Hank the zoologist and his closest friends share a beautiful house on an African lake. Hank’s friends have the run of the place, and they are huge and furry and hungry looking-- 150 of the worlds greatest carnivores: lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, cougars and jaguars.
Hank is clearly crazy about big cats, and it doesn’t bother him that people say he is just plain crazy. All he cares about are cats, his research and his wife and three kids, whom he left behind in Chicago three years ago.
When we meet him, Hank’s world is about to change dramatically. His wife Madaline (Tippi Hedren) and their teenage children-two sons and a daughter (Melanie Griffith)- are coming to stay with him. Hank is sure his family will love living with the lions as much as he does.
Hank’s friend Mativo, a local researcher, warns Hank of an impromptu meeting with the Local Grant Committee that is about to converge on Hank’s house. The meeting ends with 2 members limping away vowing revenge for the cats’ over zealous play.
Although puzzled by Hank’s non-appearance, Madeline and the kids are delighted with the beautiful house. They don’t know it yet, but Madeline’s instruction to “open all the windows” is the beginning of the most harrowing few hours of their lives.
A lion’s sense of humor requires a little getting used to. Though Madeline and the kids like to laugh, they believe this joke will kill them.
They will have to learn for themselves the two chief rules for co-existing with big cats. The first is don’t run. The second is always keep your head, which is not easy when you think a lion is about to deprive you of it.
By now Hank has arrived at the airport, and realizes the deadly danger his wife and kids are in. He always loved his family and never really understood why his obsessions irritated them. But now, possibly too late, he can guess what is eating at them.
He borrows an old infirm car from a reluctant friend and sets off for home, pausing only to collect Mativo from his perch in the tree.
Mativo’s graphic and grisly word portraits of the family’s probable fate almost have Hank tearing out his hair with anguish. Mativo won’t let him forget that if the lions he loves kill the family he loves, there will be only one man to blame…
And it seems unlikely that the ancient car will survive long enough to get Hank and Mativo and those two persistent tigers home at all…
At the house one funny scene evolved into an even funnier one. But at the height of hilarity there is always the threat of a sudden descent into tragedy. The pace and tension increase relentlessly to a shattering conclusion…
And above all, “Roar” is an unforgettable experience of love and laughter. But be warned: when you share a joke with a lion you could easily laugh your head off.