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Moby Dick (1956)

Unrated | | Adventure, Drama | 1956 (UK)
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:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
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5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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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 »

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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
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Cast

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

From the immortal adventure classic...of whaling men, their ships, and the sea! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1956 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Herman Melville's Moby Dick  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$10,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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

John Huston originally wanted to cast his father Walter Huston as Captain Ahab, but by the time the film was finally set to be made, his father had been dead for four years. See more »

Goofs

Early at sea (on the Cape Verde grounds) the first whale is spotted and then harpooned by harpooners on each of the three boats. As the whale runs, towing each boat behind him, a call of "man overboard" is made and we see a close-up of a crewman cutting his boat's harpoon line and then another shot of both remaining boats being towed by the whale, but in the next shot, facing forward from the whaleboat's perspective, we see three taut lines leading back from the whale. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The film finishes with 'Finis' instead of the usual 'The End'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dawson's Creek: Uncharted Waters (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Calls you to the sea again...
13 November 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a film that becomes part of you. I used to watch it over and over again on TV when it was shown during my childhood in the 1960's, and I never tire of watching it. And whenever I find myself living somewhere away from the ocean, the longing is intense to find water again. "Call me Ishmael".

The screenplay was written by Ray Bradbury, and it was his first. In his lectures and interviews, Bradbury always seems to tell the story of how John Huston contacted him out of the blue for this assignment. Evidently, he flew Bradbury and his wife to Ireland, where the science fiction writer was holed up in a hotel for a few weeks, in a wonderful agony of creation.

Bradbury has always been enamoured with classic novels. His book "Fahrenheit 451" told us how great literature somehow becomes subversive, in a controlled society. Under fascism, individuals are not encouraged to understand what it is to be truly human. Life becomes flat, and it is a deliberate process.

Before I had a VCR, I taped this movie on an audio cassette. It was an amazing experience to see it unfold in my mind's eye.

Bradbury put his whole heart into this screenplay, and the result can never be matched.


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