The Jungle Book (1942)
Silver Screen 2019: Animalia
Sabu, Joseph Calleia, John Qualen
In this early film version of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale, Mowgli – half-boy, half wolf – is lost in the African jungle as a child, and is raised entirely by wolves. Now a young man, Mowgli (Sabu) wanders to the Indian village where he was born, and gradually acquires the power of speech as a result of meeting fellow humans. Mahala (Patricia O’Rourke) is entranced by Mowgli, and persuades him to take her deep into the jungle, meeting the challenge of Shere Khan, the Killer Tiger! When they discover the relics of an ancient civilisation the evil of human greed is irrevocably set in motion. They return to Mahala’s father, Buldeo (Joseph Calleia), bearing gold coins, but when Mowgli refuses to reveal where they found them, Buldeo attempts to turn the village against him. Together they must protect the jungle’s secrets from her father’s wrath. This film features a variety of fantastic animal effects – nominated for four Oscars.