Orca (1977)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Horror  |  22 July 1977 (USA)
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A hunter squares off against a killer whale seeking vengeance for the death of its mate.


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Complete credited cast:
Scott Walker ...
Al Swain
Peter Hooten ...
Wayne Heffley ...
Vincent Gentile ...


After witnessing his mate and child's death from Nolan's hands, Orca, the killer whale, goes on a rampage in the fishermen's harbor. Under the villagers' pressure, Nolan, Rachel and an Indian sail after the great beast, who will bring them on his own turf. Written by M Lalonde

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Terror just beneath the surface


Adventure | Horror


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

22 July 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Orca: Killer Whale  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Debut theatrical feature film of actress Bo Derek. See more »


In the underwater close-ups, one of the Orcas has a collapsed dorsal fin, but all shots of them on the surface show fully erect dorsal fins. See more »


[Captain Nolan has just seen the orca kill a member of his crew after the orca knocked the house into the ocean. He then looks out to the water & sees the killer whale leaping out of the water, breaching]
Captain Nolan: You revengeful sonofabitch! You win!
[the orca keeps breaching, as if taunting Captain Nolan]
Captain Nolan: You want revenge? Well, you'll have it! I'll come out and fight you! You revengeful sonofabitch!
See more »


Referenced in Sidewalks of Bangkok (1984) See more »


My Love, We Are One
Performed by Carol Connors
Music by Ennio Morricone
Lyrics by Carol Connors
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User Reviews

Best of its genre
26 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Orca is better than your average horror film. It's not a masterpiece , but it offers considerable depth in terms of human values and those values that apply to nature. The Killer whale simply takes revenge against the man(Captain Nolan) Richard Harris, who accidentally killed his mate and aborted fetus. His personal vendetta is taken to great lengths as he prods Nolan into a duel by wreaking havoc on the poor village, thus incensing the townspeople to have the matter absolved. Poor (Nolan) Harris you know that in the look on his dissipated face from the moment he heard the female whale's shriek that he was destined for demise. And we even sympathize with him. Although ignorant and callous he still evokes enough charm and humility to espouse our curiosity. However, our initial sympathy is directed towards the Orca, because of his tragic loss due to man's greed and ignorance. And the funeral scene is probably the most touching and allegoric animal scene ever filmed since 'Old Yeller'. It's sad, beautiful, and eerie. But unfortunately Orca has no forgiveness in his aquatic heart and as Nolan progressively shows more remorse and guilt due to the causation of his action, Orca persists in terrorizing and confronting his enemy. I was hoping for a more peaceful resolution, but this film takes the darker journey. Orca should not be labeled as a Jaws ripoff at all. The reason people say that is because it took place in the same era. But Orca is actually a better movie than "Jaws". "Orca" emotes more sympathy and personifies the strife between beast and man, resulting from our injustice toward beast. It expresses the values we consider for nature and creates a heirarchal balance on how we judge man and beast. Unfortunately, the characters are not very likable. It's an admiral film that attempts to promote human feelings and sadness in a film that could have easily fallen into the "Nature goes amok" genre, e.g. "Jaws", "Grizzly", "The Day of the Animals", "Prophecy", etc. Kudos to Richard Harris for bringing deeper dimensions to his character that could have easily been played on a one- note by a less experienced actor. Harris brings forth his anguish, guilt, personal pain and fears in a role that enhanced the meaning of the film.

33 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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