Based on the amazing true story of a marine biologist (Robert Lansing) who befriends a six-ton Orcawhale, this "honest, fascinating and vigorously wholesome film" (Citizen-News) is heartwarming fun for the whole family. Like all close pals, Hank (Lansing) and Namu love spending time together. Whether sharing a morning swim or soaking up the afternoon sun, these two are virtually inseparable. Trouble is, the local fishermen mistakenly think that Namu is a threat. Racing against time, Hank must enlist the help of a young widow and her daughter to save Namu and prove that he's a gentle giant!
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There are movies about scary sea creatures, like Jaws, and friendlier fellows, like Free Willy. Namu falls into the latter category. The 1966 film takes its name from a Native American word for "whirlwind." This particular whirlwind is a Northwest killer whale whose mate was killed by fishermen. Marine biologist, Dr. Donner (Robert Lansing), decides to protect and study the whale until he's ready to return to the sea. Lisa (Robin Mattson), a local San Juan girl who lost her father in a fishing accident, becomes fascinated with Namu. Actually, she's frightened at first, but that changes as she comes to understand him better. Meanwhile, her mother (Lee Meriwether), becomes just as fascinated with... Dr. Donner. Just in time, too, as the townspeople would rather see Namu put down than saved, but Dr. Donner, Lisa, and her mother set out to prove that he means them no harm in this ecologically-minded family film. The film was originally released under the non-PC title Namu: The Killer Whale. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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