In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. "In the Heart of the Sea" reveals the encounter's harrowing aftermath, as the ship's surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.
While Owen Chase's career flourished after the Essex ordeal, his personal life included several tragedies. His wife, Peggy, had two additional children: Lydia and William. She died shortly after William's birth, while Chase was at sea. He then married Nancy Joy, widow of his friend and Essex second mate Matthew Joy. Nancy gave birth to a daughter, Adaline, then died a few weeks later, while Chase was at sea. His third wife, Eunice Chadwick, apparently had an affair that resulted in a son, Charles, who was born when Chase had been at sea for 16 months. Chase filed for divorce upon his return, and raised Charles as his own. In 1840, soon after his divorce was settled, he married Susan Coffin Gwinn, widow of fellow Nantucket whaler captain James Gwinn. Chase suffered from nightmares and migraines, and spent several years in an institution after he started hoarding food in his attic. He died in 1859, at age 62. See more »
Owen Chase did not, as stated, relocate his family after the Essex incident to become a merchant captain. Instead, he relocated to New Bedford, MA, and continued to captain whalers for over twenty years. Captain Chase eventually became wealthy enough to have his own whaling ship, the Charles Carroll, built. See more »
[in his letter]
How does one come to know the unknowable? What faculties must a man possess? Since it was discovered that whale oil could light our cities in ways never achieved before, it created global demand. It has pushed man to venture further and further into the deep blue unknown. We know not its depths, nor the host of creatures that live there. Monsters. Are they real?
[a huge whale passes]
Or do the stories exist only to make us respect the sea's dark secrets?
[...] See more »
This is a high quality sea faring adventure movie, apparently based on a true event. I am glad to highly recommend the film as the whole production is first class and to fully appreciate the picture better to view it at the movie house rather than the likes of DVD. As for example the spectacular ocean scenes are at their best on the big screen.
In around 1820 huge profits were available to shipping companies for catching whales mainly for their sperm. One such company had an important whale hunting expedition but for selfish motives employed an inexperienced ship's captain, whilst the second in command ought to have been in charge. That fatal error leads to disastrous consequences. Indeed it was this story which led to the subsequent fictional classic book Moby Dick.
The movie for me captures the time period perfectly as the production and design is meticulous even down to the accents and language spoken. I felt I was transported to the 1820's and beyond.
An excellent cinema experience!
7 and a half rounded up:
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