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Set in 19th-century New England , the story follows the whaling ship Pequod and its crew. Leading them is Captain Ahab , who was almost killed in an encounter with the "great white whale", Moby Dick, which bit off much of his left leg. Now he is out for revenge. With the crew that has joined him, Ahab is out to destroy the huge sea mammal , but his obsession with vengeance is so great that he cannot turn back, eventually leading to the death of Ahab and all of his crew, save his newest able seaman, Ishmael.

Peck was initially surprised to be cast as Ahab part of the studio's agreement to fund the film was that Huston use a "name" actor as Ahab. Peck later commented that he felt Huston himself should have played Ahab. Huston had long wanted to make a film of Moby-Dick , and had intended to cast his own father, actor Walter Huston as Ahab, but he had died in Welles later used the salary from his cameo to fund his own stage production of Moby Dick , in which Rod Steiger played Captain Ahab. Gregory Peck, comparing his performances in this film and the Moby Dick miniseries, said he liked the miniseries better because it was more faithful to the novel.

During a meeting to discuss the screenplay, Ray Bradbury informed John Huston that regarding Melville's novel, he had "never been able to read the damned thing".


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According to the biography The Bradbury Chronicles , there was much tension and anger between the two men during the making of the film, allegedly due to Huston's bullying attitude and attempts to tell Bradbury how to do his job, despite Bradbury being an accomplished writer. Bradbury's novel Green Shadows, White Whale includes a fictionalized version of his writing the screenplay with John Huston in Ireland.

Bradbury's short story "Banshee" is another fictionalized account of what it was like to work with Huston on this film. The Mirisches made a deal with Warner Bros.


  • Catalan version of Barceñola, capital de Espaluña, Europa y el Mundo (Spanish Edition).
  • Preludes: Invocation;
  • Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.
  • Hang On!

Under the agreement, The Warner's would distribute Moby Dick for seven years, after which all rights would revert to the Mirisch brothers' company, Moulin Productions. Captain Alan Villiers commanded the ship for the film.


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Many exterior scenes set in New Bedford were shot on location in Youghal , Co. The town has a public house , originally called Linehan's and at that time owned by Paddy Linehan, whose exterior appears in the movie.

It was renamed Moby Dick's shortly after filming by Linehan. It is still owned and run by the Linehan family and boasts a fine collection of photographs taken of the cast and crew during the making of the film. While there, John Huston used the bar as his headquarters to plan each day's filming. The town's harbor basin, in front of Moby Dick's bar, was used to stand in as New Bedford's harbor, and some local people appear as extras in the ship's departure scene. Youghal's nineteenth century lighthouse also appears in a scene of the Pequod putting to sea at sunset on her fateful voyage.

Retrieved July 12, Retrieved 30 August Herman Melville 's Moby-Dick Cetology Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish. Retrieved from " https: Moby-Dick Works based on novels. Articles needing additional references from July All articles needing additional references.

Views Read Edit View history. Moby-Dick is usually described, as I've just done, as an elemental novel in which the outsider Ishmael is pitted against the fathomless infinity of the sea, grappling with the big questions of existence. That's not inaccurate, but there's also another Moby-Dick , full of rough humour, sharp comic moments, and witty asides.

The pre-publication history of Moby-Dick has been the subject of endless scholarship, and provides a case study in Anglo-American co-publishing in the midth century.

Moby Dick ( film) - Wikipedia

Melville, who was short of money, actually made his first contract for a new novel, then known as The Whale , with the British publisher Richard Bentley. But he kept the printing in New York so he could oversee the proofs, and wrote to Hawthorne, from New York, that he must "work and slave on my 'Whale' while it is driving through the press". In fact, he was simultaneously working on revisions to his manuscript and proofreading what had been set. Meanwhile, Melville had still not yet settled a contract with an American publisher.

Robert Porath: Presidency like 'Moby-Dick'

As a result, the British edition would differ from the American in hundreds of small ways. The most important was the change of title. Rather late in the day, he wrote to Bentley: Bentley seems to have been slow to respond. On 18 October, the English edition, The Whale , was published, in an edition of only copies. Then, on 14 November, the American edition, Moby-Dick , with its hyphenated title , finally appeared from Harpers. Almost as significantly, the US edition contained an "Epilogue", which explains Ishmael's miraculous survival and, thus, how the story of the great white whale came to be told.

For some unknown reason, the epilogue is absent from the British edition. British reviewers were puzzled to read a book with a first-person narrator who apparently did not survive to tell the tale.

The 100 best novels: No 17 – Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

Accordingly, the Spectator objected that "nothing should be introduced into a novel which it is physically impossible for the writer to have known: These, in turn, cast a shadow over the American reception of the novel. Melville's career never really recovered. He told Hawthorne in , "I have pretty much made up my mind to be annihilated.