Orca

1977

Action / Adventure / Drama / Horror / Thriller

16
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 9%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 33%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 10839

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 08, 2021 at 02:14 PM

Cast

Richard Harris as Captain Nolan
Charlotte Rampling as Rachel Bedford
Bo Derek as Annie
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
847.1 MB
1280*534
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S 1 / 11
1.7 GB
1920*800
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S 2 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DroogAlexK 10 / 10

Greatest movie of all time

Orca is the greatest movie of all time. I'm sure most people say that their favorite movie is the greatest of all time, but they are all wrong.

Orca brings together some of the finest actors. Richard Harris, who unfortunately will be remembered for some trivial movie about a boy wizard and a throwaway musical about King Arthur, does his finest work in Orca. His portrayal of Captain Nolan, an emotionally torn fisherman coming to terms with the fact the marine animals have feelings, deserved the Oscar. Did he win? No, that is not a strike against this fine film. Charlotte Rampling brings texture to the marine biologist in love with a whale baby killer. The romance between the two is subtle. While most modern Hollywood movies would just throw in a gratuitous sex scene, Rampling accomplishes just as much with confused looks and having her shirt zipped down in one scene. Will Sampson, who is sadly better known for some movie about flying over a cuckoo's nest, also does a fantastic job of playing the Native American guy who says cryptic things and has ice fall on him. Robert Carradine, famous for Revenge of the Nerds, shows great range in not being around much and then being eaten by the whale. Bo Derek never equaled her success in this film elsewhere. I really believed her leg was bit off. She sold me.

The effects were great for the time. Many forget what special effects were like in those days, myself included because I was not born yet, but the point remains. The strange fisheye lens used to represent the whales point of view was genius. And I challenge everyone to find a more realistic looking whale fetus in a movie. You can't, you just can't. The dramatic fight between Captain Nolan and the whale could have easily become silly, but it doesn't. The Arctic Circle is accurately represented as a cold place with many iceberg, some of which whales can thwack themselves upon catapulting middle-aged Irishmen forty feet in the air. Keep in mind, also, this was done without the use of computer graphics. Steven Spielberg did not even put the shark in Jaws until over halfway through the film. Why? To hide a machine so fake that I can only assume one of his children made it at camp. The mechanical killer whale in Orca is almost indistinguishable from the stock footage of killer whales continually played throughout the movie.

In 1977, how many directors were brave enough to shoot a killer whale jumping from one side of the boat, eating actor Robert Carradine, and landing on the other side? Just one, Michael Anderson. His bold choices along with screenwriters Luciano Vincenzoni and Sergio Donati (who both show an above average command of the English languages for native-born Italian speakers) make the film a statement not only about whale hunting and whale forgiveness seeking, but also about humanity. Charlotte Rampling's appeal to Nolan not to go fight the whale just because the whale wants revenge is not just about social protocols of how to make it up to the father of a whale baby you accidentally killed, but also an argument against the death penalty. Will Sampson's pointless death is an indictment of the senseless slaughter of tens of millions of Native Americans. When the whale knocks down Captain Nolan's house without any explanation of this whale became such a genius that he can not only knows to knock down structural supports but also can look up addresses in the phone book, it directly shows how our incursion into the world of nature is two-fold. Robert Carradine's tragic death in the film is social commentary on the probability of being eaten if you stand around on a boat being followed by a crazed killer whale. And probably also something about Vietnam, I assume.

And while most in Hollywood choose not to admit it, many have ripped off Orca. The dead baby scene in Trainspotting is suspiciously reminiscent of the dead whale fetus scene in Orca. The creepy quasi-romance between an intelligent female and a somewhat crazy violent child murderer is directly stolen by George Lucas for Star Wars: Episode II. The use of icebergs is blatantly co-opted by Titanic, and I have never heard James Cameron so much as thank Michael Anderson. And don't even get me started on Free Willy. Orca is a complicated story. If you only enjoy movies with obvious heroes and villains, this is not for you. The characters are conflicted. Very conflicted. Take for instance how the killer whale jumps for joy after biting off Bo Derek's leg. The whale shows both glee in his jumps, but also the pain of having lost his family and never being able to bring them back no matter how hard he fights those who took them from him. Like Batman. You see, the only thing black and white in this movie is the killer whale itself. While Orca does not now get the respect it deserves, in time people will realize its genius. Just as people did not understand gravity or continental drift, in time they will come to recognize Orca as the greatest cinematic achievement of all time.

Reviewed by Maeve72 8 / 10

Grim? Perhaps not. Entertaining? Absolutely.

