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  • Born Free / Living Free [1966] [DVD] [2004]
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Born Free / Living Free [1966] [DVD] [2004]

84 customer reviews

Price: £3.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Born Free / Living Free [1966] [DVD] [2004] + Ring of Bright Water [1969] [DVD] + Tarka The Otter [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Nigel Davenport, Susan Hampshire, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Lukoye, Shane De Louvre
  • Directors: Jack Couffer
  • Writers: Joy Adamson, Millard Kaufman
  • Producers: Carl Foreman, Paul B. Radin
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Jan. 2004
  • Run Time: 179 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000UM0E4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,566 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Born Free:
Born Free tells the story of Joy Adamson and her husband, Kenyan game warden George Adamson, who raise Elsa, a lion cub. When Elsa approaches maturity, Joy determines she must re-educate Elsa to living in the wild so that the lioness can return to a free life.

Living Free:
In the sequel Living Free, the heartwarming story of three lion cubs struggling to survive in one of nature's most treacherous settings is brought to life.

From Amazon.co.uk

Born Free is a bona fide family classic. The tale of how Kenya game warden George Adamson and his wife Joy (on whose book the film is based, with Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers in the principal roles) adopted and raised three orphaned lion cubs, taking a particular shine to the one they call Elsa before helping her return to the wild, is familiar by now; so is John Barry's Oscar-winning title song. And while the movie has its flaws (it contains references to "Bwana George" and such that would be considered frightfully un-PC nowadays), the animal footage, especially that of the lions in their various stages of development, is extraordinary and timelessly entertaining.

The 1972 sequel doesn't quite measure up to its predecessor but, in an era when most "family entertainment" tends toward the insipid at best, Living Free is still a worthwhile venture. Susan Hampshire and Nigel Davenport take over the roles of Joy and George Adamson, the British couple who, while stationed in Kenya, adopted three orphaned lion cubs. Living Free finds the dying Elsa, their favourite of the original three and now a mother herself, returning to the Adamsons, who must figure out what to do with Elsa's three cubs, who develop an unfortunate appetite for domestic livestock. The film is on the slow side, but once again it's the animals who steal the show; the footage of the young lions interacting with other beasts, from wild giraffes and rhinos to a pet dog, is remarkable. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Akida93 on 25 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD
This film adaptation which was made in 1966 (not 1996!) stays mostly true to the original book. It tells the tale of three orphaned lion cubs, two of which are sent to zoos. The other, Elsa, develops a strong bond with her owners. But of course, she's a lioness, not a pussycat, and eventually she grows too big. Not wanting her to go to a zoo, her owner Joy Adamson tries to release her back into the wild.

Although not as good as th original, the sequel Living Free makes great eye-candy, showing some adorable scenes with the cubs, and some stunning footage of wildlife (they actually caught a cheetah catching its prey).

I saw these films when I was about ten, and I am 13 now. They stay very loyal to the books, and well, if you haven't read, I suggest read them then watch the films. Highly recommended.

(How could you say these films are 'gruesome.' It's quite tame compared to what I've seen on so-called 'children's TV.' And besides, you can't sugarcoat everything for children. Next time, try explaining to your kids that this is a film about wild animals, not cute little fairies.)
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chantal Lyons VINE VOICE on 1 Feb. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I ask my friends nowadays if they have ever heard of Born Free, the answer is almost always "no". And that's a real shame. Born Free is an enchanting true story, and one whose spirit lives on in the Born Free foundation, the animal charity.

Born Free begins when a park ranger has shot a pair of man-eating lions, orphaning a litter of three cubs. He brings them home to his wife and together they raise the cubs. Eventually, they grow old enough to be sent to a zoo and two of the cubs go, but the Adamsons love the third one, Elsa, so much that they keep her. As she grows into an adult it becomes clear that she must either be sent to a zoo, or set free. Yhe Adamsons decide to free her, but it will be a long, hard path...

People of all ages will enjoy the film. When I was younger I adored the parts where the cubs grow up - it'll bring tears of laughter to your eyes. The humour remains an element of the film. The film itself is remarkably well made, considering that they had to use real animals to play the parts of Elsa and other lions. You'll fall in love with the character of Elsa, and all her gentleness and her quirks. The ending is truly beautiful.

Living Free is the sequel to Elsa's story, but focuses this time on the three cubs she has. I won't give a plot blurb for fear of ruining part of the story. While not as good as Born Free in my eyes, the film is still well made and enjoyable for those already familiar with its predecessor.

I'd also like to defend the films after one reviewer said something along the lines of "don't watch this film, it has scenes of animals being killed, don't let your children see it!" This is grossly unfair - no animal is ever actually seen shot.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim.T on 28 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD
To be honest I hadn't seen this film until very recently, though I was aware of the true story behind it. Suffice it to say, if you want a true story that is uplifting; that will fill your heart and make you weep with joy (I certainly did and I'm a bloke!), you cannot possibly go wrong with Born Free. That's all there is to say.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Jan. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Born Free is known as a classic, yet I had forgotten quite how inspiring and moving the original film really was!
This is a worthwhile purchase, if only to own Born Free, but the bonus with this edition is having both the original and the sequel together. And although Living Free doesn't quite meet the original's standards it still does make the whole story feel complete.
Plus even if you don't like the wonderful story, or beautiful scenery, almost everyone has some appreciation for the backing music and title track, which is worth the price on its own.
If you are building up a collection of classic films, or want see how movies really should be made then this is an essential purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
Along with Lassie Come Home, Born Free is probably the gold standard of animal movies, and there's a lot to like in this story of Joy Adamson and her gamekeeper husband trying to return the domesticated lioness Elsa to the wild: the lion cubs are cute, the Scope wildlife photography still impressive and John Barry's score especially beautiful (the famous Matt Munro song was added to the end titles after the film was already on release. Where it shows its age is when the humans take centre-stage. At times Virginia McKenna can be a bit too head girl of the hockey school as Joy Adamson for a modern audience - while the Adamsons' real-life relationship was so tempestuous they spent much of their lives apart (Travers recalled that during filming whenever George was in the doghouse, Joy would treat him with equal condescension), their movie incarnations are so determinedly nice they make characters from Disney films of the 60s look like axe murderers. That said, McKenna and Travers are one of the few real-life married couples who make a convincing couple onscreen, bringing a comfortable familiarity to their scenes that smoothes over some of the more twee dialogue.

Its surprise success after a slow start led to director James Hill reluctantly being typecast on many of the slew of similar animal films that followed in its wake while his two stars started the Born Free foundation to release zoo animals into the wild. It also led to a very unfortunate sequel, though none of the key players apart from Carl Foreman would return.

Living Free is one of those obscure sequels to huge hits that most people don't even know exist. In this case it's not hard to see why: it's pretty awful. Susan Hampshire and Nigel Davenport make poor replacements for Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna.
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