The Sun Also Rises


What the Press Has to Say:

Deadening of a novel: 'The Sun Also Rises' sinks as a miniseries

(...) While Jane Seymour is lovely, as Brett she simply doesn't scintillate enough to make her the femme fatale she is supposed to be. Jake and all the other adolescent men in her life look so much alike that a casual viewer may have to keep a scorecard to tell them apart. Not true of Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock with rounded ears), who is miscast as a Polish count - he was much better when his ears were pointed.

When the good Count threatens to kill Lady Brett, poor Jane Seymour has to read the most impossible line of dialogue in a show filled with authentic but still impossible dialogue, right out of early Hemingway: ''You don't know me well enough to kill me,'' she taunts as he draws his dagger.

(...) ''The Sun Also Rises'' is a slender, stylized novel, which has been lobotomized into a heavy-handed melodrama. Instead of four hours, a 90-minute made-for-TV movie would have sufficed. What should have been a brief encounter, has been so extended that it seems to last a lifetime. The major reason for watching the miniseries is curiosity to see what ''they'' have done to the book.

''If nothing had happened, we could have had such a good time together,''says Brett as they ride off into the sunset.

''Isn't it nice to think so,'' says Jake ruefully.

Yes, sometimes what could have been is more pleasant to contemplate than what actually happens. It's as true of TV miniseries as it is of life.




(...) Mr. Joseph said radical surgery was required to bring Hemingway to television. He considered the novel ''impressionistic'' rather than dramatic. One of the things he did was to fill in more about the war's impact on the characters. The mini-series opens with battle scenes and incorporates explicit reminders of the war throughout the rest of the story. ''When Hemingway wrote the book,'' Mr. Joseph argued, ''he didn't have to do much on the ambiance of the war because the streets of Paris were still littered with refugees from World War I.''

The Count Is Chief Villain

Among his other major changes was beefing up the character of the Count - a minor figure in the novel - to make him the chief villain of the piece; jilted by Lady Brett, he becomes her stalking nemesis. NBC liked the idea of expanding the count's role because, as Miss Barewald said, ''it provided a very strong jeopardy line.''

Cast as the Count, Leonard Nimoy looked on the role as ''an interesting extension of Hemingway's character.''

''I would hope that at the very least our version is better than the Fox film,'' Mr. Nimoy said. ''If someone asked me to do a remake of 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,' I would decline. But we don't have a definitive 'Sun Also Rises' on film.''

Source: The New York Times


The Sun Also Rises for TV

(...) NBC also added to the story line a new scene set in World War I, and they enlarged the part of the count and Leonard Nimoy took it. But, as Joseph explains, "It's Hemingway's book used in a different technique. I'm not changing the book, I'm just putting it into a different art form."

(...) The changes in the character of the count will offend Hemingway purists the most. Nimoy's character doesn't even appear in the novel's Spanish scenes, but in the miniseries the count has been given a pivotal role in those scenes. "The need for a suspense line was obvious," says Nimoy, 53. "Without it you have a lovely mood piece, which is what the book was. It needs a climactic moment, which is what the count provides."

Source: People, 1984