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The Jungle Book (1942)

Jungle Book (original title)
Approved | | Action, Adventure, Family | 3 April 1942 (USA)
A boy raised by wolves tries to adapt to human village life.

Director:

Zoltan Korda

Writer:

Laurence Stallings (adaptation)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Pre-teen jungle boy Mowgli gets to human world and is pursued by P.T.Barnum circus scout Harrison who wants to take him to circus as curiosity. Harrison hires local grandee Buldeo for help ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sabu ... Mowgli
Joseph Calleia ... Buldeo
John Qualen ... The Barber
Frank Puglia ... The Pundit
Rosemary DeCamp ... Messua (as Rosemary De Camp)
Patricia O'Rourke Patricia O'Rourke ... Mahala
Ralph Byrd ... Durga
John Mather John Mather ... Rao
Faith Brook ... English Girl
Noble Johnson ... Sikh
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bagheera Bagheera ... The Panther
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MOWGLI, HALF-BOY, HALF WOLF . . . armed only with a knife and the love of a girl, meets the challenge of Shere Khan, the Killer Tiger! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,834,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,905,444
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alexander Korda Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Merian C. Cooper did considerable preproduction work but it was abandoned when he decided to re-enlist in the armed forces in June 1941. See more »

Goofs

Wires holding up the cobra in the treasure chamber can be seen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
English Girl: [as they ride up on horseback upon a group of villagers gathered in a circle around an old wise man] What a beautiful old man. What a lovely head.
Sikh: India's filled with old men mahila.
English Girl: But not like the one in the yellow turban. He's like a head of John the Baptist.
Sikh: The mahila refers to the storyteller?
Durga: Are these silent monsters at peace with us? It is but a true stray leap with man. But I who have seen the tusks-stained red with blood, I could tell you a tale of the silent ones... gor...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of The Adventures of Mowgli (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty amazing for 1942
5 February 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a rather amazing production for 1942. The lavish sets, costumes and full-color are quite amazing for the time--especially considering it was made during one of the darkest years of WWII. So, instead of the typical black & white propaganda film, here we have pure escapism.

Now if you are looking for the Disney version of the Kipling story, you'll no doubt be disappointed. Aside from names and a few plot elements, the story really bears little in common with the 1967 film. Unlike the cartoon, this film does address how Mowgli becomes stranded in the jungle as an infant plus about 80% of the film consists of Mowgli's life AFTER returning to the village where he was born. And, also unlike the Disney film, humans are pretty greedy and awful in this film. In fact, instead of the tiger, Shere Khan, trying to kill Mowgli, the plot mostly has to do with a jungle treasure and the terrible lengths greed drives men to have it. By the end of the film, Mowgli is sick of the humans and their wicked ways--and leaves to live in his beloved jungle once again--quite the opposite of the Disney story.

Aside from very nice production values, there is a lot to admire about the film. The story is rather timeless and has some depth to it due to its examination of human nature. The only serious negative is the same negative you'd have with all adventure films of this era--no one in the film is actually Indian other than Sabu! Remember, this was the time of Charlie Chan (played originally by a Swede) and actors such as Errol Flynn and Katherine Hepburn playing Asians!! Here, such reliable Hollywood actors as John Qualen and Joseph Calleia play Indians! It's all rather laughable, though perhaps it was tough finding Indian actors at the time (especially with India in the thick of things in the war). Still, it's all very forgivable considering that it's otherwise a quality production from start to finish.


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