Orca (1977) Movie Script

- Hey, Nolan! Can you see anything?
- Not even a great white flounder.
Shark's fin at ten o'clock!
And it's a whopper!
Keep it this side of the ship.
Sheer off at 200 yards.
Gus, pitch it something to eat.
- Keep off, there's a diver down!
- Paul, keep him to the portside.
- Look out!
- Paul, hard to port!
Any fella dumb enough to dive
when there's a great...
Nice going, baby. You just cost us
a quarter of a million bucks.
It's true. We get 10,000 a foot
for a shark. He was at least 25.
- 50 foot he was...
- He's coming back!
Climb aboard.
- Paul, pour on the coal!
- I'll come back to get you.
Fin at two o'clock.
- Look! That eejit's in the water.
- Ken, get back in the boat!
Only one creature in the world
can do that. A killer whale.
This is the most powerful animal
on the globe. The killer whale.
A mammal with warm blood,
found in every sea.
The Romans called it Orca Orcinus,
"the bringer of death".
His tapered form and muscular fin
make it the fastest moving whale.
The adult male measures
around 30 feet and weighs six tons, -
- though some run to 45 feet.
Here's a killer whale in familiar
guise: tamed, on exhibition.
If treated with kindness,
there is no greater friend to man.
But if not...
The orca has 48 teeth
set in two impressive rows.
Killer whales are better parents
than most human beings.
And like human beings,
they have an instinct for vengeance.
But the most amazing thing is neither
gentleness nor violence, -
- but their brains.
Slides please, Ken.
These brains are of a monkey,
a human being, and a killer whale.
We know little about its intelligence
except that it is powerful, -
- and in some respects
may even be superior to man.
A four-month-old foetus,
incredibly like that of a human.
It even has two hands,
with five fingers on each.
Whales talk.
They communicate -
- by sounds and
sonar echolocation.
These whale sounds
contain wavelengths -
- that can travel across an ocean,
but also around the world.
This was recorded under water
and analyzed by computers.
It contains 15 million pieces of
information. The Bible has 4 million.
What are they saying? Do they have
to say anything to communicate?
Their sonar is like X-ray vision.
If we could see in each other -
- if someone was happy or sad,
indifferent or aroused, -
- healthy or suffering from a tumor, -
- it would be meaningless to say,
"How are you?"
What we call language they might
call unnecessary, or retarded.
I noticed that my lectures gained
a new and attentive member: Nolan.
He began asking me
at odd hours about the orcas, -
- and occasionally about me.
His ignorance surprised me.
The fact that an experienced
fsherman knew so little amazed me.
His curiosity made him seem
vulnerable, and even attractive.
Or I had been in Newfoundland
for too long.
Nothing interests fshermen unless
they want to catch it, or kill it.
You're not building a holding pen?
When you pumped me
about killer whales, -
- it wasn't to improve your mind,
if any.
The lucky lad will have a long
and happy life in some aquarium.
- How much will you get for him?
- Enough.
- Nolan, there's a word for you.
- I've been called it many times.
You plan to sell a creature like you?
A warm-blooded, intelligent mammal!
- He communicates.
- Does he now?
Look at me.
You think I'm pulling your leg?
No, but you're one hell of a girl to
sleep in a tent with a tape recorder.
Did I tell you that that animal
has a right to be left alone?
No, but I suppose you're about to.
These animals are too big and too
smart. They live in constant motion.
It's worse than a lion in a cage.
Not to be screwed around with.
That's a dangerous word to use
around a fellow like me.
You'll never catch a killer whale.
Is there any way
I can make you give up?
There's one you might try.
But I guess it's out of the question.
If that's what it takes...
If you think I can't catch one,
why are you so upset?
You won't catch one, but you
might butcher a few in the attempt.
- That's not my style.
- So you refuse to quit?
That's not my style either. Especially
when a pretty girl tells me -
- that I'm dumber than a fish.
