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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 (41 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Paul Sorvino, John Dehner, Severn Darden
  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Writers: Buck Henry, Robert Merle
  • Producers: Dick Birkmayer, Joseph E. Levine, Robert E. Relyea
  • 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 (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009P1M0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,384 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
44 of 45 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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30 of 34 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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16 of 17 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 Interesting story line
I really enjoy classic action movies.
Published 10 days ago by RK
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good product & fast delivery.
Published 3 months ago by William J. Cruse Sr.
2.0 out of 5 stars We Not Love Fa
Bad, ridiculous, boring, and very 70s. It's slow and nearly plotless in that dull way that 70s movies could be. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jack Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellant Movie !
Excellent movie ....
Very entertaining !
Published 3 months ago by Jdhawke
5.0 out of 5 stars Move
I love this move , so did my Granddaughter who love dolphins great story , for a old move it's still a good movie . Thank you
Published 4 months ago by robert h white
4.0 out of 5 stars Why can't humans speak in clicks and groans?
I was in Maui when I saw this movie so I was in a marine mood. Also I work with fish and greatly admire dolphins. This movie as I saw it was very good at the beginning. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Greg Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A close to my heart movie
I have always loved George C. Scott and Dolphins! Put them together and you have a great movie! This movie has been close to my heart since the very first time I saw it in the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by adrienne hicks
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 months 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 7 months 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 9 months ago by diana hall
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