Wrestling Ernest Hemingway
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -2

Frank Joyce (Richard Harris), a 75-year-old ex-sailor, loves to tell tall tales of his glory days in the Navy. He even claims to have wrestled Ernest Hemingway in 1938 while stationed in Puerto Rico. He frequents an old movie house in the afternoons and also enjoys teasing his apartment manager (Shirley MacLaine). Walter (Robert Duvall) is an elderly Cuban gentleman who spends his days in the park doing crossword puzzles and watching little league games. He also frequents a Sweetwater, Florida, snack shop to order his usual meal from a pretty young waitress named Elaine (Sandra Bullock). Walter and Frank meet one day in the park when Frank shows up next to Walter's bench to get drunk because he is alone on his birthday. Although they are never exactly best friends, the pair enjoy being together more than being alone. But Walter's desire to be a gentleman and Frank's habits of being a dirty, drunken sailor almost send the two back into seclusion. Duvall and Harris do a remarkable job bringing their characters to life. Audiences will genuinely care for these elderly men as they come to terms with their loneliness.

Almost all of the offensive elements in this film come from the character of Frank. He embodies the stereotypical sailor; he even has a naked woman tattooed on his arm. Crudities and profanities abound, as well as chronic drinking and drunkenness. Viewers are also exposed to rear male nudity a number of times as Frank exercises, answers the door and swims in the nude. Walter, on the other hand, is a complete gentleman who is disgusted with Frank's behavior at times. In the end, even Frank becomes sickened with his self-centered lifestyle and desires to change. WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY does manage to make some rather pointed statements about what it means to be elderly and alone in the 90's. While Frank's coarseness is offensive, it is not gratuitous. Still, many viewers will consider this film offensive.

Preview Reviewer: Krista Kay Bontrager
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Crude Language: Many (39) times - Mild 29; Moderate 10
Obscene Language: Few (2) times (s-word)
Profanity: Regular - 16 times
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Several times (rear male)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many (crude references to male genitals, female breasts and sex; breast fondling (clothed); suggestive lyrics to song; reference to sleeping with prostitute)
Drug Abuse: Several times (drinking hard liquor, drunkenness
Other: Urination scene (no nudity)
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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