I've seen this movie at least a dozen times since it's release. The first time I saw it, I was very young, perhaps 8 or 9, and while I found it upsetting and sad at parts, as an adult I can look back and say it speaks so much more to me than say, "Free Willy." The movie follows the events in a fisherman's life following the capture of a killer whale. On the surface, it can appear grim and gory, but underneath there is a stirring tale about a man who has lost everything he held dear, has given up all feeling because of past events and leads an almost hostile towards life existence and then gradually comes to understand that because he was hurt, does not give him an excuse not to feel. Yes, the premise does dabble in the fantasy world, however the point isn't whether this could happen but the growth of the central character. Not once have I been able to watch this movie and not been moved by it.

Reviewed by Chantillyman 6 / 10

Difficult to rate - Raises Mixed Emotions

1977's "Orca", starring Richard Harris (Gladiator, Harry Potter), is one of the more difficult films I believe I've ever tried to categorize. Also, I'm uncertain exactly how to rate it, given that it stirs up a number of mixed emotions.

***spoilers follow***

"Orca" tells the story of Captain Nolan (Harris), a fisherman who is trying to set himself up for a financial windfall (and thus pay off the mortgage on his boat) by capturing a Great White Shark and selling it to an aquarium. When two divers become involved, the situation nearly leads to tragedy; however, a killer whale intervenes, killing the shark and firing the imagination of Captain Nolan. Enlisting the unwitting aid of a female marine biologist named Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling), Nolan decides to change course and pursue the capture and sale of a killer whale. The capture attempt is a dismal failure. In the process, a male Orca is wounded, its mate is killed, and the female's unborn calf gruesomely miscarries on the deck of Nolan's ship, "Bumpo".

By this time in the film, we've already sat through a crash-course on killer whales, most notably two ideas: 1) killer whales may have an intelligence level on par with man's, and 2) killer whales are vengeful creatures. These ideas, combined with Captain Nolan's unintentional killing of the female whale and her calf, set us up for the main body of the film, which concerns itself with the male Orca doing whatever it can to lure Nolan back to sea for a final confrontation.

Many people seem to feel that "Orca" is a "Jaws" rip-off, and while it may have been made to capitalize on the success of "Jaws", I don't see it as a true rip-off. For one thing, other than the story of a fisherman challenging a powerful animal at sea, "Orca" doesn't really follow the pattern set by "Jaws", and emulated countless times since in lesser films. In "Jaws", a Great White Shark simply shows up in New England waters one day and embarks on a killing spree, leading to the film's climactic hunt for the animal. There is no explanation for the shark's actions save for animal instinct, and while powerful, the shark is not portrayed as intelligent; nor do we feel any sympathy for the animal. True "Jaws" rip-off films merely change the animal in the title role (or not, in the more blatant examples), substitute another location and a different cast, and supply a different ending. See "Tentacles", "Piranha", "Night of the Grizzly", "Kingdom of the Spiders", etc.

"Orca", on the other hand, doesn't truly emulate the pattern of any of these films. The Orca has a reason for its actions, displays intelligent manipulation to get what it wants, and is somewhat sympathetic. For a true comparison to another film, try reversing the plot elements of "Moby Dick". With a few tweaks, you basically get "Orca". In fact, as opposed to being a rip-off, I'd argue that "Orca" is a rather unique film. It's a revenge story with an animal in the lead, and I don't believe I've ever seen another example of that.

As for the film in terms of production, I wouldn't say that "Orca" is an awful film, but it certainly tries to be more than what it ultimately becomes, and thus may seem worse than it is. I enjoy watching it myself, but I hesitate to recommend it to others.

Richard Harris is a surprisingly complex Nolan. He doesn't always react as you'd expect him to, and thus rises above the one-dimensional range this role could easily have been for him. Charlotte Rampling plays a cool-headed intellectual type who doesn't know whether to love Nolan or hate him, so she settles for something in between. Her acting isn't the most inspired, but it's adequate to what she's asked to do here. She could be called wooden, I suppose, but most cool-headed intellectuals seem that way in real life. Admittedly, the rest of the cast, with the exception of Will Sampson as Umilak, are display material. Bo Derek is very attractive, but looking simultaneously attractive and helpless is really all she's asked to do here.

The best aspects of "Orca" are its rich photography and Ennio Morricone's mournfully haunting score. Both are absolutely beautiful. The film is a viewing and listening pleasure. Michael Anderson's direction is also quite good. There were a few scenes that appear to have been cut (for time, perhaps), but other than that the flow is very good and the chosen shots work well.

The storyline is "Orca's" weakest point. The idea of a killer whale trying to avenge the death of its mate is workable, but some of the Orca's feats in this film are unintentionally amusing. The dockside fire scene is definitely the most over-the-top of all, as others here have already pointed out; and the Orca signaling to Nolan to follow is probably the runner-up, at least for me. Some stock aquarium footage also got annoying.

The recent "Orca" DVD release has no extras, but does feature a beautiful transfer and excellent sound. I can understand why they didn't go to too much expense with "Orca", but it would have been nice to at least get a trailer.

Bottom line: Unbelievable storyline, but surprisingly well-made and likable. This may be the best "bad" film I've ever seen.

Rating: 5 out of 10

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