MOBY DICK (1930)

MOBY DICK (1930) 1


“Moby Dick” builds off the previous silent film adaptation of “The Sea Beast”. The adaptation plays fast and loose with the Melville story, but it’s still fun. John Barrymore plays Captain Ahab as a scorned lover. After he loses his leg during a previous encounter with Moby Dick, his wedding is called off. That leads his brother to get him all hyped up and ready for some whale murder.

Taking to the high seas, we get an African American playing Queequeg for the first time. I’m not sure who is going to be mad about that casting, but I’m sure someone will find fault. The rest of the film is a jaunty sea adventure focused on animal hunting. You get even more melodrama aboard the Pequod, but it’s all and good fun. However, you can tell the audio limitations of the time hurt some shots. Several devices were bizarrely hidden on the boat and people would always gather around it in threes.

That’s some silent movie production trivia for the younger readers. Melville purists will be annoyed by the film’s loose structure. Honestly, I’d love to see a kid use this film instead of doing a book report. It would make a teacher’s head explode.


  • Nothing


  • 1.37:1 standard definition transfer
  • Mono


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