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.


In the Northern Province of Kenya, a woman is killed and eaten by a male lion. British senior wildlife warden George Adamson (Bill Travers) is sent in to kill the menacing lion and also his female, who charges him in defence of her three cubs. Realizing they are now motherless, George brings the three cubs home to his wife Joy (Virginia McKenna) and raises them. They name the cubs Big One, Lastika, and Elsa, who is the youngest and the one which Joy and George become especially attached to. When the cubs get too old, the older two are sent to Rotterdam Zoo but the Adamsons choose to keep Elsa.