Frank, a retired Irish seaman, and Walter, a retired Cuban barber, are two lonely old men trapped in the emptiness of their own lives. When they meet in a park Frank is able to start a conversation after several attempts. They begin to spend time together and become friends. But because of their different characters they often quarrel with each other and finally seperate after Frank misbehaves to Walters friend Elaine.
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This review is from: Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (DVD) This item cannot be played on a DVR! Can only be played only on a DVD PLAYER not a DVD PLAYER/RECORDER which is what I have. Would have been nice to know that limitation BEFORE I purchased it. Could have saved me the shipping costs to return it.I have searched for this movie on DVD for years. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. Very disappointing!
This movie doesn't have action, not much suspense, certainly no fearsomemonsters or truly malicious crooks. There is no sex (much to RichardHarris'characters frustration), no violence and no special effects.So what does this movie have?The answer is one of the best stories ever told on screen, a couple of thebest actors ever seen (the rest of the cast do pretty well too) and a kindof laid back attitude that works really well compared to the general themeof the movie.I could name a thousand good reasons to see this movie, but the majorreasons would be these:Brilliant acting.A truly captivating story.The opportunity to really get under the skin of two really well developedcharacters.The constant playing on your emotions and personal experiences.All in all this movie represents the whole point in making movies. A goodmovie cannot consist of action and effects alone, but it certainly canthrive just on telling a brilliant story.My rating: 10/10
This review is from: Wrestling Ernest Hemingway [VHS] (VHS Tape) Sandra Bullock's picture is not even on the case, but she steel the show. VERY good acting on EVERYONES part. It is for times like this, that I hang onto my VHS player. The product was as stated, shipped fast, and good seller. I would and will use again, if I see other things he has.
A truly brilliant film. I wonder how come I never heard about it or read of it in the zines? I am surprised it didn't even get mentioned in the Oscars - just proves how over-rated the Oscars are. However, back to the film. Richard Harris is simply brilliant as Frank, an ex-sea captain. And Robert Duvall. This is my second Robert Duvall film; the first being "To Kill A Mockingbird" in which he plays the role of Boo Radley. Had I not already known that Robert Duvall is American, I would have thought him to be a Cuban. His Walter the Cuban barber is just out of the world, complete with accent and gestures. Shirley MacLaine has always been my favorite. She could light up an entire film even if she only has a 2-minute role. As the last reviewer has said, you would want to own a video of this film. I could watch it again and again...
It's great that this gem of a movie is at last available on DVD. But from Sweden. With all due respects, how come the American studio hasn't seen fit to issue this movie. Give us a break and do the descent thing. No disrespects to the current distributor but I feel more confidant in buying the movie without a Swedish title - it's just not the same. If anyone has seen this version and can give an honest opinion, particularly if all the dialogue is in English as originally released please post a review. Much appreciated.PS - August 12th - I've just watched, at last, this movie on DVD released by Warner Brothers Australia. For some reason Warner's have released this superb movie throughout Australia & New Zealand and I can tell you it looks great on a 42" wide-screen TV. I've bought my copy 'downunder' so no doubt it will be available via Amazon in due course - with an English title! The movie is just as I remember it, better, because I now have it in DVD format and can watch it again and again.
It's a Great movie. I want it in DVD. The difficult part is communicating with Amazon and getting their help in pleading our case, many of us, with the supplier to produce this in DVD. Please Amazon, help us get Wrestling Ernest Hemingway in DVD!
Referencing the review by "The Fan", I, too, ordered from WB. They even had a propmotion today ($5.99 off). Price is $13.96 +tax, free shipping.
One of my all-time favorites. A touching, sensitive movie about growing old & dying.Suberb performance by Richard Harris, great performances by Robert Duvall, Shirley Maclain, Piper Laurie, excellent performance by Sandra Bullock.
In 1992, I was a literary agent at Writers & Artists Agency in LosAngeles. In a town where new scripts by unproven young writerscan't get their scripts read, I was one of the few agents who waseager to find new talent. One day, I received a letter from a youngwriter asking me to read his script. The title intrigued me and thestory he described demanded that I read the script. The young writer'sname wasSteve Conrad and he had just graduated from the University ofChicago. The script was "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway", and fromthe very first page, I knew I had to represent it. The writing was sosimple, so poetic, so powerful, so witty and so real that I calledhim before I had even finished reading the script. I was able toconvince Todd Black, an enthusiastic young producer, to read itand his passion matched mine. He sold it to Warner Bros. andthey made the movie. In a Hollywood rarity, Steve remained thesole writer of the script.I am so gratified to read the User Comments and to see how thislittle gem of a movie has affected so many people. I am no longera literary agent; I now teach English and History to 6th graders. Ishall always be so proud that I had some part in bringing thiswonderful writer and his script to the screen, and that so many ofyou have shared my passion about it.
