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|Index||21 reviews in total|
14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Highly improbable but not bad, 31 May 2006
Author: Wayne Malin (firstname.lastname@example.org) from United States
George C. Scott stars as a scientist who has trained dolphins to speak
and understand English. Naturally some bad guys find out and want to
use the dolphins in an assassination attempt.
One of the many ecological "message" films of the 1970s. The plot is, technically, pretty silly but they pull it off. It has a great director (Mike Nichols) and Scott and Trish Van Devere are very good--but this just misses the mark. It's not a BAD movie just not a great one and I personally had some trouble taking it seriously. It was supposed to be a big hit and cost quite a bit to make. Unfortunately it was a HUGE bomb and disappeared quickly. That's too bad because it's actually pretty good. It's well done and the voices of the dolphins are (at first) frightening but you get used to them. Also it does have an ending which had me crying. I defy anyone to sit through that and not be moved.
So, despite the scientific improbabilities, a pretty good movie that deserves a wider recognition.
18 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Worthy Film, Worthy Message, 22 June 2004
Author: Etherdave from Edmonton, Alberta
George C. Scott stars as a marine biologist who has taught two dolphins to
communicate with humans in english. His project attracts the notice of a
shadowy corporate sponsor, who then kidnaps the dolphins to perform an
assassination-at-sea. The film is divided in two parts, both exploring the
ethics of man's meddling with nature. Stunning photography, excellent
supporting cast, superlative effort from Scott, whose deep personal
investment in the film's subject is easily sensed.
I saw this film in the theater in 1973 and thought it was one of the best I'd ever seen. I wasn't expecting a period action film or a potboiler-thriller and was pleasantly surprised to get neither. This is a thinking person's film, a modern-day Frankenstein which is made even more tragic because of the creator's love for what he has created. The conclusion of this film is uncompromising, and calls into question all animal experimentation. One of the best, and most important films to come out in my lifetime. See it.
10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful epic, 15 December 2005
Author: ali13kat from California
Don't shy away from this film just because it isn't an action film. It does advance at a very slow pace, and is often overlooked because of this . . . unfairly. This film is truly designed for the animal lover. Anyone who has not shared a profound relationship with an animal will probably have a difficult time relating to this film. It is a slow paced, and beautifully scored experience for a more sophisticated movie lover. George C. Scott delivers his usual, inspiring and powerful performance as the dolphin's trainer. The filming of the dolphin's, alone, makes this film worth watching. Bring along a box of tissues, and don't miss it if you love the art of movie making.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Hauntingly beautiful music, 24 September 1999
Author: MooeyG-2 from Phoenix, AZ
I agree with the assessment that the movie points out how we, as caretakers of the Earth, tend to abusiveness and misunderstanding. I agree also that it is a hokey telling of that theme, but still effective. I might venture that a contributing factor in its effectiveness is the beautiful music created by George Delerue. It is lilting and graceful, moving through the air the way the dolphins move through the water. I was very affected at the end of this film.
7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Everything I hate in a film-normally, but.........., 11 August 1999
Author: Bob O'Sullivan (email@example.com) from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England
Even though starring the great George C Scott this film is a bit of a
non-starter. However I have to admit that it is the only film that I have
seen in all of my 40 yrs that has managed to reduce me to
I challenge anyone to watch the final scenes and not be at least a little
Although the story is very simple and does little to encourage Scott-or
of the cast- to 'act their heart out', it shows both humans and dolphins
Humans as sly and cunning and dolphins as naive and trusting, and this is
what hurts at the end of the film, when.................
Well why spoil it, it may be shown on t.v again, one day.
If anyone knows how I might get a copy of the film (for my kid's-honest), please could they contact me through the e-mail supplied. Ta Ta. (Or is that 'Ka Ka'?) Bob O'Sullivan. Southend-on-Sea, England.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
nothing short of brilliant, 3 May 2011
Author: Kieran Green (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Scotland
George C. Scott plays Dr Jake Terrell, who has been training a pair of
dolphins for many years, has had a breakthrough. He has taught his
dolphins to speak but they have a limited vocabulary.
the dolphins are abducted by some sinister government agency who want to use the mammals in an assassination attempt. what follows is a beautifully shot race against time to thwart the attempt.
'The Day of The Dolphin' is nothing short of brilliant in it's acting, it features some excellent cinematography by William Fraker, the underwater scenes are excellently lensed ,it is essential to see this in it's original aspect ratio.
