This Korda brothers film is the quintessential version of Rudyard Kipling’s classic collection of fables. Sabu stars as Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves who can communicate with all the beasts of the jungle, friend or foe, and who gradually reacclimates to civilization with the help of his long lost mother and a beautiful village girl. Deftly integrating real animals into its fanciful narrative, Jungle Book is a shimmering Technicolor visual feast, and was nominated for four Oscars, including for cinematography, art direction, special effects, and music. –The Criterion Collection
The brother of producer/director Alexander Korda, Zoltan Korda achieved recognition in his own right as a director of action films, first in England and later in Hollywood. He was the second of three sons, born Zoltan Kellner in 1895 in Túrkeve, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The death of their father threw the Kellner family into personal and financial chaos, and Zoltan and his younger brother, Vincent (later a top art director), along with their mother, were forced to live in the home of their paternal grandfather, a cruel and ignorant man whose influence prevented either boy from realizing anything like his potential for years after. Meanwhile, older sibling Sandor Kellner, taking a new, less ethnic last name, established himself as a writer and journalist, and finally a filmmaker as Alexander Korda.
Zoltan served in the cavalry during the First World War, experience that he put to good use as a filmmaker in the decades that followed. He followed Alexander… read more
This is THE technicolor showcase. Excellent cinematography and another wonderful performance by Sabu the great. Watch it with Korda's other fantasy masterpiece, The Thief of Bagdad for the ultimate techicolor double feature. Here's to hoping for a criterion blu-ray release for each!
A propulsive survey of scores focusing on the thriller: procedurals, bank heists, neo-noirs, spy films, giallos, and sci-fi mind-games.