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Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965)

When a native village is apparently terrorized by a Lion, the local sergeant enlists the help of a veterinarian working at a nearby animal study center. It is soon discovered that the Lion ... See full summary »


Andrew Marton


Art Arthur (story), Alan Caillou | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marshall Thompson ... Dr. Marsh Tracy
Betsy Drake ... Julie Harper
Richard Haydn ... Rupert Rowbotham
Cheryl Miller ... Paula Tracy
Alan Caillou ... Carter
Rockne Tarkington ... Juma
Maurice Marsac ... Gregory
Robert DoQui ... Sergeant
Albert Amos Albert Amos ... Husseini
Dinny Powell Dinny Powell ... Dixey
Mark Allen ... Larson
Laurence Conroy Laurence Conroy ... Tourist
Allison Daniell Allison Daniell ... Tourist's Wife (as Allyson Daniell)
Janee Michelle Janee Michelle ... Girl in Pit
Naaman Brown Naaman Brown ... Villager


When a native village is apparently terrorized by a Lion, the local sergeant enlists the help of a veterinarian working at a nearby animal study center. It is soon discovered that the Lion has a unique problem, it has double vision due to the fact that it is cross eyed and therefore cannot hunt. The Lion is taken back to the study center and is soon adopted by the vet's daughter. Meanwhile, a dangerous criminal is planning to capture young Gorillas and sell them on the black market... Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The roaringly funny tale of a cross-eyed lion who is almost human... See more »


G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 July 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Clarence, der schielende Löwe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ivan Tors Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ivan Tors first discovered Clarence at "Africa, U.S.A.", an affection training compound located in Soledad Canyon near Los Angeles. Born cross-eyed, Clarence's strange physical condition inspired Ivan Tors to create the MGM feature film "Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion" and the spin-off series Daktari (1966). When the audience saw what Clarence saw, it was in double vision. Reportedly, Clarence was very good with children. Another not so friendly lion named Leo doubled for Clarence in some scenes. He was used only for the snarling scenes and general scenes which didn't involve close proximity with humans. Leo had come to "Africa, U.S.A." from a family in Utah. His ferocity was due in part to the mistreatment he received from former owners who reportedly beat him with a stick See more »


Followed by Daktari (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Don't add this one to your family classics collection
14 September 2003 | by lemurlouSee all my reviews

There are many wonderful animal-themed family movies out there, but this is not one of them. About the movie in general: The script is poor, the characters are stereotyped and undeveloped, and the acting is poor, except Richard Haydn (Mr. Rowbotham) who adds some comic relief to an otherwise uncomical family comedy. Cheryl Miller (as Paula) displays some of the worst acting I have ever seen, as she tries to play a character that appears to be about 10 years younger than she actually is. It is very obvious when the movie cuts to nature film footage, and when the gorillas are real and when they are someone in a costume, but considering the date of the movie, perhaps this was forgivable. Also, for a G-rated family film, there are a surprising number of swear words and there are several mildly violent scenes.

About the way wildlife is portrayed in the movie: On the positive side, the characters are trying to help wildlife, and the message that poachers are bad is very clear. However, the way that wild animals are portrayed as pets is terrible. The ideas that wild lions can be tamed with chocolate cake, that animals can be captured and released without any worry about human imprinting, or that a chimpanzee makes a good companion to a gorilla field researcher are all incredulous. And that's just the beginning. Also, the "leopard" is actually a jaguar.

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