Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book (1942)

108 or 115 mins | Drama, Adventure | 3 April 1942

Director:

Zoltan Korda

Producer:

Alexander Korda

Cinematographers:

Lee Garmes, W. Howard Greene

Production Designers:

Jack Okey, J. McMillan Johnson

Production Company:

Alexander Korda Films, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although most sources refer to the film as Jungle Book or The Jungle Book , the title appears onscreen as Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book . According to a 1938 HR news item, producer Alexander Korda bought the rights to Kipling’s book and planned to shoot the film in 1939. In Nov 1941, PM’s Weekly reported that Korda had been shooting the film for over a year and that director Zoltan Korda had hired four lead animal trainers and one assistant director devoted entirely to overseeing the animals’ behavior. A Feb 1942 Look article describes how the film was shot in forty acres of man-made jungle, using tame animals in close-ups and wild animals in long takes. All of chimpanzees except the lead, Jiggs, were imported from the jungles of India for the production. According to a Mar 1942 NYT piece, Korda built his “jungle” from scratch, importing vines, bamboo, elephant grass, taro plants and more and collecting over 300 animals from local zoos and farms. The article also reports that, despite the 150 animal handlers hired, the shots of the panthers were limited to thirty seconds each to avoid danger. In Apr 1942, after the production wrapped, music director Miklos Rozsa recounted in a Film Music Notes article that he had studied Indian music in order to provide each human and animal character with his own musical theme. Modern sources state that Jungle Book was shot at Lake Sherwood, CA.
       Jungle Book received Academy Award nominations in the following categories: Art Direction (Color) for Vincent Korda, Art direction (Interior ... More Less

Although most sources refer to the film as Jungle Book or The Jungle Book , the title appears onscreen as Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book . According to a 1938 HR news item, producer Alexander Korda bought the rights to Kipling’s book and planned to shoot the film in 1939. In Nov 1941, PM’s Weekly reported that Korda had been shooting the film for over a year and that director Zoltan Korda had hired four lead animal trainers and one assistant director devoted entirely to overseeing the animals’ behavior. A Feb 1942 Look article describes how the film was shot in forty acres of man-made jungle, using tame animals in close-ups and wild animals in long takes. All of chimpanzees except the lead, Jiggs, were imported from the jungles of India for the production. According to a Mar 1942 NYT piece, Korda built his “jungle” from scratch, importing vines, bamboo, elephant grass, taro plants and more and collecting over 300 animals from local zoos and farms. The article also reports that, despite the 150 animal handlers hired, the shots of the panthers were limited to thirty seconds each to avoid danger. In Apr 1942, after the production wrapped, music director Miklos Rozsa recounted in a Film Music Notes article that he had studied Indian music in order to provide each human and animal character with his own musical theme. Modern sources state that Jungle Book was shot at Lake Sherwood, CA.
       Jungle Book received Academy Award nominations in the following categories: Art Direction (Color) for Vincent Korda, Art direction (Interior Decoration) for Julia Heron; Cinematography (Color) for W. Howard Greene; Music (Dramatic or comedy picture) for Miklos Rozsa; Music (Song) for Terry Gilkyson ("The Bare Necessities") and Special effects for Lawrence Butler, photographic effects, and William H. Wilmarth, Sound effects. The picture marked the final collaboration of British brothers Zoltan, Vincent and Alexander Korda. According to a Sep 1967 FD news item, Comet Films Distributors re-released the film that year. For more information about the Indian star Sabu, who plays “Mowgli,” please consult the record for the 1937 Zoltan Korda film Elephant Boy (see above). Many film and television versions of Rudyard Kipling’s book have been produced, including a 1967 Disney animated picture titled The Jungle Book (see above), and a 1994 live-action film called The Jungle Book , directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Jason Scott Lee. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Mar 1942.
---
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1942
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Mar 1942
p. 6.
Film Daily
13 Sep 1967.
---
Film Music Notes
Apr, 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1938.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 1942
p. 3.
Look
24 Feb 1942.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Mar 1942
p. 573.
New York Times
8 Mar 1942
p. 14.
New York Times
6 Apr 1942
p. 19.
P. M.'s Weekly
16 Nov 1941
pp. 37-39.
Variety
25 Mar 1942
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Zoltan Korda Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Asst to the prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des in color by
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Supv film ed
SET DECORATOR
Interiors dir
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (New York, 1920).
MUSIC
"Hindustani Melodies" by Miklos Rozsa.
SONGS
"Jungle's Lullaby," words and music by Miklos Rozsa.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Jungle Book
Release Date:
3 April 1942
Production Date:
late 1940--late1941
Copyright Claimant:
Alexander Korda Film, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 April 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11215
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Stereophonic
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
108 or 115
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
7518
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In India, the daughter of the British magistrate pays a native storyteller to recite what he calls “the story of India:” Deep in the jungle, wildlife rules with an intricate hierarchy. There is Baloo the bear, who teaches jungle law; Bagheera, the wise panther; the wicked crocodile Mugger; and Shere Khan, a killer tiger whose stripes were whipped onto his hide by the jungle trees. There also exists an ongoing struggle between man and nature, village and jungle. One night, the people of a growing village work through the night, hoping to create a great city. Masu places his young son Natu away from the builders, and moments later the baby wanders off into the trees. When Masu runs after him, he is killed by Shere Khan, and the rest of the men are too frightened to enter the jungle. While Natu's mother Messua grieves, a family of wolves, headed by father Akeda and mother Raksha, take Natu in and treat him as one of their own cubs. Twelve years later, the boy, now called Mowgli, is as much a part of the jungle as the rest of the wildlife, with Shere Khan his only enemy. One day, as he is fleeing the tiger, whom he can easily outwit, Mowgli spots the “man-village” and sneaks in to get a closer look at the humans. He burns his hand on the unfamiliar fire, however, and begins barking, prompting the village men to surround him. Realizing that he is feral, the men want to release him, but Buldeo, a superstitious merchant, insists he has the evil eye. Messua, who does not realize he is her son, offers to rear him and ... +


