Flipper (1964 TV series)

Flipper (1964 TV series)
Flipper Title Screen.JPG
Title screen
Genre Children's television programs
Format Color, full-screen
Created by Jack Cowden
Ricou Browning
Starring Brian Kelly
Luke Halpin
Tommy Norden
Andy Devine, (1964)
Ulla Strömstedt, (1965)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 88 (List of episodes)
Running time approx. 25 minutes
Original channel NBC
Original run September 19, 1964 – April 15, 1967

Flipper, from Ivan Tors Films in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television, is an American television program first broadcast on NBC from September 19, 1964, until April 15, 1967. Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin, is the companion animal of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in southern Florida, and his two young sons Sandy and Bud. The show was created by Jack Cowden and Ricou Browning, a man with extensive experience in underwater filming and underwater performance, notably as the monster in The Creature from the Black Lagoon. A considerable amount of juvenile merchandise inspired by the show was produced during the first-run. The show has been dubbed an "aquatic Lassie".



The television show is an adaptation of the 1963 film Flipper starring Chuck Connors and Luke Halpin as Porter and Sandy Ricks, and its 1964 sequel, Flipper's New Adventure, where Brian Kelly took over the role of Porter. In adapting the films to a television series, the producers made Porter a single parent and gave him a second son named Bud, played by Tommy Norden. The producers departed yet again from the films in endowing Flipper with an unnatural degree of intelligence and an extraordinary understanding of human motives, behavior, and vocabulary.[1]

Filming locations

Flipper was filmed in Miami at Greenwich Studios, (as Ivan Tors Studios), 12100 Ivan Tors Boulevard, Miami, Florida, USA. Nassau was an occasional location. The show was produced in cooperation with Miami Seaquarium, an aquarium located on Key Biscayne in Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida. Miami Seaquarium has the Flipper Show; a dolphin show in the lagoon that served as the film location for the show.[2] Note: The Miami Seaquarium set where Flipper was filmed, also served as the set of the television show Gentle Ben. In fact the house where the Ricks family lived was the same house used for the Wedloe family on Gentle Ben.Flipper was moved to Jimbo's Shrimp/aka Jimbo's Place located across from Miami Seaquarium into the care and exercise of Jimbo aka James Luznar Sr. Flipper lived in a pen in the cove behind Jimbo's shrimp.

Role of Flipper

Flipper was played at first by a female dolphin named Suzy, though primarily by another female, Kathy, and occasionally by other females named Patty, Scotty and Squirt. Female dolphins were chosen because they are less aggressive than males and their skins (unlike the skins of male dolphins) are usually free from scars and other disfigurations acquired in altercations with other dolphins. The five dolphins performed all of Flipper's thespian chores except the famous tail walk, a trick they were unable to master completely. A male dolphin named Clown was brought in for scenes involving the tail walk.[3] The famous "voice" of Flipper was actually the doctored song of a kookaburra.

The show had two dolphin trainers, Robert Corbin and Ric O'Barry. Ric O'Barry, who later turned marine activist, stated that after production ended, he watched Kathy the dolphin take her own life away, as he explained on Oprah Winfrey's Earth Day Special. He stated, "She was really depressed... You have to understand dolphins and whales are not [involuntary] air breathers like we are. Every breath they take is a conscious effort. They can end their life whenever. She swam into my arms and looked me right in the eye, took a breath and didn't take another one. I let her go and she sank straight down on her belly to the bottom of the tank."


The show's theme tune was credited to Henry Vars with lyrics by William "By" Dunham. In France the melody was known as "La Romance de Paris" ("The Love Song of Paris"). The first five episodes of the second season featured a different version of the theme, with Frankie Randall singing new lyrics. After those episodes, the original style of the theme was brought back. The background music of the long underwater sequences was inspired by Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe.

Broadcast history

Initially the show was broadcast September 1964 – September 1967, NBC, Saturday 7:30–8:00 pm. Later, reruns of the first two seasons aired January 1968 – June 1968, NBC, Sunday 6:30–7:00 pm and June 1968 – September 1968, NBC, Sunday 7:00–7:30 pm.

