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When first released, this film excited everyone who saw it. Although it has not aged well, there is still a great deal of merit to the story, the style and the stars, and any young person cannot fail to love it. Basically simple, ELEPHANT BOY tells the story of Sabu, a young man from a
family of four generations of mahouts (elephant handlers). His father is killed, and the elephant he rode is given to another driver over Sabu's pleadings. The new driver is a mean type who doesn't like the elephant and proceeds to treat him harshly. His behavior is rewarded by a response on the
elephant's part that results in a few broken bones. A death sentence is pronounced on the pachyderm (which is thought to have become a rogue), and Sabu steals him late one night. The elephant and Sabu live happily in the jungle (not unlike THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN's Redford and Rising Star in the
Nevada desert) until Sabu discovers a herd of wild elephants that has been the object of an extensive search by the British authorities. Some action, some laughs, a lot of heart. Sabu had actually been a stable worker in the home of a wealthy Indian. Born in Mysore, he was discovered by
documentarian Flaherty and cast in this film. He played in several of this type of movies before his untimely death of a heart attack in 1963. He had not yet turned 40, and still looked to be in his 20s.