In India, the daughter of the British magistrate pays a native storyteller to recite what he calls “the story of India:” Deep in the jungle, wildlife rules with an intricate hierarchy. There is Baloo the bear, who teaches jungle law; Bagheera, the wise panther; the wicked crocodile Mugger; and Shere Khan, a killer tiger whose stripes were whipped onto his hide by the jungle trees. There also exists an ongoing struggle between man and nature, village and jungle. One night, the people of a growing village work through the night, hoping to create a great city. Masu places his young son Natu away from the builders, and moments later the baby wanders off into the trees. When Masu runs after him, he is killed by Shere Khan, and the rest of the men are too frightened to enter the jungle. While Natu's mother Messua grieves, a family of wolves, headed by father Akeda and mother Raksha, take Natu in and treat him as one of their own cubs. Twelve years later, the boy, now called Mowgli, is as much a part of the jungle as the rest of the wildlife, with Shere Khan his only enemy. One day, as he is fleeing the tiger, whom he can easily outwit, Mowgli spots the “man-village” and sneaks in to get a closer look at the humans. He burns his hand on the unfamiliar fire, however, and begins barking, prompting the village men to surround him. Realizing that he is feral, the men want to release him, but Buldeo, a superstitious merchant, insists he has the evil eye. Messua, who does not realize he is her son, offers to rear him and leads him to the safety of her home, and Buldeo predicts that the curse of the beast will now rain down on them all. Over the next weeks, Messua teaches Mowgli to speak and instructs him in the ways of her people. When he declares that he wants a “man tooth” to keep him safe from the tiger, Messua sends him to Buldeo's store to buy a knife. There, Buldeo's daughter Mahala shows him a bear rug that her father killed, and Mowgli replies that he knew the bear, who was very old, and that hunters must be very cowardly. Buldeo hears and calls Mowgli an animal, but hoping he will return to the jungle, sells the boy a knife. Outside, Mahala sneaks off with Mowgli to hear the sounds of the jungle, and that night, they are welcomed into the jungle, where the wolf pack surrounds Mowgli joyously, and Hati the elephant warns him that Shere Khan is just returning from a long trip. Mowgli then leads Mahala to a lost empire deep in the jungle, where she falls into a treasure chamber full of precious jewels and gold. The python guarding the treasure terrifies Mahala, and although Mowgli recognizes that it has long lost its venom, he heeds its warning that the jewels hold more death than his fangs ever did. Mahala returns to her home with one piece of gold, which Buldeo finds the next morning. Realizing that only Mowgli can lead him to the lost city, he begins to court the boy, joined by the barber and the pundit, who also see the gold piece. Soon after, Mowgli learns that Shere Khan is near, and returns to the jungle in spite of Messua's pleas. He invokes the rule of the jungle, “we be of one blood, ye and I,” to gain advice from the wise python Kaa, who tells Mowgli to lead the tiger into the water. Mowgli then provokes Shere Khan until the tiger leaps into the river with him, and there stabs the beast while under water. Buldeo and his friends have tracked Mowgli to the river, and when Bagheera attacks them, Buldeo believes Mowgli can shape-shift and races home. When Mowgli proudly returns to the village with Shere Khan's hide, he learns that Buldeo has convinced them all that he is a witch, and he is captured and whipped in preparation for his burning. After Mowgli tells Messua that both the jungle and the man pack have cast him out, Buldeo and his cohorts watch as she slips Mowgli a knife to escape. Buldeo's group then trails him into the jungle, where Mowgli intentionally leads them to the lost city. They discover the treasure and load huge piles of gold into sacks, but hearing Mowgli's disembodied voice warning them to flee, they race into the trees and quickly become hopelessly lost. At night, the pundit kills the barber in order to steal the massive ruby sword he has taken from the treasure. Buldeo, who also wants the ruby, then pushes the pundit into the river and watches Mugger eat him. When Mowgli asks his animal friends to gather around Buldeo and frighten him, Buldeo loses his mind, convinced that Mowgli has transformed dozens of times. Although the elephants favor killing the merchant, Mowgli insists on returning him to his village, asserting that only humans kill for sport. Back at the village, Buldeo starts a fire and Mowgli instructs Mahala to lead the villagers to a jungle island where they will be safe. He then gathers the jungle animals into the same lake for protection, and all the creatures watch as the lost city burns to the ground. Messua begs Mowgli to return to the village with her, but he declares that he is of the jungle. Back in the present, the storyteller reveals that he is Buldeo, who never avenged himself. When the magistrate's daughter inquires how he escaped the fire, he replies that that is another story, for another day. +

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

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