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The Day of the Dolphin (1973)

George C. Scott , Trish Van Devere , Mike Nichols  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Paul Sorvino, Fritz Weaver, Jon Korkes
  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 3.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2003
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009P1M0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,185 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Day of the Dolphin" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New digital transfer
  • Interviews with screenwriter Buck Henry and co-stars Leslie Charleson and Edward Herrmann
  • World's Most Amazing Dolphin Trivia Gallery
  • Dolphin Bios
  • Essay by film critic Nathan Rabin from The Onion

Editorial Reviews

Nominated for an Academy Award™, The Day of the Dolphin stars George C. Scott as a scientist who trains dolphins to speak, only to find them kidnapped for use in a vicious assassination plot. This beautiful production of an exciting adventure was executed by one of the only creative teams that could pull it off: writer Buck Henry and director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Catch-22). Based on the novel by Robert Merle, the film is a nostalgic favorite of the generation who grew up with Flipper. An effective and at times amusing action flick, the film is available for the first time in a special edition DVD featuring an astounding new digital transfer enhanced for 16x9 televisions and a slew of charming supplements.

Academy Award™ is the registered trademark of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining political thriller July 31, 2003
The Day of the Dolphin was savaged by critics when it was released. They saw the film as nonsense that made an important issue trivial. While it isn't a perfect film, the adaption by Mike Nichols and Buck Henry (Catch 22) is an entertaining adaption of the popular novel. At one time it showed up fairly frequently on network television but has been forgotten over the years. In some respects, Dolphin is a far more successful film adaption than Nichols' and Henry's film version of Catch 22. They were trying to turn a popular satirical novel turned cultural icon into an entertaining film satire. Many fans of the novel were disappointed and critics were, at times, less than kind to it. Here at least the two were working with a lesser novel and there wasn't as much baggage to go with it.
George C. Scott gives a passionate performance. In fact, one thing that you'll note about Scott is whether or not he appeared in trash (The List of Adrian Messenger) or treasure (Patton), his performance is alwasys powerful and committed. Trish Van DeVere also gives a strong performance. She was always underrated as an actress because 1) She was married to Scott and 2)she was always in his shadow. Her performance helps ground what was at the time a farfetched scenerio in reality.
Buck Henry's intelligent screenplay does have some narrative problems but, on the whole, he cleans up the novel's unbelievable plot and jumpy narrative. His screenplay is crisp, clean and his characters strong. An interview with Henry is provided as an extra and his comments demonstrate that he doesn't hold his work on the film in very high regard. It's a pity as he does wonders with the material.
Nichols always straddled the fence between being an actor's director and a film director.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric But Powerful Conspiracy Thriller July 31, 2003
DAY OF THE DOLPHIN (1973): In a Florida research compound, Dr. Jake Terrell (George C. Scott) and his marine biologist associates devote years secretly teaching two dolphins, Fa and Bee, how to speak a simple form of English. The sweet and loving dolphins are incredibly intelligent and have developed an intense devotion to Dr. Terrell. Word of the success of Terrell's project is leaked to the outside world, and the skills of the easily trained dolphins are eventually sought by a well financed, shadowy consortium with evil intentions.
Arguably the last great film directed by Mike Nichols, DAY OF THE DOLPHIN is a classy, beautifully produced science fiction/political conspiracy thriller with a heart. Despite its potentially maudlin storyline, Buck Henry's serious, unironic screenplay and Nichols' graceful direction carefully avoid sentimentality at every possible turn. Initially the story concentrates on Terrell and his relationship with his coworkers as their long work with the two dolphins is revealed to have achieved truly astounding results. Fa and Bee are lovely and enchanting creatures with very sweet, babyish voices. Things become deadly serious in the film's relentless second half, but because the conspiracy theme has been introduced so gradually the change in tone and the orchestrated melodramatics are perfectly acceptable.
George C. Scott plays the bad tempered Terrell with the actor's trademark intensity. Its a passionate and powerful performance, and its perfectly easy to see why the dolphins look at him like some kind of god who towers above the other humans.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Ever seen a political thriller that employs dolphins as potential assassins? Why the heck not? As a curiosity, it's hard to beat "The Day of the Dolphin." Bringing together a bizarre amalgamation of talent-- this 1973 film stars George C. Scott (a few years after his Oscar for "Patton"), was written by Buck Henry (known mostly for comedy), and was directed by Mike Nichols (yes, that Mike Nichols)! Nichols has done everything from "The Graduate" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" through to the more current "Closer" and "Angels in America"--and this bit of sci-fi seems at odds with most of his resume. Curiously, though, he took "Dolphin" over from Roman Polanski (Polanski dropped out when his wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family). Heck, the backstory alone is cause enough to check out this picture!

Telling the story of a dolphin research facility, Scott plays its leader. Financed by a large corporation, their work is largely unknown even by their sponsors. They have been working on communication techniques and their unorthodox secrecy starts to raise various suspicions. Paul Sorvino, as a mysterious intruder, starts to poke around menacingly and all that is of value to Scott and his team is threatened. Publicly revealing the truth behind their experiments to their bosses, they now find themselves pawns in a larger scheme. It's hard to determine who to trust as potential allies are shown to be villains and vice versa. And caught in the middle are the dolphins who are to be exploited as bomb carrying assassins.

While, in truth, "The Day of the Dolphin" advertises itself as a political thriller with a sci-fi component--I think you'd be better off going into the film knowing nothing about it. But it seems unlikely that anyone could do that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great..
classic movie of all times...... I LOVE IT!!! I watch it non stop with my friends everyday.. love love love
Published 6 days ago by Tammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This is another old movie I haven't seen in years and I was happy to see it on DVD. I hope it's as good as I remember.
Published 22 days ago by MinMinLu
5.0 out of 5 stars Day of the Dolphin
This is a great movie and we have looked for it a long time, my husband enjoyed getting this in his Christmas Stocking!
Published 3 months ago by diana hall
4.0 out of 5 stars George C. Scott, need I say more?
Overall, a very well done movie. Story is good and it keeps you guessing "Who is good and who is bad"? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bob F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Never seen before.
My wife had read the book so I got her the movie to watch. Movie arrived within a couple of days of ordering and was securely packaged. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kevnsal
5.0 out of 5 stars Eeek. Eee. Click, Geee!
That's dolphin for "You better see this movie again. It's even better when you are an adult looking back on your naive, doe-eyed view of the world."
Published 8 months ago by Heft
4.0 out of 5 stars As I remembered...
I've always enjoyed the varied works of George C. Scott, and this was no exception. It carries a good story line, with some mystery that even kept my 13 year old interested.
Published 9 months ago by A. White
5.0 out of 5 stars Planet of the Apes with Fish
This was a later try at science fiction using a dolphin and George C. Scott with his baby wife Trish Van De Veer. I believe that George C. Scott is almost always a riveting actor. Read more
Published 11 months ago by MovieBuff_VA
5.0 out of 5 stars Trip down memory lane
The island and ocean scenes were beautifully filmed in the bahamas but are indistinguishable from the Florida keys I visited many times while growing up in south Florida back in... Read more
Published 13 months ago by consumer
5.0 out of 5 stars got it for my folks
they are into the older movies and this one was one of their favorite movies so I got it as a gift for them for Christmas.
Published 15 months ago by PonyBoy TwoFeathers
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