Captain Ahab's descent 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.
When school teacher Harriet Winslow goes to Mexico to teach, she is kidnapped by Gen. Tomas Arroyo and his revolutionaries. An aging American, Ambrose "Old Gringo" Bierce also in Mexico, ... See full summary »
A mysterious explosion occurs at the Balam Bridge in Seoul on November 20th, 1994. In front of hot-blooded local news reporter Lee Bang-Woo, Yoon Hyeok appears. Yoon Hyeok is from the same ... See full summary »
In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Now, Queequeg, stop that!
Why didn't you tell me that this harpooner I'd be sharing a bed with is a cannibal, for God's sake?
Now, listen to me, Queequeg. You savvy me, I savvy you. This lad sleep here in this bed with you. You savvy?
Me savvy plenty.
See more »
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.
25 of 36 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this