Synopsis by Karl Williams
Wildlife activist and actress Tippi Hedren starred in this adventure written, directed by, and costarring her producer husband Noel Marshall and inspired by the surprise success of Born Free (1966). Hedren is Madeleine, a woman who brings her children (including real-life daughter and future movie star Melanie Griffith) to the African jungle for a visit with her long-estranged husband Hank (Marshall). An eccentric scientist, Hank has dedicated the past several years of his life to fighting for the preservation of endangered species. A snafu results in the family being met not by the environmentalist, however, but a pride of ferocious felines. Roar (1981) was a box-office disaster that not only fell far short of recouping its $17 million budget -- Hedren and family reportedly had to mortgage their assets to finance it. The production was also known for its accident-prone, behind-the-scenes drama, which included a fire, a flood, and a disease that took the lives of several big cat performers. Resulting schedule delays turned the motion picture into an 11-year labor of love for Hedren, whose off-camera commitment to protection of big cats extended to the establishment of her own California game preserve called Shambala, later to be the subject of a book by Hedren and a television documentary.
eccentric, survivor, wilderness, child, husband, marshal, scientist