Born Free (1966)

1h 35m
Running time

April 20, 1966
Release Date

Born Free (1966)

1h 35m
Running time

April 20, 1966
Release Date

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Open Road Films
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At a national park in Kenya, English game warden George Adamson and his wife, Joy, care for three orphaned lion cubs. After the two larger lions are shipped off to a zoo in the Netherlands, the smallest of the three, Elsa, stays with the couple. When Elsa is blamed for causing an elephant stampede in the nearby village, head warden John Kendall demands the young lion either be trained to survive in the wilds of the Serengeti or be sent to a zoo.

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Release Date
April 20, 1966


Running time
1h 35m

Filming Locations



Born Free is a 1966 British drama film starring the real-life couple Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers as Joy and George Adamson, another real-life couple, who raised Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned lion cub, to adulthood and released her into the wilderness of Kenya. The film was produced by Open Road Films Ltd. and Columbia Pictures. The screenplay, written by blacklisted Hollywood writer Lester Cole (under the pseudonym "Gerald L.C. Copley"), was based upon Joy Adamson's 1960 non-fiction book Born Free. The film was directed by James Hill and produced by Sam Jaffe and Paul Radin. Born Free, and its musical score, by John Barry, as well as the title song, with lyrics by Don Black and sung by Matt Monro, won numerous awards.

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