A pleasant family film based on the late Joy Adamson’s best-selling book about the lioness Elsa, who was raised as a pet and then returned to the jungle.
Real-life husband-and-wife team Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna starred as game warden George Adamson and his wife, Joy, who raised Elsa to maturity and then retrained her so she could eventually return to the wild from whence she originally came.
The film also featured Geoffrey Keen as an amiable government commissioner who finally persuades the Adamson family that Elsa should be either set free or confined to a zoo, Peter Luckoye as Elsa’s ‘nursemaid’, and Omar Chambati, Bill Godden and Bryan Epsom.
Photography of the animals, and especially of the lion’s efforts to adapt to the wilds of Kenya, was impressive, and the movie’s popular title song (written by John Barry) won the ‘best song’ Academy Award.
A sequel, Living Free, appeared in 1972.