Moby Dick - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Moby Dick Reviews

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October 4, 2016
The film version does some justice to the original epic of the noble madness of Ahab and his crew.
½ April 22, 2016
faithful version to herman melville's classic tome, moby dick.
February 25, 2016
A fine telling of the famous book. Peck at the time came in for a lot of criticism but time has proved he did OK!
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2016
John Huston's flair for the manly adventure story gladly pounds it's own drum throughout this work that showcases men drinking, working, fighting, and in mortal fear together - it's what this film is all about. The women can only watch dockside and wonder if their loves will return. It's all portrayed very heroically, like Viking myth. And then there's the whale. The best of the big fish stories by my reckoning, symbolism aside, and even though Peck might overdo the "mad captain" bit sometimes.
½ January 21, 2016
Such a great movie. Gregory Peck is one of my favorite old screen actors, and he gives a rousing performance here. I really enjoyed this movie a lot, especially for a book I couldn't finish(I tried though!). If anything may hinder any ones enjoyment of this movie, is that the FX are obviously dated, but when you think that this was 1956 than you realize that they absolutely astounding, and amazing. Check this movie out!
January 21, 2016
Great adaptation of Herman Meville's classic novel.

The story of Captain Ahab and his constant quest to hunt and kill the great white whale, Moby Dick.

A timeless tale on the irrationality, unproductiveness and futility of revenge.

Gregory Peck is excellent as Captain Ahab, and shows that he can act the villain. Excellent direction by John Huston - the pacing is perfect and the drama is built beautifully. Good special effects, for 1956.

The dialogue, especially Ahab's, is a bit overly melodramatic, but that would be the only flaw.
December 31, 2015
A beautiful film, the only thing that troubled me was Gregory Peck as Ahab..He's too young and impeccable looking to be Ahab, ruined by sea, years and his psyche, with wrinkles from salt and wind. He doesn't seem sturdy enough to be an aged sea captain, seems a bit fake (as his beard). Otherwise, beautiful scenery and directing, great special effects...
½ December 11, 2015
The Charm of the self-destruction
½ October 27, 2015
I read the book earlier this year which may have made the film easier to enjoy. Of course, the book has its own pleasures (more pleasures) and the film represents only the narrative portion of the novel (and a stripped down version at that). Although in Technicolor, John Huston's movie is all blues and greys, filmed partly on location on the open sea and partly in miniature. Ishmael and Queequeg join Captain Ahab on the Pequod, hunting the fabled white whale (Moby Dick) who once bit off Ahab's leg. Although many thought Gregory Peck miscast (for being too young), he is gloomy enough and not quite himself. Perhaps though there is too much talk (drawn directly from Melville's prose) mixed with adventuresome whaling scenes that might sometimes belong to another movie. Sure, the whale(s) might look a little fake but we were more willing to suspend our disbelief in the pre-digital days. In the end, of course, the film is no substitute for the book though some of its feel has been captured in Huston's images.
July 27, 2015
This film has two dimensions which distinguish it: cinematic and philosophical. Cinematically, this is one of the finest American films. John Huston's direction -- his choice of the visual palette, special effects -- are all superb. More could be said about the film from this perspective, but I want to discuss the, for me, more interesting philosophical dimension of Moby Dick.

Here we have the theme of a traumatic monstrosity rupturing the coordinates of reality -- the whale, itself. First, by giving us the point of view of Ishmael, the naive and inexperienced sailor, we have the return to the sea represent a kind of primordial rebalancing. We know that Ishmael longs for a return to the ocean for the restorative processes it brings to him. The sea is imagined almost as counter-balance of land, part of some grand cosmic harmony, even. For him, the whale is certainly a stain -- like bleach -- on the otherwise comforting darkness of the ocean. Here we can see why the real encounter with Moby Dick is not just on the level of brute empirical experience. The whale distorts the very fabric of the reality around him in a paradoxical fashion: white, angelic birds reel above him; an envelope of deathly calm, like the eye of a hurricane, precedes him, etc. But, this is no less true for Ahab, himself. If the whale is the unspeakable, ineffable and shattering dimension which makes any harmony impossible, Ahab is, in a strange Lacanian way, the other side of this dimension -- but, this time, the excess of jouissance and speech. Huston underscores this point nicely: the first time the crew (and us as well) encounter Moby Dick, there is absolutely no music, only the diegetic sound of the whale's massive breathing and the violent breaking of the waves when he surfaces. It is as if the presence of the creature positively sucks even its dramatic musical representation from the film. Ahab, on the other hand, is the loquacious voice which continually bombards us with its grandiloquence. Is this not a sharp symbolization of the two sides of the truly disturbing and traumatic experiences in life: Silence and the Voice? As Starbuck points out, he does not fear Moby Dick, but Ahab. The captain remarks that the whale tore him in two, till his soul and body bled into the other, but what happened at the fantasmatic level is that Moby Dick and Ahab have effectively bled together. The whale is marked by Ahab's spears, and Ahab has been partially reconstructed with the bone of a sperm whale. Moby Dick is very much like a body in search of a voice, and in the grisly finale, they do finally come together, forming a grotesque, but rather appropriate, union.
July 27, 2015
Entertaining and pleasant, this portrayal of Moby Dick is by far the best of the film adaptations and a true classic!
½ July 8, 2015
While time hasn't been kind to this disappointingly straightforward adaptation of "Moby Dick" (particularly considering co-writer Ray Bradbury) the film thrives on Peck's performance as the mad Ahab, and a few key scenes are simply chilling. Ahab's final beckoning, in particular, is spine-tinglingly haunting, and an image that will stay with you the rest of your life. "Death to Moby Dick!"
May 2, 2015
The whole movie could be Gregory Peck sitting in a chair reading Moby Dick out loud and it would still be awesome.
February 25, 2015
If your a person with sea fever, this is the movie for you. I give great credit to Gregory peck's he truelly embodies the perfection of ahabs willful retaliation, trying to climax his whaling career with closure on what he perceives as a personal war from a animal who really is minding his own business. I believe the entire movie is well done, realistic, and being a sperm whale fan, I am on his side...if,I were Moby, I would not enjoy my ocean home with deep seated metal In my body. This movie is a pure winner...climb aboard....and take a step back in time. Thank God we don't have to need these beautiful creatures for our needs today. Hope,your voyage is a good one!
February 16, 2015
Gregory Pecks Magnum Opus!
October 29, 2014
Very good classic film and despite its age, still a very good film and enjoyable to watch.
September 11, 2014
GREGORY PECK give what I consider his greatest performance of a long and brilliant career. his energy and passion carry this film and cast (also excellent) forward. I have watched the movie many times and never tire of it
½ August 3, 2014
Moby Dick is an epic adaptation of the celebrated novel that is thrilling and thought-provoking in equal measure.
July 1, 2014
Good whale movie! Ages 7+
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