7.2/10
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37 user 30 critic

Born Free (1966)

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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

George Adamson was the Senior Wildlife Warden of the Northern Frontier District of Kenya, an area that covered the region from the Somali border on the east and stretching approximately 125 miles to the west. This is a fairly arid area and home to the Samburu tribe, which is a cousin to the Maasai, who live in the southern central and western region. He was based in what is now the Meru National Park. 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

Referenced in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) 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 Story
10 August 2002 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

This really is a wonderful movie - a true story; funny, dramatic, bittersweet, and with a title song that will never be forgotten by anyone who hears it.

Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers star as Joy and George Adamson. He is the game warden in a game reserve in northern Kenya; she is his wife, and together they adopt three orphaned lion cubs. Sending two of them to zoos, the third (Elsa, who was the darling of the bunch) stays behind and becomes something of a household pet, until the inevitable day comes when she has to be either taught to live in the wild on her own, or sent to a zoo.

You find yourself rooting for Elsa, shedding a few tears with Joy and in the end feeling quite uplifted by how the whole thing turns out. It's a fast movie (about an hour and a half in length) which is good, the editing I thought was a bit rough (although there are some great shots of Africa and its wild life) and in the end it's a great feel-good movie for the whole family.

8/10


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