7.2/10
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41 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the filming of Born Free was completed, George Adamson started a lion reserve, Kora Reserve, in Kenya. He founded it specifically to help rehabilitate the lions used in the film. A documentary, The Lions Are Free (1967), was made about him and the reserve, and tells what happened to the lions Boy, Girl, Ugas, Mara, Henrietta, and Little Elsa, and other lions that appeared in the first film. 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

Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Feel good again
22 July 2004 | by teutonyxSee all my reviews

Innocence, the magnetism of the east African plains, and lions to boot! A great movie for a steamy summer night (atmosphere is important too). The score by John Barry is very good, and I imagine there are few 'boomers who would not recognize the strains of Matt Monro (not Perry Como) singing the title song. I always liked Bill Travers as an actor in all the roles I've seen him in, Born Free is no exception. Virginia McKenna's lovely soft soothing Scots brogue is honey to the ears, and she does a great job as Joy Adamson. How accurate their portrayals of the Adamson's are... well, it doesn't really matter. Elsa is the star, and that's how it should be. In short, great family fair for a movie at home.


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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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