Free Willy

Free Willy | Simon Wincer | US/MX 1993 | 112 Min | DCP

© 1993 WBEI

One of the most successful entries in the endless catalog of “kid-and-animal” movies tells the story of orphan Jesse, who befriends orca Willy living in captivity in a marine park. While the park management—including a particularly ornery Michael Ironside—wants to sacrifice the whale to their greed, Jesse and Willy bond over sentimental stories of self-discovery that culminate in a final cathartic jump to freedom. Free Willy is textbook mid-1990s family entertainment, so perfectly polished that there’s no doubt: Whoever doesn’t shed a tear as the credits roll has forgotten what childhood even means. (mk)

Simon Wincer
Wincer, Simon is an Australian director and producer. Born in 1943, his extensive body of work equally comprises television and movies. Arguably, he reached the prime of his career in the 1980s and 1990s, when he directed big-budget films like Quigley Down Under, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Free Willy, and Lightning Jack, as well as several episodes of the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
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Language eOV
Cast Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Michael Ironside, Jayne Atkinson, Michael Madsen
Writer Keith Walker, Corey Blechman
Editing Basil Poledouris
Cinematography Robbie Greenberg


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