The Oscar-winning theme song gives a huge lift to this classic wildlife true story. Played by real-life husband and wife Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, conservationists George and Joy Adamson have some tough decisions to make as they try to rear a orphaned lion cub in the East African bush.
The human stars happily take second place to the splendid animal photography, in which the growing cub takes a majestic centre stage. Bright, big-hearted and bursting with life, this is a model creature feature. Big bonuses – apart from the lions themselves and Barry’s music – are the sunny wide-open spaces and the near-miraculous way that stars McKenna and Travers romp with the three lionesses who play Elsa at the various stages of her growth.
The making of the film ended up being a life-changing experience for the two actors who later established the Born Free Foundation to protect the rights of wild animals, particularly in zoos.