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History Trivia / MobyDick

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* CreatorKiller: Melville was a pretty successful author between 1845 and 1850. Unfortunately, after ''Moby Dick'' tanked, he never truly recovered and his work during his last 30 years was largely ignored and unknown. Reportedly, this caused a CreatorBreakdown.


* TroubledProduction: Filming was delayed by cast injuries and bad weather which caused the budget to overrun. And then there was the white whale. A ninety-foot model was built for $30,000. A tug pulled it out into the Irish Sea and, after two shots were completed, the towline snapped and the whale quickly sank. A second whale was built on a barge but a storm also sank it without a trace. Finally a third whale was built and again the towline snapped. Creator/JohnHuston had had enough. He climbed into the whale and shouted, "Lose this whale and you lose me!" He stayed aboard as two crew members swam under the whale, grabbed the line, and reconnected it. In his autobiography, Huston called this, "The most difficult picture I ever made".

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* TroubledProduction: Filming was delayed by cast injuries (Creator/GregoryPeck, who did not use a double, injured his kneecap, Richard Basehart broke his ankle while jumping into a longboat, and Leo Genn slipped a disk and caught pneumonia before shooting had finished) and bad weather which caused the budget to overrun. And then there was the white whale. A ninety-foot model was built for $30,000. A tug pulled it out into the Irish Sea and, after two shots were completed, the towline snapped and the whale quickly sank. A second whale was built on a barge but a storm also sank it without a trace. Finally a third whale was built and again the towline snapped. Creator/JohnHuston had had enough. He climbed into the whale and shouted, "Lose this whale and you lose me!" He stayed aboard as two crew members swam under the whale, grabbed the line, and reconnected it. In his autobiography, Huston called this, "The most difficult picture I ever made".


* Orson Welles was actually battling depression at the time of filming, and had to be coached through his lines by director John Huston
* PlayingAgainstType: The primary reason that the 1956 version wasn't well-receieved initially was that audiences weren't comfortable seeing Gregory Peck as a villainous character (albeit an AntiVillain). Patrick Stewart and William Hurt faced no such problems.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: William Holden and Robert Mitchum were both pitched as possible alternatives to play Ahab, as they didn't think Gregory Peck was capable of playing a villainous character. Interestingly enough, Peck himself thought that director John Huston would have made the perfect Ahab.

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* Orson Welles CreatorBreakdown: Creator/OrsonWelles was actually battling depression at the time of filming, and had to be coached through his lines by director John Huston
Creator/JohnHuston
* DawsonCasting: Although Ishmael is supposed to be in his twenties, Richard Basehart was actually forty when the film was made - two years older than Creator/GregoryPeck.
* NoStuntDouble: Creator/GregoryPeck didn't have a stunt double. As a result, he injured his kneecap from hobbling on his fake knee and got washed out to sea.
* OldShame: Creator/GregoryPeck dislike his own performance so much that he refused to footage from the film to be used in ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' for Quint's introduction.
* PlayingAgainstType: The primary reason that the 1956 version film wasn't well-receieved initially was that audiences weren't comfortable seeing Gregory Peck Creator/GregoryPeck as a villainous character (albeit an AntiVillain). Patrick Stewart Creator/PatrickStewart and William Hurt Creator/WilliamHurt faced no such problems.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: William Holden TroubledProduction: Filming was delayed by cast injuries and Robert Mitchum bad weather which caused the budget to overrun. And then there was the white whale. A ninety-foot model was built for $30,000. A tug pulled it out into the Irish Sea and, after two shots were both pitched completed, the towline snapped and the whale quickly sank. A second whale was built on a barge but a storm also sank it without a trace. Finally a third whale was built and again the towline snapped. Creator/JohnHuston had had enough. He climbed into the whale and shouted, "Lose this whale and you lose me!" He stayed aboard as possible alternatives two crew members swam under the whale, grabbed the line, and reconnected it. In his autobiography, Huston called this, "The most difficult picture I ever made".
* UnderageCasting: Creator/GregoryPeck acknowledged that he was too young
to play Captain Ahab at 38, when he's supposed to be an old man at the end of his career.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Creator/JohnHuston originally planned to cast his father Creator/WalterHuston as Captain
Ahab, as they didn't think Gregory Peck but he died during development. Other candidates included Creator/MarlonBrando, Creator/GaryCooper, Creator/ErrolFlynn, Creator/BurtLancaster and Creator/JohnWayne. Creator/GregoryPeck felt that Huston himself should have played Ahab.
** Creator/MontgomeryClift
was capable of interested in playing a villainous character. Interestingly enough, Peck himself thought that director John Huston would have made the perfect Ahab.
Ishmael.
* WrittenByCastmember: Creator/OrsonWelles wrote his own scenes.



