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 <more>
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.
This is what movies are all about !!! (by tom-koppen)
Noticing the low score for this movies here on IMDb, I couldn't resist writing this.I've read all kinds of comments, most disturbing the criticism on the performance of Richard Harris. His acting considering the theme of the movie was absolutely great. I guess the image of an old washed up fisherman doesn't look to good to most people. He was great and believable. Some say it's cheap exploitation of a wild animal, though I've never seen a movie giving an animal this much soul and heart. I suppose they were confused with Jaws, which in comparison to this is a mindless <more>
monstermovie about a big fish with big teeth. For me this film is an emotional trip to the inevitable, guided by some beautiful cinematography and brilliant soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.A fantasy cult classic.
Ever feel like you're the smartest person in the room. (by Soaps1234)
If you think this movie is better than Jaws, you are. I saw this movie when I was 12 and it's still one of my top 20 favorite movies. Powerful.
Orca, the broth that wasn't spoiled (by KuRt-33)
Depending on where you live, Orca is either shown all the time or never it all. The film has an incredibly bad reputation and in fact this does not really come as a surprise: this is a film by Michael Anderson, the director of Logan's Run another film with a bad reputation . I'll try and explain why I think Orca worked for me.It is very hard or even impossible to label Orca also known as Orca: Killer Whale . What exactly is this film? It's a drama, a love story, an odyssey, a revenge film and then you haven't thrown in the scientific bits and its flirting with <more>
exploitation. Films that can't be labelled are often not very good. Compare it to the proverb "Too many cooks spoil the broth". If you try to flavour your film with ingredients of many genres, you often end up with a dinner that doesn't taste good at all. But just like there are cooks which are able to mingle the weirdest ingredients and end up with a yummy dish, some directors are talented enough to make a film that goes beyond genre conventions. Anderson is such a director. "Logan's Run" and "Orca" are both examples of genreless films. Logan's Run never decides whether it's a sci-fi adventure story or a love drama. Orca, as I mentioned above, has no clue whatsoever of what sort of a film it is. That is what makes the film so fragile. You're not supposed to expect anything when watching the film or you might end up bitterly disappointed.The first images of Orca are extremely beautiful. We see a couple of orcas making out in the middle of the ocean. The sky is beautifully photographed and it gives you a fuzzy feeling. The first human being we see is Charlotte Rampling, diving and trying to avoid a shark. The sight of Charlotte Rampling is virtually always a sign you're watching a cult movie. In a filmography of over 65 films Rampling has starred in dozens of essential cult films including the highly controversial The Night Porter . Furthermore, she's a good actress. Rampling's character blocks Richard Harris's attempt to kill the shark. He is a hunter, she is a biologist. Both are intrigued by each other: she would like to know how someone who's always at sea knows so little about his surroundings, he wants to know more about the orca they've seen. Harris ends up catching the female orca and in one of the most painful scenes of the seventies it turns out she was pregnant. The male orca is the perfect example of the lover who swears a pitiless revenge.Though a lot of the scientific mumbojumbo in the film is apparently nonsense that just sounded good, the film's tagline gives you a good sense of what to expect: "The killer whale is one of the most intelligent creatures in the universe. Incredibly, he is the only animal other than man who kills for revenge. He has one mate, and if she is harmed by man, he will hunt down that person with a relentless, terrible vengeance - across seas, across time, across all obstacles."Though Orca is mainly a revenge film and an almost mythical clash between two heavyweights Harris and the orca , Anderson's film doesn't just show orca revenging his wife plus man hunting orca. I fear such a film would end up either boring or a rip-off of Jaws. Some have already dismissed Orca as a rip-off, but those viewers obviously didn't pick up on everything else in the film. The characters even the orca are not one-dimensional and so their personas are explored. That does stand in the way of a revenge tale, but Orca doesn't care. The film shows how characters cope with being in such a situation and therefore takes time to explore other parts of the characters. If you must, label it as a mythical drama.The film is also helped by a wonderful soundtrack of Ennio Morricone. Richard Harris and Charlotte Rampling are great in their roles and alongside them you have Bo Derek in her debut role a few years before she'd become a sex symbol with films as 10 and Bolero . Bo Derek turned down the leading role in the King Kong remake, going for a mythical orca rather than a giant ape.I hope I warmed you up for Orca. When you see it, do not forget this most important advice: do not expect anything. Just sit down and follow the myth. And who knows, you might enjoy it.
From murder, to revenge, to the bitter end... (by sound-design-1)
A killer whale seeks vengeance for the death of his mate and their unborn calf following a hunt by a boat of fishermen that goes tragically wrong.Captain Nolan, the man responsible for drawing the creature's vengeance upon himself and his fishing crew, is a surprisingly complex character; a man haunted by his past and struggling with a deeply rooted sense of guilt. It seems Nolan shares more with this creature than he'd care to admit to himself and to the only thing he truly fears, God.When their paths meet in nightmarish circumstance, the lives of Nolan and the killer whale become <more>
bound to a shared destiny, which both feel compelled to relentlessly pursue.Inevitably, it steers them far out into the icy seas and to a final meeting wherein one will find a violent end to their bitter suffering...
