- 1 hr 42 min
Roar is an American adventure film from 1981, directed by Noel Marshall, with a cast including Tippi Hedren, Noel Marshall, and a teenage Melanie Griffith in her first film role, alongside dozens of live lions, tigers, leopards, and elephants. The film tells the story of a family living in a wildlife sanctuary in Africa, and the dangers they face as they interact with these wild animals.
The film begins as a father, Hank (Noel Marshall), has been living in the African wilderness with dozens of big cats for several years, attempting to study their behavior. Meanwhile, his wife Madelaine (Tippi Hedren) and their children John (John Marshall), Jerry (Jerry Marshall), and Melanie (Melanie Griffith) return to Africa to visit him after three long years apart.
As soon as they arrive, they are confronted with the harsh realities of living among wild animals. They soon realize that the cats are not used to having humans around and are, in fact, quite dangerous. However, Hank encourages his family to interact with the cats, and soon, chaos and danger ensue.
Throughout the movie, the family members experience numerous close calls and terrifying encounters with the big cats. They are chased by lions, attacked by tigers, and even fall into a river filled with crocodiles at one point. Despite the repeated warnings of the local Africans, who have lived with these animals for generations and know how to stay safe, the family members continually try to interact with the cats, leading to further dangerous situations.
The film is notable for being a real-life account of living among dangerous wildlife, as the filmmakers chose to use live animals instead of trained actors or animatronics. The movie was filmed over the course of several years, with over 100 untrained animals from Marshall's personal collection being used in the filming process. This choice ultimately led to numerous injuries to the cast and crew, including Tippi Hedren, who was severely injured by a lion and required facial reconstruction surgery.
Despite the dangerous conditions, the filmmakers managed to capture some stunning footage of the animals, showcasing their raw power and beauty. The film's score is also noteworthy, with an original soundtrack composed by Terrence P. Minogue that perfectly captures the tension and drama of the family's experiences in the wild.
Overall, Roar is a unique and thrilling film that chronicles the lengths one man will go to in order to better understand animals, as well as the dangers associated with interfering with wild animals. It is a raw and unfiltered account of life in the wild, showcasing both the wonder and the danger of the natural world. Though it may not be for the faint of heart, Roar is a must-see for anyone interested in animal behavior, nature, or thrilling adventure films.