THE LION (1962)
Real. Jack Cardiff
Mus. Malcolm Arnold
Dir. Mus. Malcolm Arnold
LP Decca 820300-1 – Stereo (UK)
1. Opening Title Music
2. Tina’s Theme (Love Theme)
3. Drum Dance – Tina at Night
1. King Dance of Happiness
2. Tina’s Theme – End Title
Notes Back Cover
Robert Hayward (William Holden), an American lawyer whose wife, Christine (Capucine), has left him to marry a famous white hunter, John Bullit (Trevor Howard), arrives in Kenya, East Africa, in response to his ex-wife's plea that help is needed in rearing their 11-year-old daughter, Tina (Pamela Franklin).
Howard begins to understand what the child's mother meant when he discovers that Tina has become a child of nature, whose playmates are wild animals and whose best friend is a full grown lion whom she treats like a puppy. Tina lives by and accepts the law of the jungle, including its cruelties such as the native custom of leaving their old and sick out to die. As Christine has before him, Hayward realizes that his daughter is not being prepared for life in a more civilized society.
Around this central situation there are other currents: Tina and her stepfather are in perfect rapport and Tina resents the intrusion of her real father. Hayward and Christine find a re-awakened tenderness for each other and Bullit quickly becomes aware of it- and, naturally enough, resents it.
This increasing tension comes to climax at a native dance when a young chief, Oriunga (Paulo Oduiori), claims little Tina as his bride. Child brides are a commonplace of African custom, but, of course, the adult Europeans react in horror. Between this rebuff and because he has been denounced for pretending to chieftainship without having killed a lion, Oriunga dashes off to slay King, Tina's playmate.
An epic battle develops between the warrior and the lion, with Tina urging the lion to kill. The three adults come upon the scene and Hayward is clawed while pulling Tina away from the fight. Bullit shoots the lion, but not before he has fatally mauled Oriunga. The shot, though, also kills the relationship between Tina and her stepfather and makes the child want to leave her now ruined Eden. Bullit sees the futility of reconciling his way of life with either Tina or her mother and leaves Hayward and Christine and Tina to fly off together-presumably into a future together.