I saw this movie for possibly the ninth time today(Labor Day). It neverfails to move me in the way it portrays two lonely people (who could be theflip sides of every person)who meet and fulfill and antagonize each otheratthe same time. I think that this is one of the best films I have ever seenin my life. I wish I could tell the writer of this film how much it meanstome. The entire picture, from its writing, to its filming and acting is topnotch. I wouldn't change a thing about it. I love every thing about it. Ihave read many reviews of this film and some of them have some things rightand others are completely wrong. This is a film that says so much aboutlonliness, neediness, and friendship. I wish everbody could seeit.
A wonderful character driven film, brilliantly crafted by a gifted director and some of the best acting ever put on film. Robert Duvallinhabits his retired-barber character to the point of being unable topicture him as anyone else, let alone the hard-ass VietnamColonel Kilgore who "loves the smell of napalm in the morning".The first time I watched this movie (and trust me, it's worthwatching again and again) I completely forgot the actor and waswatching the life of this Cuban transplant unfold. And please, ohplease, let Richard Harris find another role within which to shineas he did this one. He may be a prolific actor, but I hate to see histalent wasted in such "blockbusters" as Gladiator and HarryPotter.... His face, his eyes... you feel the distance and sorrow hischaracter feels without his uttering a word. Brilliant.I'm constantly amazed when I mention this film that NOBODYseems to have seen it!One of my top ten favorite films of all time.
Even though Duvall's fake, middle class Cuban accent was not right onthe money all the time, he portrayed his obsessive/compulsive, retiredgentleman character's odd and gentle affectations to the letter and wastotally believable and the best thing in this movie, along with ShirleyMaclaine in her tough/nice landlady role as Cooney. Duvall played hischaracter Walt as an intensely honorable man raised in the strictestform of old Spanish "gentilhombre" tradition prevalent in pre-CastroCuba. He left Cuba for America to see the Yankees in the 1958 WorldSeries, and never returned as the Communist revolution occurred at thesame time, preventing his return. As he was a true gentleman, whenthere was such a thing, he was not to be personally insulted or touchedin anger by any man or be at all discourteous to women or tolerate suchbehavior by other men, and any such coarse behavior in his presence wassure to cause an altercation, and perhaps even a physical one. To him,true gentlemen were protectors of the innocence and dignity of women inhis well-defined world of gentility and respect.Harris' sloppy and crude character Frank, who was achingly lonely butshowed good reason for his alone-ness in his selfishness andeccentricity, was sure to aggravate Walt in short order with hiscursing and coarse behavior. Harris' role was really not too much of anacting stretch for this famous rounder in real life, but he was stillvery effective in conveying the angst of loss of a meaningful life andfamily love.Their short friendship leading to the inevitable conflict was sotouching and sad in its honesty and spot-on emotional accuracy when menof a very different style finally clash and part. The same or similarthing has happened to many of us at one time or another in life, somost viewers will connect with its truth and emotional impact. It wasnice to see them reconnect after Frank essentially apologized to Waltin the only way he could, obliquely.The film had a relaxed and almost "retired" pacing, never boring to mebut perfectly in tune with day to day retired living in the Miami area,or anywhere. Three scenes of the men together were particularlymemorable for their sensitivity and insight.... the fireworks scene,the haircut/shave scene, and the scene where Frank "apologized" to Waltafter their argument and afterward they both danced with little girlsin a park. Watch for these scenes as they come up as they are crucialto story development. Just great film-making.This film was one of the best I have seen in depicting how differingpeople retire from useful professions and then fade from beingproductive social contributors into their respective, more or lessuseless retired ways, with some fighting and struggling the whole wayand others accepting their fate with gentleness and realization of theinevitability of life. We are all like these film characters in someways, or will be, and seeing in the film what awaits us all in an olderage was not always a pretty sight, but it was always very engaging andtouching. We truly cared for the characters in this film....the primarymark of a successful story.A wonderful film not to be missed by anyone over 50.
I got some good belly laughs watching the antics of these two gents dealingwith retirement and loneliness. Duvall was superb, as always, but Harrisstole the show with his constant search for companionship and his relentlessquest for sex - something I suspect he was no longer capable of. Well worthseeing.
