Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Lukoye, Omar Chambati
Directors: James Hill, Tom McGowan
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family
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Member Movie Reviews
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO
Reviewed on 10/23/2018...
The ultimate in movies based upon true stories! Following Elsa and her people as the young lioness grows up is a moving and beautiful experience that is never boring. Great photography of the savannas of central Africa well restored for DVD.
Intelligent and very touching adaption of Elsa's story
stardustraven | Europe | 11/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up reading Joy Adamson's trilogy about Elsa, the lioness ['Born Free', 'Living Free' and 'Forever Free'], and Elsa has remained always very dear to my heart, an unforgettable furry heroine. This film is an excellent and truthful adaption of Mrs. Adamson's wonderful book. In the late 1950's Kenyan Game Warden George Adamson and his wife Joy became the foster parents of three female lion cubs whose mother had been killed by mistake. They eventually decided to send two cubs away to a zoo and keep the smallest cub which had become the most dear to them. This was Elsa and she would acquire world fame. Much joy and heartbreak followed when the Adamsons ultimately decided to rehabilitate Elsa back into the wild. Since in their opinion that is where she belonged. After a difficult adjustment they were rewarded with success.This film which was shot on location in Kenya and directed by Tom McGowan and James Hill is a remarkably intelligent and truthful adaption. It follows Elsa from cub hood to motherhood and superbly brings to life the joys and heartbreak which Elsa and the Adamsons went through together. Much of this is due to the excellent, dedicated and vibrant performances of Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna (who are real life husband and wife) as the Adamson couple. The Travers couple worked closely with George Adamson who was an advisor for this film in regard with the lions. Since they aimed at natural performances by the lions. Friendship would develop between the Travers and the Adamsons and they bonded firmly with the lions. After this film the Adamsons would continue with the rehabilitation of big cats back into the wild and the Travers besides acting went into wildlife conservation.Since the heroine of this film is a furry one, something certainly needs to be said about the lionesses, lions and cubs who gave such wonderful and gripping performances here. The part of Elsa was taken by the lionesses Girl, Mara and Henrietta and the dedication and love of George Adamson and the Travers brought them to outstanding performances. A film with many funny, comic, touching and sometimes heart wrenching moments and there's also the gorgeous Kenyan scenery to enjoy. It has rightly become a classic!"
Beautifully crafted, heart-warming classic.
Madhura de Silva | Colombo, Sri Lanka | 12/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Born Free" is a true story about the adoption of a wild lion cub by a game warden in Kenya and his wife who are eventually confronted with two choises, either carrying out the tedious task of introducing the cub back to the wild in three months, or sacrificing her freedom by giving her to a zoo. The two people go through everything that is inevitable when you have a large cat for a pet. The film has its share of emotional moments like when the Adamsons get the cubs to lap up milk for the first time, and the time when the adolescent Elsa is isolated for a few days and is found wounded and unstable. But they are well balanced out with the amusing situations like Elsa riding on the hood of the truck and her bringing a two year-old elephant calf to the camp etc. The film is so polished and of high quality that unless one is aware that it was made in '66, he/she will undoubtedly be lead to think that it was made in at least 1980. I was really surprised. I will add however, that I watched the film on TV yesterday for the first time and that is what my review is based on. Anyway I doubt the VHS is any different. So clever is the film in getting its points and objectives across that even people who aren't into wildlife movies will enjoy this, as I observed while I was watching. You have to admit, you don't often see a lioness swimming in the ocean and playing "foot" ball, do you? Also, the film runs for around 1 hour & 40 minutes. Long enough for you? I strongly recommend this film to anyone."
Watch it and cry again
save_dee | Montréal, Canada | 11/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie 25(?) years ago and cried as a little girl. Now that I am 38 and I watched it again from a completely different perspective, I think I cried even more. This is a movie that ALL must see!! It is the most heart-warming story ever written. I am so glad that Joy and George Adamson shared their story of Elsa with the rest of the world!!!!"