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Young Tina lives with her mother and stepfather on a wildlife reserve in Kenya. While her stepfather believes this is a wonderful environment for her to grow up in, her mother becomes increasingly concerned by her behaviour. These concerns are reinforced when it is revealed that her daughter's best friend in the whole world is a fully grown lion. Worried that her daughter may be turning into a savage, she sends for her former husband, Tina's biological father, in the hope that he can take her back to civilization (in this case rural Connecticut). But it seems as though Tina's mother wants something more than a civilized upbringing for her daughter. Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
While Ralph and Zamba were Nairobi, Kenya filming the movie, they stayed at the magnificent Mount Kenya Safari Club which was owned by actor William Holden and his business partners. See more »
If Tina really did raise King from a cub she would be about 15 years old. See more »
[Saves Tina's life from lioness]
[King comes to Tina]
King! I knew you loved me. You saw King chose me. He's mine!
Stay away from her. You naughty thing.
King will see me home. He really loves me.
Now your beginning to see?
If I hadn't seen it... Well, I wouldn't have believed it. It's like witchcraft.
[Riding away on King]
Now do you understand King? I don't want you to have anything more to do with that nasty lioness again. Who does she think she is?
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Stunning scenery stunted by girl loves lion story...
The real star of THE LION is all of the footage devoted to wild life animals, especially the scene where game warden TREVOR HOWARD takes WILLIAM HOLDEN, CAPUCINE and PAMELA FRANKLIN on a wild ride through African landscapes filled with wild animals in their natural environment and makes a game of tag look like a dangerous stunt. Unfortunately, that fifteen minute segment is the highlight of an otherwise "girl loves wild animal but has to grow up" kind of story.
PAMELA FRANKLIN is charming and natural as the girl with her clipped British accent and clipped head of hair giving her a tomboyish appearance throughout. She carries most of the film with a convincing portrait of a girl who has to grow up and find relationships with people just as stimulating as her love for an overgrown pet lion.
WILLIAM HOLDEN was still attractive at this time, maturity sitting well on his features and quietly effective as the girl's biological father who has been summoned by his ex-wife (CAPUCINE) to see what he can do about their daughter and her excessive interest in all things wild.
The color cinematography is a visual delight with stunning vistas of the African plains (filmed in Kenya) and gorgeous sunsets, but the story is on less solid ground than the photography and is pretty predictable once Holden's presence kindles Capucine's interest in a romantic way. Still, there's enough material within the slight story to hold the viewer's interest and a nice background score by Malcolm Arnold helps things along.
Anyone who grew up during the MY FRIEND FLICKA and LASSIE COME HOME days will be reminded that this is simply transference of a typical household pet to an untamed lion, but with basically the same story and before long, lots of deja vu settles in.
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