The Sea Beast (Silent)

The original silent movie version of the classic 'Moby Dick' - starring the legendary John Barrymore as Captain Ahab!
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 8393D
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Also released as:
The Sea Beast for $16.40

DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 2 hours, 12 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: February 2, 2021
  • Originally Released: 1925
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Directed by

Description by

Ahab Ceeley and his brother Derek are harpooners on a whaling vessel. While laid over in the seaport town of New Bedford, they both fall in love with Esther Harper, a minister's daughter. Derek is overcome with jealousy when he realizes she prefers his brother. He pushes Ahab overboard on their next whaling trip, causing him to lose his right leg to the great white whale they were pursuing. The flighty Esther rejects Ahab in favor of Derek after reacting to his new wooden leg with horror. Now driven mad with grief, Ahab dedicates himself to killing the white whale that destroyed his life...a whale he has dubbed Moby Dick…

After the success of Beau Brummel (1924), John Barrymore signed a three-picture deal with the fledgling Warner Brothers. The studio wanted Barrymore to make Don Juan next, but the actor insisted on an adaptation of Herman Melville's classic 1851 novel Moby Dick. (Barrymore would eventually make Don Juan for Warners in 1926.) Playing up Barrymore's status as a screen idol, the filmmakers turned Captain Ahab into a romantic figure, complete with a love interest. For the role of Ahab's ladylove, Barrymore chose his future wife Dolores Costello (Barrymore exhibited so much enthusiasm during their love scenes that he upset Costello's mother, who was on set.) For the second half of the film, after Ahab loses his leg to the whale, Barrymore undergoes a monstrous physical and psychological transformation not unlike his performance in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920). Worried that director Millard Webb had gone too far afield of the source material, Jack Warner enlisted Rupert Hughes (Howard's uncle) to reedit the film and rewrite the intertitles. After giving him a $1500 check for his services, Hughes returned it, saying he did it "as a favor to Herman Melville." The Sea Beast would prove to be one of Barrymore's most successful films, and he would remake it in the sound era (with the same alterations to the story) under the more faithful title Moby Dick in 1930.

This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 101
  • UPC: 089218839398
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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