PAUSE IT: What do you see? Roar, Noel Marshall and Tippi Hedren’s notorious pet project concerning a family of animal lovers endeavoring to protect a pride of endangered big cats and not get eaten in the process, is truly a death-defying piece of visceral cinema. A thrill ride shot over the course of eleven grueling years, Roar was then and is now something of a Hollywood legend for being one of the most dangerous movies ever completed. These cat attacks were real! What’s even more incredible is that while over 70 members of the cast and crew were injured during shooting, no animals were harmed in the making of this film. The American Humane Association’s (seal pictured top right) works with filmmakers to ensure the health and well-being of each production’s animal participants. Per their website, americanhumane.org: “American Humane works with production personnel and trainers in the pre-production planning stage, monitors the animals on set during production, and enforces American Humane’s Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media. It also investigates allegations of mistreatment and cruelty and sanctions productions that do not meet its standards of humane animal treatment.” Featuring an animal cast of over 150 creatures, mostly made up of a diverse grouping of lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, cougars and jaguars, Roar shows what happens when humans are forced to meet powerful wild animals on their own terms. Marshall and Tippi Hedren’s real life animal advocacy served as the inspiration for the film and though they emerged physically and emotionally scarred (and frankly lucky to be alive), true to their word the film stands as a testament to the ethical treatment of animals and to the indomitable spirit of the independent filmmaker. As the film’s tagline goes: “There’s never been a film like ROAR – and there never will be again!”
Director: Noel Marshall
Cast: Tippi Hedren, Noel Marshall, Melanie Griffith, John Marshall
Cinematography by: Jan de Bont
Available from Olive Films on DVD and Blu-ray.
Pause It Archive:
June 12, 2017