This movie's best quality is in its implications. It is rather slowpaced, but it allows the viewer to enjoy the movie almost as if onewere reading a book. However, in reading the reviews, I have foundnothing that might indicate that anyone saw something that I saw,making me question what I saw. Much has been written about Hemingway'ssexual proclivity - the question of homosexuality. I see the questionedHemingway in Frank's character, a macho persona who overcompensates.His scenes with women are all aggressive, not loving, and has manyfailed marriages. In Walter's character (Duvall) I see a repressed man.Unable to live true to his nature, he romanticizes his relationshipwith women. Does he really have a chance with Bullock's character? Hashe ever "closed the deal" with a woman? There are a few sensual, tenderor close moments in the film, namely the haircut and shave, thesynchronized swimming and the fireworks scenes, and the type of bicyclethey ride binds them metaphorically. Even the title's reference towrestling could be metaphorical to an event that took place in PuertoRico (perhaps not with Hemingway, perhaps not wrestling, and perhapsnot with a woman). The message, if it is indeed there, may simply beanother unspoken element in the film. Which, of course, is the beautyof this film, which I consider to be one of my top 100 of all time.
In memory of the great actor, Richard Harris, I had my own little filmfestival.....starting with Juggernaut and Camelot and ending with this one. He and Robert Duvall do a remarkable job of showing the joys and evils ofaging, complete with forgetful son. For those of us on the same road (andwho is not), this is a nice walk down pre-memory lane (shades of 'MinorityReport').Harris and Duvall both play understated roles, although I am inclined tothink the boozing memories of Harris may be drawn from real life. Duvallplays against type as a retiring, modest, withdrawn Cuban barber, and theloving break-up they have is as heart-breaking a scene as you will ever see. Their loneliness is made so palpable, it reaches out from the screen andgrabs you.For us women, the work of Piper Laurie and Shirley MacLaine are alsoreminders of how we age. I wish they had put a movie with the young PiperLaurie in it up on the screen, instead of one of her contemporaries. Shewas acting as though she were still a beautiful young coquette, which wasnot sad, or demeaning but really cute. Shirley does a great acting job, asshe re-lives the drunken abuse of her husband at the hands of a drunkenHarris....yet reaches out to him as he falters and realizes the constraintsof age.Certainly a great way to leave the scene of the living. I strongly suggestit to you.
I was in the mood for watching this movie which is one of my summer favorites but my VHS is just not watchable anymore, so I decided to look for it on dvd. Oh boy !!! what the hell??? it costs as much as the blu-ray version of a recent blockbuster! come on !!Anyway, as for the movie: love it. Love every actor in it. Love the story. It's subtle, it's funny, it's "warm". The fireworks scene is one of my favorites, so is that of the shave.These two gentlemen are moving and the character played by Sandra Bullock is sweet.This is the kind of film that gives me that "fuzzy feeling".But now that I've been reminiscing, I really want to see it again and I am even more outraged by the price.Argh.
If you are a Duvall nut, as I shall forever be, you must rush out and rentthis immediately. I spent last night cuddled up with my husband sobbingquietly at this rich and beautifully told story of a shy Cuban barber andasalty sea captain thrown together in retirement hell. They make, needlessto say, a momentary paradise out of their touching and sly friendship.Someof the best ensemble acting you will ever witness. Go...now!
This review is from: Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (DVD) This is another movie that belongs in every collection. A stealth fighter of movies. It flew under the radar. I don't think it received any awards. There is even a small part for Sandra Bullock.
What a great film! Being a huge Sandra Bullock fan since 95, I knew I hadto buy this. I was not let down at all. It is one of my all timefavorites!Its a shame that many people don't know about it. Its filled with touchingand hilarious moments with outstanding acting and a sweet story! Go getWrestling Ernest Hemingway today!
