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 ...
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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.
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William A. Wellman
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 meets and falls for Faith Mapple, daughter of the local minister and beloved of Ahab's brother Derek. Faith herself quickly returns Ahab's love, as Derek is drab and ignoble. On his next voyage, however, Ahab loses a leg to the monstrous white whale Moby-Dick. When upon his return to New Bedford he mistakenly believes Faith wants nothing to do with him because of his disfigurement, Ahab returns to sea with only one goal in mind -- to find and kill the great white whale.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Far out in an angry sea. sailors grapple with monster whales in a combat to death. While home in New Bedford sweethearts pray for the safe landing of boats that seldom return! (Print Ad- Portsmouth Times, ((Portsmouth, Ohio)) 29 September 1930) See more »
Although the film was initially recorded on Vitaphone and intended for disc accompaniment, by the time of its release, so many theatres had opted for sound-on-film, that the opening credits had to be redone, and the image had to be cropped off the left side, in order to accommodate the sound-on-film system track, which was, by then, replacing the soon to be obsolete Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, and required a slightly narrower picture image as a result. See more »
The cover of Melville's novel is shown, then what is ostensibly the first page. But the text we are shown consists of statements about whaling in general and Moby Dick. The novel, however, is written in the first person, and its first line, establishing this, is one of the most famous in all literature: "Call me Ishmael." See more »
While the credits state that the film is based on Herman Melville's novel, the first page of the novel shown onscreen right after the credits is entirely written by one of the screenwriters; it has absolutely nothing to do with Melville's original, and even leaves out Melville's classic opening sentence, "Call me Ishmael". See more »
Once one gets over the fact that this 1930 adaptation of Herman Melville's classic sea story has an at best tenuous relationship to the novel it's based on, it's quite enjoyable. John Barrymore makes an heroic Ahab, and Joan Bennett is fetching as his love interest (yes, I know). Warner Brothers went all out with this one, and as Barrymore was still a top leading man at the time, did a beautiful job with at least the visual aspects of the story, and the film is at times breathtaking to behold. Alas, they threw away most of the plot! Such were the ways of Hollywood. Noble Johnson makes for the best Queequeg I've ever seen, though.
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