The Lion

  • 1962
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

THE LION was not exceptionally fascinating, but it had advantages over some of the jungle pictures made afterwards. First, there was a real story to go with the lush flora and fauna. Second, it had some fine acting by all concerned. Holden is an American lawyer summoned to Africa by his ex-wife, Capucine, who fears that their young daughter, Franklin, has...read more

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THE LION was not exceptionally fascinating, but it had advantages over some of the jungle pictures made afterwards. First, there was a real story to go with the lush flora and fauna. Second, it had some fine acting by all concerned. Holden is an American lawyer summoned to Africa by his

ex-wife, Capucine, who fears that their young daughter, Franklin, has become overly fond of the jungle and too attached to Zamba, a lion the girl has helped raise from birth. Capucine's current husband, Howard, a game warden, is skeptical about the wisdom of Holden's coming and doesn't mask his

jealousy well. When an old tribal chieftain is left to die at the mercy of the elements (the custom of that tribe), Holden can't bear it and saves the grateful old man's life. The chieftain returns to the tribe and tells his son, Oduor, that he won't relinquish the title. (Oduor has wanted to take

over the helm and claim 11-year-old Franklin as his bride.) The old man says that his son will never be a man until he has killed a lion, so Oduor chooses Franklin's pet as his prey. Franklin is aghast and orders Zamba to kill the prince. Now Howard has to kill the lion. Franklin, who never really

knew her father, Holden, is brought closer to him when she sees Howard destroy Zamba. Howard has by now noted the reviving attraction between Holden and Capucine and gives his assent for them to return to the US and take Franklin with them. By the early 1960s, Holden had fallen in love with Africa

and with Capucine, and two conditions underlying his decision to make this movie were that Capucine costar and that filming be on location in Africa. Franklin underplays her role, with none of the cloying cutesiness that might have been present, a fitting follow-up to her first film, THE

INNOCENTS. Howard is in a seething rage most of the time--appropriately enough for a man whose wife and stepdaughter are being pulled from him. Zamba the lion acquits himself well. The picture was filmed in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanganyika.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: THE LION was not exceptionally fascinating, but it had advantages over some of the jungle pictures made afterwards. First, there was a real story to go with the lush flora and fauna. Second, it had some fine acting by all concerned. Holden is an American l… (more)

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