it is also nothing short of amazing as when one looks at this film which is thirty seven years young, it is all filmed for 'Real' if this was remade today there would be an over reliance on rubbish digital animation to depict the leaping and talking Dolphins.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
" If word get's out before I can explain my work, it will turn into a freak show ", 23 April 2009
Author: thinker1691 from USA
Throughout the motion picture business there is many a thespian who truly believes in their role. Some more than others and is why a few become exceptional. The original script called " The Day of The Dolphin " was delivered to several actors, prior to the film's inception. When the principal actor read the interesting dialog between himself and his subject called Alpha, he was not only intrigued, but anxious to begin. The story centers around a Research Scientist named Dr. Jake Terrell (George C. Scott) and his wife Maggie. (Trish Van Devere) Their secret island project concerns a special Dolphin, whom they have raised since birth. In an amazing feat of Phonetic science, laboring on the cutting edge and years of patience instruction, they have taught their unique Dolphin to speak English. However, their financial benefactors are not men with lofty ideals like Dr. Terrell or his staff. Indeed their primary goal is to use the amazing oceanic mammal to swim underwater undetected to a secured location where the President of the U.S. is vacationing and eliminate the Chief Executive. Although it's Harold DeMilo (Fritz Weaver) the C.E.O. of the funding institute who plans on subverting Dr. Terrell's innovative project, it's a strange, mysterious and uninvited visitor, Curtis Mahoney (Paul Sorvino) whom they suspect is behind the theft of their special Dolphin and a midnight murder. Trust is not inherent between the characters, indeed the audience is in for a surprise or two. However it's this very element which gives the film it's dramatic texture. The cast is incredible and delivers a dynamite performance which as a result allows this film to become a Classic. Excellent movie. ****
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Movie - Still Keeps You On The Edge of Your Seat, 24 January 2006
Author: isnotjoanne from United States
Our family hadn't seen this movie for a long time and so I decided to get my taped copy out (aired on Showtime in 1989) and was surprised to see the excellent film quality -- even though the tape was recorded in SLP. We enjoyed the movie very much. The beginning is a little slow but rest of the movie more than makes up for it. I loved the dolphins, I wish I knew more about how they made the movie -- I was looking for any trivia here at IMDb.com but didn't find any. I think children would really love the parts that involve the dolphins interacting with the "owner"/ humans (and fascinating) but this movie is NOT for children as there is violence toward humans and dolphin as well and it would be frightening for young ones. I feel it has a lot of different things to like. I can't say more without spoiling the story but I wish there was closed captioning for some of the dialog. We viewed this in Full Screen but the 2003 & 2006 DVD releases come in Wide Screen: 2.35:1 aspect ratio and I am sure the beautiful scenery benefits by it.
Utterly Irreparable Heartbreak, 13 July 2011
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
Marine biology scientist Dr. Jake Terrell, his wife Maggie and a crew
of ecologists for the last few years have been financed by an
organization to study confined dolphins on a distant Florida island.
They've conditioned a male and a female dolphin to say "fa," "ma," "pa"
and other basic vocabulary, and to comprehend English sufficiently
enough to have simple dialogue. But Alpha can't be trained to think in
English. He can merely mimic, until Jake teaches him a lesson about
loss. He introduces a female dolphin, Beta, watches Alpha fall for her,
then splits them up until Alpha can demand her, in English. The
wholesale sequence showing Alpha swimming frantically around, thrashing
his tail on the enclosure that divides them, is heartrending.
Jake is like the classic father of the baby-boom bracket, unwavering in teaching valuable lessons even when he feels his child's anguish, in this case a dolphin who loves him like a father. When Alpha at last begs for Beta by name, it's an intensely gratifying moment, exemplifying the identity-related idea of language as a conciliation intuited out of loss. And, much to our grief, Alpha is now disposed to all kinds of anthropomorphic cognizant suffering.
And naturally, trouble lies ahead in the form of a thriller plot true to the pinnacle era of conspiracies and rogue government. Initially, a young Paul Sorvino's slippery pollster blackmails his way onto Dr. Terrell's island, and before long, a sinister regime faction is revealed to intend to use the newfound capacity for communication in these dolphins to their advantage by abducting them for function in a presidential assassination, of all things.
In training Alpha and Beta to verbalize, Jake destines them for humanity, initiating them into ceaseless yearning and unlocking the floodgates to advantage being taken of them. In due course, with the purpose of thwarting Alpha and Beta more exploitation, Jake must make a decision that is inconceivable to the living, beating heart. Pure as they are, dolphins comprehend mere absolutes. How can you make a dolphin understand not only that humans can be both good and bad, tell lies and kill their own, but that rejection, abandonment can still mean undying love, ultimate sacrifice? "Men are bad," he tells them, hardly suppressing his utterly irreparable heartbreak, and ours. "All men bad."
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
I Need Dolphins with Lasers... I Mean Mines, Attached to Their Heads!!!, 21 April 2011
Author: BloodTheTelepathicDog from north dakota
If it weren't for Bogart and Bacall, Scott and Van Devere would be my
all-time favorite acting couple. The two thespians are masters of their
craft and have the uncanny knack of making an absurd motion picture
tolerable by their acting abilities. The Day of the Dolphin is a
perfect case in point.
This absurd film focuses on an isolated marine research center operated by demanding, anti-social marine biologist/linguist expert Dr. Terrell (Scott) and his wife Maggie (Van Devere). They have effectively taught a dolphin named Alpha how to communicate in English. Once news of this slips out a secret, evil government agency wants the dolphins in order to assassinate an unpopular president. The dolphins will be outfitted with mines on their heads in order to swim undetected and plant said mines on the president's ship. Yes, the plot is that absurd.
STORY: $ (The screenplay is terrible--simply put. This is supposed to be a thriller but there is a noticeable lack of tension throughout the entire film. When we're first introduced to Trish Van Devere's Maggie she is laid up in bed with a wounded leg having had a mishap with Alpha in the tank. This little ordeal is never even discussed the rest of the film, in fact Trish is perfectly fine the next time we see her and she never enters the tank with Alpha the rest of the run time. Also, when George C. Scott gets wise to the assassination plot, his boat runs low on gas and he must turn around and wait, hoping the dolphins don't follow through with their orders. This is a horrible screenplay with weak plot development and characterization).
ACTING: $$$$ (What makes this film watchable are the strong performances by the leads. George C. Scott, who gets my vote for the greatest actor ever, shines as a cantankerous scientist who just wants to be left alone to do his research. He brings far more depth to this character than most actors could bring. Paul Sorvino shines as a shady freelance writer who seems to know more than he lets on. Trish Van Devere, who is an exceptional actress when given time to showcase her skills, has little to do because the screenwriter couldn't flesh out her character. All she is given is clichéd dialogue to set-up George C. Scott's characterization. Fritz Weaver is fine as George's financial backer and Edward Herrmann of LOST BOYS fame is fine in an early role. John David Carosn and Victoria Racimo do a solid job as youthful help at Scott's marine sanctuary).
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