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Born Free (1966)

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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

Despite the theme song subsequently becoming a classic, presenter Carl Foreman didn't like it, and removed it from the original British release of the film. After it reached the US charts in a cover version by pianist Roger Williams, Foreman saw its Oscar chances and reinstated the song. Matt Monro continued to sing it for the rest of his career. See more »

Goofs

Before George has told Joy that he still has Elsa while they are driving back you can tell he isn't situated directly behind the steering wheel but rather a little to the left of it. Perhaps this is why the truck is shown swerving? 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 Manny & Lo (1996) 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

 
If you don't love Elsa, there's something wrong with you!
27 November 2003 | by xavrush89See all my reviews

Real-life husband and wife Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers play real-life husband and wife Joy and George Adamson. Strangely, the chemistry between them is really not played up here. Everything is focused on the cubs, perhaps as it should be. This film takes what could've just been another National Geographic episode and turns it into a "triumph of the spirit" story. When you watch this film, you understand the true meaning of freedom. And you can't help but look at that lion and want the best for her. The title song is a perfect ending to the film. It is too bad the Adamsons' lives did not have a happy ending like this story. The film keeps it simple, but there are still some emotional moments. It delivers what it promises.


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