14 user 17 critic

The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (2001)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 7 March 2001 (France)
A man is forced to confront a dangerous female jaguar and his own past through the sacrificial killing of the beast he has grown to love.


Rolf de Heer


Claude Cohen (French dialogue), Luis Sepúlveda (novel) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The wheelchair-bound Julia (Heather Rose), who cannot walk, feed or dress herself, communicates via her computerized electronic voice synthesizer. Her sympathetic lesbian sister Rix (Rena ... See full summary »

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Heather Rose, Joey Kennedy, John Brumpton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A seven-year-old girl adopts a vow of silence in protest when her quarrelsome parents grow increasingly hostile to one another.

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Celine O'Leary, Chloe Ferguson, Paul Blackwell
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A young couple buy a house but their neighbor is a drug dealer who originates many troubles so they create a plan to move him out.

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Roman Vaculik, Michaela Cantwell, Lily Adey
Alien Visitor (1997)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In this sci-fi adventure a gorgeous alien woman is sent to Earth by mistake from the planet Epsilon. Landing in the Australian outback she meets a surveyor and they cross the continent ... See full summary »

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Ullie Birve, Syd Brisbane, Alethea McGrath
Dingo (1991)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Traces the pilgrimage of John Anderson, an average guy with a passion for jazz, from his home in outback Western Australia to the jazz clubs of Paris, to meet his idol, jazz trumpeter Billy... See full summary »

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Colin Friels, Miles Davis, Helen Buday
Dr. Plonk (2007)
Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A scientist & inventor in 1907, Dr Plonk, predicts that the world will end in 101 years, unless something is done about it. A comedy in the Charlie Chaplin / Buster Keaton tradition.

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Nigel Martin, Paul Blackwell, Magda Szubanski
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

We all live on the same planet, under one sun which nurtures and renews our unique and common hopes for the future. No matter how much we differ from each other in color, ethnicity and ... See full summary »

Directors: Ali Asgari, Sergei Bodrov, and 9 more credits »
Stars: Ercan Özcelik, Peter Linka, Anna Herczenik
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Displeased with the intervention of whitefella laws, Charlie takes off to live the old way and sets off a chain reaction of enlightening difficulties.

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: David Gulpilil, Peter Djigirr, Luke Ford
Twelve Canoes (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

"Twelve Canoes" is a series of short films that paint a compelling portrait of the people, history, culture and place of the Yolngu people whose homeland is the Arafura Swamp of north-central Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Directors: Rolf de Heer, Molly Reynolds
Ten Canoes (2006)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A story within a story. In Australia's Northern Territory, a man tells us one of the stories of his people and his land. It's a story of an older man, Minygululu, who has three wives and ... See full summary »

Directors: Rolf de Heer, Peter Djigirr
Stars: Crusoe Kurddal, Jamie Gulpilil, Richard Birrinbirrin
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A regular suburban family man comes home from work on his birthday to find a deserted house and a videotape waiting to be played...

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Gary Sweet, Helen Buday, Bogdan Koca
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Ex-con Eddie Cleary gets a job working on his older brother's isolated farm. It's not long before bizarre things start happening--dead birds falling out of the sky, family pets attacking ... See full summary »

Director: Rolf de Heer
Stars: Steven Vidler, Celine O'Leary, Ritchie Singer


Credited cast:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Antonio Bolivar
Timothy Spall ... Luis Agalla (Mayor)
Hugo Weaving ... Rubicondo (Dentist)
Cathy Tyson ... Josefina
Victor Bottenbley Victor Bottenbley ... Nushino
Fede Celada ... Juan
Luis Hostalot ... Manuel
Guillermo Toledo Guillermo Toledo ... Onecen
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nor-eddin Abboud Nor-eddin Abboud ... The Priest
Lionel Barsacq Lionel Barsacq ... Gold Prospector
Patrick Crepat Patrick Crepat ... Gold Prospector
Josse De Pauw ... The Man Who Bets
Alain Dery Alain Dery ... Gold Prospector
Behi Djanati Atai ... Dolores
Alberto Dominguez Alberto Dominguez ... Salinas


