Moby Dick (1956)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama, Sea Adventure  |   Release Date - Jun 27, 1956 (USA)  |   Run Time - 116 min.  |   Countries - Australia , United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Adapting Herman Melville's extravagant and enigmatic novel was a daunting challenge, but director John Huston acquitted himself well with this 1956 attempt. Huston had experience translating literary works to the screen (The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Red Badge of Courage), and Moby Dick was well-suited to his usual themes of human weakness and obsession. The muted colors of cinematographers Freddie Francis and Oswald Morris give the film an original, washed-out look, perfectly suited to the story's era. Equally impressive is the old boat that Huston hand-selected for the Pequod and his recreation of a mid-1800s rustic fishing village. The screenplay by Huston and Ray Bradbury is more than adequate, as is Gregory Peck's stoic Captain Ahab. Orson Welles, who had always wanted to film the novel himself, has a brief cameo.