The Jungle Book (April 3, 1942)
Released April 3, 1942: Rudyard Kipling's famous story of Mowgli the jungle boy who battles a killer tiger and the men who want to learn where the secret jungle temple of treasure is located.
Produced by Alexander Korda
Directed by Zoltan Korda
Written by Laurence Stallings from the story by Rudyard Kipling
The Actors: Sabu (Mowgli), Joseph Calleia (Buldeo), John Qualen (the barber), Frank Puglia (the pundit, man getting a shave), Rosemary DeCamp (Messua), Patricia O'Rourke (Mahala, Buldeo's daughter), Ralph Byrd (Durga), John Mather (Rao), Faith Brook (the English girl), Noble Johnson (Sikh, the storyteller)
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The Little Frog and the Killer Tiger
Rudyard Kipling was a British Nobel laureate that published a series of stories in magazines of 1893 and 1894. Kipling was born in India, and lived there, in Britain, and later in Vermont, US, where he wrote and published his stories. Most of his stories were fantasy tales about the animals of India, and Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves that returns to civilization.
This telling of the story of Mowgli starts with an English woman on Safari in India that takes a picture of an old sage telling stories of the past. He tells her and us the story of the wolf boy, a child raised by wolves that can speak the language of all of the animals of the jungle. A group of people find a spot in the Indian jungle that they decide will be the home of their new village. There is a little baby boy that walks off into the jungle while no one is paying attention. His father discovers that he is missing and goes off into the jungle calling his son's name and searching for him, but he is killed, leaving his mother as a widow without her son. The boy is raised by a pack of wolves, and one day is chased by a terrible tiger that promises to kill him, but the boy escapes the tiger and stumbles upon the village of his mother. He is discovered by the tribesmen, and they eventually decide that he must be the boy that wandered away many years ago. His mother doesn't think that it is her lost son, but she is a kind woman that promises to care for him and teach him the ways of the people.
One man thinks that the boy is a devil, and wants to kill him, because he will never lose his wild animal instincts. He forbids his daughter to be around the boy, but of course the daughter and Mowgli find an immediate attraction for each other. As Mowgli learns to speak, we learn that he is afraid of the tiger named Shere Khan, who has threatened to kill the boy, and he buys a knife from the girl's father so that when he again meets Shere Khan the tiger he may be victorious in the battle. One day Mowgli and the girl go off into the jungle because she wants to experience the jungle as Mowgli sees it, and hear him converse with his jungle friends. They stumble upon the ruins of an ancient Indian city and discover a King's treasure room with untold riches that is guarded by an old cobra snake. But then the girl wakes from her night's sleep, and is not sure whether she actually experienced the jungle trip, or if it was a dream.
But her father discovers a gold coin in her hand, and when she tells the story of her and Mowgli finding the jungle treasure, her father gets a glint in his eye, and promises not to threaten harm to Mowgli anymore, because he secretly wants Mowgli to lead him to the hidden treasures of the lost city. Thus begins an adventure that the whole family will enjoy while munching on freshly popped corn.
Sabu, the actor who played Mowgli in this adventure, was a lad of Indian descent that appeared in 23 movies before his death in 1963 at the young age of 39. He was born near the jungles of Karapur, the son of an elephant driver. While in India searching for a young lad to star as an elephant driver in an upcoming movie Sabu was discovered and entered and exclusive contract with movie mogul Alexander Korda, who produced this movie. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Frank Puglia, Joseph Calleia and John Qualen
Patricia O'Rourke and Sabu
Rosemary DeCamp and Sabu
Sabu and Patricia O'Rourke