Synopsis by Mark Deming
Herman Melville's classic novel gets a major revision in this screen adaptation of his seafaring novel - Hollywood's first talkie adaptation of the work. (A silent version, The Sea Beast, had been produced four years earlier). Captain Ahab Ceely (John Barrymore), a crusty and hard-drinking sailor, falls in love with Faith Mapple (Joan Bennett), the daughter of a man of the cloth. Ahab has a rival for Faith's affections in Derek (Lloyd Hughes), his wicked brother, but as Ahab sets sail, Faith pledges to him that she'll remain loyal to him while he's out to sea. While hunting for whales, Ahab is thrown overboard, and he loses his leg to a mammoth creature known to seamen as Moby Dick. When Ahab returns, he tells Faith that he won't hold her to her pledge to marry him before showing her the wooden peg that has replaced his limb. Faith shrieks in horror, and Ahab is crestfallen to realize that his romance is over. Returning to the sea, Ahab spends the next seven years searching for the great white whale Moby Dick, obsessed with getting revenge on the creature that took his leg and ruined his life. In addition to rewriting the famous first lines of the novel, in this version of Moby Dick, Ishmael doesn't even appear.
animal, man-vs-animal, man-vs-nature, revenge, captain [military], sea, silence, whale
High Budget, High Production Values