Directed by John Huston • 1956 • United Kingdom
Starring Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, Leo Genn
Given John Huston’s dauntless appetite for difficult page-to-screen adaptations, it’s no surprise that he set his sights on the leviathan of American literature. With Gregory Peck cast against type as the obsessive Captain Ahab and much of Herman Melville’s philosophical ambition streamlined for the screen, the film was met with a mixed critical reception at the time. Yet its gorgeous location photography (with colors muted to evoke nineteenth-century engravings), the richly textured screenplay by Huston and Ray Bradbury, and a cast that includes Richard Basehart and Orson Welles make MOBY DICK masterful spectacle, as well as an awe-inspiring display of its director’s mad ambition.