Kru and his family live in the Siames jungle, actually further into the
jungle thanmost others. They spend their days growing rice and defending
their lifestock from the likes of leopards and tigers - and so far
successfully, too. Then though, an elephant (or Chang, as the
natives call the elephants) destroys Kru's crops, and Kru asks the people
from the village he once lived in to help him capture the elephant. They
build a trap and the very next day they have captured a baby elephant.
Kru claims the baby elephant for himself, since it was elephants who
have destroyed his crops - but that would turn out to be a fatal mistake
when that night mama elephant comes to her baby's rescue and destroys
Kru's house, with Kru and his family being able to rescue themselves only
in the very last minute.
Kru and family take to the village to warn the villagers of an elephant
herde - but they are ridiculed, until minutes later, elephants arrive on
the scene and flatten the whole village ...
The villagers decide to retaliate and build a krall - a big cage that
even withholds the strength of a herde of maddened elephants - and drive
the herde into the krall to capture it. Soon, with the help of fire, the
elephants are captured, and soon they are broken and tamed ... and in the
end we see Kru building himself a new home, with the help of his tamed
Chang, a Drama of the Wilderness is a very early example of
docu-drama (decades before that dreadful word was actually invented), meaning it is a documentary to some extent and stars authentic
Siamese natives from the jungle as themselves, but the actual story is
scripted and many scenes are clearly staged. The outcome is an impressive
looking jungle adventure/drama with production values - like the authentic
sets, authentic jungle animals in droves, a real-life elephant stampede -
big-time Hollywood production companies of the time (and even of nowadays)
could only dream of ... if only because they don't usually go to the
Siamese jungle to shoot (which back in 1927 of course was a much bigger
deal than nowadays). Recommended.