Characters and cast

Animal cast

Flipper, the dolphin.
  • Flipper. Flipper is a wild dolphin and the companion animal of the Ricks family. Flipper is an extraordinarily intelligent dolphin who helps enforce regulations on the preserve, assists Porter Ricks with rescues at sea, and keeps a watchful eye on Sandy and Bud. Many Kids found flipper cute and their favorite part of the show.
  • Pelican Pete. A pelican named Pete, depicted in the original movie as Sandy's pet before he met Flipper, had a recurring role on the show and appeared in several episodes.
  • Additional animal cast members. Other animals appearing on the show included a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Spray (real name was Chobee from Okeechobee, Florida) (seen only in a few early episodes), a seal, a baby elephant, alligators, a female albino dolphin (whose baby Flipper fathered during her only appearance, in the "White Dolphin" episode); and another female dolphin, introduced at the end of the second season, dubbed "Lorelei" by the Ricks family. Lorelei became Flipper's "girlfriend".

Human cast

From left: Tommy Norden, Luke Halpin and Brian Kelly.
  • Porter Ricks. Brian Kelly fills the show's moral center with his portrayal of Porter Ricks, a loving father, conscientious government employee, rugged outdoorsman, and all-around good guy. Porter is a widowed father with two sons, Sandy and Bud, and is employed as Chief Warden at fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in southern Florida. Porter's friend and co-worker, Warden Dennis (Dan Chandler) appears in a recurring role on the show. Reflecting on Porter being single, Brian Kelly told TV Guide (July 9, 1966): "I'm going to bring a couple of bikini girls on. I want some groovy-lookin' girls because a lot of fathers who see the show say, "Where are the chicks?""
  • Sandy Ricks. Luke Halpin plays Porter's elder son Sandy, a mid-to-late teen adolescent sometimes given to boyish mishaps and poor choices yet old enough for adult responsibilities and duties. Sandy often accompanies his father on dangerous adventures and rescues at sea. The character of Sandy (as well as the actor) is carried over from the feature films, where he was the one who first met Flipper and became his special friend.
  • Bud Ricks. Redheaded, freckle-faced Tommy Norden played Porter Ricks's younger son Bud (a character created specifically for the TV series), a boy who had a difficult time staying out of trouble. Many episodes revolve around mistakes made by Bud, intentionally or unintentionally. Bud is gullible and easily swallows the tall tales Hap Gorman feeds him. Bud is at home on or near the sea and loves animals of all sorts. Flipper is his special companion.
  • Hap Gorman, Veteran film, radio, and television character actor Andy Devine had a recurring role in the show's first season as an old salt and marine carpenter named Hap Gorman. Hap was something of a bungler who tried Porter's patience. Hap, in the traditional vein for Andy Devine, enjoyed spinning yarns and tall tales about bejeweled maharajahs, faraway kingdoms and exotic ports for the amusement of skeptical Sandy and gullible Bud.
  • Ulla Norstrand. Swedish-born actress Ulla Strömstedt had a recurring role during the second season as Ulla Norstrand, an oceanographer whose work frequently took her to Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve. She was often instrumental in enforcing the park's regulations. One of her trademarks was her miniature yellow submarine she was often seen using in her oceanographic explorations, and which was sometimes pivotal in storylines. She was a potential love interest for Porter Ricks, although no serious relationship was ever shown to develop.
  • Warden Ed Dennis was played by Miami actor Dan Chandler. The recurring role of a Coral Key Park game warden was created by writer Maria K. Little who needed a sidekick to play off of Porter Ricks. Dennis performed such sidekick chores as helping find a kidnapped Flipper and saving Porter Ricks from murderous lobster-poachers. Chandler also appeared in the feature films Flipper, and Flipper's New Adventure which laid the groundwork for the series.


The Ricks cottage at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve

The series follows a Bottlenose Dolphin named Flipper who is the wild pet of Porter Ricks, a park warden, and his sons Sandy and Bud. Flipper lives in a lagoon near the Ricks cottage at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve. With the Ricks family, Flipper helps protect the park and preserve and its wild inhabitants. He is also instrumental in apprehending criminals and thugs in the park. Flipper is generally recognized by the characters in the show (and the theme song) as being a particularly intelligent and capable dolphin. Flipper is the special companion of the youngest member of the Ricks family, Bud, and several episodes feature Flipper rescuing Bud from dangerous situations. There are few women in the lives of the Ricks males but Porter does have a date in the first season while Sandy meets the girl operator of a floating zoo. A female oceanographer enters the series in the second season to add a feminine touch to the proceedings. Promotional material for the third season announced a new girlfriend for Sandy, although she only appeared in one episode. The series is distinguished for its lush photography of subtropical Florida and its colorful underwater sequences.

