Moby Dick (1956)
The 1956 Warner Brothers film "Moby Dick" has a famous scene where the captain of a whaling ship
nails a gold coin to the mast as a reward for the seaman who first spots a "special" whale.
commanded by a Captain Ahab who is obsessed with pursuing and killing a white whale named "Moby Dick".
The story is narrated by Ishmael, a young man who signs aboard the ship looking for adventure.
The film is set in 1841 and 1842.
It stars Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab and Richard Basehart as Ishmael.
who spots the whale.
2. Ishmael and Queequeg arrive at the ship 'Pequod'
Ishmael meet Queequeg at a New Bedford, Massachusetts lodge.
Queequeg is a heavily tattooed South Sea islander rumored to have been a cannibal.
3. Captain Ahab with the gold doubloon
He nails it to the ships' mast as a reward for the first seaman who spots the white whale.
4. The gold doubloon nailed to the mast
The coin is an Ecuador Republic gold eight escudos or "doubloon".
These particular types were minted from 1838 to 1843 in Quito, Ecuador.
worth then around $16 US dollars.
"Moby Dick coins" due to their mention in the book.
5. The 'Pequod' sailing
A classic sailing ship of the period.
6. Doubloon glowing
At one point there is no wind and the ship is stuck in a very warm place.
Crewmen look up at the coin which appears to be glowing.
One man suggests throwing the coin into the sea as a 'reward'.
7. Another view at the coin
The coin reads "REPUBLICA DEL ECUADOR / QUITO / M.V."
8. Captain pays the seaman
Captain Ahab hands the coin over to the seaman who spotted the whale.
9. The White Whale appears
The whale appears, covered with ropes and harpoons from previous attempts on it.
and becomes entangled in the ropes.
10. Captain Ahab tied to the whale
The enraged whale attacks the ship's boats and then the ship itself, sinking it.
11. Ship sinking
Ishmael survives the sinking and lives to tell the story.
Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab
Richard Basehart as Ishmael
Friedrich Ledebur as Queequeg
Writers: Ray Bradbury, John Huston