Lots of bad luck.
How many c cs in the harpoons?
A whale is twice the size of a shark,
so we use twice as much.
- Nolan?
- What?
- Killer whales are monogamous.
- What?
They stick with one mate.
We could bust up a happy family.
You continue what you're doing
and bring it up.
Killer whales ahead!
We're off to the races, boys!
Annie, bring up the doped heads.
Here, take over.
Oh boy, look at them!
Don't approach them
like a bull in a china shop.
Let me take over.
Merciful God, what's that?
You missed the male.
You hit the female.
- He sounds almost human.
- It's a her. You can tell by the fin.
Paul, astern!
Paul, full ahead!
She's coming back.
She's trying to kill herself.
Stop the engines. Novak!
Help me get this crazy fish on board.
- Sling's tight.
- Haul away, Paul.
When she's clear,
we'll swing her inboard.
- She's losing a lot of blood.
- I know.
- Get her off my ship!
- The cable has jammed the boom.
It's okay.
It's gone.
You flushed it over.
- What did we hit?
- I don't know.
Paul, check the radar.
- Nothing.
- Check the depth.
85 fathoms.
The chart says the same thing,
and there isn't a reef for five miles.
Help me check the bearing.
- You know what we hit?
- What?
We didn't hit anything, it hit us.
Novak, check the engine room.
Is that whale still alive?
- She's breathing.
- Go back to the wheel.
- Novak! Help me get her overboard.
- To hell with her.
- One more hit and he'll sink us.
- That's why I want her overboard.
Climb the boom and cut the rope.
Okay, cut her.
- Are you all right?
- I'm okay now.
Oh, my God.
Let's go. Come on.
You drive on, I'll walk.
Are you reading to the whale?
It's not your style
to butcher a whale by accident.
- What can I do?
- Don't look at me as if I'm crazy.
I must say I'm amazed she swam up
here against the wind and the tide.
She didn't swim.
Her mate pushed her.
He what?
- Didn't you anchor here last night?
- I did. Out there.
- He followed you.
- What?
He followed you.
She speaks the truth.
She knows from university,
I know it from my ancestors.
I'm delighted to hear that.
Who are you?
Jakob Umilak.
I'm a teacher up north.
- Nice to meet you.
- You're the man who did this?
Well, I must be off now.
- Please, listen to him.
- Why?
Our fathers once tried to kill a whale
and only wounded it.
The whale capsized the boat
and chewed up both hunters.
These whales have great memory.
Even after many years -
- they remember the human being
who harmed them.
He saw you, Nolan.
He saw you on the boat.
If I were you,
I'd stay far from his territory.
- I mightjust do that.
- You give up?
I mightjust do that, too.
Bless him, oh Lord.
Let light perpetual shine upon him.
That was nice, Reverend.
Would you give this in his name
to the Seamen's Fund?
- He didn't have any family.
- Thank you.
There's something
I'd like to ask you.
Would you wait for me outside, Paul?
- You're Irish?
- Yes.
Can't lose the accent.
I've been here 16 years.
Laborers are a dime a dozen
at home.
I came over here to work
for my uncle in his boat.
He died and left me the boat.
And he left me Gus.
Dear old Gus.
He taught me everything I know.
Which is precious little.
I can understand
how badly you must feel.
Fishermen like to die at sea.
He had a fear of dying in a home,
with tubes sticking out of him.
But to die like this...
Don't take it too much to heart.
What's done is done.
What I was meaning to ask you...
Can you commit a sin
against an animal?
You can commit a sin against
a blade of grass.
Sins are really against oneself.
You understand?
I do.
Thank you, Reverend.
- Thanks for the tie.
- I'm glad the pants fit.
- Excuse me. Nolan, isn't it?
- Yeah.
- I'm Al Swain. I'm in charge here.
- Hello, Al.
- What do you mean by "in charge"?
- The Fishermen's Union and all that.