Cancellation and subsequent history

The last first-run episode of Flipper aired April 15, 1967. In the conclusion of a two-part episode, the characters of Sandy and Bud are written out of the show (by that time both boys had grown out of their roles), as it is detailed how each plans to leave Coral Key — Sandy has been accepted to the Coast Guard Academy, and Bud will be attending a private school remedially, out-of-state, as arranged by their Aunt Martha. At the same time, a new family (the Whitmans) moves to the area: a widowed mother (played by Karen Steele) and her young son and daughter (played by Stuart Getz and Chris Charney). The two new children are depicted as unfamiliar with maritime life, but they promptly befriend Flipper, and promise to be his new companions after Sandy and Bud leave. All this was for naught, however, as the NBC network declined to renew the series in this new format.

Flipper has seen periodic syndication since its NBC cancellation. The show has aired on cable's Family Channel, Nickelodeon, Animal Planet, Discovery Kids, and satellite provider Voom's Family Room channel in high-definition. Most of the images of Flipper jumping against a skyline were not in the originally aired version, as the filming took place in an enclosed lagoon. They were filmed at the end of the series and added for syndication.[4]

The rights to Flipper were later acquired by Turner Entertainment, with distribution rights being acquired by the Samuel Goldwyn Company, and in turn acquired by MGM Television (the company that originally produced the series). MGM owns full rights to the series; the series copyright is held by MGM's in-name-only unit Orion Pictures (whose own holdings include the Goldwyn library).


Flipper merchandise generated for the juvenile market during the show's first run is now scarce and collectible. Flipper vintage collectibles include: lunch boxes, song books, comic books, coloring books, a Whitman novel, Big Little Books, souvenir spoons, Whitman frame tray puzzles, a board game, Viewmaster reels, and a battery-operated "spouting dolphin" water toy.

DVD release

MGM/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the first season on DVD on April 24, 2007.

MGM has also issued Season 2 as an 8 disc set in June 2010. Amazon.com is selling the set exclusively, on a "manufacture on demand" basis. The "DVD-R" discs do not play on many computer DVD drives.

Awards and recognition

The Miami Seaquarium celebrated the 40th anniversary of Flipper in 2004 with Luke Halpin and Tommy Norden participating. Flipper was nominated for two TV Land awards: in 2004 for the TV Land Favorite Fauna Award and, in 2003, for the TV Land Favorite Pet-Human Relationship Award. Flipper appeared twice on TV Guide covers.

