37 user 35 critic

The Day of the Dolphin (1973)

A marine biologist teaches his dolphins to communicate in English but shady characters plan to kidnap the trained mammals for a more sinister purpose.


Mike Nichols


Buck Henry (screenplay), Robert Merle (novel)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Jake Terrell
Trish Van Devere ... Maggie Terrell
Paul Sorvino ... Curtis Mahoney
John Dehner ... Wallingford
Severn Darden ... Schwinn
Elizabeth Wilson ... Mrs. Rome
William Roerick William Roerick ... Dunhill
Phyllis Davis ... Receptionist
Pat Zurica ... First Mate
Jon Korkes ... David
Edward Herrmann ... Mike
Leslie Charleson ... Maryanne
Victoria Racimo ... Lana
John David Carson ... Larry
Willie Myers Willie Myers ... Stone (as Willie Meyers)


Dr Jake Terrell, who has been training a pair of dolphins for many years, has had a breakthrough. He has taught his dolphins to speak and understand English, although they do have a limited vocabulary. When the dolphins are stolen, he discovers they're to be used in an assassination attempt. Now he is in a race to discover who is the target, and where the dolphins are, before the attempt is carried out. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A spine tingling tale that just might come true See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


George C Scott was paid $750k. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Dr. Jake Terrell: Alpha, listen to Pa.
Alpha: Pha loves Pa.
Dr. Jake Terrell: Yes, Pa knows. Listen, Alpha. Some men will come here, men who are not good. Pha and B must go.
Alpha: Pha stays with Pa.
Dr. Jake Terrell: No. Pha and B go now.
Alpha: Pa not love Pha.
Margaret 'Maggie' Terrell: Yes. Pa loves Pha, and B. Ma loves Pha and B.
Alpha: Pha loves Ma.
Curtis Mahoney: Everybody loves everybody! Now for Christ's sake, let's get the hell out of here!
See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.85 (2010) See more »


Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
See more »

User Reviews

Favorite All-Time Movie
1 May 2005 | by nld_coderSee all my reviews

I think I was six when I first saw it. I might have been five. It's always been my favorite movie.

All I can remember, and I don't know how many times I've seen it since, is that I cry when I do. I wouldn't have known who George C. Scott was, then, but he certainly adds to the drama.

This is a classic. This is about the United States, about the people of the world. This movie is a classic - eternal.

I don't know that I understood, then, what was truly going on - that scientific discovery, technology - as precious and valuable as it is, was going to be corrupted to carry out an assassination plot.

It's almost eerily reminiscent of 9/11. But we didn't stop 9/11.

Maybe what needs to change is the way we see the world, whether we're 6, or 86. This is a movie for all to see, especially children. This is a movie that will bring us together, and instruct us about the dangers of not only technology, but also the sometimes destructiveness of human nature.

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Release Date:

15 March 1974 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Dolphin See more »

Filming Locations:

Abaco Island, Bahamas See more »


Box Office


$8,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

AVCO Embassy Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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