Full page view
HISTORY

Onscreen credits include the following statements: “Produced in the jungles of Northern Siam,” and, “The Cast: Natives of the wild: who have never seen a motion picture; Wild Beasts: who have never had to fear a modern rifle; The Jungle.” A preface reads: “Before the most ancient civilization arose, before the first city in the world was built, before man trod the earth – then, as now, there stretched across vast spaces of farther Asia a great green threatening mass of vegetation…the Jungle…”
       Chang was the second collaboration between filmmakers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, who produced the 1925 documentary Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, based on Iran’s Bakhtiari Tribe and filmed in the Middle East, with the participation of Paramount’s Famous Players-Lasky Corp. (see entry). As reported in the 26 Mar 1926 FD, Paramount had agreed to produce Cooper and Schoedsack’s sophomore film, then referred to as Hazards of the Jungle, for the studio’s upcoming 1926-1927 release season, as noted in an advertisement in the 14 Apr 1926 FD. The Paramount Story (1985) by John Douglas Eames, listed the picture’s costs as $70,000.
       According to the 6 May 1926 FD, filming was currently underway near Bangkok, Thailand, then known as Siam. Merian C. Cooper was expected to return to NY in Nov 1926. Modern sources noted the exact location as the village of Nan.
       Filmmakers used an all metal “Debrie” camera for the eighteen-month shoot in Thailand, according to an advertisement from a “Debrie” camera dealer in the 15 May 1927 FD. The May 1927 Amateur Movie ... More Less

