Sandy is distraught when, having saved Flipper by pulling out a spear, his father insists the dolphin be released. A grateful Flipper, however, returns the favor when Sandy is threatened by Sharks.


James B. Clark


Ricou Browning (story), Jack Cowden (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Chuck Connors ... Porter Ricks
Luke Halpin ... Sandy Ricks
Connie Scott ... Kim Parker
Jane Rose Jane Rose ... Hettie White
Joe Higgins ... Mr. L.C. Porett
Robertson White Robertson White ... Mr. Abrams
George Applewhite George Applewhite ... Sheriff Rogers
Kathleen Maguire ... Martha Ricks
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mitzie Mitzie ... Flipper


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The wonderful story of a boy and his dolphin pal...! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Ivan Tors was the famous producer of numerous popular family friendly TV shows and movies in the 1950's and 60's including both Flipper movies and the TV series. He had 3 sons Steven, Peter and David. In the scene in the Flipper movie where Sandy has Flipper perform tricks in front of a crowd of neighborhood kids (who pay to get in by donating a fish), Ivan had his oldest son Steven (then aged 8) be one of the extras. He is the third seated boy to the right of Luke Halpin who is standing directing Flipper. See more »


A friend of the family stops by to say that Porter will be home "tonight." He then further clarifies it will be around midnight. However, when Porter comes home it is daytime. See more »


Porter Ricks: [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...
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Followed by Flipper's New Adventure (1964) See more »


Written by 'By' Dunham and Henry Vars
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User Reviews

Cut-rate aquatic adventure, but matinée audiences didn't seem to mind...
30 November 2008 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

A plague in the waters off the Florida Keys has left fisherman Chuck Connors and his son scrambling to make a living; luckily, a dolphin rescued by young Luke Halpin seems to understand their predicament and leads the boy to fresh fish. Rather dingily-produced underwater tale for kids has a thin plot (with echoes of "The Yearling" besides), but also a marvelous mammal at the center of the action. When Flipper is doing tricks for the locals--even interacting with a swimming dog--it's hard not to smile; otherwise, the relationship between the boy and his parents is so stiff (with lots of homilies and fearsome dialogue) that the picture drags whenever Flipper is off-screen. Followed by a 1964 sequel, "Flipper's New Adventure ", and a popular TV series. ** from ****

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Release Date:

14 August 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flipper See more »

Filming Locations:

Grassy Key, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ivan Tors Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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