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A family goes to Africa to meet their father who lives with wild lions.


Noel Marshall


Noel Marshall, Ted Cassidy (additional script material)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tippi Hedren ... Madelaine
Noel Marshall Noel Marshall ... Hank
Melanie Griffith ... Melanie
John Marshall John Marshall ... John
Jerry Marshall Jerry Marshall ... Jerry
Kyalo Mativo Kyalo Mativo ... Mativo
Frank Tom Frank Tom ... Frank
Steve Miller Steve Miller ... Prentiss
Rick Glassey Rick Glassey ... Rick
Lenord Bokwa Lenord Bokwa ... Airport Personnel
Shamasi Sarumi Shamasi Sarumi ... Airport Personnel
Will Hutchins ... Committee Member
Eve Rattner Eve Rattner ... Committee Member
Peter Thiongo Peter Thiongo ... Committee Member
Zakes Mokae ... Committee Member (as Zakes Moakae)


Ravening jungle beasts assemble in flocks to invade an otherwise quiet home where they terrorize the visiting family of their keeper. Written by alfiehitchie & tipsyheadrinse

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most dangerous movie ever made See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

12 November 1981 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran rugido See more »

Filming Locations:

Acton, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,064, 19 April 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

American Filmworks See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie's cinematographer Jan de Bont has said that this picture was the most intriguing, most demanding and most challenging of his career. He once said: "It was also pretty dangerous. Roar (1981) is the only picture I almost lost my head over . . . It was frustrating at times. But I was hooked. The Cats were fascinating. They never did the same thing twice. The technical problems were gigantic. When you shoot with five cameras simultaneously, each has to be ingeniously disguised so they don't appear in the shots. This was my first Hollywood film. And I'll never be the same again." See more »


After Hank goes to the airport to get his family, on his return trip, he picks up Mativo and the tigers. Mativo's bike is placed in the trunk with the front wheel hanging out. Further down the road, the trunk is closed with no bike hanging out. Still further, the bike is again hanging out. See more »


Hank: Okay cat. Hello lions. Hello lions! What'ya doin'? What's that rogue Togar doing here? God, Togar, why today of all days?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Written and Directed by Noel Marshall and Friends See more »


Referenced in The Good Wife: Hearing (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Totally insane, one of a kind movie...
19 June 2015 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

You know what? Sometimes words really aren't enough to do justice to something.

Roar has to be without a doubt the most insanely unsafe cinematic undertaking I have ever had the pleasure of watching. The unbelievably high level of danger is quite frankly there for everyone to see up on the screen as we watch a group of actors interact with over one hundred big cats with no protection whatsoever! It was inspired by the success of the lion drama Born Free (1966). And you might make the observation that there is fifteen years between these two movies and think this strange, well that's because this flick took eleven years from start to finish! Its production met with all manner of set-backs such as fire, flood and disease; each of which put the film's schedule back. But more to the point, it was as dangerous to work on as it looks on screen. The opening credits state that no animals were hurt in the making of the film, what they could not say with as much confidence was that there were no humans hurt! As it was, seventy cast and crew were injured, including cinematographer Jan de Bont who was partially scalped, Tippi Hedren had her neck bitten, Melanie Griffiths almost lost an eye, Jerry and John Marshall both required extensive stitches, while Noel Marshall was attacked so often it took years for him to recover from his injuries. When you watch Noel in action in this film it is not exactly hard to see why! In fact some of the injuries can be seen happening on screen. It is madness, pure and utter madness.

But because of this, it makes for highly entertaining and bizarre viewing. Unfortunately, the public back in 1981 didn't seem to agree and Roar was a box office disaster. To be honest, this is not entirely surprising as this feels far more like a cult movie than blockbuster material, given its utter strangeness. For a start it doesn't really have a plot and it boils down to a few events that bring our human cast into contact with the big cats. The story barely makes sense if you think about it very long. But who needs a story when you've got this insanity on screen? The madness and health and safety black hole that the events on screen represent mean that a story needs be no more than an afterthought. For what it's worth, Noel Marshall - wrote, starred, directed and financed it and his wife Tippi Hedren, who was a wildlife activist who campaigned for the protection of big cats, was the big name draw. Hedren, of course, was previously most well-known for her starring role in The Birds (1963) where she was famously mauled and scratched by an assortment of flying fiends. Well, all I can say is that what she experiences on Roar makes the actions of the birds in Alfred Hitchcock's classic seem positively reticent by comparison.

The actors are all splendidly game and deserve huge amounts of credit for their nerve but the real stars of Roar are the big cats and rampaging elephants. This is the ultimate wet dream for any lover of the big cats in particular and we have the very strange scenario of seeing lions, cheetahs, panthers, leopards and tigers interacting with each other. Watching them violently wrestle is a pretty nerve shredding thing, except if you are Noel Marshall that is, he usually runs in to join them! But on the whole, while there are a few continuity errors and the editing is full-on and sporadic, this is exciting stuff that could never in a million years be described as boring. It truly defines the term 'one of a kind'. With health and safety legislation what it is now, there is no way in hell there will ever be another film like Roar. It's truly unique and I sure lapped it up.

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