This is one of those Traumafessions that does NOT involve scary images on T.V. or book covers. This involves a sci-fi story called THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN and it starred GEORGE C. SCOTT & his wife TRISH VAN DEVERE as scientists who are working on dolphin intelligence. If fact, some of the dolphins are taught to speak through their blowholes. Sounds silly but that’s how they “talk.” Well, what happens is that the backer of the research group works for a Right Wing organization that wants the Left Wing U.S. President dead. They kidnap two of the dolphins (named “Fa” and “Bea”) to accomplish this. The dolphins are trained to carry bombs on their backs, swim under the President’s boat and then have the bombs attach themselves magnetically to the bottom of his boat. Somehow PATTON and co. manage to get the dolphins to go back to the President’s boat, take back the bombs and place them on the bottom of the assassin’s boat. Of course they are blown to bits.
Right, so how is this traumatic? Well, as a kid I watched FLIPPER reruns on T.V. and when I saw that this was to be broadcast, I begged my mother to let me stay up late to see this (I think this was shown in the summer when school was out). Well, she a first said no but after some prodding she let me but she said that I’d regret it.
Well, at the end of the film, GEORGE and TRISH decide that they have to cut ties with Fa & Bea as other conspirators are going to show up at the research base to either use them again or even kill them. Now the tear jerking begins. GEORGE tells the dolphins to just eat, swim & play but not to talk while the dolphins are squeaking, “Fa love ma! Fa love pa!” He starts yelling at them while TRISH is just about crying knowing that she losing her “kids.” GEORGE then tells her to stop talking as she keeps saying, “Ma loves Fa. Ma loves Bea.” Finally they get up to leave. He tells her not to turn around. As they walk away there is the image of one of the dolphins sticking its head out of the water squeaking, “PA! MA!”
At this point I was losing it! The poor dolphins are being abandoned by their “parents.” This is triggering some major separation anxiety issues in little 8-year-old me! To make things worse after the movie was over upset me ran over to mother for comfort. She just stood in the room & said, “I told you so!” and she walked out! Talk about tough love!
Here is the ending: