Captain Ahab's descent into madness destroys everyone around him. This powerful character drew John Barrymore, Orson Wells and John Huston. This film has been called the best, most authentic version of Herman Melville's MOBY DICK.
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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This version of the Melville classic should, without question, be regarded as the penultimate screen adaptation of a masterwork of American fiction. Everything - absolutely everything - about this film works, from John Huston's brilliant direction, to the screenplay ( co-written by Ray Bradbury ), to the powerful and believable performances. Gregory Peck IS Ahab; if anyone defined and crystallized so megalomaniacal a character, it was Peck, hands down. Not that this should be interpreted as a slight to any of the supporting cast; it isn't. The casting is so good, in fact, that now we find it difficult, if not impossible, to view the supporting cast members in any other light, especially Frederich Ledebur: his choice by the producers as Queequeg was nothing if not dead on the money, as was the small but significant part of Elizah, as portrayed by Royal Dano. Granted, some liberties were taken with the book ( so what else is new? ), such as the squid being written out completely, but this was, and continues to be, necessary in order to make a movie that doesn't take five hours to play out. Yes, okay, it's a "Cliff's Notes" "Moby Dick", but if what you're after is good direction, outstanding ( one could say tour de force ) acting, and a tight screenplay, then this is the movie for you. Believe us, this is the one, NOT the remake with Patrick Stewart. Stewart's Ahab is basically Patrick Stewart playing Patrick Stewart playing Ahab or, to put it another way, Huston's "Moby Dick" needs to be remade about as badly as the rest of us need leukemia. 'Nuff said.
37 of 52 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?