‘ROAR’ Documentary Shows Tippi Hedren Breaking Ankle on an Elephant

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Talk about your crazy home movies. In 1976, then-married couple Tippi Hedren and Noel Marshall — along with Hedren’s daughter, Melanie Griffith, and Marshall’s sons, John and Jerry Marshall — began filming ROAR, an adventure film about a family on a particularly wild safari. Although set in Africa, the movie was actually shot in California over the course of three tumultuous years that were beset by budget problems, safety concerns, and numerous animal-caused on-set injuries. Eventually completed in 1981, Roar didn’t officially open in U.S. theaters until 2015, at which point the story behind its making drew more attention than the film itself.

That story is recounted in Animal Planet’s new documentary ROAR: The Most Dangerous Movie Ever Made, which debuts June 24. As this exclusive clip from the special makes clear, the Hedren/Marshall clan put themselves in real danger in the name of their art. For a scene where a rampaging elephant attacks the family’s boat, the glamorous star of The Birds allowed herself to be hoisted into the air by the pachyderm’s trunk when she slipped and broke her ankle. But the craziest thing is that footage of this accident appears in the finished film; it’s simply run in reverse to make it appear as though she’s being lifted up instead of slipping and falling. Forget ROAR — a more accurate title for this movie might be OUCH! 

ROAR: The Most Dangerous Movie Ever Made premieres Saturday, June 24 at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet.

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