7.3/10
16,451
127 user 55 critic

Moby Dick (1956)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 27 January 1957 (UK)
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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,935 ( 390)
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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)
Learn more

More Like This 

Moby Dick (1998)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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.

Stars: Henry Thomas, Patrick Stewart, Bruce Spence
Moby Dick (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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!

Stars: William Hurt, Ethan Hawke, Charlie Cox
Moby Dick (1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Paul Stanley
Stars: Jack Aranson
2010: Moby Dick (Video 2010)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.4/10 X  

A modern adaptation of the classic novel of the captain of a high tech submarine and his obsessive quest to destroy the enormousprehistoric whale that maimed him.

Director: Trey Stokes
Stars: Barry Bostwick, Renée O'Connor, Matt Lagan
Moby Dick (1930)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: John Barrymore, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Hughes
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In WWI Africa, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During World War II, an American marine and an Irish nun form an unlikely friendship after being stranded on a South Pacific island. They find comfort in one another as the two hope for a rescue.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
Moulin Rouge (1952)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Fictional account of French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Director: John Huston
Stars: José Ferrer, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Suzanne Flon
Adventure | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as Kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer
Moby Dick (2017)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two parallel journeys, Bianca's and a young illegal immigrant's, end up overlapping, in search of an impossible salvation, despite an almost inevitable shipwreck. At all costs. Against the ... See full summary »

Director: Nicola Sorcinelli
Stars: Martina Sammarco, Kasia Smutniak
The Misfits (1961)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A divorcée falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift
Moby-Dick (2013)
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Frank Zamacona
Stars: Patrick Summers, Jay Hunter Morris, Stephen Costello
Edit

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:

The Man- The Whale- The Vengeance- The Mightiest Adventure Ever Seen "Never such a sight! Never such a might!"; "Captain Ahab The White Whale nearly destroyed him - and no one would rest till the White Whale was dead!"; "Ishmael Handsome, romantic - the look of a poet, the courage of a giant!"; "Starbuck He bet his fears and his faith against the fury of Captain Ahab!"; "Queequeg Cannibal-turned-harpooner - his fierce strength as strange as his mystic tattoo!"; "Father Mapple The blood-and-thunder preacher who roared his warnings to the waiting women!"; "Tashtego The silent Indian --- when hunting buffalo became too tame, he went after Moby Dick!"; "There Is No Might Like The Might Of Moby Dick!"; "Filmed with a spectacular new development in color by TECHNICOLO See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles' one-scene cameo helped to fund his stage production of the very same story. See more »

Goofs

When the white whale rams the ship, the main mast breaks and comes down, crow's-nest and all, hitting the cabin boy. The whale circles the ship creating a whirlpool; when we see wider shots of the ship spinning and sinking, the mast is back up. 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

Referenced in Phineas and Ferb: The Belly of the Beast/Moon Farm (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Departure of the Pequot
Theme Song for Moby Dick
Music by Philip Sainton
See more »

User Reviews

A Fine Job of Filming a Challenging Novel
20 September 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

It would be impossible to make a movie that came up to the standard of the novel "Moby-Dick", but this film does a fine job of capturing some of the most important themes, and of telling a selection of the key parts of the story in an interesting way. It would be a temptation for any film-maker to put the focus on the action and the special effects, and thus ruin the heart of the book by downplaying its themes, as so many recent films have done with other classic material. Instead, John Huston's version concentrates on bringing out many of the complex internal and external conflicts of Captain Ahab, in sketching the crew members and their reactions to Ahab's monomania, and in portraying the atmosphere of frequent tedium, growing tension, and occasional dread aboard the 'Pequod'.

Richard Basehart's mild, pleasant demeanor makes Ishmael an appropriate mirror for the events and characters on the ship. Gregory Peck does rather well in the very challenging role of Ahab. Ahab is one of the most carefully-designed and demanding characters in literature, and lesser actors would simply be an embarrassment in the part. On screen, there is much to Ahab that just does not come across, and Peck's performance has to be judged with that in mind.

Leo Genn makes his scenes as Starbuck count, and several of the other crew members are portrayed well, albeit in much smaller parts. As Father Mapple, Orson Welles has only one scene, but it is an important one, in that it sets up some of the vital themes of the story ahead. Welles was an ideal choice, and his scene in the church is one scene that does come up to the high standard of Melville's novel.

While there may indeed be some areas in which this version falls short, and it's fair to point them out, it would be pretty difficult to improve on it in a cinema version of the story. And if taken on its own, it fits together well, making generally good choices as to what material would fit together and would work on screen, and in using the photography and settings to create the right atmosphere. For those who appreciate the depth of the original story, this has more than enough to make it worth watching.


56 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 127 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1957 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Herman Melville's Moby Dick See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
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
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed