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Bees Saal Baad 1962
The first genuine murder mystery bordering horror made in Bollywood by a debutante director Biren Nag, Bees Saal Baad was basically of the suspense or psychological thriller genre. It was produced by the famous singer and music director Hemant Kumar, who has also sung some fantastic songs in the movie. Bees Saal Baad had launched the career of actor Biswajeet in Hindi movies. The male cast is shown well dressed to the extent that the normally obese looking Asit Sen too looks dapper as the detective. It was adapted and reinterpreted in the Indian context from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel of Sherlock Holmes “Hounds of Baskervilles”. It tried and recreated similar settings as in the novel, a family palatial mansion, an eerie setting, a background story, a misty swamp and a story of revenge and of course love. All the characters are shown suspicious looking, right from the Doctor, ....
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Ganga Jumna 1961
Hindi cinema had a love affair with dacoit stories beginning from Mother India, Ganga Jumna and through ‘60s thru to Sholay. Many great movies were made on the life and times of dacoits, roaming the Chambal ravines and other places in the Hindi heartland of India, even to the extent of glorifying them. Movies like ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’ and ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’ also stand out in the crowd. Ganga Jumna was also of the same genre but the difference was that no cinematic liberties were taken while narrating the tale on screen and a village pastoral style and substance was adhered to. It had genuine dialogues in chaste Awadhi/Bhojpuri dialect which the star of the era Dilip Kumar delivered with absolute ease, thus putting him into a different league of actors and is not called a thespian for nothing. This movie belongs to Yusuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar, he gave a spirited perfo ....
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Kismet 1943
This was the first blockbuster hit in the thirty year young Hindi Film Cinema at that time that Ashok Kumar's Kismet first to cross the threshold of Rupees One Crore an unheard of figure for film collection in that era. A record that was broken by Raj Kapoor’s ‘Barsaat’ a few years down the line. If one adjusts that for inflation and take gold as the standard for inflation then that amount would work out to a whooping Rs.1000 crores today (gold rate was Rs.51 per 10 grams in 1943 vs today’s rate of 51k per 10 grams). Kismet was also the first movie to show the hero with negative attributes like continuous smoking, drinking, gambling and of course robbery. The issue of unwed mother was also touched upon, despite these factors which had a shock value in a pre-independence conservative India, the movie still did roaring business and ran for over three years in a single talkies in ....
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Chori Chori 1956
A fun film from the AVM stables. Chori Chori was the last movie pairing Raj Kapoor and Nargis together ending an era of on and off screen romance between the two. It was adapted from the famous Hollywood movie with Clark Gable, Frank Capra’s ‘It Happened One Night’. Some fantastic music of that era was provided by the duo of Shankar Jaikishan who received the Filmfare award for the music rendered for the movie of romantic musical genre. Directed by Anant Thakur for AVM studios. Though Chori Chori was their last movie together but the on screen chemistry between Nargis and Raj Kapoor was still crackling. Apart from the lead the supporting star cast were also known faces of the Film Industry of that time including Pran, David, Johnny Walker and the duo of Gope and Bhagwandada (remember ‘Naam bade aur Darshan Chote’). The movie was in black and white but two of its songs were s ....
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Such comedies can only be pulled off by Kishore Kumar, the genius. What strikes you about him in the early movies, and particularly in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, is his busy energy. Not only do his songs which he sang for other actors haunt us to this day but the movies he directed, produced, wrote and acted in were not all comedies but some socials too with a message. When we mention Kishore Kumar what comes to mind is the maverick comedian, doing as he pleases but still able to raise the laughs, it wasn’t only what he did but his persona was such that even a silly thing would evoke laughter. Same is the case with this movie which seems to have been made with a mind that it may flop but the reverse happened and it went on to be a hit and he nominated the rights of the movie to his secretary to avoid Income Tax issues. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi is one of the few movies to star all the thre ....
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Pyaasa 1957
The genius called Guru Dutt who created Pyaasa, was lost to the Indian film Industry at a young age when he committed suicide but not before he had a fabulous body of work to boast about, whatever may have been his reasons but there is no doubt about his craftsmanship not only in direction but also acting, which he took up upon himself when directing one of the movie his hero did not turn up. The ‘50s and the early ‘60s was his time and Guru Dutt gave many hits not only as a director but also as an actor. Due to the tragedy of his death he is seen more related to his depressing tales of unfulfilled desires in both Pyaasa and Kagaz ke Phool. Pyaasa was close to Dutt’s heart and one of the few movies which he directed, produced and acted in. It is considered a classic and was well received by the audience too. There is a bit of a background to the movie Pyaasa, as his team want ....
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Mughal e Azam 1960
When cinema falls in love with history a Magnum Opus like Mughal-e-Azam is produced. Though a tale from an unverified chapter of history, it is known for its opulence and huge sets and big budget. It was truly K. Asif’s work of passion that bought it from the brink of shelving as it took a long time to make. It was started in late ‘40s with a totally different star cast and did not work out as partition took place at the time and many people linked with the film either migrated to Pakistan or died in the process. Mughale-e-Azam was finally green lighted by the famous businessman Shaporji Pallonji, with no cost was spared to bring the story to life on the celluloid. Made with an unheard of budget of Rupees 1.5 Crore at that time, it went on to become a superhit garnering more than seven times over. Though most of the film was shot in Black and white at the time of its release on 5t ....
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Manthan 1976
A masterpiece from a master craftsman, Shyam Benegal's Manthan is based on the life and times of the Milkman of India Verghese Kurien who brought about the White Revolution, the man responsible for the Amul story and co-operative milk farming in India on mass scale. After the Green Revolution in the sector of farm produce which made India self-sufficient in food grains, this was the next important revolution towards self-sufficiency in milk production a day-to-day need, we can thank his efforts for our daily milk which is the first thing that we require and we get it like clockwork, round the year. It shows the coming together of people in a co-operative way. Manthan is not the story of one person but the millions of heroes who joined this revolution, painted beautifully on the celluloid by Benegal. The white revolution’s concept goes way back to pre-partition India when small milk ....
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Garm Hava 1974
One of the most authentic movie on partition and immediate fallout in post partition India, Garm Hava delves into the lives of the minorities who chose to stay back or one’s who migrated overnight without even informing their nearest ones. The struggle and the atmosphere of suspicion and communal strife prevalent at the time is beautifully captured in the film through the eyes and story of a patriarch of a minority family doing business in the North Indian city of Agra. North India and Uttar Pradesh and surrounding areas in particular were the hub of this dilemma the families faced, to migrate or not. Though depressing in parts the movie ends with a hope for all as the focus changes from the problems of the partition to the problems of survival and earning in the young nation, which has just woken up to the realities of what freedom brings with it, it is time to think ahead and buil ....
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Seeta aur Geeta 1972
Before she did Sholay and put life into Basanti's character in that film, Hema Malini did title role of Seeta aur Geeta, which is also a G.P. Sippy Production's film which was like a precursor to her Basanti. This was a female version of Dilip Kumar’s Ram aur Shyam but had better entertainment value. Seeta Aur Geeta was tale of identical twin sisters separated at birth bought up in different ways which has a bearing on their personality and traits. It also has a later day version with Sridevi named ‘Chaalbaaz’. This was probably one of the movies’ where Hema Malini really let down her hair and played both demure and inconfident Sita and an abuse spitting boisterous Geeta with aplomb so much so that the heroes in the movie are relegated to being the necessary evil for the sake of casting. This movie laid the basis of casting for Sholay as G.P. Sippy wanted to do an action movie ....
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