Sunday, March 3, 2013

George C. Scott in The Day of the Dolphin (1973)

Jake Terrell (Scott) and his wife (Trish Van Devere) are researching dolphin intelligence and their relationship with humans. In the process of their research they've been able to directly communicate with one of them by teaching him English. Unbeknownst to them, there are radical right wing forces bent on destroying the President of the United States. They've learned of Terrell's dolphin and plans to use him and his mate to carry out the job.
This film is directed by Mike Nichols and the screen play is by Buck Henry, so when I first started watching it I was sort of expecting a comedy - at least I was expecting some satire. Instead, it explores some of the more esoteric ideas about our relationship to other species in the setting of a political thriller. It's marginally successful at both, though tends to have a bit of a split personality.  

This film does not have a high profile, though it is remembered by some. It was nominated for two Academy Awards (score and sound) but has fallen into obscurity over the years. Above is a television commercial for a 1977 airing of it, uploaded to YouTube by robatsea2009

Obscurity factor: 7 (available on DVD, not largely remembered)