Segments in this Video

Ernest Hemingway (05:46)


In May 1944, Hemingway arrived in London to cover the invasion of France for "Collier's Magazine." He met Mary Welsh and after his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, left him after he was injured in a car accident. Hemingway pursued Welsh.

Hemingway on D-Day (02:10)

Despite his injuries, Hemingway joined troops on the transport boats to Normandy. Journalists were unable to go to shore, so he watched the invasion from the landing craft.

Hemingway in France (08:14)

Hemingway accompanied missions until he stole a German motorcycle and traveled alone. He stayed at a hotel with other journalists, covering the war during the day and drinking and dining at night. He was with the French Army when they liberated Paris; he brought Welsh to live with him.

Hemingway in the Hurtgen Forest (03:43)

Hemingway accompanied troops as they moved toward the German border. During savage gunfights in the Hurtgen Forest, Hemingway fired at Germans alongside the troops. He left soon after and went home to Cuba.

Hemingway at Home (04:53)

Away from Welsh and his military friends, Hemingway feared he could not write. His drinking increased as a result of war trauma. Welsh arrived and recognized that she was in love with Hemingway, but unsure if she wanted to be his wife.

Hemingway and Welsh's Marriage (03:54)

Welsh expressed concerns about Hemingway's controlling behavior but married him in 1946. They constantly fought and Hemingway's writing did not go well. Their plans to start a new family failed.

Hemingway's Children (03:20)

Hemingway's relationship with his three children soured. They struggled with mental health, gender identity, and finding purpose after the war. When Patrick had a mental health break, Hemingway cared for him until he recovered.

Hemingway and Adriana Ivancich (02:09)

In 1948 while vacationing with Welsh in Venice, Hemingway met and fell in love with 18-year-old Adriana Ivancich. She was open about not loving him, which was new for him. He used her as the love interest for his novel "Across the River and into the Trees."

Hemingway's Mental State (05:24)

Hemingway thought the poorly written "Across the River and into the Trees" was his best work. He started acting strangely and telling outrageous lies. Welsh almost left him, but Hemingway convinced her to stay.

"Across the River and into the Trees" (05:27)

Published in 1950, the book became a best-seller but received bad reviews from critics. Many called it the end of Hemingway's career and began to question his previous work. When asked for a blurb for another writer's book, he sent an erratic letter in return.

Hemingway's Suicidal Thoughts (02:40)

Hemingway talked about committing suicide because of his depression and inability to write. His relationship with Welsh grew violent. His spirits were lifted by an extended visit from Ivancich.

"The Old Man and the Sea" (08:11)

Inspired by Ivancich's visit, Hemingway began writing a fictionalized account of an article he once wrote, he finished it in eight weeks. Published in 1952, it was well received and redeemed his reputation.

Hemingway's Family Problems (04:58)

Hemingway's mother died and he did not attend her funeral. One of his children was arrested, causing a fight with his ex-wife Pauline Pfeiffer. She died the same night and Hemingway blamed his child for it.

Hemingway in East Africa (07:25)

In 1953, Hemingway visited the Southern Game Reserve in Kenya with Welsh. He hunted, watched, and photographed animals. The couple was in two plane crashes in two days and reported dead.

Hemingway's Lasting Injuries (02:27)

Hemingway suffered a traumatic brain injury and other injuries in the plane crashes. His doctors warned him to stop drinking as his mental state worsened. His behavior caused a falling out with his son, Patrick.

Hemingway's Nobel Prize (04:03)

In 1954, Hemingway received the Nobel Prize for Literature, but for health reasons he could not travel to receive it. He agreed to an on-camera interview with NBC but got the questions beforehand and read his answers from que cards. He recorded his acceptance speech off camera.

Hemingway's Drug and Alcohol Use (02:44)

The Nobel Prize reignited interest in Hemingway and his work. His drinking worsened and his head injury caused more problematic behavior than usual. He took numerous prescription drugs and self-medicated with others.

Hemingway's Unfinished Writing (06:01)

As the Cuban Revolution began, Hemingway wrote numerous works that were published after his death. He experimented with writing, revealing new parts of himself. He travelled to Spain for an assignment, which took a toll on his health.

Hemingway's Depression Treatment (04:33)

Hemingway sympathized with the Cuban Revolution, but moved a farm in Ketchum, Idaho. His paranoia and strange behavior worsened, and he was treated for severe depression at the Mayo Clinic. He was released after six weeks.

Hemingway in Idaho (04:27)

In January 1961, Hemingway returned to the farm in Ketchum. His short-term memory loss from electric shock therapy made writing nearly impossible. The Bay of Pigs Invasion made him realize he could never return to Cuba.

Hemingway's Death (07:35)

Welsh stopped a suicide attempt in April 1961 and Hemingway was recommitted to the Mayo Clinic. Doctors released him in June, a decision Welsh disagreed with. On July 2, 1961, he died by suicide at age 61.

Credits: The Blank Page (194-1961) - Episode Three (02:41)

Credits: The Blank Page (194-1961) - Episode Three

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Episode 3: The Blank Page (1944-1961) (Hemingway: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick)

Part of the Series : Hemingway: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
3-Year Streaming Price: $339.95



Hemingway, reeling from his split with Martha, attaches himself to the U.S. Army as it moves through Normandy and liberates Paris. After the war he tries to start a new life with Mary Welsh but is beset with personal tragedies and professional mishaps. He publishes The Old Man and the Sea and wins the Nobel Prize but eventually is overcome by addiction, physical trauma and depression.

Length: 104 minutes

Item#: FMK240908

Copyright date: ©2021

Closed Captioned

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