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
Elsa's grave is located in Meru National Park, Kenya. See more »
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 »
[Joy cries sitting out on the hood of the truck as they ride in search of the young lioness]
Let's try this.
[2 shots ring out from his gun. George sees Elsa stumbling through the grass, approaching their vehicle]
all my nightmares had come true.
[Now Elsa rests in their tent as they argue over her]
...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 ...
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Quality family entertainment -- as long as you actually like wildlife.
An English couple living in Kenya try to reintroduce an orphan lion cub back in to the wild. Based on a real story.
Family movies get a bad rap because they are usually films that only children enjoy and adults can bare only when drunk. Born Free is the kind of movie that can play well to both adults and children -- if they are the type that like wildlife.
You should never act with children or animals because they steal every scene they are in. Born Free features two very fine performances from real life couple Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers -- but when the cubs are on screen you won't be looking elsewhere.
I have read the book which I loved and well worth checking out because it is NOT a novelisation of this film -- Joyce Adamson (whose early life the script is based on) was not the angel of virtue she is portrayed here. She was a tough woman who made enemies and ruffled feathers. Her early death is another story and another film.
The problem with the film is that it has enough syrup in it without the extra sugar that is the title song. Also the real couple had personal problems that this film doesn't really want to deal with. From the nature of the film we know the final happy reel and are merely travelling towards it.
There aren't many films you can enjoy two or three times over and even get a bit emotional over -- but this is one such film. One for the DVD collection of all animal lovers. If you are the sort that doesn't subscribe to the Discovery Channel than you are better staying away.
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