Movie Mirrors Index

Jungle Book

(1942 c 106')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Based on Rudyard Kipling's novel, a boy grows up in a jungle and then returns to the village and discovers a lost treasure that men fight over.

In India old Buldeo (Joseph Calleia) tells a tourist of the jungle, and animals are seen. Long before, he says, a baby wanders into the jungle, and a tiger kills his father. The baby joins wolf cubs in a cave. Twelve years later the boy (Sabu) flees the tiger and sees people in a village. He is burned by fire and runs from men but is caught. His mother Messua (Rosemary DeCamp) offers to take him, though Buldeo calls him evil. She names him Mowgli and teaches him words. She gives Mowgli money to buy a knife. He talks with Mahala (Patricia O'Rourke), and her father Buldeo threatens to shoot him but sells him a knife so he'll go back to the jungle. At night Mowgli takes Mahala with him. He shows his knife to an elephant and a panther. Mowgli and Mahala explore an abandoned palace. A cobra guards treasure and tells them it is death. Mahala takes a gold coin and tells her father about it. Buldeo drops the coin and tells the barber (John Qualen) and the pundit (Frank Puglia).

Elephants warn Mowgli of the tiger. Mowgli goes in the village and closes the gate, and with his knife he goes after the tiger. A big snake helps Mowgli, who provokes the tiger and kills him in the river. Buldeo with a rifle orders Mowgli to take him to the treasure, but a panther pounces on Buldeo, who bows before Mowgli along with the barber and the pundit. Buldeo says that Mowgli turned into a panther. Mowgli returns with the tiger hide and his herd. Buldeo whips Mowgli and asks his secret, but Mowgli escapes to the jungle. Buldeo, the barber, and the pundit shoot the cobra and find a pile of gold coins. They quarrel over a large ruby until Buldeo gives it to the barber. They see a panther and hear Mowgli tell them to get out. At night Mowgli sees the pundit kill the barber. Buldeo and the pundit fight, and the pundit is taken by a crocodile. Buldeo runs from the panther and says he will burn the jungle. Mowgli rides an elephant. Buldeo gets fire from the village. Mahala tells Mowgli his mother will be burned as a witch, but Mowgli frees her. As the jungle burns, Mowgli leads elephants in the river. After the fire goes out, Mowgli tells his mother and Mahala he is returning to the jungle. In the final scene Buldeo tells the tourist that is how he became a maharajah.

This colorful adventure fantasy contrasts the natural law of the jungle to human greed for wealth as the nature boy proves superior to the quarrelsome men.

Copyright © 2004 by Sanderson Beck

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