- We brought your boat in.
- Was that you? Thank you.
- Can I do anything in return?
- Nothing special.
South Harbor is a friendly place.
Everybody knows everybody.
Are you trying to catch
a big, live killer whale?
We were for a moment,
but I've changed my mind.
Just as well,
because people are superstitious.
What do you mean?
An orca drives our fish away.
It's our livelihood.
You understand?
Is that for me?
"Whales and Dolphins
in Science and... "
"... Mythology. "
In celebration of the world's least
known intelligence. So it's about me.
Herman Melville believed that God
would come back to Earth as a whale.
You can't really believe all this
stuff. Forgive me laughing.
I'm not laughing at you,
but it's a bit heavy for me.
- But thanks for the book.
- You're very welcome.
When we're finished burying
the whale, I'll buy you a drink.
- Nolan, you got a minute?
- What do you want?
You're in a big hurry
to bury that whale.
- You think so?
- I got some good news for you.
The boatyard will fix you up
first thing in the morning.
Would you like a drink? You
didn't come here just to say that.
- We figured you'd want to know.
- That's nice of you.
But I'm not in any great hurry
to sail from South Harbor at all.
You mean you're staying
until you kill that whale?
Not at all! I'm staying -
- because I've got a broken hull and
a crew member with a busted foot.
It's got nothing to do with the whale.
Did I say something wrong?
First two boats are sunk,
now the fish are vanishing.
- All because of your whale.
- My whale?
Forget about the whale. I have.
I'll bet you'll never see him again.
An hour ago a kid saw a fin
with a nick in it.
Stationary. It's just waiting.
- Don't go to the North Point.
- Why would I?
I said, "Why would I?"
- I'll see you tonight, right?
- Wrong.
We've called the Coast Guard,
the Canadian Fisheries Board, -
- even the US Marine Mammal
Commission. They won't do anything.
They say they don't have time.
And you know for damn sure
Nolan's not gonna do anything.
Can I help you?
The men all meet.
They talk of you, and they are angry.
I understand.
They say you're a coward for not
going out and killing the whale.
- I have my reasons.
- I believe you.
You do? Why?
I see in your face fear.
Not of anything alive, -
- it is of some spirit.
I've come to warn you.
It is best you hunt this devil.
If there's any more harm done
by your whale...
Thank you for the warning.
I know what my ancestors
would have done.
They had this shaman. A skin
whale stuffed with birds' livers.
They piss on it
and throw it into the sea.
If all is done right, the evil spirit
flies out of his mouth and he's dead.
- Maybe you should try it for me.
- The world has changed.
Even our gods dance
to a new song.
Thank you.
Where is that...?
They communicate like humans.
That's exactly what she said.
Hey, Paul! It says in the book
that whales...
It's a pretty good likeness.
- Especially the head.
- What are you doing down here?
I had to see what you wanted
my camping gear for.
Don't tell me that scarecrow
is going to keep him off.
No, I hope to bring him in.
Like last night.
You are the dumbest,
maddest man I've ever met.
That's what I get for my books.
Are you gonna hypnotise him?
No, not exactly.
I came down here to shoot him.
One through each eye.
But then I put myself
into his position...
He won't show.
Why not?
Why do you think he sank
the other boats and not yours?
I must admit that puzzled me.
He left you your boat because
he wants to fight you on the sea.
I won't do that. I refuse.
- In fact, I won't fight him at all.
- You'll shoot him from the jetty.
You're an animal. Science should
be observing creatures like you.
Go somewhere else
for your excitement.
Is that all it means to you?
- I think more of that whale than you.
- With a gun?
I brought this gun
to shoot him, yes. I did.
But when I came to do it,
I knew I couldn't.
So I got to thinking.
If what you say is right
and whales can communicate, -
- then I thought
I'd look him right in the eye.
I'd tell him that the killing
of his wife and child -
- was a terrible accident.
That I didn't mean it.
