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.
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1998  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
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Robin Cuming ...
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Piripi Waretini ...
Vivianne Benton ...
 Sal Coffin 2 episodes, 1998
...
 Bulkington 2 episodes, 1998
Norman Yemm ...
Michael Jackson ...
 Shantyman 2 episodes, 1998
Warren Owens ...
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 Little Pip 2 episodes, 1998
Harold Hopkins ...
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 Captain Bildad 2 episodes, 1998
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 Father Mapple 2 episodes, 1998
Matthew E. Montoya ...
 Tashtego 2 episodes, 1998
Michael Edward-Stevens ...
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Apirana Taylor ...
 Dough Boy 2 episodes, 1998
...
 Fedallah 2 episodes, 1998
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Storyline

Herman Melville's classic 1851 sea tale about the vengeful sea Captain Ahab who seeks to kill the great white whale who took his leg and is willing to forego the safety and endurance of his crew to do it. The tale is told from the vantage of the only surviving member, Ishmael, a young man who joins the crew of the Pequod for his first seafaring with the aid of his harpoonist friend, Queequeeg. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Plot Keywords:

ship | sea | captain | whale | hunt | See All (40) »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and for some intense whaling action/violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Моби Дик  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Lee's final film. See more »

Quotes

Queequeg: I killee!
Peter Coffin: Now, Queequeg, stop that!
Ishmael: Why didn't you tell me that this harpooner I'd be sharing a bed with is a cannibal, for God's sake?
Peter Coffin: Now, listen to me, Queequeg. You savvy me, I savvy you. This lad sleep here in this bed with you. You savvy?
Queequeg: Me savvy plenty.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Sea Beast (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

South Australia
Traditional
[Sung by sailors as they swab the deck]
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User Reviews

Misses by a mile
6 November 2000 | by See all my reviews

As a long-time fan of the 1956 John Huston film I was looking forward to seeing a new interpretation of what is recognised as a classic of world literature.

What went wrong? Well, it might have helped if the makers had respected the audience's intelligence and used (as Huston did) as much of Melville's language as possible. Alright, all viewers will understand the meaning of a "flat calm sea", but surely a "soft and dirge-like main" is so much more evocative. Worse still, Ahab's major speeches ("pasteboard masks" and "mild, mild day") are chopped by the writers and thrown away by the direction, leaving us with a story about a man who for some reason wants to chase one particular whale, his true motivation is completely lost.

Patrick Stewart did a decent job as Ahab given the circumstances but with that loss of motivation he lost the mythical, superhuman stature the character needs to give the story greatness. Gregory Peck was fine as Father Mapple (again, the sermon was chopped down until it was meaningless, depriving the actor of his best opportunity to make a lasting impression).

The supporting cast are best described as nondescript, ranting their dialogue. Starbuck is completely miscast. His opposition to Ahab is shown by surly sulking and droning on about the financial purpose of the voyage. He doesn't seem to realise the true nature of Ahab's obsession at all. Even the small but crucial appearance of Elijah (where Royal Dano had two superb minutes in 1956) is turned into a caricature who adds nothing to the mythical dimension of the story.

The effects were adequate although, for some reason I never felt the Pequod was actually moving, even in the storm scenes. Strange that a film set on a small sailing ship should feel to static.

As for Moby Dick himself, I've always felt that in Huston's film he was a *character* with an individual personality. In this version Moby Dick is just a whale, and that sums up the failure of the film as a whole.


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