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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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The Manxman
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Edric Connor ...
Mervyn Johns ...
Joseph Tomelty ...
Francis De Wolff ...
Philip Stainton ...
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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

Taglines:

Ishmael Handsome, romantic - the look of a poet, the courage of a giant See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1956 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Herman Melville's Moby Dick  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

Captain Ahab forecasts the whereabouts of Moby Dick at Bikini Atoll, which he points out on a chart. This place is not mentioned in the book by Herman Melville. Many viewers in 1956 made the connection between the location of the atom bomb testing site and the theme of the film. See more »

Goofs

When the white whale rams the ship, the main mast breaks and comes down, crow's-nest and all, hitting the cabin boy. The whale circles the ship creating a whirlpool; when we see wider shots of the ship spinning and sinking, the mast is back up. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Bond of Silence (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

We're All Bound To Go
(uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better and better each time you see it
19 April 2000 | by (New York NY) – See all my reviews

Some critics panned this pic when it came out - Peck too wooden, the script too cliched, etc, etc. Don't believe a word of it. I saw this one when I was 8 or 9, and for years I watched it every time it came on TV - even in B&W! Peck isn't wooden, he's intense and fascinating (my favorite scene: in his cabin, saying to Starbuck, "That bed is a coffin"). The language may sound stilted, but it's MELVILLE'S, and the cast sink into it with conviction.

Some critic (I don't know which) has said that Moby Dick (the book) is an "uncomfortable masterpiece" - or something like that - meaning that it's a hard pill to swallow. The movie is bound to be a hard pill for many viewers as well. But that's their loss. Huston's movie is a great big powerful thing

  • you believe in Peck's crazy passion, in Starbuck's gentleness, in Ishmael


and Quequeg's bond, in the evil of the whale, even.

Another favorite sequence: the Pequot becalmed, the crew lying about under the intense sun, slowly going crazy. The climactic chase is superb and thrilling, of course; what it all adds up to is a film about the elements, and our relationship to them. The whale is just the biggest of a whole slew that constantly threaten to destroy us. Nature, our natures - all the things we fight against with our intelligence, that threaten to engulf us.

Beautiful film, one of Huston's best. I find the analogy with Hitler/Nazis in an earlier comment very interesting. Another would be with an earlier Huston film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - another film about people taking terrible chances for reasons that don't stand up to a lot of examination, whose biggest obstacle turns out to be themselves. By the way, will someone please rerelease Moby Dick in a restored version so we can get a really good look at all that glorious Technicolor?


64 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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