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 »
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 »
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 »
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
Petrie and his siblings get ready to fly for the Day of the Flyers, but Petrie is frustrated that he keeps flying out of formation. While practicing, he meets Guido, a Microraptor who does ... 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
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 »
When Sandy is looking for the injured Flipper, Sandy swims under water. He then gets back in the boat and his hair is dry. 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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Our friends in the sea the dolphins get their due in this family film about a young boy who saves a dolphin and the dolphin returns the favor. Succinctly put that is the plot of Flipper.
Enough has been studied and written about how next to humans, the dolphin is the most intelligent creature on this planet, some might opt the dolphin is more intelligent. You can sure prove it by what you see with this particular dolphin.
Chuck Connors and Kathleen Maguire are the parents of Luke Halpin. Connors is a commercial fisherman, but a fish plague of sorts has decimated the fish population in his fishing grounds and those of the other fishermen. Making matters worse a hurricane appears as the film opens and Connors and Halpin have to beat it back to shore in the Florida Keys.
They make it, but the boat is severely damaged. While Connors looks to scrounge up work, Luke saves the life of a stranded dolphin who is on the beach with a spear in him. Pretty soon he's teaching him all kinds of tricks, but dolphins do eat a lot of fish and fish are scarce at this time.
I think you can see where this is all going. Doesn't detract from the fact that Flipper became one of the most popular family films of all time spawning two more films and a four year run television series all with Luke Halpin. By the time Flipper got to TV Halpin had grown a bit and his voice changed. His father's profession had changed from fisherman to park ranger and he was played by Brian Kelly. He also lost his mother and gained a younger brother. And Halpin became a bubblegum teen idol of the first order.
But for this original film the underwater photography was of Oscar type caliber and the acting chemistry between Halpin and the dolphin was good and unique. In fact some years ago I read that Halpin got the part for his swimming ability.
After 50 years Flipper holds up quite well for family viewing.
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