* BillingDisplacement: Ethan Hawke was billed over William Hurt for playing Starbuck.

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* BillingDisplacement: Ethan Hawke Creator/EthanHawke was billed over William Hurt Creator/WilliamHurt for playing Starbuck.

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* ReferencedBy: ''ComicBook/{{Bone}}'', where it is the protagonist Fone Bone's favorite book (although it's otherwise given a huge TakeThat as it's an insomnia cure to anyone else).


'''The Novel (1851)'''

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'''The Novel (1851)'''
!!The Novel



'''Film Version (1956)'''

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'''Film Version (1956)'''
!!1956 Film



'''TV Version (1998)'''
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'''TV Version (2011)'''

* BillingDisplacement: Ethan Hawke was billed over William Hurt for playing Starbuck.

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'''TV Version (1998)'''
\\
\\

'''TV Version (2011)'''

!!1998 TV version

!!2011 TV version

* BillingDisplacement: Ethan Hawke was billed over William Hurt for playing Starbuck.Starbuck.
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* HeyItsThatGuy: Ahab is [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Captain Jean-Luc Picard]] and Ishmael is played by [[Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial Elliot]]!

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'''The Novel (1851)'''

* ScienceMarchesOn: While the author was very knowledgeable about cetology, some "facts" he used have since been proven to be inaccurate.
-->"Be it known that, waiving all argument, I take the good old fashioned ground that the whale is a fish."
** More of a case of ''definitions'' march on. "Fish" originally just meant "animal that lives exclusively in water". Melville recognises that whales are warm-blooded, breathe air, and bear live young, but just doesn't think that a sufficient reason to redefine what "fish" means.
** He also mentions phrenology and physiognomy, both now considered pseudosciences.
** Chapter 105 poo-poohs the notion that whaling might endanger the whale population.


* WhatCouldHaveBeen: William Holden and Robert Mitchum were both pitched as possible alternatives to play Ahab, as they didn't think Gregory Peck was capable of playing a villainous character. Interestingly enough, Peck himself thought that director John Huston would have made the perfect Ahab.

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* PlayingAgainstType: The primary reason that the 1956 version wasn't well-receieved initially was that audiences weren't comfortable seeing Gregory Peck as a villainous character (albeit an AntiVillain). Patrick Stewart and William Hurt faced no such problems.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: William Holden and Robert Mitchum were both pitched as possible alternatives to play Ahab, as they didn't think Gregory Peck was capable of playing a villainous character. Interestingly enough, Peck himself thought that director John Huston would have made the perfect Ahab.Ahab.

'''TV Version (1998)'''

* HeyItsThatGuy: Ahab is [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Captain Jean-Luc Picard]] and Ishmael is played by [[Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial Elliot]]!

'''TV Version (2011)'''

* BillingDisplacement: Ethan Hawke was billed over William Hurt for playing Starbuck.

Added DiffLines:

'''Film Version (1956)'''

* Orson Welles was actually battling depression at the time of filming, and had to be coached through his lines by director John Huston
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: William Holden and Robert Mitchum were both pitched as possible alternatives to play Ahab, as they didn't think Gregory Peck was capable of playing a villainous character. Interestingly enough, Peck himself thought that director John Huston would have made the perfect Ahab.

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