Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1973. AVCO Embassy Pictures. Screenplay by Buck Henry, based on the novel Un Animal Doue de Raison by Robert Merle. Cinematography by William A. Fraker. Produced by Robert E. Relyea. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Richard Sylbert. Costume Design by Anthea Sylbert. Film Editing by Sam O’Steen. Academy Awards 1973. Golden Globe Awards 1973. National Board of Review Awards 1973.
This film starts out whimsically entertaining but boils down to such a cheesy outcome that it ends up being a bit embarrassing for all involved. George C. Scott plays a Dr. Dolittle dolphin trainer who has taught his two pets to actually speak. When they’re kidnapped and put into the service of bad guys who want to use them to plant bombs on an eminent figure’s boat, you find yourself wondering how this film made it past the development stage. Scott is terrific, but neither he nor director Mike Nichols seem to be the least bit aware that they’re telling a kid’s story, and so mistakenly aim the picture at a more mature, uninterested audience.