Cast & Crew
Ahab Ceeley and his half brother, Derek, are rivals for the hand of Esther Harper, a minister's beautiful daughter. Because Esther favors his brother, Derek pushes Ahab overboard on a whaling trip; Ahab's leg is chewed off by Moby Dick, a white whale; and he returns to Esther a broken and embittered man. Ahab, believing that Esther no longer loves him, becomes captain of a whaler and obsessively sets out to kill Moby Dick. Ahab learns of Derek's treachery and, after killing the whale, kills Derek. Ahab return to New Bedford and, his obsession gone, settles down with Esther.
Priscilla Bonner was originally cast as Esther because 'Barrymore, John' 's first choice, then-love Mary Astor, was unavailable. Before filming started he met and fell for Dolores Costello and replaced Bonner with her.
To "doctor" the film, 'Warner, Jack L.' enlisted the help of Rupert Hughes, who reedited it and provided new titles. Since no compensation had been agreed upon, Warner sent a check for $1500, which Hughes returned saying he had done the work as a favor to both Warner AND Herman Melville.
In 1930, Warner Bros. produced English and German-language versions, entitled Moby Dick and Dämon des Meeres. For information on other film versions of Melville's novel, see entry for the 1956 Warner Bros. production of Moby Dick in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1951-60.