Tippi Hedren and her Academy Award Nominated daughter and co-star Melanie Griffith
Tippi Hedren, and her Academy Award Nominated daughter and co-star, Melanie Griffith star in the most amazing film with big cats ever made! Born Free had very few lions interacting with people. The real life Marshall family (Tippi, Melanie, Noel and sons John and Jerry) had to live with the 150 lions, tigers, leopards, etc. in order to make this film. That was not the plan in the beginning. Originally, Tippi and Noel came up with the idea of making a movie with lions after a trip to Africa. They wanted to simply “rent” Hollywood trained lions. They interviewed many and their trainers. They were told the only way to make a film like they wanted to was to get a few of their own.
That’s where it got out of control. And when it became a true labor of love. The whole family fell in love with all the cats they started raising. They did this in their house in Sherman Oaks, Calif. In the beginning until they got caught. Then they bought a ranch in Acton, Calif. Where it is legal, if you get all the permits, to raise these animals. Then they got tigers. Not needed for the film, but very amazing. Then elephants. Cougars. Cheetahs. You get the idea!
The making of ROAR spanned a period of more than 10 years, including 5 years of photography. It involved the remarkable talents of a crew of more than 100 dedicated men and women as well as the participation of more than 150 untrained lions, tigers, leopards and cheetahs. Add to that two elephants, twelve flamingos and eight ostriches... and the end product is nothing less than amazing.
Needless to say, a production of this sort places special demands on both cast and crew. Use the links on this page to learn about this incredible film and about the amazing people who made ROAR possible. Learn about the extraordinary talents of actress Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith and about award-winning cinematographer Jan De Bont, whose career in the United States began right here, on the set of ROAR.
No animals were hurt during the filming, but over 70 people were injured, including all cast members except Mativo. Not the animals fault, but the fault of the project. We’ve now learned that these are wild animals. If you do what the family did in the film, it’s not “if” you’ll get bitten, it’s “when”!