Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG MAN (aka Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man/1962). Director: Martin Ritt.

"A man can't get along that don't sleep."

A "coming of age" story, based on the early life of Ernest Hemingway [or at least his fictionalization of it], has Nick Adams (Richard Beymer) leaving home to find himself and reach manhood as he encounters various individuals until he enlists in the Italian army during WW 1 as an ambulance driver -- and the film basically turns into A Farewell to Arms, with Adams romancing a pretty nurse, Rosanna (Susan Strasberg). Paul Newman has an earnest turn as a punch-drunk boxer [pictured]; Eli Wallach is notable as another ambulance driver named John; and Ricardo Montalban scores as the Maggiore, or Major Padula. Jessica Tandy is also a stand-out as Adams' mother. Excellent score by Franz Waxman. The episodic picture holds the attention and is not without interesting moments, but it lacks a dynamic lead and in general seems second-rate.

Verdict: Mis-Adventures. **1/2.

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