Moby Dick

Overview

Director Franc Roddam and co-scripter Anton Diether adapted Herman Melville's 1851 classic for this four-hour TV miniseries sea adventure. Ishmael Henry Thomas ignores the warnings of dockside prophet Elijah Bruce Spence and joins the crew of the whaling ship Pequod. Ismael befriends Polynesian harpooner Queequeg Maori actor Piripi Waretini, hears a sermon by Father Mapple Gregory Peck, star of the 1956 Moby Dick, and meets the obsessed Captain Ahab Patrick Stewart, who lost his leg to the great white whale Moby ...
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Overview

Director Franc Roddam and co-scripter Anton Diether adapted Herman Melville's 1851 classic for this four-hour TV miniseries sea adventure. Ishmael Henry Thomas ignores the warnings of dockside prophet Elijah Bruce Spence and joins the crew of the whaling ship Pequod. Ismael befriends Polynesian harpooner Queequeg Maori actor Piripi Waretini, hears a sermon by Father Mapple Gregory Peck, star of the 1956 Moby Dick, and meets the obsessed Captain Ahab Patrick Stewart, who lost his leg to the great white whale Moby Dick and now seeks vengeance on the looming leviathan. For effects, Roddam used a three-sectioned Moby Dick, added computer graphics, and shot Pequod footage in a tank at an Australian military base. TV Guide described Stewart's performance as "mesmerizing and passionate." The $20 million production aired March 15-16, 1998 on the USA Network.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Captain Ahab roams the seas again in this 1998 TV miniseries. Like the 1956 film version, it leaves the main theme of the novel (Ahab's relentless pursuit of the Great Unknown, symbolized by the whale) essentially intact. Patrick Stewart plays a wildly emotional Ahab in this newest version. From start to finish, Stewart's Ahab fulminates with zealotry, whether soliloquizing about the great leviathan that took his leg or exhorting his crew to hunt him down. Scars emboss his face, his eyes burn with revenge, and his Medusa hair strikes out in all directions. He is a man possessed; he means to pierce the whale to its core, until it spouts black blood. Taking his cue from Stewart, Piripi Waretini animates his performance as harpooner Queequeg with good-natured horseplay and war whoops: no stoic savage, he. Stewart's and Waretini's performances contrast sharply with the performances of Gregory Peck (Ahab) and Frederick Ledebur (Queequeg) in director John Huston's 1956 film. In that adaptation, Huston restrains his actors. They are men of stone, unsmiling, their hearts beating to the rhythm of an unfriendly universe. Which version is better, the 1956 or 1998, is arguable. But Huston more skillfully exposes the brooding gloom and reverential fear that arrests the Pequod's crew in its pursuit of the whale. A bright spot in the 1998 version is Henry Thomas' portrayal of Ishmael, the narrator. Thomas plays Ishmael as vulnerable, naïve, and awestruck: a young man who goes to sea for the joy of it. And the whale? Huston's was far more realistic, as well as quite sinister and foreboding. In the 1998 adaptation, Moby Dick rarely shows more than a flapping tail -- and when it does breach the waters, it has "special effect" written all over it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2000
  • UPC: 707729654230
  • Original Release: 1998
  • Rating:

  • Source: HALLMARK
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patrick Stewart Captain Ahab
Henry Thomas Ishmael
Ted Levine
Gregory Peck Father Mapple
Piripi Waretini Queequeg
Hugh Keays-Byrne
Shane Connor
Michael Edward-Stevens
Norman D. Golden II
Matthew Montoya
Kee Chan
Dr. Bill Hunter
Bruce Spence
Dominic Purcell
Robin Cumming
Vivianne Benton
Norman Yemm
Peter Sumner
Michael Jackson Shantyman
Warren Owens
Harold Hopkins
John Lee
Gerald Chris A. Graham
Apriana Taylor
Janet Andrewartha
Technical Credits
Franc Roddam Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Sean Barton Editor
Leslie Binns Production Designer
David Connell Cinematographer
Francis Ford Coppola Executive Producer
Fred Fuchs Executive Producer
Robert Halmi Sr. Executive Producer
Anton Diether Screenwriter
Lynn Kressel Casting
Maura Fay Casting
Christopher Gordon Score Composer
Vanessa Pereira Casting
Steve McGlothen Producer
Paul Clark Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Kendall Art Director
Lou Mitchell Casting
Kris Noble Producer
Andrew Walpole Art Director
Herman Melville Source Author
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