Inadvertently killing it's mate while fishing, a fisherman and his crew come to find themselves being stalked and killed by the surviving killer whale in retribution and forces him into an epic quest to settle the score.This one turned out to be quite an enjoyable and entertaining creature feature. One of the better features here is the fact that this one sets up the crucial revenge aspect of the storyline here in an incredibly well-done with a lot to like, starting with the scene that sets if off when she's accidentally killed in the fishing attempt gone wrong. It's a <more>
heartbreaking scene more than anything through the actions of how sad it is hooking into the creature and bringing it aboard and how the whole scene is played out in front of the mate, as the whole scene comes off with a sense of poignancy that's ultimately touching. It's mournful cries and seeing how it reacts after the fact makes this all the more touching and also leads into the film being quite fun showing off the creatures' antics as it orchestrates a rather complex and involved plan for revenge. The destruction of the fishing boats is rather cheesy but comes off in a clever way that plays into the revenge-driven storyline rather well, the destruction of the complex is a spectacular pyrotechnic showcase that really has a ton of outstanding action in it and the following attack on the house with the resulting injuries on his crew-member leaves this with a really exciting suspense scene as there's the race to get out before both the house falls and the whale attacks. That all leads into the incredibly fun and exciting finale which is set-up as the grand, epic showdown between the two as a huge chase through open-water and on into the Arctic ice-flow that really meshes a lot of exciting action with the attempts to track down the creature and it's countermeasures for a wholly enjoyable sequence. These here all combine with the suitably majestic feeling for the titular beast as the film's positives that are more than enough to hold off the lone negative in here which is the rather over-the-top and needless exploitation crammed into the accidental death of the mother. Despite adding another suitable layer needed for the revenge scenario, it works fine enough as is without it and the sight of it doesn't need to be featured. Otherwise, this one is incredibly entertaining.Rated PG: Violence, Language and graphic violence against animals.
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 <more>
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.
The story of vengeance as a male Killer Whale witnesses its mate and unborn calf die at the hands of a money hungry boat captain Richard Harris looking to capture the female to put into an aquarium.When you hear people talk about Killer Animal movies, it's super rare to hear someone mention, Orca. And I don't know why. It's has a great idea, a great animal and a great lead actor in Richard Harris.I see that most people's biggest gripe with the film is the plot. People seem to find the idea ridiculous and silly. An animal that's doing whatever it can to get even with the <more>
murderer of his loved ones, I think is awesome. The Killer Whale is the top predator in the ocean, with no known enemies, besides man itself. Which this movie shows. Their techniques of hunting can range from stealth, to group collaboration, to speed and power. They're an amazing creature that learn fast, have known to assist humans in entertainment and hunting, it's evident they can use wit and have many tricks up their sleeve.I can understand that people may not like the acting though Richard Harris was very good , but the story is awesome. This tale of Orca vengeance is cool, badass and maybe a tad more realistic than you may think. Though, I won't be holding my breath for a Killer Whale or any wild animal to destroy a sea-side fishing community. But if there's one wild animal out there that can do such a thing, it's definitely the Killer Whale. And of course, the Duck-billed Platypus, obviously.
...if you liked "Silent Running", then you'll probably like "Orca". Both are allegories lamenting human misunderstanding, neglect, and mistreatment of the natural world. Both are "downer" movies with a message - not an especially subtle message, but one definitely worth considering.This was one of the first movies I bought many years ago on the old RCA CED video disc format. But then, RCA bailed on CEDs, so I hadn't seen it for years it never came out on LaserDisc and rarely shows up on cable . While browsing Amazon, I found it is now available on DVD, <more>
so I bought a copy. The DVD is quite rudimentary and could stand cleaning up and remastering, but I still like it as much as ever.Yes, the plot is a bit silly and overwrought, but then so was "Silent Running", hence my comparison. At least the plot has some weight to it which, when you get right down to it, "Jaws" lacked.The "Jaws" comparison is apt, however. Both films came out within 18 months of each other IIRC , so "Orca" was dismissed as a rip off of "Jaws". But they're two entirely different films which had been in simultaneous development. "Jaws" is a scary thrill ride while "Orca" tries to get the audience thinking about something of substance.As usual, Richard Harris chews the scenery. Will Sampson occupies his usual wise old Indian role. Charlotte Rampling is excellent as a marine biologist who dilutes the testosterone with a thoughtful, excellent performance. It's also enjoyable to see a young Robert Carradine and Bo Derek her first movie in minor roles.