Down 541 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 12,784 users  
Reviews: 114 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

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)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
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
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 | Drama | Romance
    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
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A marine and a nun form an unlikely friendship. 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
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
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An old Cuban fisherman's dry spell is broken when he hooks a gigantic fish that drags him out to sea. Based on Ernest Hemingway's story.

Directors: John Sturges, Henry King, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazos, Harry Bellaver
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
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
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
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone


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 <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In all the world---in all the seas---in all adventure, there is no might like the might of [Moby Dick] 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?


Orson Welles suffered from stage fright while filming Father Mapple's sermon. To quell the actor's nerves, John Huston hid a bottle of brandy on the set so Welles could visit it as needed. See more »


Airplane contrails visible in the background when Starbuck plans to shoot Ahab. See more »


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


Version of The Adventures of Moby Dick (1996) See more »


Blood Red Roses
Arranged by Albert Lloyd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gotten Better With Age
31 January 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When John Huston was casting for Moby Dick he got to make it on condition that he get a name actor to play Ahab. He went to Gregory Peck who was surprised by the offer. Given his image and the roles he had played up to that time, Peck thought he'd be better cast as Starbuck the first mate. Nevertheless he agreed to do Ahab.

Peck got mixed reviews at the time, but over the course of 50 years his performance has gotten better with time. The film itself which was shot in Ireland and Wales has also aged well. It's a nice depiction of life on a whaling ship in the 1840s and the crew of the Pequod are nicely cast in their roles.

Orson Welles was set to do his own adaption of Moby Dick and canceled his film when he heard his friend John Huston was doing Moby Dick. Welles asked about doing Ahab, but was given the small role of Father Mapple, the minister who blesses the Pequod's voyage. In fact Huston gave Welles a free hand to do the scene as he saw fit and the results are gratifying.

Of course Herman Melville's novel is about obsession and vengeance. I've always thought the point of Moby Dick is that the evil white whale who Ahab so personalizes and demonizes is just a whale doing his whale thing trying to stay alive. It is in fact the whalers who hunt him and his kind. And Ahab losing his leg is what we would call an occupational accident. The evil is how Ahab seduces the whole crew into his own madness, even first mate Starbuck, played winningly by Leo Genn who is the voice of reason and civilization.

Other cast members to note are Harry Andrews as second mate Stub, Friedrich Ledebuhr as Queequeg the Pacific Islander harpooner, and of course Richard Basehart as Ishmael who tells the tale.

34 of 43 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: