The Day of the Dolphin

Watch The Day of the Dolphin

"Unwittingly, he trained a dolphin to kill the president of the United States."
  • PG
  • 1973
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 6.0  (3,440)
  • 40

The Day of the Dolphin is a 1973 science-fiction thriller directed by Mike Nichols and starring George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, and Paul Sorvino. The movie revolves around Dr. Jake Terrell (played by George C. Scott) who becomes obsessed with training dolphins to speak English. He is successful and creates a pair of intelligent dolphins named Alpha and Beta that understand more than 60 commands in English.

Dr. Jake Terrell works for an unknown organization which is linked with the US government. They use the dolphins for military purposes, such as locating mines and sea-borne enemy threats. They are kept in a high-security facility isolated from the rest of the world to maintain their skills and secrecy. Terrell is described as a man who has lost everything except the dolphins, which he considers his family.

However, things soon go wrong. Terrell's lab is invaded by two suspicious figures who attempt to steal Alpha and Beta. One of the dolphins is injured, and Terrell suspects that the thieves are linked to his employer. The dolphins begin to show strange behavior after the incident, which leads Terrell on a mission to find out what has caused this change.

As the movie progresses, Terrell becomes convinced that the dolphins Alpha and Beta are communicating with humans. After digging deep into the research, he finds out that another group linked to the government is working on a project to train dolphins for assassination missions. They want Alpha and Beta to carry out their mission, but Jake Terrell refuses to let them be used in such activities. The military leaders are worried, afraid that Terrell’s knowledge could complicate things and ask him to leave his dolphins. But Terrell, who is passionate about his research, is determined to secure his research and preserve the existence of the dolphins.

The movie raises many thought-provoking questions about the ethics of animal training and the dangers of giving animals human-level intelligence. The dolphins are treated as sentient beings that should not be used for military purposes, but rather as creatures deserving of respect and consideration. The story seems to suggest that there are consequences to violating the rights of animals that are smarter than humans’ belief in animals being less intelligent.

The unique relationship between Terrell and the dolphins brings a sense of humanity and compassion to the film. The dolphins have an intricate understanding of emotions and human behavior, which makes them more relatable to audiences. Terrell, who has lost his family, is devoted to the dolphins and is almost in a parental relationship with them. They come across as characters who are easy to care about, and the movie does a good job of painting their relationship as an intricate one.

Throughout the film, the cinematography is excellent, and the use of underwater footage makes the dolphins more engaging. There are some spectacular scenes in the movie where the dolphins perform incredible tricks while capturing the imagination of the audience.

Furthermore, the musical score by Georges Delerue is superb and contributes to the movie's overall tone. The way Nichols sets up the mood of the film creates a layered plot-linking the story together that can evoke feelings based on the plotline.

In conclusion, The Day of the Dolphin is a movie that covers a topic that is still relevant to modern times – animal abuse and rights. The film is well made and employs great themes, which create a stunning story of animal intelligence and the consequences of messing with them. The director has done an exceptional job in raising awareness about the dolphins and animal research. It is a film that will leave a lasting impression on the audience.

The Day of the Dolphin is a 1973 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 40.

The Day of the Dolphin
Where to Watch The Day of the Dolphin
The Day of the Dolphin is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent The Day of the Dolphin for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (3,440)
  • Metascore