Directed by James H. Hill
Produced by Sam Jaffe & Paul Radin
Written by Book: Joy Adamson
Screenplay: Lester Cole
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Kenneth Talbot
Editing by Don Deacon
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release Date: 22 June 1966 (USA)
Running time 95 min.
Here’s another one of the types of movies that Hollywood doesn’t make anymore. Born Free is based on the popular book by Joy Adamson, and describes her relationship with Elsa the lioness, and her efforts to reintroduce the lioness to the wilds of Kenya.
I remember watching this film as a kid on TV but have not seen it for ages, until I bought the DVD today from Target for $10. It is a bargain for such a great movie. Sure Elsa has been anthropomorphised in that her personality makes her seem that she is almost human, but this she is cute and this is good family fun. The African scenery is just magnificent and the ending to the film is very uplifting, especially after the heartbreak that Joy undergoes when she releases Elsa to the wild.
The film won an Academy Award for best song due to the famous title theme which became a hit for Matt Monro. John Barry also took home an Academy Award for best original score, while the film also won the Golden Globe for best Motion Picture – Drama. This film was also followed by a sequel, Living Free.