IMDb > Moby Dick (1956)
Moby Dick
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Moby Dick (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   13,942 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Herman Melville (novel)
Ray Bradbury (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Moby Dick on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 October 1956 (Portugal) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
From the immortal adventure classic...of whaling men, their ships, and the sea! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Gotten Better With Age See more (118 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gregory Peck ... Captain Ahab

Richard Basehart ... Ishmael

Leo Genn ... Starbuck

James Robertson Justice ... Capt. Boomer

Harry Andrews ... Stubb

Bernard Miles ... The Manxman

Noel Purcell ... Ship's Carpenter
Edric Connor ... Daggoo
Mervyn Johns ... Peleg
Joseph Tomelty ... Peter Coffin
Francis De Wolff ... Capt. Gardiner
Philip Stainton ... Bildad

Royal Dano ... 'Elijah'
Seamus Kelly ... Flask
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Queequeg (as Friedrich Ledebur)

Orson Welles ... Father Mapple
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tamba Allen ... Pip (uncredited)
Tom Clegg ... Tashtego (uncredited)
Mandy Harper ... Young Girl (uncredited)
Ted Howard ... Perth (uncredited)

John Huston ... Barman / Ship's Lookout (voice) (uncredited)
A.L. Bert Lloyd ... Lead Shantyman (and Shanty Adviser) (uncredited)
Arthur Mullard ... (uncredited)
Robert Rietty ... Revoicing (uncredited)
Iris Tree ... Bible Woman (uncredited)

Carol White ... Young Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
John Huston 
 
Writing credits
Herman Melville (novel "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale")

Ray Bradbury (screenplay) and
John Huston (screenplay)

Norman Corwin  uncredited

Produced by
John Huston .... producer
Lee Katz .... associate producer (as Lehman Katz)
Jack Clayton .... associate producer (uncredited)
Vaughan N. Dean .... co-producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Philip Sainton 
 
Cinematography by
Oswald Morris (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Russell Lloyd 
 
Production Design by
Geoffrey Drake (uncredited)
Stephen Drake (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Ralph W. Brinton  (as Ralph Brinton)
 
Costume Design by
Elizabeth Haffenden 
 
Makeup Department
Charles E. Parker .... makeup creator (as Charles Parker)
 
Production Management
Cecil F. Ford .... production manager (uncredited)
Gerry Mitchell .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Martin .... assistant director
Kevin McClory .... assistant director (uncredited)
Peter Price .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Stephen B. Grimes .... assistant art director (as Stephen Grimes)
Bill Beavis .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Babs Gray .... model maker (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist (as John Mitchell)
Cyril Brown .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Alfred Kirschner .... post-synchronization director (uncredited)
Alex Pront .... sound (uncredited)
Len Shilton .... sound (uncredited)
Hugh Strain .... assistant dubbing mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Wally Armitage .... special effects foreman (uncredited)
George Blackwell .... special effects (uncredited)
Jim Hole .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Augie Lohman .... special effects (uncredited)
Curly Nelhams .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Robert Clarke .... technical advisor: whale model (uncredited)
Charles E. Parker .... technical advisor: whale model (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Robert Porter .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
Paul Stader .... stunts (uncredited)
John Sullivan .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Freddie Francis .... director of photography: second unit
Arthur Ibbetson .... camera operator
Ray Andrew .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Dennis Bartlett .... title photographer (uncredited)
Steve Birtles .... gaffer (uncredited)
Frank Ellis .... camera operator (uncredited)
Freddie Francis .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ernst Haas .... additional stills photography (uncredited)
George Higgins .... still photographer (uncredited)
Marc Hyams .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Alec Mills .... second camera: focus puller (uncredited)
Martin O'Connor .... key grip (uncredited)
Bob Penn .... still photographer: special publicity photographs (uncredited)
Kelvin Pike .... focus puller (uncredited)
Reg Pope .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Paul Wilson .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Babs Gray .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Jean-Pierre Steimer .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Harold V. King .... recordist (as Harold King)
Louis Levy .... conductor
 
Transportation Department
Eddie Frewin .... driver: generator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Robert Clarke .... technical advisor on whaling
John Huston .... color style creator
Oswald Morris .... color style creator
Angela Allen .... continuity (uncredited)
John Breslin .... dialect advisor (uncredited)
Tadeo Villalba .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Herman Melville's Moby Dick" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
116 min | 115 min (TCM print)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:K-12 (1986) | Finland:K-16 (1956) | Iceland:L | Netherlands:6 (re-rating) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1956) | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 | Sweden:11 (re-release) (1977) | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1993) (1994) (2004) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #17465) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Gregory Peck's few attempts to play a villain were considered unsuccessful, perhaps because the public could not accept Peck as anything other than good. He was considered too young at 38 to play Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (1956), especially since the character was described in Herman Melville's novel as an old man.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Just before Ishmael and Queequeg meet Elijah they walk past a moored ship which has a Plimsoll mark painted on her hull. The scene takes place in 1841 but Plimsoll marks were not devised until the 1870's.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Ishmael:[voiceover] Call me Ishmael.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Hill An' Gully RiderSee more »

FAQ

The film does not look like other Technicolor films. Why is that?
See more »
38 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
Gotten Better With Age, 31 January 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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.

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