7.4/10
13,939
118 user 46 critic

Moby Dick (1956)

Unrated | | Adventure, Drama | 3 October 1956 (Portugal)
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) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
5 wins & 4 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
Moby Dick (1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Paul Stanley
Stars: Jack Aranson
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 (TV Mini-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 5.6/10 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
Edit

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)
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:

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1956 (Portugal)  »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The whale "Moby Dick" was an 85-foot-long, steel-reinforced, rubberized construction. Two full models were made, costing approximately $30,000 each, both were lost at sea during shooting, necessitating a third to be built for the sequences shot in the Canary Islands. At one point, the towline of the third whale broke during filming and sailed into a fog with Gregory Peck on its back. See more »

Goofs

Scenes shot on the deck of the ship have a background painted to look like the sky. Joints in the painted plywood sheets or canvas can be quite clearly seen. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Spoofed in Dopey Dick, the Pink Whale (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Hill An' Gully Rider
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Edric Connor
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Fine Job of Filming a Challenging Novel
20 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

It would be impossible to make a movie that came up to the standard of the novel "Moby-Dick", but this film does a fine job of capturing some of the most important themes, and of telling a selection of the key parts of the story in an interesting way. It would be a temptation for any film-maker to put the focus on the action and the special effects, and thus ruin the heart of the book by downplaying its themes, as so many recent films have done with other classic material. Instead, John Huston's version concentrates on bringing out many of the complex internal and external conflicts of Captain Ahab, in sketching the crew members and their reactions to Ahab's monomania, and in portraying the atmosphere of frequent tedium, growing tension, and occasional dread aboard the 'Pequod'.

Richard Basehart's mild, pleasant demeanor makes Ishmael an appropriate mirror for the events and characters on the ship. Gregory Peck does rather well in the very challenging role of Ahab. Ahab is one of the most carefully-designed and demanding characters in literature, and lesser actors would simply be an embarrassment in the part. On screen, there is much to Ahab that just does not come across, and Peck's performance has to be judged with that in mind.

Leo Genn makes his scenes as Starbuck count, and several of the other crew members are portrayed well, albeit in much smaller parts. As Father Mapple, Orson Welles has only one scene, but it is an important one, in that it sets up some of the vital themes of the story ahead. Welles was an ideal choice, and his scene in the church is one scene that does come up to the high standard of Melville's novel.

While there may indeed be some areas in which this version falls short, and it's fair to point them out, it would be pretty difficult to improve on it in a cinema version of the story. And if taken on its own, it fits together well, making generally good choices as to what material would fit together and would work on screen, and in using the photography and settings to create the right atmosphere. For those who appreciate the depth of the original story, this has more than enough to make it worth watching.


48 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?