Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1962)

145 mins | Drama | 25 July 1962

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writer:

A. E. Hotchner

Cinematographer:

Lee Garmes

Editor:

Hugh S. Fowler

Production Designers:

Jack Martin Smith, Paul Groesse

Production Company:

Jerry Wald Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, producer Jerry Wald planned to make a film based on Across the River and Into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway. Although the writer had no interest in the project, Wald hired writer A. E. Hotchner, a friend of Hemingway’s, to negotiate motion picture rights. While Hemingway maintained his refusal to license the story, he was intrigued by Hotchner’s idea of a screenplay based on the author’s semi-autobiographical “Nick Adams” stories. Following negotiations with Jerry Wald, Hemingway agreed to license Indian Camp, The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife, The End of Something, The Three Day Blow, The Battler, A Very Short Story, In Another Country, Now I Lay Me, A Way You’ll Never Be, and The Light of the World. The latter story was later determined to be irrelevant to the scenario, and replaced with A Pursuit Race, which facilitated the protagonist’s move from the midwest to New York City. As part of the agreement, Hemingway had to approve the screenplay during all stages of development. Although Hotchner had already adapted much of the material for television, he found repeating the task under Hemingway’s supervision to be “Herculean.”
       Hotchner wrote an introduction to the film, to be voiced on screen by Hemingway. Following the author’s death on 2 Jul 1961, the task fell to actor Paul Newman.
       After hiring theater and television veteran Martin Ritt to direct, Wald began his search for a young actor to portray “Nick ... More Less

