The Old Man and the Sea: Movie Version

The Old Man and the Sea: Movie Version

ISBN 978-1-937714-12-3

Study Guide compares the book The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway to the movie The Old Man and the Sea
(1958) This movie version of The Old Man and the Sea matches the book almost perfectly. The differences are minor. The setting, characters, and themes of the book are accurate, and the screenplay is almost word-for-word from the book.


THE MOVIE VERSION OF THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by Ernest Hemingway

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: The Old Man and the Sea (1958) starring Spencer Tracy. Directed by John Sturges. Warner Brothers.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Baseball talk about New York Yankees managers Durocher and McGraw, turtle fishing, turtle eggs and shark liver oil, two flying fish in the dolphin’s stomach, shovelhead sharks, the Miami-bound plane overhead, coast guard search, Santiago’s gift of the marlin’s head and spear, fishermen measuring the 18 foot marlin, Pedrico.

WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
Santiago’s lantern and the fishermen’s lanterns, boys playing baseball, Manolin’s paying 60 cents for takeout food, the girl at the Terrace, the bird perching on Santiago’s finger, rain at sea, the lottery vendor, musicians in the restaurant.

WHAT’S THE SAME?
The patched sail, Santiago’s shack, Terrace restaurant, the dream of lions playing on the beach, the arm-wrestling contest, the warbler, 85 days without a catch, 3 days at sea, the marlin, the shark attacks, the skeleton of the marlin, Santiago’s love of baseball and newspapers and his admiration of Joe DiMaggio, the cat, the woman tourist who thinks the marlin skeleton is a shark.

THE MOVIE: SUMMARY
The following is a scene-by-scene comparison of the movie to the corresponding chapters in the book.

THE MOVIE: CHAPTER 1

OPENING SCENE: The surf washes in on the beach of a fishing village near Havana, Cuba around 1950. (ACCURATE) A narrator reads passages from the novel The Old Man and the Sea. Santiago is an old and expert fisherman who has been fishing in the Gulf Stream all his life. (ACCURATE) Everything about him is old except his eyes which are blue like the sea. (ACCURATE) The sail on the old man’s skiff is patched with flour sacks like a symbol of permanent defeat. (ACCURATE)

Santiago has not caught a fish in 84 days. (ACCURATE) A boy named Manolin had been going to sea with him for the first 40 days. (ACCURATE) Santiago had taught the boy how to fish and the boy loved the old man. (ACCURATE) When the old man caught no fish Manolin’s, father forced him to go on another boat because the old man had salao, meaning the worst kind of bad luck. (ACCURATE) The crew of Manolin’s new boat caught three fish the first week. (ACCURATE)

Manolin still helps Santiago unload his boat at the end of the day. (ACCURATE) Santiago always takes the sail with him to protect it from the dew. (ACCURATE) No one would steal the rest of his gear which he leaves in the skiff. (ACCURATE) Before they go home to the old man’s shack, Manolin asks Santiago if he can treat him to a beer at the Terrace restaurant. (ACCURATE) Manolin walks up to the bar and says “Two beers Martin, please.” (ERROR: In the book Manolin does not say this to Martin, the restaurant owner) A young girl stands behind the bar. (ERROR: Not in the book)

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