Down 522 this week

Moby Dick (1956)

Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  27 June 1956 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 12,650 users  
Reviews: 113 user | 43 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.



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

Watch Now

Free at IMDb


TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 11 Aug 2011
a list of 25 titles
created 22 Apr 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 24 Oct 2013
a list of 40 titles
created 02 Jan 2014
a list of 24 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Moby Dick" on

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 »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Moby Dick (TV Mini-Series 1998)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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: Henry Thomas, Patrick Stewart, Bruce Spence
2010: Moby Dick (Video 2010)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.4/10 X  

A modern adaptation of the classic novel of the captain of a high tech submarine and his obsessive quest to destroy the enormousprehistoric whale that maimed him.

Director: Trey Stokes
Stars: Barry Bostwick, Renée O'Connor, Matt Lagan
Moby Dick (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Captain Ahab's descend 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.

Director: Paul Stanley
Stars: Jack Aranson
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Africa during WWI, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
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
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
Moby Dick: The True Story (TV Movie 2002)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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 7.6/10 X  

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Moulin Rouge (1952)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fictional account of French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Director: John Huston
Stars: José Ferrer, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Colette Marchand
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The Bounty leaves Portsmouth in 1787. Its destination: to sail to Tahiti and load bread-fruit. Captain Bligh will do anything to get there as fast as possible, using any means to keep up a ... See full summary »

Directors: Lewis Milestone, Carol Reed
Stars: Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During the Napoleonic wars, a British naval captain has adventures in Central American waters.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty
Moby Dick (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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


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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Adventure | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herman Melville's Moby Dick  »

Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To create the desaturated pastel effect image of the movie, director of photography Oswald Morris used a unique dye transfer technique that uses broad-cut black and white matrices. This causes the separation, and contains the other two colors before recombining to create the desired effect. A silver layer was later added in the 4th pass. See more »


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 »


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


We're All Bound To Go
Written by Traditional
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.

85 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: