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Moby Dick (1956)

Unrated | | Adventure, Drama | 27 June 1956 (USA)
The sole survivor of a lost whaling ship relates the tale of his captain's self-destructive obsession to hunt the white whale, Moby Dick.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
The Manxman
...
Edric Connor ...
Mervyn Johns ...
Joseph Tomelty ...
Francis De Wolff ...
Philip Stainton ...
...
Seamus Kelly ...
Friedrich von Ledebur ...
Queequeg (as Friedrich Ledebur)
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Storyline

This classic story by Herman Melville revolves around Captain Ahab and his obsession with a huge whale, Moby Dick. The whale caused the loss of Ahab's leg years before, leaving Ahab to stomp the boards of his ship on a peg leg. Ahab is so crazed by his desire to kill the whale, that he is prepared to sacrifice everything, including his life, the lives of his crew members, and even his ship to find and destroy his nemesis, Moby Dick. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In all the world---in all the seas---in all adventure, there is no might like the might of [Moby Dick] See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herman Melville's Moby Dick  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Over the years, John Huston and Gregory Peck, among others, have talked about how during filming on the Irish Sea, the company lost one - some say as many as three - rubber white whales; the assumption being that the special effects people built complete 60-foot leviathans from head to fin. However, cinematographer Oswald Morris, in his autobiography, "Huston, We Have a Problem," said that no full-length model whale was ever built. He claims the film company trolled the sea on the Pequod with a props barge nearby. The barge carried various parts of the whale's body (tailfins, hump, etc.), which were used as needed. The only complete whale bodies were different-sized miniatures that were filmed in a special tank designed by special-effects whiz Augie Lohman at Shepperton Studios. Likewise, all the shots of the whale's head were filmed indoors (as they couldn't make the jaws, eyes and other components work on the open sea). According to Morris, the "lost" whale was a 20-foot-high cylinder of the middle section which broke away from its tow line and floated away (he doesn't say if Peck was on board when the prop was lost), but he implies that it was the only whale "casualty" in the entire production. See more »

Goofs

The way the ship was moved away from the pier was incorrect. The crew is shown hauling a line from the pier. This would not make the ship move forward. To move a ship out of the harbor it is therefore necessary to provide something to pull against. A special anchor, called a kedging anchor, is carried as far from the ship as possible by the longboat and then dropped to the seabed. The remaining crew pull the ship out to it winding the line around the capstan or winch, and then it is hauled up and the process repeated as many times as necessary. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ishmael: [voiceover] Call me Ishmael.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Gregory Peck (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Hill An' Gully Rider
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Edric Connor
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
" Just Because we see it, don't mean it's real "
26 August 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

There are many stories of the sea and the men who are drawn to it in ships. If one is looking for a film which awakens the ancient memories of the ocean, it's awesome power, it's ability to beckon and then destroy them, " Moby Dick " is such a film. In 1956, director John Huston passed up the opportunity to play the self-destructive Captain Ahab, and chose instead veteran actor Gregory Peck. Despite the fact many thought Peck was not the right man for the part (including Peck) the end product proved naysayers wrong. The film itself contains several direct passages from Herman Melvile's novel, which literally urges it along. From the beginning, with the main character stating Call me Ishmael this film invites the audience to witness whaling at the turn of the 19th century. It is the beginning of a young man's search for adventure and experience and encounters 'Elija' (Royal Dano) who warns him and his friend Queequeg (Friedrich Von Ledebur), that death awaits the 'Pequod'. Shipping from the port of New Bedford, the ship sails out to hunt whales for their oil. What Ishmael (Richard Basehart) learns is that his Captain is hell bent on personal revenge on one gigantic white whale called Moby Dick who crippled and disfigured him. Driven by incessant hatred, the Captain will not rest until the whale is dead. To that end, he will gamble his life, his crew, his purpose and ultimately his ship. Leo Genn plays Starbuck, the second in command, who will try and stop his Captain if he can. Harry Andrews plays Stubbs, the second mate. When the ship finally encounters the White Whale, it's a war of wills and makes for drama at it's very best. Perhaps that's what makes this movie a true Classic. ****


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Call me Ishmael eansor-1
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