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Moby Dick (1956)

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 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:

In all the world---in all the seas---in all adventure, there is no might like the might of [Moby Dick] 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:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the myths circulating about this film is that it was "filmed on location". While there is plenty of location work on it (Canary Islands, Irish Seas, Youghal, Ireland), over 2/3 the film was shot at Shepperton and Elstree Studios in England. These include the Spouter's Inn tavern scenes, Father Mapple's sermon, Ahab's first speech on the deck of the Pequod (note the painted sky background), the typhoon, and Ahab's dialogue on the whale's back. While there are a few shots of the sixty foot Moby Dick on the open sea, most of the whale appearing in the finished film are various-sized miniatures and selected body parts (jaws, body cylinders, eyes) which were co-ordinated by art director Stephen B. Grimes. See more »

Goofs

When Captain Ahab repeatedly plunges his harpoon into Moby Dick, and pivots it back and forth freely at the surface of the whale's back, it is clear that there is nothing but empty space beneath the surface of the prop "whale", rather than the blubber, muscle and bone that would prevent the harpoon from pivoting freely. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ishmael: [voiceover] Call me Ishmael.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Hustle (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Drummer
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Edric Connor
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A classic like none before or since!
28 June 2003 | by Michael1958See all my reviews

If you have ever read the Herman Melville story of Moby Dick, then you will know how hard it must have been for John Huston to turn it into film. Thanks to Ray Bradbury's screenplay and great acting, this film became a classic. That it is not in the top 250 IMDB rated films is a shame. I hope that this is due to it's limited showings and therefore not being seen by many of this site's users. From the start to the finish the film is well paced. The casting of Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab was wise. He commands the role well. Orson Welles appearance as the minister is also a treat to behold. Welles shows that he can add so much to a film whether it be a small role or a large one. Special effects are the only thing that could have been a bit better done. However, in 1956, depicting a great white whale with an attitude was not an easy accomplishment film making wise. This film does go into the relationship between man and God, so some folks will no doubt be prejudiced against the film. Keep in mind the story's time period and locale. The seafaring men of New England really did once hold God close to their heart. Melville's use of a whale to depict the struggle was good. Huston getting it onto film was even better. Sorry, I like the film better than the book. MM


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