IMDb > Born Free (1966)
Born Free
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Born Free (1966) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 18 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Born Free -- Clip

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   4,047 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Joy Adamson (book)
Lester Cole (screenplay) (originally as Gerald L.C. Copley)
Contact:
View company contact information for Born Free on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 June 1966 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
From The Pages Of The Beloved Best Seller... A Motion Picture To Delight All The World!
Plot:
Joy Adamson and her husband, Kenya game warden George Adamson, raise Elsa, a lion cub. When Elsa approaches maturity... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Very good See more (31 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Virginia McKenna ... Joy Adamson

Bill Travers ... George Adamson
Geoffrey Keen ... Kendall
Peter Lukoye ... Nuru
Omar Chambati ... Makkede
Bill Godden ... Sam
Bryan Epsom ... Baker
Robert Cheetham ... Ken
Robert S. Young ... James (as Robert Young)
Geoffrey Best ... Watson
Surya Patel ... Doctor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pati ... Rock Hyrax (uncredited)

Directed by
James Hill 
Tom McGowan (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Joy Adamson (book)

Lester Cole (screenplay) originally as Gerald L.C. Copley

Produced by
Sam Jaffe .... producer
Paul B. Radin .... producer (as Paul Radin)
 
Original Music by
John Barry 
 
Cinematography by
Kenneth Talbot (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Don Deacon 
 
Production Management
Sidney G. Barnsby .... production supervisor
L.C. Rudkin .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William P. Cartlidge .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Chris Greenham .... sound editor
Claude Hitchcock .... sound recordist
Bob Jones .... sound recordist (as Robert Jones)
Richard Best Jr. .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Chic Anstiss .... camera operator (as Rodney Anstiss)
Tom Watson .... gaffer
Wally Wheatley .... grip
John Jay .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Gordon Davie .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
John Barry .... conductor
Sidney Margo .... music contractor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
George Adamson .... chief technical adviser
Carl Foreman .... presenter
Hal Mason .... production coordinator
Jane Oscroft .... production secretary
Kay Rawlings .... continuity
Peter Whitehead .... animal supervisor
Sieuwke Bisleti .... animal trainer (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Haile Selassie .... the producers are also most grateful for help received from (as His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production Companies
  • Open Road Films (II) (as An Open Road - Atlas Co-Production) (as Open Road Films Ltd. also)
  • Atlas (as An Open Road - Atlas Co-Production) (as Atlas Films Ltd. also)
  • Highroad (uncredited)
DistributorsOther Companies
  • Game Department of Uganda, The  the producers are also most grateful for help received from (as The Game Department of Uganda)
  • Kenya Game Department  photographed entirely on location in the Republic of Kenya with the kind co-operation of, to whom the makers of the film wish to express their gratitude (as The Kenya Game Department)
  • National Parks of Kenya  photographed entirely on location in the Republic of Kenya with the kind co-operation of, to whom the makers of the film wish to express their gratitude (as the Kenya National Parks)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG for some wild animal action and brief language
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The lions "Boy", "Girl" and "Ugas" were freed upon completion of filming. Under protest by the film studio who wanted to sell the lions to zoos to get some money back from filming.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: After another failure in the effort to find the right formula for the cubs, George asks Joy which number they're up to. She replies, "Nineteen." In the next two scenes, the "next" formula, the one that works, is referred to them both as number seventeen.See more »
Quotes:
Joy Adamson:Elsa, Elsa
[Joy cries sitting out on the hood of the truck as they ride in search of the young lioness]
George Adamson:Let's try this.
[2 shots ring out from his gun. George sees Elsa stumbling through the grass, approaching their vehicle]
Joy Adamson:all my nightmares had come true.
[Now Elsa rests in their tent as they argue over her]
George Adamson:...she can't make it. she can't think. she can't mix with her own kind... She can't do anything the wild animals do to survive. You've done too good a job on her. You've made her tame. It's too late to try to let her go wild now. All we're doing is making her miserable, torturing her. How could you be so cruel?
Joy Adamson:You keep quiet George.
George Adamson:I don't know what goes on in that head of yours anymore... What's wrong with a zoo, anyway?
Joy Adamson:nothing. Except that she won't be free.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Born FreeSee more »

FAQ

Does Elsa play herself?
Is 'Born Free' based on a book?
What is that animal that Joy carried around on her shoulder?
See more »
23 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Very good, 27 December 2003
Author: Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States

True life story. George and Joy Adamson (Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna) live in the wilderness in Kenya. In self defense, George kills a lion and his mate only to find they were protecting their three cubs. He and his wife decide to raise the cubs. They give two of them away to zoos, but can't part with Elsa, a lioness. But then they realize they can't keep her and don't want to put her in a zoo. Can they help her live in the wild?

I read the book "Born Free" when I was in grammar school in the 70s and loved it. I also vaguely remember seeing the movie on TV (and liking it) and the very short-lived (13 episodes) series in the early 70s. Also the song was a big hit in the mid 60s and again in the early 70s. But I had forgotten all about it until it popped up on TCM. I decided to tune in and loved it!

The movie was shot beautifully on location in Kenya (where it took place). Wide screen viewing is essential for this one. Also, Travers and McKenna were a real-life couple when they did this film (in fact they remained married until his death in 1994) and there devotion to each other comes through loud and clear. Also the lions (male and female) are SO cute when they're cubs and even beautiful as they get older. Elsa herself was portrayed by a number of different lionesses but you can't tell the difference. And Travers and McKenna worked with all the animals for 2 weeks before filming so they all interact together perfectly. This is perfect family viewing--adults will adore it as much as the kids.

I'm only giving it a 7 for a few reasons--there isn't much of a story and the film DOES drag a little. Also the cute little shots of the cubs get a little bit much. Yeah they are adorable, but it got to the point that I thought the filmmakers were purposely shoving them in our faces to get us to go "awwwwwwww"! A little bit too cute for my tastes.

Still it's a great film and the music in this one is fantastic (and Oscar-winning). Also I defy anyone not to cry during the final sequence--it even got to me and I'm the last person to cry at movies like this.

A very good family film. See it!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (31 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Born Free (1966)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Patty? an_all_saint
Widescreen Vs Full Screen mts43
What Was George's Illness in the Movie? jbartelone
Brought a lion from Harrods Maccfan
Question About The Real Story? jbartelone
Who, if anyone, believes brunhilda2013
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Living Free I Dreamed of Africa Out of Africa Born Free: A New Adventure To Walk with Lions
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.