HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Day of the Dolphin, The Dolphin Friendly
Year: 1973
Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Paul Sorvino, Fritz Weaver, Jon Korkes, Edward Herrmann, Leslie Charleson, John David Carson, Victoria Racimo, John Dehner, Severn Darden, William Roerick, Elizabeth Wilson
Genre: Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Biology professor Jake Terrell (George C. Scott) is giving a talk to a women's group about his field of study: dolphins. He tells them the creatures live in a state of almost permanent ecstasy due their heightened senses, and can use them to see great distances underwater. The women ask him various questions, but when one inquires about a film she saw on TV where a dolphin was able to count in words, Terrell quickly winds up the talk and leaves. On his way out, he meets Harold DeMilo (Fritz Weaver), a representative of the foundation which provides Terrell and his colleagues with their funding; he tells him that the foundation are wondering where their money is going and Terrell is reluctant to say due to the incredible nature of his research...

Based on the novel by Robert Merle, The Day of the Dolphin was scripted by Buck Henry and directed by Mike Nichols, meaning this was a strange choice for the makers of The Graduate and Catch-22. It ties in with the enviromentalism of the nineteen-seventies with its love of the ocean and, more specifically, the dolphins and features plentiful shots of the animals playing, leaping, eating and whatnot, all to the accompaniment of George Delerue's slushy score, all soaring, dewey-eyed strings. This suits the sentimental attitude of the film, but the gruff Scott's no-nonsense demeanour adds gravity to what frequently threatens to be a gooey treat for undiscerning animal lovers.

Terrell doesn't want his research facility overrun by the media or even his backers when they find out what is really happening there, but it is already too late - he just doesn't know it yet. A mysterious figure calling himself Curtis Mahoney (Paul Sorvino) shows up to get the guided tour, but what Terrell keeps from him is the fact that their main dolphin, Alpha, has been taught to talk. However, Fa (as he is nicknamed), is regressing to a more dolphiny method of communication, so the scientists catch a female friend for him, one they name Beta, or Bee for short.

This doesn't stop Fa from not talking English despite the best efforts of Terrell and his younger wife, Maggie (Trish Van Devere), so he eventually has to bully the creature into speaking again by preventing him from seeing Bee; when Fa is talking once more, everything is fine. Ah, but it's not you see, because unlikely as it sounds, The Day of the Dolphin is one of the cycle of seventies conspiracy movies. The foundation are eventually told the truth about Fa, and send a group along to interview the animal, but their interest is piqued in other ways, ways which will employ the intelligent dolphins in nefarious means.

All this is presented with a remarkably straight face, without much humour and even encouraging you to shed a tear at the dolphins' predicament when the foundation kidnap them. Bee never learns to speak, but Fa voices his limited opinions in a squeaky manner designed to make you go, "aaah", and who can claim not to have lump in their throats when he tells Terrell, "Fa love Pa" at the emotional climax? Well, quite a few people actually, as the inherent ridiculousness of the plot might have worked on the page, but has trouble when visualised for the big screen. The paranoid thriller aspect is so basic that it's a miracle the foundation thought they could pull off their plans, and the film has similar problems. A couple of years later, Jaws was unleashed and proved a more palatable seafaring adventure than this curious mush. But if you like dolphins, dive in.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 13776 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mike Nichols  (1931 - 2014)

German-born director in America who was part of a successful comedy act with Elaine May. He then turned to theatre and film, directing sharply observed dramas and comedies like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, Catch-22 and the controversial Carnal Knowledge.

After the flop Day of the Dolphin, his output became patchier, but The Fortune, Silkwood, Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, Wolf and Charlie Wilson's War all have their merits. On television, he directed the award-winning miniseries Angels in America.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: