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.
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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
Both Chuck Connors and Kathleen Maguire died from smoking-related cancers. See more »
The last scene in the film shows Sandy riding Flipper in the water. When it cuts to underwater shots, Sandy is wearing blue flippers but the above water shots clearly show him barefoot. See more »
[after Porter has discovered that Flipper has jumped into the fish pen and eaten all of the pompano being readied for market]
What's wrong with you, boy? How old are you, twelve? Almost in your teens? Or are you nine, or seven, or five? A child who doesn't have the sense to know what his next meal depends on? Answer me! The fence, the yard, the nets... not one of your chores done, and now this! Are you growing up, or down? Aren't you getting any sense of responsibility, of obligation, discipline...
[...] See more »
A "red plague" has hit the Florida Keys and fisherman Porter Ricks (Chuck Connors) and son Sandy (Luke Halpin) can't find fish to make a living. But Sandy saves a dolphin from dying and they became buddies. (I know I know--but this IS a kids film). Flipper (as the kid names him) leads them to a place with plenty of fish and saves Sandy from a killer shark (stop smirking!).
OK--the plot is ridiculous and the same shots are used a LOT but it's really hard to hate this film. The underwater photography is impressive and Flipper himself is so cute he's hard to resist. Despite the totally stupid plot I found myself grinning whenever Flipper did cute things like jump out of the water or "talk" to the kid. Also Connors is surprisingly good as a tough (but nice) father and Halpin is easily one of the most likable child actors I've ever seen. He's nice and friendly--he acts just like a kid would. I admit the title song (first played about an hour in) is hysterically bad but I sort of enjoyed it. This is a perfect kids movie--especially if they love animals. I know not everyone loves dolphins but I do and I found this silly movie quite enjoyable. I give it a 6.
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