List of episodes

First season (1964–1965) Second season (1965–1966) Third season (1966–1967)
  1. 300 Feet Below
  2. The Red Hot Car
  3. SOS Dolphin (pilot episode)
  4. The Gulf Between
  5. City Boy
  6. Dolphin for Sale
  7. Not Necessarily Gospel
  8. Countdown for Flipper
  9. Mr. Marvello
  10. My Brother Flipper
  11. The Second Time Around
  12. Lady and the Dolphin (1)
  13. Lady and the Dolphin (2)
  14. Danger
  15. The Misanthrope
  16. Flipper's Bank Account
  17. The Lifeguard
  18. The Day of the Shark
  19. Love and Sandy
  20. Money to Blow
  21. Flipper's Treasure
  22. The White Dolphin
  23. Teamwork
  24. Flipper and the Elephant (1)
  25. Flipper and the Elephant (2)
  26. Flipper and the Elephant (3)
  27. Bud Minds Baby
  28. Sailor Bud
  29. The Call of the Dolphin
  30. Flipper's Monster
  1. Flipper and the Mermaid
  2. Dolphin in Pursuit (1)
  3. Dolphin in Pursuit (2)
  4. Flipper's Hour of Peril
  5. Coral Fever
  6. Junior Ranger
  7. The Ditching (1)
  8. The Ditching (2)
  9. Flipper and the Spy
  10. Dolphin Patrol
  11. A Job for Sandy
  12. Flipper and the Horse Thieves
  13. Flipper and the Bounty
  14. Shark Hunt
  15. Flipper, the Detective
  16. Flipper's Odyssey (1)
  17. Flipper's Odyssey (2)
  18. Flipper's Odyssey (3)
  19. Slingshot
  20. Flipper and the Shark Cage
  21. The Lobster Trap
  22. Air Power
  23. Gift Dolphin
  24. The Raccoon Who Came to Dinner
  25. Flipper Joins the Navy (1)
  26. Flipper Joins the Navy (2)
  27. Flipper's Underwater Museum
  28. Deep Waters
  29. Dolphin Love (1)
  30. Dolphin Love (2)
  1. Agent Bud
  2. Disaster in the Everglades (1)
  3. Disaster in the Everglades (2)
  4. Lost Dolphin
  5. The Warning
  6. Cupid Flipper
  7. An Errand for Flipper
  8. A Whale Ahoy
  9. Explosion
  10. Executive Bud
  11. Flipper and the Puppy
  12. Flipper's Island
  13. Alligator Duel
  14. Flipper and the Fugitive (1)
  15. Flipper and the Fugitive (2)
  16. The Most Expensive Sardine in the World
  17. Flipper and the Seal
  18. Dolphins Don't Sleep
  19. Aunt Martha
  20. Dolphin for Ransom
  21. A Dolphin in Time
  22. Decision for Bud
  23. The Firing Line (1)
  24. The Firing Line (2)
  25. Devil Ray
  26. Cap'n Flint
  27. Flipper's New Friends (1)
  28. Flipper's New Friends (2)


  • TV Guide. July 8, 1966.
  1. ^ "Flipper - The Original Series: Season One". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/27578/flipper-the-original-series-season-one/. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  2. ^ Miami Seaquarium: Tickets Prices Coupons Discounts
  3. ^ Ric O' Barry and Keith Coulbourn, "Behind the Dolphin Smile" Renaissance Books, 2000, ISBN 978-1580631013
  4. ^ Ric O' Barry and Keith Coulbourn, "Behind the Dolphin Smile" Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1988, ISBN 0-912697-79-2

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flipper (1995 TV series) — infobox Television show name = Flipper (1995) caption = Flipper title card picture format = audio format = Stereo format = Family Drama runtime = 60 minutes starring = Payton Haas Gus Mercurio Whip Hubley Colleen Flynn Jessica Alba (1995–1996)… …   Wikipedia

  • Flipper — may refer to:In entertainment: *Film and television series featuring the intelligent bottlenose dolphin named Flipper: ** Flipper (1963 film), directed by James B. Clark ** Flipper s New Adventure , a 1964 film directed by Leon Benson ** Flipper… …   Wikipedia

  • Flipper's New Adventure — is an American feature film (1964) written by Art Arthur, and directed by Leon Benson, based on characters created by Ricou Browning and Jack Cowden. In many countries, it was known by the title Flipper and the Pirates .torySandy Ricks (Luke… …   Wikipedia

  • Flipper (1963 film) — Flipper Theatrical release poster Directed by James B. Clark Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Flipper le dauphin — Titre original Flipper Genre Série animalière Créateur(s) Ricou Browning Jack Cowden Musique Vars and Dunham Flipper Theme (générique), Ruby Raksin Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Flipper Le Dauphin — Titre original Flipper Genre Série animalière Créateur(s) Ricou Browning Jack Cowden Musique Vars and Dunham Flipper Theme (générique), Ruby Raksin Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Flipper — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Flipper (homonymie). Flipper jeu de société …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 1964 in television — The year 1964 in television involved some significant events.Below is a list of television related events in 1964. For the American TV schedule, see: 1964 65 American network television schedule. Events* Most of NBC s programs are now broadcast… …   Wikipedia

  • 1964 à la télévision — Années : 1961 1962 1963  1964  1965 1966 1967 Décennies : 1930 1940 1950  1960  1970 1980 1990 Siècles : XIXe siècle  XXe siècl …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Liste de films et de séries télévisées se déroulant à Miami — Il existe beaucoup de films et de séries télévisées tournés à Miami et s y déroulant. Voici une liste non exhaustive des films tournés dans cette ville : En anglais 2 Fast 2 Furious A+ Absence de malice Ace Ventura Adaptation Ali Aquamarine… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”