As this timeless classic opens, George Adamson (Bill Travers), a game warden in Kenya, brings three orphan lion cubs home to be cared for by his wife, Joy (Virginia McKenna). Raised as pets, two of them are eventually sent away to zoos, but the third, Elsa, was especially loved and they decided to keep her. Of course, that soon became impossible, so they set about rehabilitating her back into the wild knowing she might not survive, but feeling she must have the chance to live free.
In the 1950s, no one had ever reintroduced an animal to the wild, and the Adamses were the first animal lovers to do so. Travers and McKenna are wonderful as the couple and went on to become animal activists after the filming of the movie. Geoffrey Keene (the 'Minister of Defence' in six James Bond movies) gives able support as George's boss. The Kenyan landscape photography is simply breathtaking and the lions, at various stages of development, are adorable.
John Barry won Academy Awards for both his score and song, which are truly iconic and guaranteed to have you reaching for the tissues. This beautiful, inspiring, and unforgettable movie is a must-see for animal lovers.
The real Joy Adamson with the three cubs.
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