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Moby Dick (1956)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 3 October 1956 (Portugal)
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.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Ray Bradbury (screenplay), John Huston (screenplay)
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5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Captain Ahab
Richard Basehart ... Ishmael
Leo Genn ... Starbuck
James Robertson Justice ... Capt. Boomer
Harry Andrews ... Stubb
Bernard Miles ... The Manxman
Noel Purcell ... Ship's Carpenter
Edric Connor Edric Connor ... Daggoo
Mervyn Johns ... Peleg
Joseph Tomelty ... Peter Coffin
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Capt. Gardiner
Philip Stainton Philip Stainton ... Bildad
Royal Dano ... 'Elijah'
Seamus Kelly Seamus Kelly ... Flask
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Queequeg (as Friedrich Ledebur)
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Storyline

This classic story by Herman Melville revolves around Captain Ahab and his obsession with a huge whale, Moby Dick. The whale caused the loss of Ahab's leg years before, leaving Ahab to stomp the boards of his ship on a peg leg. Ahab is so crazed by his desire to kill the whale, that he is prepared to sacrifice everything, including his life, the lives of his crew members, and even his ship to find and destroy his nemesis, Moby Dick. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Starbuck He bet his fears and his faith against the fury of Captain Ahab! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1956 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Herman Melville's Moby Dick See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ship captained by Captain Boomer (James Robertson Justice) is the 'Samuel Enderby'. Samuel Enderby founded a whaling company called Samuel Enderby & Sons. Vessels of the Enderby company vessels sailed seas all around the world, including whaling trips and being part of the Third Fleet to the colony of New South Wales. See more »

Goofs

The way the ship was moved away from the pier was incorrect. The crew is shown hauling a line from the pier. This would not make the ship move forward. To move a ship out of the harbor, it is therefore, necessary to provide something to pull against. A special anchor, called a kedging anchor, is carried as far from the ship as possible by the longboat and then dropped to the seabed. The remaining crew pull the ship out to it winding the line around the capstan or winch, and then it is hauled up and the process repeated as many times as necessary. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ishmael: [voiceover] Call me Ishmael.
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Crazy Credits

The film finishes with 'Finis' instead of the usual 'The End'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paul Merton: The Series: Episode #2.3 (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

We're All Bound To Go
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Moby Dick" Huston's Masterpiece
19 June 2005 | by tramkySee all my reviews

"Moby Dick" is one of the great adventure films of all time, and one of the greatest psychological stories ever told. Ahab & his quest for the White Whale have reached the status of a cultural icon, but this film was wonderful when it was released, remains wonderful today, and will I think stand the test of time well into the future.

I'd heard that even Gregory Peck himself had been talked into believing that his performance was 'wooden', but that is hogwash. This is probably Peck's greatest performance, and that's saying something.

"Moby Dick" takes us into two strange and unfamiliar worlds--that of the 19th-century whaler and its crew on a global hunt for whale oil on the high seas, and that of Captain Ahab's mind. A great adventure and a great obsession intertwined, inseparable.

The script was a brilliant adaptation of a difficult book. John Huston & Ray Bradbury put this together and managed to use a number of lines directly from the book in the sometimes odd vernacular of the period that gives certain scenes and dialogue such presence and authenticity.

From the odd first spoken line in the film, the voice-over of Richard Basehart saying "Call me Ishmael", the brilliantly constructed initial scenes that brought us, the audience, down to the sea as they brought the young Ishmael to it, the wonderful scenes in The Spouter's Inn where Ishmael meets innkeeper Peter Coffin and some of the Pequod's crew, notably Stubb, who goodnaturedly challenges Ishmael's seagoing ambition and, when convinced that he is authentic, introduces him to the inn's customs and celebration. And the unforgettable, wonderful and strange Queequeg with his head. Who wouldn't want to join a whaling voyage with this lot?! Peck's Ahab is one of the most compelling and memorable characters ever portrayed on film, and the transformation of the crew to carry out Ahab's obsessive search for the White Whale even against their better judgement was wonderfully portrayed and is the singular most important element of the story & of this script.

It is absurd to describe what happens in this film, and I will not. Suffice to say that this is a great film, one I can watch from time to time with almost the same frequency as 'Casablanca'.


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