Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pursuing the Whale

My researches have recently turned back towards Ray Bradbury's work on Moby Dick (John Huston, 1956) and - perhaps more importantly - the influence this experience had on his own later creations such as Leviathan '99, Something Wicked This Way Comes and Green Shadows, White Whale.

After watching the Huston movie again, I started casting around for behind-the-scenes information on the film, and stumbled on a fascinating post on a blog called Matte Shot: a Tribute to Golden Era Special Effects. It includes some rare images of the whale and boat miniatures used in the film, and some informed speculation on the craftsmen who brought the film's effects work to the screen. Read all about it here.

My own review of the film is here - although it really needs updating, since Bradbury's version of the screenplay has since been published, and shows that the vast majority of the film sticks to Bradbury's script, although the final act shows some small but significant deviations from it, especially in the behaviour and implied motivations of Starbuck.

1 comment:

Bill Goodwin said...

I had the pleasure of reading aloud to Ray from his original typescript, which had been bound and signed by the director and cast. John Huston drew a whale next to his signature (it was quite good) and Richard Basehart wrote, "Call me Ishmael." I'll have to email you the photo I took of that wonderful title-page.