As a teenager, I read “The Day of the Dolphin,” a Cold War potboiler about a scientist who teaches dolphins to communicate with humans.

The dolphins are stolen by a shadowy government group, which tries to use them to assassinate the U.S. president. The movie was directed by Mike Nichols, written by Buck Henry and featured George Scott — a trio guaranteed to provide a subtle tone of paranoia and parody. (Nichols and Henry were responsible for “The Graduate,” and Scott was the inimitable Gen. Buck Turgidson in “Dr. Strangelove.”)

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