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Moby Dick (1956)

 -  Adventure | Drama  -  27 June 1956 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,097 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 38 critic

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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(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Moby Dick (1956)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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...
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The Manxman
Noel Purcell ...
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

Plot Keywords:

whale | ship | obsession | revenge | whaling | See more »

Taglines:

The most eagerly awaited motion picture of the year! 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  »

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

Gregory Peck initially blamed the poor reviews for his performance on the script, which he felt contained "too much prose from the novel". However, he later acknowledged that he had been too young for the part at 38, since Captain Ahab was supposed to be an old man at the end of his career (Ahab's age, as implied in the book's chapter "The Symphony", is 58). He added, "The film required more. At the time, I didn't have more in me." See more »

Goofs

Blood/holes in Moby Dick change when Ahab stabs him. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Boy Meets World: Boys II Mensa (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

We're All Bound To Go
(uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"Moby Dick" Huston's Masterpiece
19 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Moby Dick" is one of the great adventure films of all time, and one of the greatest psychological stories ever told. Ahab & his quest for the White Whale have reached the status of a cultural icon, but this film was wonderful when it was released, remains wonderful today, and will I think stand the test of time well into the future.

I'd heard that even Gregory Peck himself had been talked into believing that his performance was 'wooden', but that is hogwash. This is probably Peck's greatest performance, and that's saying something.

"Moby Dick" takes us into two strange and unfamiliar worlds--that of the 19th-century whaler and its crew on a global hunt for whale oil on the high seas, and that of Captain Ahab's mind. A great adventure and a great obsession intertwined, inseparable.

The script was a brilliant adaptation of a difficult book. John Huston & Ray Bradbury put this together and managed to use a number of lines directly from the book in the sometimes odd vernacular of the period that gives certain scenes and dialogue such presence and authenticity.

From the odd first spoken line in the film, the voice-over of Richard Basehart saying "Call me Ishmael", the brilliantly constructed initial scenes that brought us, the audience, down to the sea as they brought the young Ishmael to it, the wonderful scenes in The Spouter's Inn where Ishmael meets innkeeper Peter Coffin and some of the Pequod's crew, notably Stubb, who goodnaturedly challenges Ishmael's seagoing ambition and, when convinced that he is authentic, introduces him to the inn's customs and celebration. And the unforgettable, wonderful and strange Queequeg with his head. Who wouldn't want to join a whaling voyage with this lot?! Peck's Ahab is one of the most compelling and memorable characters ever portrayed on film, and the transformation of the crew to carry out Ahab's obsessive search for the White Whale even against their better judgement was wonderfully portrayed and is the singular most important element of the story & of this script.

It is absurd to describe what happens in this film, and I will not. Suffice to say that this is a great film, one I can watch from time to time with almost the same frequency as 'Casablanca'.


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Why a remake? This movie stands up just fine. BigShoe62
Peck was Unbelievable in This!!! movienut710
Stupid as it may seem! nemesis506
Call me Ishmael eansor-1
Who named the whale? sameheartcircle
The Name of the Ship rockcairn69
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