A man is forced to confront a dangerous female jaguar and his own past through the sacrificial killing of the beast he has grown to love.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the jungle, the one who survives is the one that moves


Adventure | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Cyan Films | Vertigo Productions



Release Date:

7 March 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Den gamle mand der læste kærlighedshistorier See more »


Box Office


$9,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was theatrically released in at least six territories including France, Spain, Denmark, and Australia. See more »


Antonio Bolivar: It was a kiss of impassioned intensity, a kiss to remember their lives by.
See more »


Referenced in The 'Dr Plonk' Score (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Spanish/Dutch/French co-production filmed in Guyane with magnificent acting , fabulous scenarios and colorful cinematography
4 November 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Brooding and provoking movie mainly dealing with a merciless , relentless chase to a jaguar and many other things . An old man called Antonio Bolívar (Richard Dreyfuss , though director originally envisaged Morgan Freeman in the lead role) lives in a small village in the wild jungle . Antonio is a thoughtful veteran who has been living with Jivaro Indians who reduce human heads and has learned a lot of things from them such as hunting by means of blowpipe . Meanwhile , he reads loving novels such as ¨To love and to be loved¨ and ¨Lovers of the forgotten garden¨ and falls in love for a beautiful village girl (Cathy Tyson) , Mayor's girlfriend . There governs a corrupt as well as stiff-upper-lip Mayor (Timothy Spall) in charge of Town Hall Mayoral Office . The grumpy Mayor is a ¨Cacique¨ who coerces the natives to vote to him , giving them liquors and privileges . When a savage jaguar kills people , the Mayor organizes a posse to track down the animal . The motley group is formed by Bolívar , the itinerant dentist Rubicondo (Hugo Weaving) , villagers (Guillermo Toledo , Luis Hostalot) and natives . Antonio is forced to confront a dangerous female jaguar and his own past through the sacrificial killing of the beast he has grown to love. In the jungle, the one who survives is the one that moves.

This jungle adventure yarn is full of interesting dialogs , moving scenes , thrills , and results to be slow-moving but entertaining . The film is pretty well with a nice sense of pace but also some holes in the screenplay . During this exciting tale we share the old man's memories , scenes of a past existence , records and relationships with his deceased wife and the Amazon tribe who healed him . The yarn has a complex narration , including intelligently inserted flashbacks along with some well-paced hunting scenes through of the capture of wildlife by the hunters and being based on a novel by Luis Sepúlveda . Filmmaker Rolf De Heer wrote and shot this exciting as well as thoughtful jungle story and Richard Dreyfuss , Timothy Spall , Hugo Weaving star in it , which should guarantee a high quality excitement and entertainment . Nice support cast , many of them Spanish players such as Luis Hostalot and Guillermo Toledo . All of them , contribute towards compensating for the flaws and gaps in the plot .

Sensitive and lively soundtrack by Fernando Sancho and Graham Tardif . Luxurious and glamorous color photograph by cameraman Denis Lenoir filmed on location in Guyane, Départements d'Outre-Mer, France , though the film was originally going to be filmed in Venezuela, South America. The flick was compellingly produced by Michelle De Boca and the Spanish producer Iñaqui Nuñez, the latter has financed good films such as Poniente , Sabotage , Marujas Asesinas and The ninth gate . The motion picture was well directed by Rolf De Heer . In the early stages of development, the director asked for final cut thinking that he would not get it, but he did . Rolf de Heer was born on May 4, 1951 in Heemskerk, Noord-Holland, Netherlands . He is a director , writer and producer, known for Dingo (1991) , Dance Me to My Song (1998) , Bad Boy Bubby (1993), Alexandra's Project (2003) The tracker (2002) , Ten Canoes (2006) and this one his best movie ¨The Old Man Who Read Love Stories¨ (2001) . Rating : Better than average . Well worth watching .

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed