Jun 25, 2009
From the Internet Movie Database’s entry on The Old Man and the Sea (1958):
In 1952, Humphrey Bogart attempted to purchase the film rights to Hemingway’s novel through his production company, Santana Productions. Bogart identified strongly with the character of the old man and wanted to play the fisherman in the film project, with Nicholas Ray as the director. Unfortunately, the actor was unsuccessful in securing the film rights, and the film wasn’t made until the year following his death, with his close friend Spencer Tracy starring.
Feb 4, 2009
Yesterday I posted about the copies of 3,000+ previously unseen documents from Hemingway’s estate that are now at the JFK Library. I emailed the library, and they sent me their press release, which doesn’t appear to be online. The crux is this:
Examples of the type of documents that will be available to researchers in Boston include:
Letters to Hemingway from his family including his mother Grace Hall and his sons John and Patrick;
Over a dozen letters from Adriana Ivanich, the possible muse for his novel Across the River and Into the Trees. Adriana also designed the dust jackets for Across the River and Into the Trees and The Old Man and the Sea;
A group of letters to Mary Welsh Hemingway [his fourth wife] written when they first met and were both serving as war correspondents in Europe during World War II;
Letters or cables from such luminaries as Robert Capa, Pablo Casals, Marlene Dietrich, Sinclair Lewis, Lillian Ross and Ingrid Bergman;
Mail from friends and fans particularly after Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature and published Old Man and the Sea.
The press release also clears up the question of whether the screenplay for The Old Man and the Sea is an unused one written by Hemingway. Nope. Oh well, there’s still that alternate ending to For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Here’s the full press release:
Continue Reading »
Feb 4, 2009
The National Post has some ideas about who should play the principal figures in the newly announced biopic of Hemingway.
1. Ernest Hemingway. You need some serious chops to take on the late Hemingway. Full of rage, vulnerability, a man at the end of his rope, and still tugging against it. We need an actor with a few tricks to play. Someone like James Gandolfini. But wait! Check out Gandolfini’s IMDB page, and you’ll see that he has signed on for an “untitled Ernest Hemingway Project” due to arrive in 2011. The plot of this one centres “on the romance between Ernest Hemingway and WWII correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls and the only woman who ever asked for a divorce from the writer.” Could this film be one in the same? If not, and Gandolfini is tied up, I’d suggest Robert Downey Jr (aged, of course - but they can do that now!). Or how about William Hurt - he’s got that inner rage thing down pretty good.
Feb 2, 2009
Hemingway wrote a second ending to For Whom the Bell Tolls. As it stands, the novel has a beautifully, maddeningly ambiguous “ending.” Does this new version answer any of the questions we’ve been left with for 69 years? It looks like we’ll find out in late spring, when the JFK Library makes available copies of 3,000+ previously unseen documents from Papa’s Cuban estate. The Associated Press reports:
Now, thanks to an agreement between U.S. Rep James McGovern, D-Mass., and the Cuban government, copies of those writings are at the John F. Kennedy Library.
The archival replicas include corrected proofs of “The Old Man and the Sea,” a movie script based on the novel, an alternate ending to “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and thousands of letters, with correspondence from authors Sinclair Lewis and John Dos Passos and actress Ingrid Bergman. The documents were previewed Thursday and will likely be available to researchers in late spring.
That mention of a screenplay for The Old Man and the Sea is also intriguing. Hemingway wasn’t known to have written screenplays for his works. (The screenplay for the 1959 movie, starring Spencer Tracy, was written by Peter Viertel.) Is this a reference to something he wrote, or is it just a copy of Viertel’s screenplay?
When the documents are opened to the public, I’d be glad to hear from anybody who gives them a look.