The Jungle Book (1942)

by Tarzan Titus

When we think of the classic, "The Jungle Book", immediately the Disney animated hit comes to mind.  A lot of dancing, talking animals that make us laugh. 

However the Jungle Book was originally a collection of stories by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling, published in magazines in 1893 - 1894. 

The first feature length American film version was released in 1942, directed by Zoltan Korda.  The film was nominated for four Academy Awards.

An old Indian man starts off the movie by telling the famous tale of Mowgli, a boy who grew up in the jungle and would never be able to adapt to the greedy, selfish ways of man again.

While a group of humans are setting up a village in the jungle, a small little boy wanders off by himself and is lost in the jungle. There, a pack of wolves raise him.

In the jungle he has many friends, but there is one enemy: Shere Khan, the killer tiger. In fact, one day the tiger chases Mowgli the boy, who is now a teenager, back to where now stands the village his people had long set up.

He is not received well however, but Mowgli's mother takes him in under protest of a few of the people who believe Mowgli brings bad luck.  He would never be trusted. 

Meanwhile Mowgli learns of the ways of the humans.  He learns of a "tooth", which is what everybody else calls a knife.  All his life he has only had one obsession:  To kill his enemy, the killer tiger Shere Khan.  Once he has bought his own "tooth", he will go back to the jungle and make short work of Shere Khan.   

Things take a turn for the worst however when three men learn that Mowgli may know where an abandoned city with abandoned treasures is located in the jungle. When Mowgli refuses to take them there, they accuse him of being a witch and threaten to burn him.

After a lot of drama and action, Mowgli learns that he doesn't belong with the "manpack" anymore, or ever did.

To add the last surprize to the movie, the old Indian man who started telling the story in the beginning, reveals through what he says that he is Mowgli. 

A very nice movie if you can appreciate works from a time films had no help from computers and today's technology.