The Day of the Dolphin (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day of the Dolphin (1973)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Day of the Dolphin Photos

Movie Info

Director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Buck Henry team up again (after collaborating on The Graduate and Catch-22) for this adaptation of Robert Merle's best-selling adventure novel concerning dolphins who become pawns in a plot to kill the president. George C. Scott plays Dr. Jake Terrell, a researcher who, along with his wife Maggie (Trish Van Devere), is investigating dolphin intelligence, believing they have the capability of speech. Harold DeMilo (Fritz Weaver), in charge of a major corporation, sponsors their work. But undercover work by government agent Curtis Mahoney (Paul Sorvino) reveals that DeMilo is working with a right-wing group planning to kidnap the dolphins and use them to blow up the presidential yacht. Jake and Maggie have to race against time to save both their dolphins and the president.

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George C. Scott
as Dr. Jake Terrell
Trish Van Devere
as Maggie Terrell
Paul Sorvino
as Curtis Mahoney
Fritz Weaver
as Harold DeMilo
John Dehner
as Wallingford
Pat Englund
as Woman at Club
Julie Follansbee
as Woman at Club
Brooke Hayward
as Woman at Club
Florence Stanley
as Woman at Club
Phyllis Davis
as Secretary
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Critic Reviews for The Day of the Dolphin

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

What is left, besides a lot of pretty dolphin footage, is some bad intercollegiate-revue satire, a shadow of Sea Hunt, and a calculated sentimentality that evokes memories of Lassie Come Home.

Full Review… | March 24, 2015
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A rare and regrettably uneven combination of ideas and action.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

A bizarre and often ridiculous attempt to merge documentary, suspense and comedy.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Some of the cloak-and-dagger stuff that follows is so awkwardly staged that it's difficult to know whether the simplicity was designed for youngsters or as parody.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Tries so hard not to be a conventional science-fiction thriller that it fails, alas, to be anything.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Very disappointing.

Full Review… | March 24, 2015
The Spectator

Audience Reviews for The Day of the Dolphin

Shameless dolphin exploitation. There were really no good guys in this movie, and I still don't understand the point of teaching the dolphins to talk.

Elise C
Elise C

Engaging, and one of the most unique Political thrillers of it's time. It is easy to feel the emotions of the Dolphins, the innocence being perverted by man. Incredible movie then-holds up well today.

Rick Sewell
Rick Sewell

Being as its plot is centered on talking dolphins that are unknowingly trained to assassinate the president, you'd think that "The Day of the Dolphin" would be a total exercise in camp, but it's almost the exact opposite. It takes itself so darn seriously that there's absolutely nothing fun or enjoyable about it. Also, the narrative is bumbling and borderline incoherent, the editing is clumsy, there's not a single likable or relatable character among the bunch and the first three fifths are mindless exposition that build up to literally nothing. Even if it is visually enticing, "The Day of the Dolphin" is a complete bore.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

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