I'd tell him I was sorry,
and hoped he'd forgive me.
I understand what that whale feels.
The same thing happened to me.
My wife was pregnant
and drove to the hospital.
A drunken driver hit her.
He killed her and my baby.
That's good enough,
now get that thing into the water.
The town's working hard
to fx your boat.
She'll be ready to sail on the tide
at 6:15.
- Who is this?
- You're not gone at dawn...
Your girl's busted leg
won't seem like nothing.
- Is that you, Swain?
- Just take some good advice.
Well, that decides it.
Paul, come here!
- You're leaving.
- What about the boat?
I'll take care of that.
- What's the matter?
- I'll explain later.
Got any money?
Take that, fill her up with petrol.
I won't tell my mother
I was run out of town by a fish.
You can't blame them.
I'd feel exactly the same way.
- I'm going after him.
- After whom? What time is it?
Him. The whale.
Are you awake?
- I am now.
- I just wanted to tell you.
- The village and the whale want it.
- The whale?
- Yes, it's what the whale wants.
- I should explain something to you.
You don't know what it wants.
I don't know, nor do the villagers.
If he's like a human, what he wants
isn't necessarily what he should have.
Forget what I said. I thought
you were an insensitive bore.
But you're a sensitive bore.
- I take that as a compliment.
- Take it any way you like.
I'll take it as a compliment.
See you, I'm off at dawn.
- Nolan! Don't hang up.
- What's the matter?
What about Paul?
What about Annie's leg?
- That's just the point.
- You mean you're going alone?
If I don't, I'm afraid of what they
might do to Paul and Annie.
- And it's me the animal wants.
- Nolan, you're crazy!
If you're right and a human being
were crazed with grief, -
- would you do anything he wanted?
No, you'd try to protect him
against himself.
And, Nolan, who do you think
you owe more to?
The villagers or that animal?
- All right, then I won't go.
- You mean that?
- I do.
- You'll call me in the morning?
I will.
- Promise?
- Promise.
Good night, then.
- Nolan? Are you going out too?
- I'm just going to pack some gear.
Take me with you.
What is it?
What's the matter?
Come on.
I'll tell you what...
Come and sit over here.
Rest that leg.
You've got a long, bumpy ride.
Good girl.
Fill her up and check the hood,
I'll get the air.
- We're all out.
- Of air?
- Gas, oil, anything.
- You just put gas in that car!
- There are no bus tickets either.
- What's the idea?
Tell Nolan that he must accept
what he already knows in his heart.
There's no way out
but to the sea.
- The whale's gone.
- He's not gone.
He hides in a sea cave.
The monster's message is clear.
We must send him Nolan
or he will torment the village.
This town's loony!
Tell your captain
I'm not his enemy.
I would sail as one of the crew,
I could help him.
With me or without me,
he has no choice but to fight.
What's the matter?
I can't get up.
My leg...
You all right?
- I can't move!
- Paul! Get the lamp by the door.
I can't hold on.
Catch this, Annie.
Pull, that's it!
You revengeful son-of-a-bitch!
You win.
You want revenge?
You'll have it!
I'm coming to get you!
I'll fight you!
You revengeful son-of-a-bitch!
You win! Do you hear me?
You win.
Nolan's effort to spare his crew
had failed.
The town and the orca saw to that.
I insisted on going with them.
I felt responsible for Nolan.
I had flled his head with notions
of whales being capable of grief, -
- which I believed,
but also of calculated actions, -
- which I doubted,
despite all that had happened.
Maybe I hoped I would interpret
the animal in a new way.
It seemed perverse to assume that,
because the whale was intelligent, -
- it would also have
our ugliest emotion: vengeance.
I was sure of one thing, though.
His grief had made the orca
unpredictable. I felt obliged-
- to protect both it and Nolan
from that insanity.
Nolan seemed sure of what would
happen. That frightened me.
He set our course for the exact
spot where he killed the female.
