×

Jungle Book

On the same grand scale of pictorial elaborateness which characterized Thief of Bagdad, Alexander Korda brings again to the screen the diminutive East Indian player, Sabu, in a film version of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.

With:
Sabu Joseph Calleia John Qualen Frank Puglia Rosemary DeCamp Patricia O'Rourke

On the same grand scale of pictorial elaborateness which characterized Thief of Bagdad, Alexander Korda brings again to the screen the diminutive East Indian player, Sabu, in a film version of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

Kipling’s character, Mowgli, who strayed into the jungle as a child and was brought up by a she-wolf, is most likely to be confused by filmgoers with Tarzan. Laurence Stallings wrote the screenplay and the human-interest elements are slighted. Mowgli’s return to the native village as a grown-up youth and his subsequent adventures in civilization are handled in neither a humorous nor dramatic manner. The saga of the boy who could converse with animals is related very seriously, whereas the theme might have been better entertainment if treated in a lighter vein.

As directed by Zoltan Korda, the fiction takes secondary place to the highly interesting and sometimes amazing views of jungle animals in the brilliance of colored photography. Some of the vistas, designed by Vincent Korda, give the illusion of deep forest depths, of dank underbrush and forbidden nooks.

Popular on Variety

Some sign language between the animals and Mowgli might adequately have conveyed all the necessary dramatic values of their intimacy. When Sabu carries on a whispered conversation with his cobras, pythons and some of the wild beasts, it is a little silly.

Korda has neglected any but a slight development of the human equation. Players therefore have unimportant assignments, with the exception of Sabu, who swims and swings his way through the jungle with ease and grace.

1942: Nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture, Special Effects

Jungle Book

Production: Korda. Director Zoltan Korda; Producer Alexander Korda; Screenplay Laurence Stallings; Camera Lee Garmes, W. Howard Greene; Editor William Hornbeck; Music Miklos Rozsa; Art Director Vincent Korda

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 108 MIN.

With: Sabu Joseph Calleia John Qualen Frank Puglia Rosemary DeCamp Patricia O'Rourke

More Film

  • Hillary Clinton - Sundance

    Hillary Clinton Gets Candid About Feminism, Beyonce and 'Little Women' (EXCLUSIVE)

    One of the breakout projects at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is “Hillary,” a four-hour docu-series about Hillary Clinton. The former first lady, Secretary of State and first woman presidential nominee from a major political party sat down for 35 hours of interviews with director Nanette Burstein, who also poured through exclusive footage from the [...]

  • Steven Garza appears in Boys State

    Apple and A24 Partner to Buy Documentary 'Boys State' Out of Sundance

    Apple and A24 have partnered to buy the Sundance documentary “Boys State,” Variety has confirmed. The sale, for $10 million, represents one of the biggest pacts ever for a non-fiction film. “Boys State,” a political coming-of-age story, follows annual rite of passage in which a thousand teenage boys from across Texas come together to build [...]

  • Sandy Powell Costume Design The Irishman

    Mayes C. Rubeo, Sandy Powell Lead Below-the-Line Surge in Women Oscar Noms

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was quick to point out on Jan. 13 as the Oscar nominations were announced, that “A record 62 women were nominated, almost one-third of this year’s nominees.” Twenty of those below-the-line nominations were for women and minorities, including Sandy Powell, who secured her 15th nomination for “The [...]

  • Saoirse Ronan Awards Season Fashion

    Saoirse Ronan's Stylist Elizabeth Saltzman Creates 'Strong, Feminine Woman'

    Elizabeth Saltzman wanted Saoirse Ronan’s “Little Women” press tour looks to reflect her character: “A strong, feminine woman with a little masculinity mixed in.” In designing a Golden Globes dress, Saltzman spoke about Ronan with the Celine team. “We talked about Saoirse being effortless, sensual and cool — and not trying too hard,” she says. [...]

  • 1917 Movie

    George MacKay Talks '1917' and Filming in the Trenches

    George MacKay delivers a star-making performance in “1917.” After making his film debut at age 10 in the 2003 live-action “Peter Pan,” he played occasional film and TV roles and realized at age 19 “acting is what I wanted to do.” Since then, he’s appeared in an earlier WWI saga, “Private Peaceful,” and played Viggo [...]

  • Palm Springs Sundance

    Neon, Hulu Chasing Worldwide Rights Deal on Andy Samberg's 'Palm Springs'

    Tom Quinn’s Neon and streamer Hulu are looking to partner on a multi-million dollar, worldwide rights deal for Andy Samberg’s Sundance comedy “Palm Springs,” sources told Variety. Neon would take the film out theatrically while Hulu would retain rights for streaming customers around the world, said the insiders familiar with talks. One report valued the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content