Moby Dick (1956)
Company: Twilight Time
Starring: Orson Welles, Gregory Peck, Harry Andrews, Richard Basehart, James Robertson Justice, Leo Genn
My Review and Thoughts:
My Rating: 5 out of 5
I am happy this has been been brought to Blu-ray. I am a huge fan of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Yes, I have read the book, and yes, I enjoyed it. I love watching the various movie versions. I do feel this is my favorite version of all of them, although there are some great ones out there. The 1998 version Miniseries created by USA Network was an okay adaption. Interesting to note about the 1998 version is Gregory Peck appears in it as Father Mapple, which won him a Golden Globe. It was great seeing him in another adaption of Moby Dick considering I consider him the best Ahab ever done, in my personal favorite Moby Dick, which thankfully Twilight Time has honored and given a brilliant transfer to Blu-ray.
Everybody should know the plot of this classic story. Written by the amazing Herman Melville. You have your crazy obsessed Captain named Ahab who is seeking out a Great White Whale. Ahab stops at nothing to rid the world of this creature. The Great White Whale is like a metaphor of all the Evil in the world, and yet Ahab himself is the crutch in the idea of everything that can be wrong in humanity is inside him, deep, dark, and forceful to destroy by any means, no matter the cost.
Something else that needs mentioning about this film is it’s co-written for the screen by one of the greatest storytellers of all time. The one and only Ray Bradbury. Bradbury to me is the very nature of written word and the pivotal understanding of what great literature is all about. Bradbury could capture the true nature of imagination, and the deep, dark wonderment of dreams and nightmares. He co-wrote the Moby Dick screenplay alongside the amazing director John Huston.
Starring some of the amazing all-time greatest performers in cinema history. The amazing one of a kind Gregory Peck, and the phenomenal Orson Welles, both need no introduction. Each own and are key figures in cinema. Both are equally amazing. Peck is one of my all-time favorite performers that mastered so many cinematic moments. This also stars Harry Andrews who was a truly unique performer, that had a memorable look about him, he was massively squared jawed which made you remember his face. He was one of the unique character actors that stood out. Andrews would always tend to play tough guy, military style roles. His looks and personality gave him a forceful ability to make you believe that the character he was playing was real. 107 performing credits to his name, he gave his all to the cinema world. From classic’s like Battle of Britain (1969) to Moby Dick (1956) to winning awards for The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) and 1965’s The Hill. He was a true performer that always stood out and maintained the viewer in every part he played.
Now Moby Dick is directed by legendary cinematic master of acting and Directing and writing, Mr. John Houston. The master of film. 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Misfits (1961), The Man Who Would Be King (1975).
He is a legend and an icon and an all-around amazing character throughout his many successful years. He shinned at creating masterpiece films. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is one of those films which has also been honored with a Twilight Time Blu-ray release. And now another release Moby Dick which is another film that leave’s a wonderful lasting impressions upon those who are viewing. Like many of Houston’s films, Moby Dick is another flawlessly directed and anchored by the performances by all the actors. John Houston could direct his performers in stunning, emotional and tension filled ways. He made you believe the ordeal and the actions taking place in his films. Houston had a different and an interesting way of directing. He directed and created his film’s as if it was happening right before you. Most directors take the movie and edit it and then piece it together. Houston did it at the time he was filming it. He made sure he had the right shots and if he didn't, he would shoot it again, cut it, and shoot it again, and piece the movie together as he was filming. His movie's always stands out as being original, and brilliant at the same time even if the movie was of lessor value to the cinema world. Moby Dick is one of those powerful films that stands out as being one of the all time greats.
There is a lot of interesting trivia behind this film. Such as the director himself John Huston was originally to play the title role of Ahab. And, a little trivia is that Huston originally wanted his father actor Walter Huston to play Ahab, but he died before the film was made.
Even though this film version really does not faithfully follow the novel it still in my viewpoint is the best filmed version. I enjoyed the overall performances, the amazing direction, and the sets and costumes are bloody brilliant to the eyes. This is more or less the 20th time I have seen this film, and it has become all the more amazing with this special edition Blu-ray by Twilight Time.
My Rating: 5 out of 5
If any movie deserved a new High Definition transfer, then it is Moby Dick. It looks amazing. The video quality is stunning. The vibrant colors and dynamic crisp imagery is like a new improved wonderment to the eyes. The audio is the same. A stunning impression on the ears that leaves a lasting mark. Twilight Time always seems to butter up these classic films in a new worthy to praise example.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
My Rating: 2 out of 5
Isolated Score Track. The music for this is done by British-French composer Philip Sainton who was also a conductor and violist. Interesting is that this is the only movie he ever worked on although he worked on the film, A King in New York in 1957, but it was not finished. He mainly worked on stage and orchestral, chamber music setting. And in honesty best know today for the soundtrack score to this Huston film, Moby Dick. It was great to have this isolated Score Track in honoring this forgotten music man. Music is a pivotal part of cinema, and human history itself and musicians of the past should never be forgotten.
Audio Commentary with Film Historians Julie Kirgo, Paul Seydor, and Nick Redman. A fantastic listen. A wonderful setting of film historians, or as I like to call these particular one's: "Film Guru’s". The wonderful and amazing Julie Kirgo and awesome Nick Redman and brilliant Paul Seydor capture a wonderful listen for any fan of cinema.
A Bleached Whale: Recreating the Unique Color of Moby Dick. A wonderful watch for any fan of this movie or the history of this movie. A great informative program.
Posters, Lobby Cards & Production Stills: A wonderful collage of promotional material.
Original Theatrical Trailer
This is another prime example of why I love the company Twilight Time. They pick important films, and give them new outlets of pristine quality. This is a must own Blu-ray for any fan of classic cinema, or cinema period. Twilight Time always showcases the beauty of how to treat a film. Comes with some cool extras, and an awesome audio and video restoration. A solid product that I highly recommend, and is a must own Blu-ray in my viewpoint.
Make sure you head over to www.screenarchives.com to buy all the wonderful Twilight Time Blu-rays. The main page that gives you these beautiful releases on top quality Special Editions.
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