"Born Free" tells the story of Joy and George Adamson and their beloved Kenyan lions. Based on Joy Adamson's wonderful memoir, the film is one of the best ever made about human-and-animal relationships, and tells how British game warden George Adamson and his wife (Joy, played here by McKenna), raised a lioness, Elsa, as a pet. Later, they learn that they must retrain Elsa to live in the wild, in order to prevent the Kenyan authorities from putting her in a zoo.
A few years later, with different actors in the Adamson roles, "Living Free" followed, revealing what happened to Elsa. Joy and George Adamson return to East Africa to discover that their beloved lioness is dying, and her three lion cubs need to be taken care of. The Adamsons work to prevent malicious zookeepers from taking Elsa's trio of cubs into captivity.((Next came "To Walk With Lions," which deals with malicious poachers. This time, Richard Harris stars as George Adamson in his twilight years. By then separated from Joy, George is still helping wounded and orphaned lions, and returning them to the African wilds.
This is a wonderful but bittersweet trilogy, perfect for animal lovers, and especially for children. One quibble: material about the Adamsons, or even about other hard-working conservationists, ought to have been included.
James Hill, Tom McGowan
James Hill, Tom McGowan, based on the book by Joy Adamson
Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Lukoye, Omar Chambati, Bill Godden, R
George and Joy Adamson, Kenya, lions returned to the wild
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