Aaj Aur Kal (1963)

This movie is a real treat despite its occasionally heavy-handed preaching (and at least it is preaching I can agree with!). First, it has lovely music by Ravi with lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi (including one of my first favorite Hindi film songs, the Rafi classic “Yeh Wadiyan Yeh Fizayen”); second, it has a young and *very sparkly* Tanuja; and third, it is set against an historic backdrop —the annexation of individual princely states by the new Indian government. It’s a film typical of star Sunil Dutt in its idealism and progressive message, and if Nanda is a little weepy for my taste in it she is balanced out by Tanuja. Ashok Kumar is the Maharajah their father, a strict and conservative man who is determined to keep his kingdom and privileged lifestyle intact.

Somehow the internet got the idea that Raaj Kumar is in it too, but he is nowhere to be seen although someone named Rajkumar appears in the lesser credits.

Balbir Singh (Dadamoni) is the king of Himmatpur—for now. He rules even his highly regimented household with an iron fist, including his four children: the eldest Hemalata (Nanda), Ashalata (Tanuja), and sons Pratap (probably Rohit? can anyone confirm?) and Rajendra (Deven Verma).

They are required to address their father as “Your Highness” like everybody else. Behind his back Ashalata shows a simmering rebellion:

but Balbir Singh is a man so intimidating even his large handsome Alsatian is cowed by a glance.

I must say one thing here about the Shameroo dvd: this is the “subtitle” for about half of the film’s run time.

The subtitler must have been either deaf—perhaps unable to hear much of what was said, this was his solution—or maybe he simply didn’t speak any English or much Hindi.

In any case it was not only supremely unhelpful and pointless, it also drove me insane.

In case I haven’t said it lately, I hate Indian dvd companies. They are probably singled-handedly the reason why Hindi cinema will never be widely watched by westerners; their products are simply too much of a flog for people accustomed to little things like quality control.

Anyway, Hemalata is wheelchair-bound due to an illness nobody has been able to diagnose, and she is—to say the least—a melancholic sort of girl.

Ironically, her misery makes her the only person in the palace unafraid of her father (nothing to lose!), but she obeys him anyway because she loves him.

There is a rabble-rousing socialist type living in Himmatpur named Randhir (Sudesh Kumar), who holds loud demonstrations against the monarchy outside the palace. This naturally raises Balbir Singh’s ire, which I bet would be even greater if also he knew that the chhoti Rajkumari sneaks out to meet Randhir, whom she loves.

Balbir Singh hires a new doctor whose reputation is renowned to cure Hemalata, who is—you guessed it!—still depressed.

Dr. Sanjay (Sunil Dutt) is not quite what the Maharaja expected: he is young, handsome, and not very impressed by tradition or palace protocol although Balbir Singh’s major-domo Ranvir Singh (?) instructs him in it thoroughly. Does anybody know this actor’s name? He is so familiar. I think I should know it but I can’t come up with it however hard I try. Maybe he is the Rajkumar of the credits? Help me!

Rajkumari Hemalata greets Sanjay sullenly. She is sick and tired of people trying to cure her.

Guess what I am sick and tired of?

Yup.

Sanjay is a new-fangled psychologist type who quickly figures out that Balbir Singh’s palace is NOT a happy place to live despite its beautiful furnishings and liveried servants. Asha, Pratap and Rajendra all feel very sorry for their badi bahen although of course they aren’t allowed to show her any compassion or love. They don’t have much faith in the new doctor either initially, until he tells them that he has gotten rid of her medicines and bland diet.

It doesn’t take Sanjay long to win over Hemalata herself either.

(I didn’t say it was immediate.)

Now Balbir Singh receives a fellow Maharajah who is in search of a suitable bride. Tanuja is so delightful in this film, so adept at comedy and with an Audrey Hepburn elfin charm…she is fabulous. I think Nanda had no trouble feigning amusement in this scene.

Ghanak Singh (Agha) is a royal buffoon, insensitive and weirdly fey with a put-upon Pekinese and servant (Dhumal). When he meets Hemalata and realizes that she isn’t able to walk, he tells the story of one of his racing mares—which he had put down when she injured a leg.

He manages to infuriate Balbir Singh, who struggles mightily to retain the courteous manners he prizes, much to the delight of mischievous Ashalata. We are also treated to a lively all-female qawwali, “Kehte Hai Jisko Ishq Tabiyat Ki Baat Hai.” It is awesome.

Tragedy strikes when Balbir Singh hosts a hunting party for his royal guest; Ghanak Singh panics and shoots a villager instead of the tiger they are stalking. Randhir comes to the palace seeking justice for the murdered man’s wife and child but is ordered out of the palace grounds by Balbir Singh. Randhir uses the opportunity to rile up his fellow townspeople and Balbir Singh orders his arrest.

Asha helps him escape that night from the clutches of the police.

The Maharajah is called away for a meeting with other individual monarchs in Delhi, and his children celebrate his departure with a hilarious song, “Raja Saheb Ghar Nahin.”

Hemalata no longer wants to die either, as Sanjay propels her around outside in the fresh air in her wheelchair and they slowly fall in love.

But we know the arrogant Balbir Singh well enough by now to know that he is not going to approve of a relationship between his eldest daughter and a lowly doctor, no matter how talented and handsome. Asha’s relationship with Randhir is completely out of the question, and none of his four children have shown any ability to defy him. In Delhi, Balbir Singh is adamant that the Indian government has no right to annex his kingdom in order to create a single government and state, and the stage is set for a showdown between those who believe all men are created equal and those who believe that some are more equal than others.

Will Sanjay cure Hema and get her to walk again? Will the royal children find an escape from their suffocating golden cage? Will Randhir be imprisoned for his socialist rabble-rousing beliefs? Can Balbir Singh change his ways?

And most important of all: will we ever discover the answer to this burning question?

Despite the horrible subtitles, I enjoyed this film very much. If one or two characters are a *wee bit* annoying and a touch one-note (and by that I mean two of my favorites elsewhere, Nanda and Dadamoni) they are more than compensated for by the other characters, by the interesting and historical story and by the absolutely charming songs. This is one of my favorite Tanuja performances ever, and that is saying something because I like her in everything.

Just see it. And if you can help me with the identifications I have requested in the post…

I would very much appreciate it.

Updated to add: Shalini has very kindly clued me in to the identity of the mysterious Rajkumar. He can be seen in a song from Sautela Bhai (1962), and here is a screenshot of him (in the middle). Thanks for clearing up one issue, Shalini!

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122 Comments to “Aaj Aur Kal (1963)”

  1. Tanuja makes me happy.

    Also: hello you!

  2. Nice review, Greta.

    I have not seen this movie though it was on Doordarshan years ago.

    There are at least four songs of this movie that are fairly well-known. These are(1) itni haseen itni jawaan raat – Rafi (2) yeh waadiyaan yeh fizaayen – Rafi (3) mujhe galey se laga lo – Asha and (4) zindagi ke rang kai re – Asha.

    I am sure a lot of people would have heard these songs without realising the name of the movie or the music director who composed them.

    The #NAME must have been quite frustrating, seeing as it is all over the place. What was the sub-titler thinking? More importantly, how did this get through Shameroo’s quality control, assuming they have one?

    Inspite of this, it sounds like an enjoyable movie. Shades of Khoobsoorat (1980), esp relating to the authoritarian parent behaviour.

    I love sparkling Tanuja (and in many 60s movies, she was absolutely sparkling) and of course Sunil Dutt.

    Sorry, cannnot help you with identifying son Pratap or major-domo Ranvir Singh (whose face I have also seen in many movies).

    Btw, I am sure there is another less-known Raaj Kumar.
    If you remember Sohrab Modi’s Jailor (I know you don’t want to remember it!), it also has Raaj Kumar in the credits. I looked all over the place for “our” Raj Kumar but could not find him (maybe you did?).

    So I think there is another Raaj Kumar – and imdb just has both with the same identity instead of two persons.

    • @raja: I saw it on Doordarshan, years ago. :-)

      Yes, an engrossing film, and one of Tanuja’s most delightful performances – she’s so peppy and bright and vivacious in this. Though, like Greta, I must admit to feeling a little short on patience as far as Nanda and Ashok Kumar’s characters were concerned.

      I can’t identify Pratap or Ranvir Singh either, though I’m absolutely certain I’ve seen the latter in several films…

    • Ha ha why on earth would you assume that Shameroo has quality control? I don’t even think they try to pretend they do. I am pretty sure that Pratap is played by the actor called Rohit, but Ranvir Singh is killing me. I MUST KNOW!!!! He is in lots of things, needs to be in the gallery…

      Re; Raaj Kumar or Rajkumar, at least in this film the name in the credits is “Rajkumar”…given what a popular name that is, I would guess there have been quite a few of them in cinema history. I just have no idea who this one is. Maybe it is Ranvir Singh, who knows?

  3. Nice review, Memsaab. I haven’t seen this movie, but seems engrossing enough that you can sit through the #NAME? :). Tanuja looks charming in the screen caps.

    I guess it was fashionable in the 60s to whip the kings and the nawab’s (quite justifiably in some cases), but the wheel came a full circle in the 70’s, when their privy purses were abolished. For many, it was the only source of income. A lot of them later sold their palaces or turned them into resorts. Its an interesting story, I hope someday the movie makers do justice to this.

    • Tanuja is just gorgeous in this, so wonderful. The privy purse thing would be a fascinating plot for a film, what a lovely idea…I always really love historical themes.

  4. 1963 surely belonged to Sunil Dutt. He had a number of hits in Gumraah, Mujhe Jeene Do, Aaj Aur Kal and Yeh Raaste Hai Pyar Ke.

    • Good point :) He wasn’t *always* the finest actor, but he sure knew how to pick his movies. Too bad his son did not inherit that skill :(

      • Agree. He was the one who acted in Yaadein (1965) with just himself in the cast. There was no leading lady or supporting actors throughout.

        I would say Sanjay was more convincing in action and comedy roles than his dad though some of his movies are pretty awful.

        • Sanju has made some awful films but he is a good actor. Sunil could act well when he wanted to, but he also overdid it a lot. But he made a lot of really really fine films, as actor and as director/producer too.

  5. I can’t identify any of the unknown familiars, but #NAME? rings a bell – it is an error commonly seen in Microsoft products such as MS Excel (see http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/correct-a-name-error-HP005203939.aspx for instance). I guess identifying the symptom provides no major relief, but one is perhaps looking for the smallest of mercies.

    • LOL!!! Microsoft+Shameroo=NIGHTMARE!!!!!

      It actually would make sense to me that Microsoft is somehow involved in Indian dvd production.

    • It is primarily the fault of the encoder who wasn’t able to provide proper reference which resulted in #Name? appearing throughout. I suspect no one at Shemaroo bothered to check the subtitles before printing copies.

  6. Before anybody gets the wrong idea that there was monarchy in India in 1963, I would like to state that India was a democracy and there *was* a ‘constitution’ offering equal rights to every citizen.

    What they must have shown in the film was the ‘right to the privy purses’ (substantial sum of money) that the Maharajahs were getting in lieu of surrendering their state and power to integrate in ‘India’ by 1949 or so, I think.
    This money was of course abolished in in the beginning of the 70s (72?).
    What they must also have shown in the film would be the Maharajah trying to keep up a pretence, and of course the ‘money’ they got was power in itself.

    Unless the film is set in 1948/1949.
    But even historically there was no struggle from the Maharajahs then. It was only for the’privy purses’.

    I think a lot of information was lost in #name ;)

    That even today some of the locals revere and consider the Maharajah as one is of course a different matter.

    • The movie seems to be set in 1947-48 . The fact that Balbir Singh doesn’t want his state to be annexed should make that pretty obvious.

      The maharaja’s, although did not put up an armed struggle (except Hyderabad), there still was plenty of resistance from many princes, and in the end it was only the public pressure, and some excellent diplomacy by Vallabh Bhai, and C. Rajagopalachari that got them in the Indian fold.

      Don’t mean to divert any attention from the movie. Just putting the above comment in context. :)

      • I haven’t seen the film, but am interested in the background nevertheless.

        As I mentioned the setting would have to be in 1947/ onwards, but the scene caps didn’t give the impression. Seems more modern than that as 47/48 was a riot and unsettled times.

        I would really like to know the year it is set in….for sure.

    • I never said there were monarchies in India in 1963 or that this film was set in 1963. It was MADE in 1963, which is altogether a different thing.The script never specifies an actual year, and being as that historical accuracy is not generally a hallmark of Hindi cinema I didn’t worry too much about it. But it was definitely about the absorption of the so-called princely states (or principalities, or whatever you want to call them) into the larger newly independent Indian government. It is not about the privy purses. Balbir Singh and the other Maharajahs at the meeting in Delhi discuss putting up an armed rebellion after a representative of the government urges them to think about the larger good of having a single state with a central single government.

      Ankit is absolutely right. There was no rebellion in the end, but that was thanks to diplomacy and people like the character of Randhir garnering public support for a centralized government for the people OF the people.

  7. Greta, good to see you back in the new year. How horrid, the NAME business. I.D.I.O.T.S.

    I’d see anything with Tanuja in it, and this sounds delightful.

  8. #NAME?

    For someone who professes to have been driven insane you seem remarkably lucid. However, in your freshly deranged state I suggest that you travel to India, henceforth, and deal with these Hindu DVD companies in a manner reflective of the enormity of their crimes and the expansion of your dementia.

    If you have the forces of Heaven at your side you could unleash the unspeakable terror of the numinous. Bring holy fire down on their criminal indifference. Or failing that – just shout a lot.

    Go now, my child. Travel light. Kali be with you.

    • Ah if only I had the time to agitate against these horrible people who massacre my beloved movies. I love the idea of traveling with Kali towards that end as well. And Gemma. Gemma will be the cuteness factor which balances out our rage.

  9. Tanuja was just so adorable & cute but her voice often got on my nerves – I think I preferred Nutan for beauty/elegance though…I loved this film – the plot was lovely but I could understand Hindi – the companies really ought to pay more attention when they produce the subtitles – maybe you could try to download a better .srt file? Nonetheless, you did an excellent review – Thankyou

    • From what I have heard, she used to smoke and drink a lot like her mother Shobhana Samarth. Possibly that could have affected her voice box a bit. But I give her 99.5/100 in the looks department.

      • What do you give Nutan in the looks dept? :D

        • Sorry to butt in – as is my wont – but am I the only one who finds Nutan strangely annoying? I can’t work it out. I would happily smote myself for a mere glimpse of Asha Parekh, or Helen, or Mumtaz, or Sridevi *sigh*, or Aruna Irani, or Aishwarya Rai, or Vyjayanthimala but Nutan – no. No, Nutan. No.

          • It depends on what Nutan is doing. I like Nutan in happier roles (Dilli Ka Thug, Tere Ghar Ke Samne) and she is always absolutely gorgeous IMO, but then she went and did films like Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya and Gauri, which make me want to kill myself to get away.

        • 49.5/1000 :-). She doesn’t look pretty, though she’s done some good work in Bandini (1963), Sujata (1959) etc., Most of the time, I felt she looked older than her heroes Dharmendra, Manoj Kumar or even Sunil Dutt for that matter.

    • I had no trouble following the plot, so the subs were fine in that way…but the constant interruption of #NAME? was irritating to say the least :) Tanuja’s voice has never bothered me (yet!)…she is quite different from Nutan though, who I also really like, except when she is playing those self-sacrificing weepy roles which Tanuja thank God NEVER did.

      • >self-sacrificing weepy roles which Tanuja thank God NEVER did.

        Then you should watch Aaja Sanam with Feroze Khan. ;)

        • I have seen that and she is not a PATCH on Nutan in the likes of Gauri.

          • Tanuja was also in this movie that vaguely reminded me of `Portrait of Jennie’. Feroz Khan was the hero and the movie was `Ek Ladki’ or `Ek Thi Ladki’. I read your review of Aaja Sanam thinking maybe it was that one (and that I’d probably got the name wrong.)

  10. Oh, Memsaab. If ever there was a post that exemplified the sheer poetry that is screencapping, this is it. Hardly had I controlled the LOLs bubbling in my throat from the incessant #NAME? dropping when you gave me Nanda’s amazing shank eye. Barely had I recovered when you gave me the sad Pekinese and the getaway burkha.

    Ow, my aching sides. I need to watch this, clearly. And I’m clearly mad for older men because I saw Ashok Kumar’s pic at the top of this post and thought he must be the lead because he is so freaking handsome.

    Happy New Year, Greta!

    • LOL, Nanda was so very piteous in this. It made me laugh. And the Pekinese…poor thing was just tossed around like a handbag mostly, and it reminded me of Gemma with its incessant panting tongue hanging out.

      I am definitely mad for older men, probably because I am now qualified as an older woman, but Dadamoni was very handsome indeed in this. Hard to believe he was a 25-plus-year veteran of the industry at this point!

      Do watch it, it is a very nice film :)

  11. The #NAME? thing is hilarious in your screencaps, although I can only imagine how irritating it must have been for you. Tanuja looks amazing in the screencaps… I always love her, and would love to see her in this.