He was sure
the creature would come.
Excuse me...
Shouldn't there be a look-out?
He's not ready yet.
That's your gun.
Oil the patch.
- I don't shoot whales.
- If he gets me, you'll have to.
- Do you really think he'll get you?
- No, I said "if'.
It's him!
- That's his first contact.
- How should I steer?
- This is exactly what I thought.
- I'll go in the look-out.
- Where are you going with that gun?
- What do you mean?
It's me he wants to fight.
Put down that gun.
Steady as she goes.
Stand by for a depth charge.
- You can't let off dynamite!
- Do you want me to dive overboard?
- Don't!
- Hands off.
Get your head in.
Here he comes!
What the hell is he up to?
He wants us to follow him.
Umilak! Change course.
- Are you all right?
- Yes, I'm fine.
I don't know whether to scold you or
thank you, but what's done is done.
What's he telling you?
"You're me," he's saying.
"I'm you. "
"You're my drunk driver," he's saying.
They'll want us to turn back now.
It's too late for me.
I'll take over from Paul.
Okay, Paul, I'll take her.
I wouldn't have believed it,
hadn't I seen it.
That course just threaded us
straight to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
- Like he had radar.
- Sonar, actually.
Did Nolan radio back
what happened to Ken?
I don't know.
If he did, we would have been
ordered back to the port.
You're getting as crazy
as he is, Rachel.
Turn in now, Paul.
Try not to dream.
- It's dead on.
- On what?
The Strait of Belle Isle.
The open sea.
He's taking us out of the gulf,
to the coast of Labrador.
I feel this is the last lap.
- There's no way out north.
- Ice can crush this boat in seconds.
Ice cuts both ways.
He'll have to crash up
through it -
- to find air.
This whale is not
as smart as I thought he was.
- Come and ram us, you crazy fish!
- Take it easy.
You're doing exactly
what he wants you to do.
He normally follows his victim
for two weeks before he hits it.
Here, read it. Page 77.
He's trying to drive us crazy.
He's already done it with you.
I've checked the fuel.
There's not enough to take us home.
We can pull up at a gas station.
No more wisecracks.
We don't have enough to get home.
There's a radar station
northwest of Seahorse Point.
You can send an SOS. They'll
lift you out with a helicopter.
Lift us out?
What about you?
With the growing cold
came a growing quiet.
From the crew,
from Nolan, everything.
It was numbing like the chill,
and palpable.
The orca moved north,
and we followed.
We didn't speak about Ken's death,
or about our plans.
All Nolan said was
that the orca was reeling us in.
But we were low on fuel, -
- and Nolan didn't seem to
give thought to fght or flight.
The creature led,
Nolan followed.
If there were a purpose to what
we were doing, only the orca knew.
Engines astern!
- What are you doing?
- I'm swinging the lifeboat out.
- It can get carried away.
- We'll take that chance.
Get up here and swing that light,
and find me a clear way.
- Are you joking?
- Find me a passage!
You're tired. Get some sleep.
I'll take care of him.
- I think Nolan's right.
- About what?
- The boat's more secure inboard.
- Well, that's what makes horseraces.
Come, I'll warm you.
Do you remember?
Some time ago,
you asked me -
- how much I'd make from
the whale. Do you remember that?
All I wanted was enough money -
- to pay off the boat.
Go back to Ireland.
America never suited me.
Now look what I've done.
Three people dead.
An innocent girl maimed for life.
God forgive me...
Tomorrow will be the day.
He loved his family more
than I loved mine.
I won't be needing this.
It's going to be a fair fight
on equal terms.
I'm taking over.
We're going back.
There's an iceberg
coming towards us.
It's moving against the current.
Umilak, start the engines.
Get me the harpoon.
He has to come up for air.
Go on.
We'll leave our signal on automatic.
Thank you.
Stand back now.
Behind you!
Here, catch!
What in hell are you?