In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he ... See full summary »
In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he meets and falls for Faith Mapple, daughter of the local minister and beloved of Ahab's brother Derek. Faith herself quickly returns Ahab's love, as Derek is drab and ignoble. On his next voyage, however, Ahab loses a leg to the monstrous white whale Moby-Dick. When upon his return to New Bedford he mistakenly believes Faith wants nothing to do with him because of his disfigurement, Ahab returns to sea with only one goal in mind -- to find and kill the great white whale. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A German-language version was made at Warners simultaneously. Ahab was played by Wilhelm (William) Dieterle in the Barrymore role, and Michael Curtiz replaced Bacon as director. German title was "Damon des Meeres" (Demon of the Seas). See more »
While the credits state that the film is based on Herman Melville's novel, the first page of the novel shown onscreen right after the credits is entirely written by one of the screenwriters; it has absolutely nothing to do with Melville's original, and even leaves out Melville's classic opening sentence, "Call me Ishmael". See more »
John Barrymore can act. His performance as Captain Ahab is the best I've ever seen. That might not be saying much because the novel "Moby Dick" despite being as popular as it is has only been brought to the screen four times and the first two, this version being the latter of the two are based on a stage play adaptation "The Sea Beast." This movie adds a love interest to the proceedings and changes and alters the ending and character relationships. Is it blasphemy? All I can say if you do not know the plot of Moby Dick and just recognize it as most people do as a story about a man chasing a whale, you'll love this version. Heck, I know the story and I loved it. I think it is much better than the more faithful Huston-Peck version or TNT-Patrick Stewart version. First for a 1930 version, it has aged well. The special effects including the sea sequences are better than some movies made today and almost equal to the "Perfect Storm", in certain places. Moby Dick itself is a sight to behold. It has to be at list twenty times the size of the shark in Jaws. It's a wonder of prop making indeed. Barrymore, I repeat his fabulous embodying the character completely. Well, this was his second time playing the character. All, in all, good Hollywood entertainment. 9/10.
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