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   11,092 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Herman Melville (novel)
Ray Bradbury (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Moby Dick on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 June 1956 (USA) 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:
6 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(343 articles)
First Look at Chris Hemsworth In The Heart of the Sea
 (From Dread Central. 2 April 2014, 1:02 PM, PDT)

Oswald Morris obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 19 March 2014, 5:05 PM, PDT)

The Whale; The Ladybird Books Story – TV review
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 22 December 2013, 11:00 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
A Fine Job of Filming a Challenging Novel See more (108 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Gregory Peck ... Captain Ahab

Richard Basehart ... Ishmael

Leo Genn ... Starbuck

James Robertson Justice ... Captain 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 ... Captain 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 Allenby ... 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)
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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)
Alfred Kirschner .... post-synchronization director (uncredited)
Alex Pront .... sound (uncredited)
Len Shilton .... sound (uncredited)
Hugh Strain .... assistant dubbing mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
George Blackwell .... special effects (uncredited)
Augie Lohman .... 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
Dennis Bartlett .... title photographer (uncredited)
Steve Birtles .... gaffer (uncredited)
Freddie Francis .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ernst Haas .... additional stills photography (uncredited)
George Higgins .... still photographer (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 believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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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 | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1993) (1994) (2004) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #17465) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although Ishmael is supposed to be in his twenties, Richard Basehart was actually forty when the film was made - two years older than Gregory Peck.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The way the ship was moved away from the pier was incorrect. The crew is shown hauling a line from the pier. This would not make the ship move forward. To move a ship out of the harbor it is therefore necessary to provide something to pull against. A special anchor, called a kedging anchor, is carried as far from the ship as possible by the longboat and then dropped to the seabed. The remaining crew pull the ship out to it winding the line around the capstan or winch, and then it is hauled up and the process repeated as many times as necessary.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Ishmael:[voiceover] Call me Ishmael.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Corporation (2003)See more »
Soundtrack:
Blood Red RosesSee more »

FAQ

The film does not look like other Technicolor films. Why is that?
See more »
43 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
A Fine Job of Filming a Challenging Novel, 20 September 2004
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio

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.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Moby Dick (1956)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Peck was Unbelievable in This!!! movienut710
THE ROLE OF MOBY-DICK murdoch1111
Call me Ishmael eansor-1
Why a remake? This movie stands up just fine. BigShoe62
The song Elm_Street
Who would be a good choice for Ahab today? faulknerfan123
See more »

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