7.2/10
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40 user 30 critic

Born Free (1966)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
The story of George and Joy Adamson and the orphaned lion cub, Elsa, they adopt.

Directors:

James Hill, Tom McGowan (uncredited)

Writers:

Joy Adamson (book), Lester Cole (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia McKenna ... Joy Adamson
Bill Travers ... George Adamson
Geoffrey Keen ... Kendall
Peter Lukoye Peter Lukoye ... Nuru
Omar Chambati Omar Chambati ... Makkede
Bill Godden Bill Godden ... Sam
Bryan Epsom Bryan Epsom ... Baker
Robert Cheetham Robert Cheetham ... Ken
Robert S. Young Robert S. Young ... James (as Robert Young)
Geoffrey Best Geoffrey Best ... Watson
Surya Patel Surya Patel ... Doctor
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Storyline

Married couple George Adamson and Joy Adamson have long lived in northern Kenya for George's work as the senior game warden of the region. One of George's primary responsibilities is to deal with dangerous animals that may be chronically threatening to humans, livestock and/or crops. It is in this vein that George and his staff end up killing a man eating lion and its lioness, resulting in their three young female cubs being orphaned. Although difficult to begin, George and Joy are able to wean and take care of the three cubs, who they adopt as pets. But soon, they know they have to provide a more suitable environment for the cubs, namely sending them to Rotterdam Zoo... that is except for the smallest, who they have named Elsa and to who Joy in particular has become attached as the emotional fighter among the three. As Elsa grows into lioness maturity, George and Joy provide her with greater freedom away from their property, which may get her into trouble as a largely tame animal. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The book that enthralled 50 million readers...Now a Great Motion Picture! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some wild animal action and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frei geboren - Königin der Wildnis See more »

Filming Locations:

Kenya See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Virginia McKenna said in an interview that during shooting, a lion called Boy once knocked her flat, breaking her ankle, while another named Girl bit her shoulder. See more »

Goofs

When George and Joy Adamson go swimming with Elsa they do not have any sports equipment with them. However, George is seen wearing a diving mask and snorkel while swimming as well as George and Joy playing keep away with a ball while on the beach after swimming. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Born Free
(uncredited)
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Don Black
Sung by Matt Monro
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Great Heart warming movie
29 March 2005 | by garyldibertSee all my reviews

You always here the story or the expression that you can't take wild animals and try to them into pets. This movie tells and shows you why. The movie is based on a true story from a book by Joy Adamson. The movie is set back in the 1950 era when George Adamson who is the game warden for the Kenya area in Africa. While out on a routine run George has to kill a charging female lion in self defense. After George kills the lion he discovers that the lion was a mother as three lion cubs come out of no where. George takes the 3 cub's home because he knows that if he didn't the cubs will die. When the cubs get too much to handle they have to make the hardest decision of their life. Do they send the animals to the Rotterdam Zoo? Do they send all the cubs or do they keep one? To me the acting was great as Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna play George and Joy Adamson. As a side note McKenna also narrates the story as Joy voice-over, using the book. The real star of the show, though, is Elsa herself, actually played by three different lionesses. You can really see the genuine affection between the large cat and her caretakers as they interact. It is magical to watch. This movie would be great for you and your family because there's none of the following in this picture. There's really no violence, and there's no sex or any swearing for that matter. The entire movie was shot in Africa. If you can get the DVD the picture quality is as good as a movie that you would buy today. This review is based on my home addition of Born Free on DVD. You can get this DVD right here on Amazon.com and it by far better then the current VHS that's out there now. Based on the scenery alone I give this movie 7 weasel stars.


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