I've owned a VHS copy of this film for many years (originally released in 1993), and have just ordered a DVD, now that it is FINALLY available. This review will focus on the movie itself, and I'll add any comments about the DVD quality after I get it (hopefully soon!). I'm sure that in any format, this film will still rate 5 stars.I'm not sure how I even first heard of this film, as it passed through the theatres largely unnoticed, and unfortunately also very unheralded, in '93. Surprising to me now that it still hasn't reached a very wide audience, in view of the relative paucity of reviews posted to this site (for both the VHS and DVD versions). Films of this quality regularly get hundreds of reviews on amazon.com, when they are widely-known. But if you're discovering it for the first time from reading this review (or others on this site), my best advice for you is: order it now, sight unseen. You won't be sorry, and my guess is it will become one of the favorite movies in your DVD library.Watching this again the other night, this film still resonates with unusual sensitivity and feeling for it's principal characters. The plot is simple, focusing on two 70+ retirees living in southern Florida somewhere (maybe Miami, though I don't believe it's ever specified exactly in the movie), who while seemingly complete opposites, and most unlikely to develop any kind of relationship, become fast friends, and rediscover something of enduring value, about themselves.Richard Harris plays Frank, a former sea captain, who clearly hasn't lost much, if any, of his salt over the years. He's driven by maintaining his physical strength and appearance ("I was a sight to see, Helen....I was a sight to see."), routinely loud, somewhat rude, and profane regardless of his audience (men, women, or children), and clearly estranged/abandoned/somewhat forgotten by his family, particularly his son (whom we never see throughout the entire movie). When I first saw this movie, Frank so reminded me of my own father, right down to the worn out old orange shorts he wears every day, that I knew this would be a movie that would be dear to my heart for the rest of my life- my deepest regret being that my own father wasn't around to share this movie with. Harris' characterization of this totally likeable, unlikeable 70 to 80 year old (his age changes, according to his audience, throughout the film)firebrand may well be the best acting role in his long, distinguished career. It's a moving, memorable, richly layered performance.Robert Duvall is Walter, who manages to convincingly pull-off his role as a Cuban retiree, and ex-barber. Walter is a fastidious, relentlessly old-fashioned, polite gentleman, with a platonic crush on a young waitress (Sandra Bullock, in one of her earliest roles) at a local cafe he frequents for his daily lunch of self-made bacon sandwiches. I know what you're thinking: Robert Duvall as a CUBAN? But just sit back and enjoy this one- he is completely lost in this role, and it's a brilliant acting performance.Clearly, when Walter and Frank meet in a park for the first time, you have little sense that they will find any common ground, and their initial few encounters back-fire as you would expect. But Frank is a persistent kind of guy, and slowly but surely, a relationship grows, supported by several other memorable bit roles by the excellent supporting cast.And that supporting cast is outstanding, with accomplished actresses like Bullock, Shirley MacLaine (who plays Helen Cooney, Irish landlady of the seaside motel where Frank resides), and Piper Laurie (who plays Georgia, a prim and proper widow who frequents the daily movie matinees, in her attempt to fill in her loneliness, and whom Frank tries valiantly to charm, with varying degrees of success). Micole Mercurio has a small role as another waitress at the cafe where Bullock (Elaine) works, and even this bit part by a relatively unknown actress is spot-on perfect, and heart-felt. There are no wasted lines or unnecessary scenes with any of the characters in this film, and while there also is no grand action of any sort, the intelligent, thoughtful screenplay (story written by Steve Conrad, and expertly directed by Randa Haines)is mesmerizing. Only small problem for me was that, at 123 minutes, I just wish this movie was LONGER. But as it is, the pacing is probably perfect, and each character is given just enough screen time to leave a memorable impression.I might add that the cinematography is singularly outstanding, too- numerous scenes with obviously carefully chosen backgrounds, and some scenes where the framing of the characters on the background of the scene look like artwork: sailors running through the rain in front of a cafe at night, reminded me of an Edward Hopper painting; fireworks exploding in an evening sky over the ocean, while Frank and Walter watch from a beach; even a simple shot of Frank standing in an alley, where the rubble in the background almost seems arranged with a certain art-like precision- this film is just loaded with brilliant cinematography shots. Expert movie-making, to say the least- and remarkably subtle, too- I've only just noticed some of these things, after watching this film for maybe the tenth time over the years.The soundtrack (by Michael Convertino) is worth buying for itself (I have a copy), and is simply beautiful, and greatly enhances each scene in the movie, and lends an additional layer of dignity and tenderness to the lead characters, in several memorable scenes. You'll know them when you see them, and no spoilers here, but the haircut scene, and the fireworks by the lake ("feed the fish"), are two such moments, and in my mind, are examples of consummate movie-making, where all the elements come together (acting, directing, cinematography, musical score). The result is nothing short of magical.I give this movie my highest recommendation. It has passed the ultimate movie test for me: that even after multiple viewings, over many years, it still resonates with feeling. It's a pure joy to introduce someone to it for the first time, too, as I did with a daughter the other night. There is some profanity (from Frank, as you'd expect), and one scene with sexual suggestion (between Frank and Helen), but none of these were such that I would be uncomfortable watching with my children. It's a movie with very mature themes, and probably not likely "exciting" enough for a very young audience, but the overriding humanity of this film will likely touch anyone, of any age.5+ stars for buying this excellent movie, in any format, and pick up a copy of the soundtrack CD while you're at it, too.