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Friday, March 10, 2017

Hemingway's Adventures Of A Young Man (1962)

Stifled by small town life, a young boy (Richard Beymer) leaves his Michigan home to find his place in the world. Directed by Martin Ritt (HUD) and very loosely based on Hemingway's Nick Adams short stories. Although the screenplay is by A.E. Hotchner, a personal friend of Hemingway as well as the author of the Hemingway biography PAPA HEMINGWAY, there's very little of Hemingway in this movie. Since it's based on a series of short stories, the film has an episodic nature as its young protagonist goes from encounter to encounter, life experience to life experience. While it may not be a satisfying narrative, it's probably just as well since Beymer is such a flat actor that it's up to the many characters and the actors who play them to bring some life to the film. Among them: Paul Newman as a brain damaged washed up boxer, Dan Dailey as an alcoholic and Arthur Kennedy and Jessica Tandy as his parents. There is one genuinely great thing in the film, Franz Waxman's beautiful score which stands on its own and gives the film a strength that it sorely needs. With Eli Wallach, Susan Strasberg, Ricardo Montalban, Diane Baker, James Dunn, Corinne Calvet, Fred Clark and Juano Hernandez.

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