Young Ishmael sets sail on the Pequod to hunt whales. When the whaling ship is on the high seas, Capt. Ahab promises a gold doubloon to the first person who sights Moby Dick, the gigantic white whale which had mutilated him. The epic hunt begins. A splendid, enthralling version of Herman Melville’s masterpiece, “a great blasphemy,” with an obscure and disfigured Gregory Peck and a brief appearance by Orson Welles. —Torino FIlm Festival
Adventure in many forms is the theme of many of John Huston’s films. His characters are constantly searching for “the stuff that dreams are made of” (the famous closing-line of his debut film The Maltese Falcon). Huston glorified this chase despite its frequent disillusionment and false promise, since it represented a flight from the complacent virtues of ordinary life. Like Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Conrad, Huston regarded civilization as a false surface which thinly veiled a hostile nature. Only those who lived at the edge, on the margins of society were regarded by Huston as fellow travellers. In films as diverse as The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle and Under the Volcano, Huston celebrated men who circled the abyss; characters who are driven to plunge head first into the void.
The son of the great theatre and film actor Walter Huston (who would win an Oscar under his son’s direction for his role in The Treasure of Sierra Madre) and crime journalist Rhea Gore… read more
Decent adaptation of a ridiculously unfilmable book. Those who love the novel might be frustrated by the fact that Ishmael's psychological journey is merely hinted at (for goodness' sake, it is pretty much the point of the novel!), but that's a testament to the book's greatness rather than the film's weakness. Great cast, but the best part is the cinematography / color palette.