Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1994)



Critic Consensus: Predictable but moving, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway is an understated and melancholic drama that gets plenty of mileage out of an outstanding cast that includes Robert Duvall, Richard Harris, Shirley MacLaine, and Sandra Bullock.

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Movie Info

Richard Harris and Robert Duvall star in this low-key /drama concerning a hard-drinking former sea captain (Richard Harris) who befriends a shy retired barber (Robert Duvall). Though their polar-opposite personalities find the relationship slow going at first, roguish Frank (Harris) and gentle Walter (Duvall) soon develop a close friendship as they pass the days with conversation. As death looms near and their pasts seem to evaporate into the air with the passing of each day, the lonely souls find comfort in each other's company until their fragile friendship is shattered. When Frank insults a waitress (Sandra Bullock) with whom Walter harbors a protective friendship, Walter makes the decision to cut his ties with loutish Frank. Forced to reevaluate their friendship, the two lonely souls attempt to find meaning in their lives as their chances for connecting with the outside world grows ever more dim.
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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Robert Duvall
as Walter
Piper Laurie
as Georgia
Harold Bergman
as Sleeper
Ed Amatrudo
as Henry's Dad
Jag Davies
as Henry
Persephone Felder
as Woman in Stands
Stephen G. Anthony
as Leo Peetes
Greg Paul Meyers
as Sid Showenstein
Aquilla Owens
as 1st Girl in Park
Doris Carey Ferguson
as Mom in Park
Jody Wilson
as Nurse
Anthony Rene Jones
as Bus Driver
Richard Jasen
as 3rd Baseman
William Marquez
as Carl Burney
Chick Bernhardt
as 1st Stunt Driver
Ron Russell
as 2nd Stunt Driver
Ilse Earl
as Cinema Cashier
Kent Ehrhardt
as Weatherman
Danika Daly
as 2nd Girl in Park
Eleonora L. Vescera
as Singing Woman
Daryl Matthews
as Officer Mickey
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Critic Reviews for Wrestling Ernest Hemingway

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8)

Wrestling Ernest Hemingway aspires to be serious about its subject. Yet in a curious way this sobriety works against it. Frank and Walt turn into schematically contrasting case studies, and the movie's sympathy for them eventually becomes patronizing.

Full Review… | June 13, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Randa Haines' sappy, rather dull melodrama about the friendship between two eccentric old men is mostly a showcase for its stars, Robert Duvall and Richard Harris.

Full Review… | June 27, 2007
Top Critic

There aren't really any surprises, but it's a delight to see a movie which idles away without anything more pressing on its mind than people.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Instead of simply assuming that the old have interesting lives, the film never stops congratulating itself for being daring enough to focus on them.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The movie is essentially about the close observation of behavior. Like some of Hemingway's stories, the real action is all implied. The characters trade small talk, and we sense that larger issues are lurking beneath their cheerfulness.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

An endearing buddy movie for the senior crowd.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wrestling Ernest Hemingway

Randa Haines' sappy, rather dull melodrama about the friendship between two eccentric old men is mostly a showcase for its stars, Robert Duvall and Richard Harris.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

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