The Day of the Dolphin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day of the Dolphin Reviews

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November 5, 2015
This says it came out in 1973??? But don't i clearly recall it was one of the movies we were looking at in the paper thinking of going to see, with Suzi McFarland at Claremont? No, couldn't be. All the other searches agree it was 73, so that must have been w who? Joan?
August 4, 2014
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.
February 21, 2014
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.
February 20, 2014
This is so trashy and the plot is so unreasonable that it kind of ends up being an enjoyable movie. Nothing to watch twice, of course, but I wouldn't dismiss it just like that. I wish I could remember more of the movie and the acting, but from what I can recall the main problem of this film is that it takes itself a little too seriously, but I guess I saw worse things in my life.
March 1, 2013
it's a good thing i LOVE dolphins as much as i do, otherwise this movie isn't that great.... these talking ones unwittingly become involved in a presidential assassination plot.
December 25, 2012
the third collab between director nichols & writer buck henry (after the 'graduate' & 'catch-22"
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2012
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.
October 19, 2012
The Day of the Dolphin is about talking dolphins that are trained to kill and yes, it's as dumb as it sounds. This movie is slow, poorly written and the acting is ridiculous. Plus, the dolphin voice sounds like a demented Furby. Don't watch this movie unless you're with a large group of funny friends that have an hour and a half to kill.
October 9, 2012
I saw this movie as a child and was captured by it. Nearly 40 years later, I happened to catch it again, and it was still moving to me. The score, which I thought was beautiful, and learned upon research that it was up for an Academy Award, is amazing when combined with footage of the dolphins. The premise may be hard to believe for some, but I find it inspiring, as I've often wondered what these intelligent creatures, who seem to love humans so, think and feel. The end makes me CRY!!!
October 7, 2012
It was an excellent movie showing the dolphins have feelings and they do.But how were these mammals treated doing the film
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2012
The movie taglines says "Unwittingly he trained a Dolphin to kill the president of the United States" and so naturally I sat down to watch it. With a ridiculous tagline like that you would expected something over-the-top and goofy right? Sadly you're wrong as this movie takes itself too seriously and simply a bores you to death.

The Day of the Dolphin is about a scientist who trains his Dolphin to talk who are than kidnapped by the government to kill the president. That synopsis in the last sentence is literally all that happens and nothing else interesting develops. It has boring characters, uninteresting back stories, and is surprisingly very dramatic. You'll wonder how in the world did a movie about talking Dolphins get to a point where the government are kidnapping Dolphins and planning to kill blowup the president. The answer is simply lazy writing. For a movie that has talking Dolphins I'm surprised at the lack of humor and for a movie with Dolphin in the title they're barely are shown doing anything interesting. Most of the times the Dolphins are doing tricks and swimming, yawn. Would you believe that there's only one scene of the Dolphins being trained to kill anything, and unfortunately they don't have machine-guns or anything over-the-top for your amusement. Though to the film credits it did attempt to make it realistic, while it does have Dolphins that sound like Elmo from Sesame Street, the scenario is somewhat plausible. The plot is ultimately poorly written, but I honestly can't say I expected something good that has talking Dolphins.

The acting is surprisingly good, though the actors do have the "I'm going to fire my agent" train of thought. The music is also good, though completely useless here as it never used effectively. Now since we have a scientist training a Dolphin to talk, you get to hear tape samples of it, like of them in the same scene. Yes the tape of the Dolphin speaking is annoying, but they are unintentionally funny to listen to. The director on the other hand does not know how to make a thriller. You'll see events coming miles away and nothing is ever suspenseful since the movie does a good job of boring you to death. Now for some reason this is categorize as science-fiction, why? Sure the movie has talking Dolphin, but I don't think that would count it as science-fiction and there's a lack of both science and fiction in this. To my amazement there's a novel with the same name and would you believe it's a political satire of the Cold War. That would actually would have interesting to watch if the movie actually decided to follow the novel. Now while this might unrelated to this movie there's is a Simpson parody title "Night of the Dolphin" that's more entertaining to watch.

The Day of the Dolphin is a serious movie with a premise that shouldn't have been taken seriously in the first place. You're better off reading the political satire novel with the same name or watching The Simpsons parody "Night of the Dolphin".
January 23, 2012
I begin by saying that this is definitely no masterpiece, but it's not as bad as it sounds. I actually really enjoyed this hokey, dated mess about George C. Scott, a corrupt government assassination plot, and dolphins that speak English.
½ October 9, 2011
July 13, 2011
Marine biology scientist Dr. Jake Terrell, his wife Maggie and a crew of ecologists for the last few years have been financed by an organization to study confined dolphins on a distant Florida island. They've conditioned a male and a female dolphin to say "fa," "ma," "pa" and other basic vocabulary, and to comprehend English sufficiently enough to have simple dialogue. But Alpha can't be trained to think in English. He can merely mimic, until Jake teaches him a lesson about loss. He introduces a female dolphin, Beta, watches Alpha fall for her, then splits them up until Alpha can demand her, in English. The wholesale sequence showing Alpha swimming frantically around, thrashing his tail on the enclosure that divides them, is heartrending.

Jake is like the classic father of the baby-boom bracket, unwavering in teaching valuable lessons even when he feels his child's anguish, in this case a dolphin who loves him like a father. When Alpha at last begs for Beta by name, it's an intensely gratifying moment, exemplifying the identity-related idea of language as a conciliation intuited out of loss. And, much to our grief, Alpha is now disposed to all kinds of anthropomorphic cognizant suffering.

And naturally, trouble lies ahead in the form of a thriller plot true to the pinnacle era of conspiracies and rogue government. Initially, a young Paul Sorvino's slippery pollster blackmails his way onto Dr. Terrell's island, and before long, a sinister regime faction is revealed to intend to use the newfound capacity for communication in these dolphins to their advantage by abducting them for function in a presidential assassination, of all things.

In training Alpha and Beta to verbalize, Jake destines them for humanity, initiating them into ceaseless yearning and unlocking the floodgates to advantage being taken of them. In due course, with the purpose of thwarting Alpha and Beta more exploitation, Jake must make a decision that is inconceivable to the living, beating heart. Pure as they are, dolphins comprehend mere absolutes. How can you make a dolphin understand not only that humans can be both good and bad, tell lies and kill their own, but that rejection, abandonment can still mean undying love, ultimate sacrifice? "Men are bad," he tells them, hardly suppressing his utterly irreparable heartbreak, and ours. "All men bad."
July 3, 2011
Turned it of about 45 minutes in.
½ May 11, 2011
Amazing! I can't believe how much I liked it for being made in the '70s!
May 11, 2011
This was nominated for an academy award? That, just shows you what the awards are worth. Most of the time this movie is just laughable. Especailly the "talking" dolphins.
April 26, 2011
Dated but fun thriller from director Mike Nichols and scribe Buck Henry starring George C. Scott and adorable dolphins.
April 22, 2011
This is a film that attempts to be everything but what it is . . . and fails utterly. However, the ending is quite moving, though unearned.
½ March 6, 2011
Nice 70`s adventure film with a talking Dolphin. Things take a wrong turn when bad people are trying to make an assassin out of the dolphin (yes i said it). Yet somehow the fantasy aspect never goes overboard. I must admit it is amusing to see George c. Scott have a conversation with a dolphin.
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