The Old Man and the Sea

1958, USA, 86 min.

In pre-Castro Cuba, a battered fisherman (Spencer Tracy in an Oscar-nominated performance) still sets out to sea for work. Every day he returns, emptyhanded and exhausted, to a bed with yesterday’s newspaper as a blanket. Forget being a relic; the old man is a laughingstock among his younger, more successful peers. The cycle of boredom shatters one clear day when he catches a mammoth fish—which cannot be reeled in. For days, the old man battles the fish and the elements, his thoughts his only companion. The production values of the film itself have not aged well, but the theme of the man’s unrelenting struggle to reclaim his self-respect is timeless. The battle between man and nature is an inspiring metaphor: regardless of our age, we keep fighting. Based on Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel.