A nice touch to the story (and one that was lost on most of my students) was including Hemingway as a character in the movie: an unnamed newspaper writer on vacation with his wife and who wants to tell the story of Santiago's struggle. Also some of the effects seem dated (The marlin leaping up in the air looked like it was projected behind Anthony Quinn), and some students laughed at the production values of this 15 year old movie.

That said, most students actually enjoyed seeing the movie, and I think it was presented well and well acted. A good supplement to reading the novella in class.
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Format: DVD
Hemingway's deceptively simple story of an old, out of luck Cuban fisherman's encounter with a marlin is elusive prey for the cinema. Contrary to popular opinion, the first film version with Spencer Tracy isn't that hot, and has a gassy ponderousness and air of fakery about it. Anthony Quinn is more freshly true and this little film also has great close up marlin footage as a compensation. Overall it is not only more authentic, both as to the fish and as to the Cuban setting, but also lighter and brighter. Frankly Quinn beats Tracy by a country mile; he isn't some white liberal worrying about portraying a Cubano with dignity, and gives you a well-rounded performance which admits the character's faults and a certain tendancy to be out of his head. That makes his quest believable and not simply fantastic. Hemingway did actually pick this story up out of real life, but any writer knows that such fact is harder to handle than fiction.

Alas, the film has a few other faults such as poor (old TV) film quality, plus a distracting subplot with a Hemingwayesque writer figure. Yeah, the shot of the old man superimposed with the marlin is funny, but at least has the excuse of being near impossible to avoid. There is no excuse for turning a full moon at sea into a giant searchlight worthy of a prison camp. And then they avoid a great highlight of the book--the night scenes with the sharks!

The subplot is the main problem though. It doesn't finally kill the story, but anyone who has read the novella knows how taut and carefully paced it is between the fisherman's day and night battles, first with the marlin and then with the sharks that devour it. Cutting from that to Mr.
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A Kid's Review on October 7, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
I haven't read the book by Ernest Hemingway and I haven't seen the old movie with Spencer Tracy but I have seen this remake and I loved it! Anthony Quinn is a superb actor and he was excellent in this movie! This movie is most definitely worthy of 5 stars!
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Format: DVD
If you loved the Spencer Tracy version, this will be a great disappointment. Quinn turns in a respectable performance, but it is wooden compared to the Tracy version. The story is also muddled by the repeated insertion of Hemingway himself supposedly observing the story unfold, and then to later write it up. Bottom line, save your money
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Format: DVD
Not much actually happens in this movie: an old man Santiago (Anthony Quinn) has not caught a fish in over eighty trips, goes out for one last trip and catches a huge fish. By doing so, he discovers, perhaps for the first time, the insignificance of human beings in the overall scheme of things. It is a testament to Anthony Quinn's performance in the central role that our interest is sustained; his range of facial expressions is positively wondrous, especially when alone on the boat with no one but himself to talk to. Director Jud Taylor also works hard to develop the spring-and-autumn relationship between Santiago and the boy Anderez (Paul Calderon), which prompts the old man to consider his own behavior as an old men when he believed that he was virtually impregnable. The story has a Hemingwayesque figure in the form of Tom Pruitt (Gary Cole), a writer who cannot leave Santiago's small community until he has discovered for himself just what motivates the old man. This role is a little superfluous, but at least shows why the author himself was interested in such an apparently insignificant story.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Do yourself a favor and stick with Spencer Tracy, especially if you're planning on showing this to a high school audience. My class made it through 30 minutes and then I stopped it, mercifully. I know when to cut my losses.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Excellent adaptation of Hemingway's novella. Quinn is perfect for the role. Even though it's made for TV and the version I saw is not particularly great based on all the HD viewing most people do today...the story and acting are worthwhile. A must for Hemingway lovers.
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Format: DVD
Wow! The original Spencer Tracy verison is a certainly a classic that I have watched many times. My new Anthony Quinn DVD is even better. Depth and understanding of presentation.
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