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, producer Jerry Wald planned to make a film based on Across the River and Into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway. Although the writer had no interest in the project, Wald hired writer A. E. Hotchner, a friend of Hemingway’s, to negotiate motion picture rights. While Hemingway maintained his refusal to license the story, he was intrigued by Hotchner’s idea of a screenplay based on the author’s semi-autobiographical “Nick Adams” stories. Following negotiations with Jerry Wald, Hemingway agreed to license Indian Camp, The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife, The End of Something, The Three Day Blow, The Battler, A Very Short Story, In Another Country, Now I Lay Me, A Way You’ll Never Be, and The Light of the World. The latter story was later determined to be irrelevant to the scenario, and replaced with A Pursuit Race, which facilitated the protagonist’s move from the midwest to New York City. As part of the agreement, Hemingway had to approve the screenplay during all stages of development. Although Hotchner had already adapted much of the material for television, he found repeating the task under Hemingway’s supervision to be “Herculean.”
       Hotchner wrote an introduction to the film, to be voiced on screen by Hemingway. Following the author’s death on 2 Jul 1961, the task fell to actor Paul Newman.
       After hiring theater and television veteran Martin Ritt to direct, Wald began his search for a young actor to portray “Nick Adams,” employing the help of United Press International (UPI) to discover new talent. Ritt refused to gamble on an unkown and recommended either Richard Beymer or Warren Beatty for the role. Beymer won the part after Wald was unable to reach an agreement with Beatty. The casting of Paul Newman was based on his performance in a 1955 television version of The Battler, in which he played the title character. Newman accepted the role enthusiastically, “as a thespianic exercise” to gauge his development as an actor.
       The 13 Feb 1962 LAT reported that principal photography began in Mellen, WI, on 25 Sep 1961, and was completed in Verona, Italy, on 22 Jan 1962. Production notes stated that filming also occurred in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Hotchner remained on set throughout production, as Ritt was likely to request changes to the screenplay. The 14 Mar 1961 HR revealed that Gary Cooper was originally cast as “Dr. Adams,” but after he died 13 May 1961, Arthur Kennedy assumed the role.
       Shortly after photography was completed, the 15 Feb 1962 DV reported the film’s upcoming premiere in New York City, Chicago, IL, Venice, Italy, and other cities, scheduled for 21 Jul 1962, which would have been Hemingway’s sixty-third birthday. Proceeds from the screenings were to benefit the International Red Cross. The picture opened to mixed reviews. While the 15 Jun 1962 HR called it “an absorbing and moving film,” the 26 Jul 1962 NYT suggested that Hemingway would attack the producers with a blowtorch if he were alive. Regardless, the film was chosen by the Seattle World’s Fair as the “outstanding U.S. picture of 1962,” as stated in the 14 May 1962 DV and HR.
       A news item in the 19 Feb 1962 HR announced that the advertising poster, designed by Gollin, Bright & Zolotow, won first prize at the Art Directors Guild annual show.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Feb 1962.
---
Daily Variety
14 May 1962.
---
Hollywood Citizen-News
9 Aug 1962.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 1961.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1961.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 1962.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 1962.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 1962.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Feb 1962.
---
Los Angeles Times
1 Jul 1962
Calendar, p. 11.
New York Times
26 Jul 1962.
---
Variety
20 Jun 1962
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Italian seq serviced by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the "Nick Adams" stories by Ernest Hemingway.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Adventures of a Young Man
Ernest Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man
Release Date:
25 July 1962
Premiere Information:
Premiered in New York City, Chicago, Venice: 21 July 1962
New York opening: 25 July 1962
Production Date:
22 September 1961--22 January 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Jerry Wald Productions
Copyright Date:
18 July 1962
Copyright Number:
LP22801
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
145
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Eager to escape his weak-willed physician father and domineering mother, 19-year-old Nick Adams leaves his Michigan home in 1917 and sets out for New York to become a writer. After a few days on the road he is thrown off a freight train by a cruel brakeman and finds himself in the company of a punch-drunk ex-prizefighter, "The Battler," and his black manager, Bugs. He soon decides to wire his father for money to return home, but a philosophical telegraph operator subtly talks him out of it; instead, Nick becomes assistant to the drunken, drug-addicted Billy Campbell, who acts as a publicist for Mr. Turner, a burlesque promoter. Turner replaces Billy with Nick until the show reaches New York, where Nick tries to become a newspaperman. Rejected by a newspaper editor for lack of experience, Nick becomes a busboy at a banquet held to recruit ambulance drivers for the Italian Army in its war against Austria and Germany. Nick signs up, and later saves the life of Major Padula, his commanding officer in Italy; later, his own life is saved when John, an Italian-American orderly, pulls him out of a bombed trench. While convalescing, Nick falls deeply in love with his nurse, Rosanna Griffi, but she is critically wounded when the hospital is bombed; he begs a priest to marry them, and the young woman dies in his arms during the ceremony. Upon discharge, Nick receives a hero's welcome as he returns to the Michigan lake country, but his celebration is ruined by the discovery that his father committed suicide during his absence. He remains with his mother until her possessiveness becomes too much for him, and then leaves ... +


Eager to escape his weak-willed physician father and domineering mother, 19-year-old Nick Adams leaves his Michigan home in 1917 and sets out for New York to become a writer. After a few days on the road he is thrown off a freight train by a cruel brakeman and finds himself in the company of a punch-drunk ex-prizefighter, "The Battler," and his black manager, Bugs. He soon decides to wire his father for money to return home, but a philosophical telegraph operator subtly talks him out of it; instead, Nick becomes assistant to the drunken, drug-addicted Billy Campbell, who acts as a publicist for Mr. Turner, a burlesque promoter. Turner replaces Billy with Nick until the show reaches New York, where Nick tries to become a newspaperman. Rejected by a newspaper editor for lack of experience, Nick becomes a busboy at a banquet held to recruit ambulance drivers for the Italian Army in its war against Austria and Germany. Nick signs up, and later saves the life of Major Padula, his commanding officer in Italy; later, his own life is saved when John, an Italian-American orderly, pulls him out of a bombed trench. While convalescing, Nick falls deeply in love with his nurse, Rosanna Griffi, but she is critically wounded when the hospital is bombed; he begs a priest to marry them, and the young woman dies in his arms during the ceremony. Upon discharge, Nick receives a hero's welcome as he returns to the Michigan lake country, but his celebration is ruined by the discovery that his father committed suicide during his absence. He remains with his mother until her possessiveness becomes too much for him, and then leaves home again--this time as a man, not a boy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.