Onscreen credits include the following statements: “Produced in the jungles of Northern Siam,” and, “The Cast: Natives of the wild: who have never seen a motion picture; Wild Beasts: who have never had to fear a modern rifle; The Jungle.” A preface reads: “Before the most ancient civilization arose, before the first city in the world was built, before man trod the earth – then, as now, there stretched across vast spaces of farther Asia a great green threatening mass of vegetation…the Jungle…”
       Chang was the second collaboration between filmmakers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, who produced the 1925 documentary Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, based on Iran’s Bakhtiari Tribe and filmed in the Middle East, with the participation of Paramount’s Famous Players-Lasky Corp. (see entry). As reported in the 26 Mar 1926 FD, Paramount had agreed to produce Cooper and Schoedsack’s sophomore film, then referred to as Hazards of the Jungle, for the studio’s upcoming 1926-1927 release season, as noted in an advertisement in the 14 Apr 1926 FD. The Paramount Story (1985) by John Douglas Eames, listed the picture’s costs as $70,000.
       According to the 6 May 1926 FD, filming was currently underway near Bangkok, Thailand, then known as Siam. Merian C. Cooper was expected to return to NY in Nov 1926. Modern sources noted the exact location as the village of Nan.
       Filmmakers used an all metal “Debrie” camera for the eighteen-month shoot in Thailand, according to an advertisement from a “Debrie” camera dealer in the 15 May 1927 FD. The May 1927 Amateur Movie Makers indicated that a total of twenty-one months was required to complete the picture, including cutting and titling.
       Nearly a year later, the 5 Apr 1927 FD announced that Chang would open in New York City on 29 Apr 1927 at the Rivoli Theatre, using Paramount’s new “Magnascope,” as reported in the 13 Apr 1927 FD. The presentation process, which consisted of outfitting theaters with an enlarged screen and a wide-angle lens attachment for projectors, was first utilized for the premiere of Old Ironsides in Dec 1926 (see entry).
       Chang ran at the Rivoli for nine weeks and was seen by more than 301,000 people before the end of its exhibition on 1 Jul 1927, as stated in the 20 Jul 1927 FD. A report in the 17 Jun 1927 FD listed a 3 Sep 1927 release date, but Chang was already playing in many cities at that time, including Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Boston, MA; and Los Angeles, CA. The 3 and 10 Aug 1927 Var reported record-breaking ticket sales totaling $27,600 at the California Theatre in San Francisco, CA.
       Audiences and critics praised Chang. The 4 May 1927 Var review deemed it “a remarkable moving picture,” noting, as many other reviews, the exciting jungle sequences involving a wild elephant stampede. Var stated that Chang was “the first animal picture [to have] a scenario,” which called into question whether or not contemporary audiences viewed the picture as a “documentary” film. Cooper and Schoedsack admitted “staging” several sequences, and using editing techniques to create a more exciting, if less realistic, presentation. In the Jul 1927 Amateur Movie Makers Cooper stated: “We didn’t sit down in the jungle and shoot everything that we saw. [ Chang ] is as carefully constructed as anything made in a studio…We didn’t create customs, but we chose what we wanted for the drama.”
       On 19 Oct 1927, FD announced that a print of Chang was given to the British Museum, which was expected to be sealed for fifty years and shown again in 1977.
       As part of the first Academy Awards held in 1929, Chang received a certificate of honorable mention as a "Unique and Artistic Picture." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Amateur Movie Makers
May 1927
p. 37.
Amateur Movie Makers
Jul 1927
pp. 7-8.
Film Daily
26 Mar 1926
p. 1, 6.
Film Daily
14 Apr 1926
p. 8.
Film Daily
17 Apr 1926
p. 8.
Film Daily
6 May 1926
p. 2.
Film Daily
5 Apr 1927
p. 2.
Film Daily
7 Apr 1927
p. 2.
Film Daily
13 Apr 1927
p. 2.
Film Daily
17 Apr 1927
p. 8.
Film Daily
15 May 1927
p. 7.
Film Daily
17 Jun 1927
p. 1, 4.
Film Daily
23 Jun 1927
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Jul 1927
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Oct 1927
p. 8.
Film Daily
7 Feb 1930
p. 8.
Motion Picture News
17 Apr 1926
p. 1799, 1801.
Motion Picture News
13 May 1927
p. 1852.
New York Times
30 Apr 1927
p. 25.
Photoplay
Jun 1927
p. 20.
Variety
4 May 1927
p. 20.
Variety
3 Aug 1927
p. 6.
Variety
10 Aug 1927
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Adolph Zukor & Jesse L. Lasky present
A Cooper-Schoedsack production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hazards of the Jungle
Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Release Date:
29 April 1927
Premiere Information:
New York opening at the Rivoli Theatre: 29 April 1927
Production Date:
1924--1926
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Famous Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
2 September 1927
Copyright Number:
LP24344
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,536
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

On the jungle frontier of Siam lives Kru, with his family--his pet goat, a gibbon, and a water buffalo among others--laboring to plant and harvest the rice crop, while menaced on all sides by the jungle beasts. A leopard attacks his goat, and a tiger kills his water buffalo; Kru assembles neighboring warriors in an expedition against their predatory enemies, culminating in the kill of a giant tiger. Then Kru is plagued by the invasion of the dreaded Chang (the Siamese term for elephant), who destroy his little hut and the neighboring village. Kru organizes a massive hunt, and after the elephant herd is tracked down, the animals are driven into a corral and gradually domesticated for heavy labor. Kru, once more contented, returns to rebuild his house, though life still remains ... +


On the jungle frontier of Siam lives Kru, with his family--his pet goat, a gibbon, and a water buffalo among others--laboring to plant and harvest the rice crop, while menaced on all sides by the jungle beasts. A leopard attacks his goat, and a tiger kills his water buffalo; Kru assembles neighboring warriors in an expedition against their predatory enemies, culminating in the kill of a giant tiger. Then Kru is plagued by the invasion of the dreaded Chang (the Siamese term for elephant), who destroy his little hut and the neighboring village. Kru organizes a massive hunt, and after the elephant herd is tracked down, the animals are driven into a corral and gradually domesticated for heavy labor. Kru, once more contented, returns to rebuild his house, though life still remains hazardous. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.