In the five decades since she starred in The Birds, Tippi Hedren has spent more time helping to save the animals than acting, so it’s fitting that she appears in this oddball 1981 artifact about big cats in Africa (it was actually filmed in California). Just as Janet Leigh, another Alfred Hitchcock veteran, starred with her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, in John Carpenter’s The Fog, Hedren’s daughter, Melanie Griffith, came along on the arduous, 11-year journey.
The story, such as it is, pivots on the efforts of a shouty zoologist (director Noel Marshall, Hedren’s husband at the time), his wife (Hedren), and their kids (Griffith and Marshall’s sons John and Jerry) to make peace with the lions and tigers that have overrun their property. The animals are amazing—whiny young lion Gary may remind you of teenagers you’ve known—but the acting is terrible.
Unlike 1971’s Wake in Fright, which featured a real kangaroo hunt, the American Humane Association signed off on Roar, stating that "no animals were harmed during the making of this film," though the animal-on-human violence led to 70 injuries, including the partial scalping of cinematographer-turned-Speed-director Jan de Bont. John Marshall recently summed up this boondoggle best when he told the Los Angeles Times, “I guess it's a labor of love or stupidity or whatever."