Don't see why The Old Man and the Sea is a classic

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Van Patton, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. Van Patton

    Van Patton Second Unit

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    We've been watching this movie in English class and I am bored to tears with it. It just seems like a boring story with boring characters. I'm not quite sure how the small Cuban child fits in either. Anybody else side with me?
     
  2. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Yeah, Hemingway wrote a bunch of crap about stupid stuff like fish, cows, and elephants. [​IMG]
     
  3. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    Jeez, not to sound like an old man or anything, but when I was in high school we actually had to read Hemingway. How do public schools get away with this kind of stuff?
     
  4. Jon Sheedy

    Jon Sheedy Stunt Coordinator

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    Van Patton....read the story. The film, while quite good, can never do this tale justice. One of those books that simply does not translate well to film.

    Ken....man, I couldn't agree more about the public schools! I can see them showing a film now and again (especially AFTER the class has read the book), but they seem to be just taking the easy way out and popping in a video whenever they should be making efforts to get kids to READ the story!!! I put it down to laziness on the part of the teachers...which certainly helps make the kids themselves more lazy (hey, why in the hell read anything when you can just pop in the movie?). My own son thinks I'm a hardass because I'm constantly wigging out at the way his teachers are teaching him....they usually watch and rarely read. I seriously question the intelligence and committment of an English teacher who opts to pop in a video rather than have the class read, of all things, Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea! I've yet to see a film adaption so good that it improved your spelling, writing and reading skills, or taught sentence structure and narrative technique.
     
  5. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    You know, Justin, I don't think Van said anything about Hemingway's writing ability. He simply stated his opinion that he found the film boring. At least he's honest. I don't see the denefit of demeaning his valid opinion by the heavyheanded use of sarcasm.

    Van: Have you read Hemingway's novel? It's not very long at all. In written form, the story is a lot more tense and moody. Although the movie is good, it cannot completely recreate the atmosphere of a cerebral work such as this. Give the novel a try, then watch the film again. Understanding the mood Hemingway set up may increase your enjoyment. Or it may not. And don't worry about being bored by the film. There are many films considered "classics" by the general cinephile populace, yet I find myself battling narcolepsy throughout their runtime.
     
  6. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    You know, John, here's what Van Patton wrote about Hemingway's writing ability:

    "It just seems like a boring story with boring characters."

    I think my response to this is appropriate.

    "We've been watching this movie in English class and I am bored to tears with it."

    Based on the fact that Van Patton has been watching this film in an English class, I would assume he read the novella as well, and this would further justify my response. Of course if the teacher decided to forgo the novella in favor of the film, this would merely reinforce my opinion on the current state of public educaton, and I would then tell Van Patton that, while the film is quite good with an excellent Spencer Tracy performance and a superb Dimitri Tiomkin score, Hemingway's novella is superior.
     
  7. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    I remember reading "The Old Man And The Sea" in school while I didn't think it was great I didn't think it was bad, but I was IMO just a kid who really didn't get writers then. I don't remember the story very well but it doesn't seem like a book a HS kid would like.

    Now that I am 26 I have a diffrent outlook on human nature and things that men/women deal with so I think I would appretiate the book even more now.
     
  8. Jacob_St

    Jacob_St Second Unit

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    I remember being forced to read this back in high school. The entire class (including me) found it boring and pointless. I'm not sure if I'd still feel that way now but as a teen it didn't interest me at all. This coming from a kid who read HG Wells, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe for entertainment back in highschool. I don't think the book was written for teenagers and I feel the saracasm towards the original poster was unnecessary. No one HAS to like a book or a movie because it's held in high regard.
     
  9. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    I would have thought that with the cynicism of today, this book would ring more true than ever. Let's face it, it isn't exactly a happy ending type story.
    But, like most good stories, the story isn't really the story, if you know why I mean. In other words, he's not really battling the fish. [​IMG]
    The elegance of Hemingway, particularly THAT book, is in the simplicity of the prose. Even the title is so straightforward and simple in its description.
    If you don't like The Old Man and the Sea, I'd suggest not reading the Nick Adams stories (about a guy who fly fishes).
    I can agree with Van that the movie isn't really a great film, although Sturges and Tracy do about as well with it as can be done. The late, great Anthony Quinn took an admirable crack at it too, more recently, but it's just not an easily translated piece.
     
  10. Chauncey_G

    Chauncey_G Second Unit

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    For what it's worth, the animated IMAX short of "Old Man and the Sea" was pretty cool. If it's out there, I'd recommend taking a look (it won an Oscar, if I remember right).
     
  11. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    I was watching MSNBC a couple weeks ago and for some reason they were giving you Sadaam Hussein's favorite movie list. The Old Man and the Sea was his favorite movie. I guess he spends alot of time watching movies. Need to get him a copy of the japanese flick "The Ring" and a note saying he is next!
     
  12. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I read the book as a kid and I was so bored I can barely remember anything from it today. Shoot me [​IMG]
    --
    Holadem
     

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