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October 1994


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 14 Oct 1994 10:10:26 -0600
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Andy Miller writes:
"Vikki, and Luke of course:
Concerning "Wrath of Khan":
"Paradise Lost" is in there certainly, but also "Moby Dick"-- themes of
obsession, etc. Check out some of Khan's lines ("He taxes me, he taxes me"),
and then compare him to Ahab in Melville's work.You could compare "Khan" with
the 'official' "Moby Dick" adaptation (isn't it by John Huston?)."
Directed by Huston, yes.  Script by Ray Bradbury.
This is perhaps spinning a new thread, but you might look at the original
film version of MOBY-DICK, called "The Sea Beast" with John Barrymore as
Ahab.  I first saw this film at a convention in a room full of drunken
Melville scholars, which was an experience.  Hoots and laughs throughout,
applause with The Pequod first appeared (half-way into the movie!).
One does learn interesting things in this version--Ahab's last name is
"Ceely," he lost his leg to the whale because his jealous brother had
pushed him overboard (what? you didn't know he was pushed?  or that he
had a brother?) and so forth.
Oh, yes.  It has a happy ending: [spoiler?  come on, now!]
Ahab kills the whale, goes home and is greeted by the wife.
(Hint to lit. teachers out there.  Make this version available to your
students, and then see which ones actually read the book!)
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN