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)
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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

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Taglines:

From The Pages Of The Beloved Best Seller... A Motion Picture To Delight All The World! 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elsa's grave is located in Meru National Park, Kenya. See more »

Goofs

When Elsa is playing with and chasing the elephant herd, she is not wearing her collar. But in the next scene when she returns with an elephant calf, she is wearing her collar. 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...
[...]
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Connections

Followed by The Lion Who Thought He Was People (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Born Free
(uncredited)
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Don Black
Sung by Matt Monro
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User Reviews

 
A must for animal lovers
14 March 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

"Born Free" (1965) is a great film for animal lovers, especially cat lovers. It tells the story of a couple living in Africa who come across three orphan lion cubs and keep one female, whom they name Elsa. Later they are pressured to give Elsa up to a zoo, but the woman can't because, as she argues, Elsa was born free and should therefore live free. She'd never be happy in a zoo.

Unfortunately, Elsa has become too tame as a result of living with the couple. Can Elsa ever adapt to the wild or will she be condemned to a cage in a zoo?

The footage of Elsa with the couple is amazing. She's like their pet cat! I'd love to have a lioness pet to hug and pat and walk around the yard with!

Shot in beautiful Kenya, the film runs 95 minutes.

GRADE: B+


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Born Free See more »

Filming Locations:

Doldol, Ethiopia 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
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