"The site of an immaculately turned out Susan Hampshire in thick eyeliner and gleaming white (flared) trouser suit prancing through the Serengeti should serve as an immediate red flag. This is about as far as you can get from Bill Travers' and Virginia McKenna's charming performances in Born Free, never mind invoking the real Adamsons, who led interesting and ultimately tragic lives. Doesn't seem much like Kenya in the fifties to me (I was there). Give it a miss."
Correcting Michael's Error
Tony Dale | Cheswick, PA | 10/23/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Michael, you've mixed up your movies. "Living Free" is NOT the film that was advertised with a Cary Grant glasses clad lion, THAT movie was "Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion," and indeed, it was influenced by television's DAKTARI.
The theme from "Living Free" did NOT win the Academy Award, nor was it even nominated; "Born Free," the film to which "Living Free" is a sequel has the distinction of containing John Barry's Oscar winning song."
Forgotten and forgettable sequel
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 04/05/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"'Living Free' is one of those obscure sequels to huge hits that most people don't even know exist. In this case it's not hard to see why: it's pretty awful.
Susan Hampshire and Nigel Davenport make poor replacements for Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. While you wouldn't expect them to match the original couple's easy familiarity, these two don't look like they've even been introduced yet. Worse, the film is a clumsy mess, the first quarter a clumsy rehash of the first film mixing stock footage with awkward reshot word-for-word versions of scenes restaged by the new stars with all the confidence of a blindfolded kid with both legs tied together trying to hit a piñata (although you do get to see Geoffrey Keene play a scene absolutely identically to his performance with the more experienced stars a few years earlier). When the plot does get going in the last half hour there are some genuinely tense scenes as they attempt to cage Elsa the Lioness's cubs to take them to a new reserve before they are destroyed as a menace to local farms, but you'll probably have given up by then. It doesn't even have the benefit of Scope photography or a John Barry score to sugar the pill, often looking more like a poor TV pilot than a real film (and indeed a TV series did briefly follow, albeit with a new cast).
Not good. "
Pales in comparison to "Born Free"
M. Kraeszig | 03/21/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is the quite dreadful sequel to "Born Free." It is intended for viewing by children, but even young ones will be bored with the extremely slow pace of this feature-length film. Were it shortened by two-thirds to about 30 minutes, it would be reasonably entertaining for younger kids. The acting is cheesy and very dated, and the plot plods along very slowly. There's nothing inherently wrong with the story, and the videography of the lions is quite charming, but it is presented so badly in this film that I would not waste a penny on it. Fortunately, I obtained my copy from the local library."
M. Davis | Calgary, Alberta, Canada | 06/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion, this movie was a genuine attempt to capture the resolve of the Adamsons to help Elsa's three orphaned cubs find their way in the African wilderness. Some have commented that the acting (and the actors) in this sequel to "Born Free" did not show the compassion for animals that those in "Born Free" did. I disagree. In accordance with the story line (which I assume to be more or less faithful to the actual events), the Adamsons had resolved not to become as attached to the cubs as they had been to Elsa. Therefore, they necessarily had to "keep their distance" as it were. I recommend this movie for good family viewing. I also enjoy the theme music and lyrics to this movie, which I think were well-written and appropriate to the content of the movie."