Who doesn’t love a good lion movie? There’s certainly no shortage of them. From horror to comedy, the big cats have long been a major player in animal movies. But have you seen them all? Today’s Here’s 5 are wild lion movies you might have missed.
Let's start with a classic, the one that had everyone wanting a lion pet and singing the languid Academy Award-winning song of the same name. Based on true events, the story follows a couple who, after circumstances leading to the killing of a lioness out of self defense leave three cubs without a mother, take them in and raise them to adulthood where two go to a zoo and one is reintroduced back into the wild. You're singing the song, right?
Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965)
A curious comedy to say the least, this odd little film sees a local veterinarian in East Africa called to help a town that has a lion problem. Turns out the beast is cross-eyed, which is causing it to act oddly. Naturally, the doctor and his daughter take the king of the jungle into their home and hilarity ensues. Sort of. Oh, there's also a bad guy trying to steal baby gorillas to sell on the black market. Guess who puts a stop to that?
Tom Newman (Pete Weller) comes to Africa with his family to help in the construction of a dam but when his new wife (Bridget Moynahan) and his daughter (Carly Schroeder), who naturally doesn't like her new stepmom, get trapped in a jeep by a pride of hungry lions, it's up to Tom and some hired big game hunters to free them. RoboCop himself can't save this mess of a "thriller" that is cheaply made and poorly-written. We ain't lion.
Napoleon and Samantha (1972)
Little Napoleon (Johnny Whitaker) makes a tough choice when his grandfather dies, fleeing into the hills with their pet lion and his best friend Samantha (Lodi Foster) in search of a goat herder who can take care of them and the harmless beast. Along the way they meet a kindly grad student named Danny (Michael Douglas) who comes to aid the youngsters. Foster was mauled by a stunt lion on the set of this Disney film, which left her with permanent scars and, of course, a life long fear of cats.
And at last we come to the most notorious lion film ever made, one filmed in 1981 but not released in the United States until 2015. Claiming to have no animals injured in the making of the movie but suffering over 70 human casualties, this "most dangerous movie ever made" follows a family who are attacked by a wide range of predatory animals. With it's stars (including Melanie Griffith and her mother Tippi Hedren) and crew all sustaining major injuries, some seen in the film, this is a weird and uncomfortable experience.