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Moby Dick (1956) Poster

(1956)

Quotes

Captain Ahab: From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned whale.

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[last lines]

Ishmael: [voiceover] The coffin. Drowned Queequeg's coffin was my life buoy. For one whole day and night , it sustained me on that soft and dirge-like main. Then, a sail appeared; It was the Rachel. The Rachel who in her long melancholy search for her missing children found... another orphan. The drama's done. All are departed away. The great shroud of the sea rolls over the Pequod, her crew, and Moby Dick. I only am escaped... alone, to tell thee.

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Starbuck, first mate: It's late; you should turn in.

Captain Ahab: Sleep? That bed is a coffin, and those are winding sheets. I do not sleep, I die.

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Starbuck, first mate: To be enraged with a dumb brute that acted out of blind instinct is blasphemous.

Captain Ahab: Speak not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. Look ye, Starbuck, all visible objects are but as pasteboard masks. Some inscrutable yet reasoning thing puts forth the molding of their features. The white whale tasks me; he heaps me. Yet he is but a mask. 'Tis the thing behind the mask I chiefly hate; the malignant thing that has plagued mankind since time began; the thing that maws and mutilates our race, not killing us outright but letting us live on, with half a heart and half a lung.

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Ishmael: Ehhhh, you can't fool us; it's the easiest thing in the world for a man to look as if he's got a great secret in him.

Elijah: I have, lad, I have. At sea one day, you'll smell land where there'll be no land, and on that day Ahab will go to his grave, but he'll rise again within the hour. He will rise and beckon. Then all - all save one shall follow. (Slinking away with a smile on his face) Mornin', lads... mornin'. May the heavens bless you.

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Captain Ahab: By heavens man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and fate is the handspike.

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Ishmael: [in voice-over narration] He did not feel the wind, or smell the salt air. He only stood, staring at the horizon, with the marks of some inner crucifixion and woe deep in his face.

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[first lines]

Ishmael: [voiceover] Call me Ishmael.

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Father Mapple: Delight is to him who coming to day him down can say, "O Father, mortal or immortal, here I die. I have striven to be Thine, more than to be this world's. Yet this is nothing. I leave eternity to Thee. For what is man, that he should live out the lifetime of his God?"

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Starbuck, first mate: [to Stubb and Flask] It is an evil voyage, I tell thee. If Ahab has his way, neither thee nor me, nor any member of this ship's company will ever see home again.

Stubb: Aw, come on, Mr. Starbuck, you're just plain gloomy. Moby Dick may be big, but he ain't THAT big.

Starbuck, first mate: I do not fear Moby Dick - I fear the wrath of God.

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Captain Ahab: Captain Gardner, I seek the white whale, your own son's murderer. I am losing time... Goodbye, and fare thee well, I say. God help you, Captain Gardiner.

Captain Gardiner: God forgive you, Captain Ahab.

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Pip: That ain't no whale; that a great white god.

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Ishmael: Queequeg, such behavior isn't Christian. In fact, it's downright pagan and heathenish.

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Captain Ahab: I'll follow him around the Horn, and around the Norway maelstrom, and around perdition's flames before I give him up.

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Starbuck, first mate: It is our task in life to kill whales, to furnish oil for the lamps of the world. If we perform that task well and faithfully, we do a service to mankind that pleases Almighty God. Ahab would deny all that. He has taken us from the rich harvest we were reaping to satisfy his lust for vengeance. He is twisting that which is holy into something dark and purposeless. He is a Champion of Darkness. Ahab's red flag challenges the heavens.

Stubb: Well, sir, if it's like that, I don't wonder that you, a religious man, might be a bit downcast. But I don't much see what you can do about it.

Starbuck, first mate: Listen to this.

Starbuck, first mate: [He goes over to a bookshelf, picks up a heavy book, opens it, and reads aloud from it]

Starbuck, first mate: "A captain who, from private motives, employs his vessel for another purpose from that intended by the owners, is answerable to the charge of usurpation, and his crew is morally and legally entitled to employ forceful means in wresting his command from him."

Stubb: Well, that's a mouthful, I swear!

Flask: Wrest his command from him? Does that mean take over?

Starbuck, first mate: It does, Mr. Flask.

Stubb: [incredulous] Why, you ain't proposing we do any such thing?

Starbuck, first mate: [Starbuck indicates yes]

Stubb: You're in dangerous waters, Mr. Starbuck! Come on over; come about!

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Ishmael: [seeing Moby Dick for the first time] Is it real? Do you see it, too?

The Manxman, a sailor: We all see it. That don't make it real.

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Captain Ahab: Blacksmith, I set ye a task. Take these harpoons and lances. Melt them down. Forge me new weapons that will strike deep and hold fast. But do not douse them in water; they must have a proper baptism. What say ye, all ye men? Will you give as much blood as shall be needed to temper the steel?

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Captain Ahab: I don't give reasons. I give orders!

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Ishmael: [in voiceover, about Starbuck] His courage was one of the great staples of the ship, like beef or flour. There, when required, and not to be foolishly wasted.

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Captain Ahab: Birds... the birds... *He rises*!

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Ishmael: [in voice-over narration] Long days and nights we strained at the oars while a white whale swam freely on, widening the waters between himself and Ahab's vengeance.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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