MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 47 this week

Moby Dick (1956)

 -  Adventure | Drama  -  27 June 1956 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,723 users  
Reviews: 110 user | 37 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Staff Picks: Favorite Horror Movies

We asked IMDb staffers to provide their favorite horror movies.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 11 Mar 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 06 Apr 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 24 Oct 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Moby Dick" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Moby Dick (1956)

Moby Dick (1956) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Moby Dick.

User Polls

7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Moby Dick: The True Story (TV Movie 2002)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of the surviving sailors whose whaling ship was destroyed by a sperm whale.

Director: Christopher Rowley
Stars: Greg Atkins, Justin Chatwin, Curtis Harrison
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-marshaled out of the army and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has ... See full summary »

Directors: John Huston, Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet
The Sea Beast (1926)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This silent movie is based on Melville's classic Moby Dick. Ahab and his brother compete for the affections of minister's daughter Esther. But the great white whale has been eluding the ... See full summary »

Director: Millard Webb
Stars: John Barrymore, Dolores Costello, George O'Hara
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Marine and a Nun, The Marine is shipwrecked on a Pacific Island and the Nun has been left behind there, they find comfort in one another as the two wait out the war.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Truncated adaptation of Stephen Crane's novel about a Civil War Union soldier who stuggles to find the courage to fight in the heat of battle.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin, Douglas Dick
Adventure | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

China Valdes joins the Cuban underground after her brother is killed by the chief of the secret police, Ariete. She meets and falls in love with American expatriate Tony Fenner. Tony ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jennifer Jones, John Garfield, Pedro Armendáriz
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two British soldiers in India decide to resign from the Army and set themselves up as deities in Kafiristan--a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer
Moby Dick (TV Series 2011)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

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.

Stars: William Hurt, Ethan Hawke, Charlie Cox
Moby Dick (1930)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: John Barrymore, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Hughes
Moby-Dick (TV Movie 1977)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Richard Slapczynski
Stars: Alistair Duncan, Ron Haddrick, Barbara Frawley
Adventure | Drama

A new take on the classic tale of Captain Ahab search for an elusive whale.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Moby Dick (TV Movie 1954)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Albert McCleery
Stars: Victor Jory, Lamont Johnson, Harvey Stephens
Edit

Cast

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

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:

The man - the whale - the vengeance - the mightiest adventure ever seen! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When John Huston first met Ray Bradbury to discuss writing the screenplay, Bradbury admitted, "I've never been able to read the damned thing." Huston simply asked Bradbury to come back the next day to start working and, handing him a copy of the book, said, "Just go home and read what you can." See more »

Goofs

During the scene when the masts and Ahab's harpoon are covered with St. Elmo's fire, the luminous phenomenon was shown as a green glow. Physically, St. Elmo's fire is a bright blue or violet glow, appearing like fire in some circumstances, from tall, sharply pointed structures, so the color of the phenomenon is incorrect. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Gunshy (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Blood Red Roses
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Albert Lloyd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

There's Majesty For You!
14 July 1999 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

"We are all killers, on land and on sea," wrote Herman Melville more than 100 years ago. But the artistic failure of a recent television adaptation of his greatest work shows that some are killers, too, on screen. Movie makers. Butchers. Their guts are now gorged with Moby Dick.

"Majestic" raved "TV Guide" about USA Network's production of Melville's book. Reading that review I had a fantasy where Captain Ahab, with his sublime limp, walks into the magazine's office, shoves director John Huston's 1956 film of Moby Dick into the VCR, points to the screen and defiantly exclaims:

"There's majesty for you . . . "

. . . in the faces of men. Huston's film benefits from its intelligent casting of the seamen. The actors in the recent production are just pretty-boy imports from Los Angeles, rabble-rousers lacking the dignity that is gained from a lifetime of duty. But that dignity is plainly visible on the rugged faces of the men in the earlier film. One rarely sees that anymore.

. . . in the faces of women, too. The images of the women suffering as they watch their men go off to sea are utterly devastating, they hold so much emotional depth, so much beauty. The attention to detail in Huston's film is striking: the hairs on the chins of the old women, the tired, thick-skinned expressions of the wives and widows, the heavy shawls covering their heads.

. . . in the performances. Over 40 years ago when Orson Welles gave his performance as Father Mapple (a role which only a person with a special kind of magnificence could successfully take on), Gregory Peck might have been busily preparing for his role as Captain Ahab in the same film. What a testament to Peck's stature as one of our leading actors that throughout his career he could play not only Captain Ahab but also, in the recent production, Father Mapple.

. . . in the color. Huston's film is in Technicolor, a technique which produced colors not even seen in nature. The sky is now blue now red now green. The water is brown, pink, gray. Colors blend. Colors clash. By comparison, how banal the colors of our post-Technicolor world!

. . . in the mouth. The seamen have the exquisite mouths of pipe-smokers. The upper lip tight and stiff after so many hours pulled down in the puff.

. . . in the eyes. My favorite scene is where Peck as Captain Ahab famously proclaims: "Speak not to me of blasphemy. I'd strike the sun if it insulted me." The lighting, the acting, everything here is superb. The camera is focused tightly on Peck's face. The stark appearance of his eyes -- the tense, black irises all surrounded by gleaming white -- seems to reveal the subtext of the story. His eyes electrify!

John Huston's film says more in its two hours than USA Network's says in four; it suggests a lot and explains little, whereas the latter tries to explain a lot but says nothing. A great film, it doesn't butcher Melville's Moby Dick but adds to its power.


81 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why a remake? This movie stands up just fine. BigShoe62
Peck was Unbelievable in This!!! movienut710
Stupid as it may seem! nemesis506
Who would be a good choice for Ahab today? faulknerfan123
Call me Ishmael eansor-1
Who named the whale? sameheartcircle
Discuss Moby Dick (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?