A to Z of Films Meme (J)

Back to this meme after an invig­o­rat­ing week­end!

J

The Jungle BookJungleBook

Walt Dis­ney died dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of The Jun­gle Book. If this movie had not done well at the box office, the Dis­ney ani­ma­tion stu­dio would like­ly have been closed down, and we would have seen few­er ani­ma­tion films in our life­time if that had hap­pened.

The Jun­gle Book was not rev­o­lu­tion­ary in any way. Nei­ther was it a land­mark of any kind. Yet, it is one of Disney’s most mem­o­rable films. Uni­ver­sal­ly acces­si­ble to peo­ple of all ages and geo­gra­phies. Won­der­ful music, great sto­ry-telling. Dis­ney also showed that ani­ma­tion films with a sto­ry based in a jun­gle of India can also be suc­cess­ful at the Amer­i­can box-office.

The nar­ra­tion and dia­logue is intel­li­gent. There are three vil­lains – the king of the mon­keys who wants to be like Mowgli, the tiger who wants to kill him, and the snake who wants to eat him. The film has a large cast and none of the ani­mals are char­ac­ter­ized in a super­fi­cial or mono­chro­mat­ic way. The char­ac­ter­i­za­tion has depth and has shades of gray that endears them.

What makes this film spe­cial is that if any kid grows up with­out know­ing about Mowgli and his friends, we’ll feel he’s lost a part of child­hood that should nev­er be lost.

Runner Up

JudgmentAtNurembergJudgment at Nuremberg

Judg­ment at Nurem­berg is an adap­ta­tion of a true sto­ry about the post-war tri­al of those who served as judges dur­ing the Nazi regime. This seri­ous court­room dra­ma tack­les impor­tant philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions of blame and respon­si­bil­i­ty regard­ing Nazi crimes. Were these judges just doing their jobs in the socio-polit­i­cal cli­mate of their time? If they were guilty of crimes against human­i­ty, what about ordi­nary Ger­man cit­i­zens?

The var­i­ous details of the day-to-day life of the judges dur­ing the Nazi regime reveal how Ger­many, a civ­i­lized coun­try, lost its soul to Adolf Hitler.

Judg­ment at Nurem­berg is most mem­o­rable for the stun­ning per­for­mances of Schell as the defense coun­sel and Spencer Tra­cy as the hon­or­able, intel­li­gent, warm and objec­tive judge. Tracy’s 11-minute speech at the end is said to have been done in a sin­gle take!

Noteworthy Mentions

Jaws, the thriller that launched the career of Steven Spiel­berg, one of the most impor­tant film-mak­ers of our times. Jaws also showed that char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, dia­logue, and sus­pense make a bet­ter thriller than spe­cial effects alone.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Just Let It Go, Friends) an Indi­an cult com­e­dy, always enjoy­able in repeat view­ings. The cli­max, in which the movie plot becomes entwined with a stage pro­duc­tion of The Mahab­hara­ta, is unfor­get­table.

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  • i love jun­gle book too. except that it wasn’t a lion try­ing to kill him, it was a tiger — sher khan. George Sanders does such a great job with voic­ing him. the suave men­ace comes through so well.

    bhageera and bhaalu — what char­ac­ters — the last bit where bhaalu plays pos­sum is pos­si­bly one of my favourite scenes in films. And, of course, the bare neces­si­ties of life.

    Ray’s Jal­sagar is also a great film !

    i am so glad not to see Jab love huva or Juras­sic Park on this list 🙂

  • Only seen Jun­gle Book. Loved it! I enjoyed the music too.

  • Anand

    I sim­ply couldn’t think of any­thing to com­ment on your (I) post and then I read about Jun­gle Book and it remind­ed me of ‘Ice Age’ 🙂

    So many peo­ple have so many mem­o­ries linked to a sim­ple sto­ry called Jun­gle Book. The movie is amaz­ing of course. I remem­ber when we were kids, a soft drink called Gold Spot had jun­gle book char­ac­ters in the bot­tle caps. The adapt­ed TV show in India had a nice open­ing song ‘chad­di pehenke phool khi­la hai…’

    Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is an absolute cult clas­sic. I knew you would list it here.

    I also liked Jew­el Thief. The plot is well devel­oped. ‘Raat Ake­li Hai…’ filmed on Tanu­ja and sung of course by Asha, to me is one of the sex­i­est bol­ly­wood songs.

    I have seen lot of his­to­ry chan­nel doc­u­men­taries on Judg­ment at Nurem­berg, but haven’t seen the movie itself. Have to see it now. Read­ing about this movie also remind­ed me of JFK and Kevin Costner’s appeal towards the end of the movie.

  • oth­er than judge­ment saw all the oth­ers and loved them
    all cult clas­sics … won­der­ful pics

    Infact i was bare­ly a teen when i saw jaws and it did have a pro­found impact on my dreams … night­mares

  • Dev

    Judg­ment at Nu… is one of my most favorite films too..Spencer Tra­cy was real­ly real­ly so good in it. The film might not look that great to some peo­ple of this gen­er­a­tion, but if you watch it in the con­text of when it was made and all, you can­not help but be bowled over by it..
    Jaws had a sim­ple sto­ry­line, but done so well by Spiel­berg..
    Jaane bhi do yaaron was the best dark com­e­dy of Indi­an Cin­e­ma..

  • JB, all-time favorite. I had seen Judg­ment at Nurem­berg long ago — both orig. & Eng­lish, but it didn’t stick with me all that much.

    Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, I saw it very late — and by then it was so hyped, it lost its charm 🙁

    As Hari­ni said, Jalasagar — that one real­ly touched my heart.

    Also Jana Aranya — which brings me to our con­ver­sa­tion a few post ago (12 Angry Men) about the cam­era tech­nique tran­scend­ing to the nar­ra­tion as an alle­go­ry?

    So if I remem­ber right, Som­nath has to cross a cer­tain (rail­way?) cross­ing with the usu­al drainpipes/muck reg­u­lar­ly to get to a cer­tain place. And every­time he does it, we see his back, and it’s a long/distant shot. But there’s a point in the movie where he final­ly has to com­pro­mise his prin­ci­ples — and that’s the one time he’s shown jump­ing over the same muck/drain pipe, but it’s a close-up shot, and he faces us. I had seen it a few years ago; I prob­a­bly need to see it again for an accu­rate descrip­tion.

    Damn, long com­ment again.

  • what about Jait Re Jait ?

    sor­ry im keep­ing u busy with so many com­ments
    but to me u are a film geek so i real­ly cant help it.