You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Moby Dick

Costly weather and production delays on location in Ireland and elsewhere enlarged the bring-home price on John Huston's Moby Dick to as high as $5 million.

Gregory Peck Richard Basehart Leo Genn Harry Andrews Orson Welles Bernard Miles

Costly weather and production delays on location in Ireland and elsewhere enlarged the bring-home price on John Huston’s Moby Dick to as high as $5 million.

Moby Dick is interesting more often than exciting, faithful to the time and text [of the Herman Melville novel] more than great theatrical entertainment. Essentially it is a chase picture and yet not escaping the sameness and repetitiousness which often dulls the chase formula.

It was astute of Huston to work out a print combining color and black-and-white calculated to capture the sombre beauties of New Bedford, circa 1840, and its whaling ways.

Orson Welles appears early and briefly as a local New Bedford preacher who delivers a God-fearing sermon on Jonah and the whale. Welles turns in an effective bit of brimstone exhortation, appropriate to time and place.

Gregory Peck hovers above the crew, grim-faced and hate-obsessed. He wears a stump leg made of the jaw of a whale and he lives only to kill the greatest whale of all, the white-hided super-monster, Moby Dick, the one which had chewed off his leg. Peck’s Ahab is not very ‘elemental’. It is not that he fails in handling the rhetoric. Actually he does quite well with the stylized speech in which Melville wrote and which Ray Bradbury and Huston have preserved in their screenplay. It’s just that Peck often seems understated and much too gentlemanly for a man supposedly consumed by insane fury.

Moby Dick


Production: Moulin/Warner. Director John Huston; Producer John Huston; Screenplay Ray Bradbury, John Huston; Camera Oswald Morris, Freddie Francis; Editor Russell Lloyd; Music Philip Stainton; Art Director Ralph Brinton

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1956. Running time: 116 MIN.

With: Gregory Peck Richard Basehart Leo Genn Harry Andrews Orson Welles Bernard Miles

More Film

  • Martin Scorsese'The Irishman' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Set for Italy Release Via RAI Cinema

    Martin Scorsese’s next film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” will be released in Italian cinemas by RAI Cinema’s 01 Distribution unit, the company said Wednesday. The period murder mystery is based on a real-life incident and will star Leonardo DiCaprio. Robert De Niro is also believed to be on board the project. Shooting is expected [...]

  • Universal Music U.K. Poaches BBC’s Alice

    Universal Music Poaches BBC’s Alice Webb to Run Eagle Rock

    Alice Webb is moving from the BBC to Eagle Rock, the Universal Music U.K.-backed producer and distributor of music programming. Webb has held several senior roles in a 15-year career at the BBC including head of its kids unit and COO of its BBC North division, overseeing the relocation of key departments from London to [...]

  • Bombshell Charlize Theron Nicole Kidman Margot

    'Once Upon a Time,' 'Bombshell,' 'Irishman' Top SAG Awards Nominations 2020

    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Bombshell,” and “The Irishman” led the nominations for the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, picking up four nods apiece. All three films will compete for the top prize, best ensemble, along with “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit.” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is an ode to the [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Award Nominations: The Complete List

    Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were announced Wednesday morning, with Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Jay Roach’s “Bombshell” dominating nods on the film front. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” with Rachel Brosnanhan led the pack among TV shows. “Superstore” star America Ferrera and “Black Panther” actress Danai Gurira were [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker,' 'Irishman,' 'Parasite' Receive ACE Eddie Awards Nominations

    The American Cinema Editors has nominated “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “Parasite” for its ACE Eddie top feature film drama award. “Dolemite Is My Name,” “The Farewell,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Knives Out” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” received nominations in the feature comedy category. Nominated animated films include “Frozen 2,” [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    How to Watch the SAG Awards Nominations Live

    America Ferrera and Danai Gurira will announce the nominations for the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., beginning at 7 a.m. PT. The announcement will air live on TNT, TBS and truTV, and stream on YouTube, tntdrama.com/sag-awards, truTV.com and sagawards.org. The SAG Awards nominations [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content