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Moby Dick

Moby Dick(1930)

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  • Loved it!!!!!

    • Brando4ever
    • 8/17/07

    I loved this movie. John Barrymore was excellent!!!!! It was different from the book, but still excellent just the same!!!!!!!!

  • Melville's Sea Chowder

    • John C.
    • 8/15/07

    Herman Melville lost his readers when his later novels like 'Moby Dick' became too philosphical and he died in obscurity in 1891. There was renewed interest and a more favorable re-evaluation of his work in the 1920's with the discovery and publication of the manuscript for 'Billy Budd.' Hollywood was not far behind when Warner Brothers released a bowdlerized version of 'Moby Dick' renamed as 'The Sea Beast' with their biggest star, John Barrymore. It's probably good that Melvile wasn't around to watch the unctious plot changes and character additions such as Ahab's brother and fiance. In 1930 WB decided to remake the silent with Barrymore, still a big star, but whose legendary looks were beginnng to fade from years of boozing which is noticable in comparing both versions. The same plot was used but this time audiences could hear his stage-trained voice that aided his characterization in the later mad scenes. Listen for his howling when his wounded leg is treated, Besides borrowing the plot from the silent version, you can also observe ocean footage with an obviously younger Barrymore spliced into the remake since Barrymore didn't repeat the same stunts for whatever reason. Notice the difference in the projection speeds of the old and new footage. This version will appeal to Barrymore fans and as an example of an early sound film that still used silent film techniques. It's safe to say the 1930 'Moby Dick' is more of a curio than a classic. Although the Gregory Peck-John Huston version has its detractors, at least it's faithful to Melville's novel. And 1962's 'Billy Budd' also proved that a Melville story could do without an additional love interest.

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