Teenaged Mowgli, who was raised by wolves, appears in a village in India and is adopted by Messua. Mowgli learns human language and some human ways quickly, though keeping jungle ideas. Influential Merchant Buldeo is bigoted against 'beasts' including Mowgli; not so Buldeo's pretty daughter, whom Mowgli takes on a jungle tour where they find a treasure, setting the evil of human greed in motion. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The Jungle Book (1942) was the first film for which original soundtrack recordings were issued. Previously, when record companies released music from a film, they had insisted on re-recording the music in their own studios with their own equipment. The "Jungle Book" records were taken from the same recordings used for the film's soundtrack, and their commercial success paved the way for more original-soundtrack albums. See more »
When the thieves are entering the treasure chamber, the first thief sits beside a large granite rock and begins running his hands through the gold coins. As he does so, his knee bumps the rock and it moves, showing that it is clearly just a lightweight prop. See more »
Reared in the Indian Jungle, a young man must learn to live amongst the most rapacious of Nature's creatures, Man.
Sir Alexander Korda's splendid film uses Kipling's book as a launching pad to tell Mowgli's story after he left his animal friends. It is told with great verve and excitement and its evocative views of the great jungle and the Lost City, as locations for Mowgli's further adventures, revealed in vibrant Technicolor, are an indication of the excellent production values lavished to make the story come alive.
As teen-aged Mowgli, Indian actor Sabu couldn't be more perfect. Whether as the Wild Boy who first enters the village, or, later, as the completely competent young man who ferrets out the secret of the Lost City's treasure, fights the tiger Shere Khan and communes with deadly snakes, elephants & wolves, he is completely believable. Kipling would have been proud.
Rosemary DeCamp is a quiet delight as Mowgli's gentle mother, her scenes with Sabu are most effective and tender. John Qualen, Frank Puglia, and especially Joseph Calleia, all score as the members of the man-village who want to see Mowgli destroyed. Playing his character as an old man, Calleia also bookends the film as its storyteller, using his somber demeanor to add to the mystery of the plot. That's Silent star Noble Johnson as the Sikh whose female companion encourages the telling of the tale.
Born Sabu Dastagir in 1924, Sabu was employed in the Maharaja of Mysore's stables when he was discovered by Korda's company and set before the cameras. His first four films (ELEPHANT BOY-1937, THE DRUM-1938, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD-1940, JUNGLE BOOK-1942) were his best and he found himself working out of Hollywood when they were completed. After distinguished military service in World War II he resumed his film career, but he became endlessly confined for years playing ethnic roles in undistinguished minor films, BLACK NARCISSUS (1947) being the one great exception. His final movie, Walt Disney's A TIGER WALKS (1964) was an improvement, but it was too late. Sabu had died of a heart attack in late 1963, only 39 years of age.
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