Ranger Porter Ricks is responsible for the animal and human life in Coral Key Park, Florida. Stories center on his 15-year-old son Sandy and 10-year-old Bud and, especially, on their pet dolphin Flipper.
Sandy Ricks is sent by his mother to Coral Key, a rustic island in the Florida keys, to spend the summer with his uncle Porter Ricks. Sandy dislikes everything about his new environment ... See full summary »
Dr. Marsh Tracy was a veterinarian running an animal study center in Africa. Helping him were his daughter Paula, American Jack Dane and Mike, a local. Also living with the Tracys, and ... See full summary »
Judy the Chimpanzee
Bill's separated from his litter, making friends with the wild creatures until he's found and adopted by young Kathie. An accident separates him from her, and he's drafted into K-9 duty in ... See full summary »
Meek and mild mannered bookkeeper Henry Limpet has few passions in life. It's mid-1941 and he would love to join the Navy but has been rated 4F. His friend George Stickle is in the Navy and... See full summary »
After fleeing into the mountains after he is wrongly accused of murder, woodsman "Grizzly Adams" discovers an uncanny bond to the indigenous wildlife of the region after rescuing an orphaned grizzly bear cub whom he adopts and calls "Ben".
Cathy Lane, teen-aged daughter of a globe-trotting journalist, comes to live at the home of her uncle, a newspaper editor in New York City. Curiously, Cathy is the spitting image of her ... See full summary »
The Florida Keys have been hit by hard times of late. First, a red plague kills off much of the fish in the area. And second, Hurricane Hazel unexpectedly changes course to hit the Keys. Regardless, the Ricks family - fisherman father Po (short for Porter), wife Martha, their preteen son Sandy, and Sandy's pet pelican Pete - live in all its aspects by the sea, even during these hard times. When Sandy witnesses the accidental spearing of a dolphin, he, on his own, decides to find the dolphin to put it out of its misery. Upon finding the injured dolphin, Sandy, not having the heart to shoot him, decides instead to tow the dolphin home. With some care and love, Sandy and Martha nurse the dolphin back to health. Sandy wants to keep the dolphin, who he's named Flipper, but Po ultimately releases Flipper, who he sees as "the enemy": a creature who is on the hunt for whatever short supply of fish there are around the Keys. But Po learns that friends - what Flipper and Sandy are to each other...Written by
In an interview in 2012 Flipper writer and associate producer Ricou Browning said in 1961 he used his last $100 to write a book telling the boy and dolphin story and persuaded movie producer Ivan Tors to read the book. Tors like it so much he made the Flipper movie. See more »
When Sandy and Kim are snorkeling just before Flipper is injured, Kim is wearing striped shorts, except for a shot where she is wearing a dark swimsuit with no shorts. See more »
[Porter consoles his wife about possibly losing their home in the hurricane]
The boat is safe; we can always build another house.
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Chuck Connors (as Porter Ricks) lives on the Florida coast, with his 12-year-old son Luke Halpin (as Sandy), and wife Kathleen Maguire (as Martha). Following a hurricane, son Halpin goes to bail out a dingy; and, he is startled when a dolphin jumps out... it's Flipper!
As it introduces an enduring franchise, the first "Flipper" effortlessly overcomes its flaws; mainly, parts that go on too long, and look more repetitive and ordinary in hindsight. The catchy theme song, for example, will soon be improved upon, and given its logical place over the credits. The film opens with an exciting hurricane, and features beautiful location and underwater photography throughout. If you know Flipper, the film offers many origin story "firsts", topped by the meeting of Sandy and Flipper. Pete the Pelican is around, along with many familiar elements. The Ricks family line-up is different, however; mother Maguire is present, but no Bud.
The "Flipper" character is played by "Mitzie", and others, undoubtedly. The "A Boy and His Dolphin" concept is terrific, and the Flipper character retains its integrity through ensuing years. Halpin is very cute, and seems to improve his performance over the run of the film; his cavorting scenes are charming. Mr. Connors and Ms. Maguire are great parents - they make up much more natural family than expected. Joe Higgins (who also appears in the next "Flipper") and Jane Rose (who also appears in the first "Dark Shadows") are among the supporting players. Note that Connors' friend, who dies during the hurricane, is mentioned as "not of our faith"; this add some depth to the film.
******** Flipper (8/14/63) James B. Clark ~ Chuck Connors, Luke Halpin, Kathleen Maguire
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