    • If you can’t have some fun with the irritating things in life then where will you be? :) I recommend this one if that means anything ;-)

      • It means a lot… you haven’t steered me wrong yet… I love the oldies but it’s hard to find really good reviews of older Hindi movies on the internet. Your website (and others – dustedoff, Filmi Geek, OiG to mention a few) have been invaluable resources. I always stop by here before I place a DVD order, and like I said, you’ve never steered me wrong yet!

        • I am sure I will, LOL! But yes—the others you mention can always set things right when I do :)

          • LOL – that is the great thing about the ‘Bolly-blogging’ community – we each have different tastes and preferences (sometimes vastly so), but luckily for me, I’ve seen more than enough old Hindi films to figure out what I like… so I’ve become pretty good (even if I do say so myself) at sifting through reviews and recommendations to find the stuff that appeals to me (or is likely to appeal to me). I’m much too frugal (and getting DVDs sent to me is so complicated and time-consuming) to buy anything without doing lots of research.

          • You probably don’t have a good enough internet connection to download them either? (I do that a lot, and don’t feel guilty about it b/c the dvd companies are the ones who drove me to it in the first place…)

  12. I saw this movie on DD years ago. I really liked it despite the fact that I couldn’t stand Nanda in those days. Sunil Dutt was bearable only due to his good looks. Tanuja remains my favourite, followed by Ashok Kumar.

    My impression was that the movie was set in around 1947/48. IIRC, there is some talk (of course, ‘#Name?’ wouldn’t clarify any of this) towards the end of the movie, where they rejoice that India got Independence and celebrate with fire crackers.

    It was a straightforward story of controlling parent/rebellious children with a bit of socialism/patriotism and a HAPPY Ending. What more can we ask for?

    Thank you Memsaab for reminding me childhood memories with these wonderful movies.

    • I love Nanda, honestly…I know I am kind of a minority in that, but I do. I want to hang out with her, and Asha P. and Waheeda for an afternoon and listen to them tell stories of their heydays.

      But her character was pretty irritating by the end in this one. She did look really pretty though, and as I said Tanuja balanced her out :)

  13. Hi all, love the SS Shots and the comments; Memsaab – Subtitle Quality Control in Indian Films is an issue that’s been on the back burner God knows for how many decades – never mind the dialogues, the poets go back to the Grave – horrible poetry translation – I do mean HORRIBLE! –

    Beautiful Job Memsaab!!

    • It isn’t just subtitles that lack in the quality department either :-\

      Indeed people like Sahir must be turning in their graves. For many reasons!

    • It is impossible to translate poetry in a language entirely different.
      Some translations are quite good, but still don’t make similar sense in English or completely lack the beautiful poetic subtle nuances… especially if it’s in urdu, and may I say the same for many dialogues.

  14. Happy New Year to you, Gemma and your family memsaab! 1 Jan was a sweltering hot day out here (40 deg c) while Europe and North America was freezing.

    Happy to know about the existence of this movie from you.

    Ha

    Didn

  15. #NAME?

    lol!

  16. Thanks a ton for posting this review which is definitely a nice review of a nice movie. I had seen this movie years back on Doordarshan with a good picture quality. It’s definitely entertaining and impressive with some very good songs. I have been a fan of Sunil Dutt and his chemistry with Nanda was always admirable. Tanuja had a charm of her own and Dada Mani was unmatchable.

    Jitendra Mathur

    • The picture quality (hopefully you can tell from the screenshots) was very crisp, although unfortunately suffered from that PAL to NTSC format blurring on occasion. It is a lovely film.

  17. Lovely review, was ROTFL at #NAME? screen caps.
    Poor Nanda, to be given such an horrible role. didn’t Tanuja get a similar role in a Vinod Khanna movie?
    Sunil Dutt was damn handsome, wasn’t he? But at times he could go over the top. But that was called acting at that time.

  18. I agree with you to a point; it’s not impossible, trouble people who have no knowledge of Poet’s art of “writing” poetry and distinguished knowledge of Urdu, particularly, are translating the Hindi films – The Indian Film industry involved very heavy weight poetry and we need the right people for the right job…I wish the 2nd generation of poets would offer their talent to translation as a deed to their predecessors;

    and the dialogues were complex, same challenge; but worry no more, India is fast adapting the new “Hinglish” as I hear, this is somewhat taken care of…but still the lyrics, that remains a challenge;

    nice to be in your company

    • >it’s not impossible

      I don’t know about that. A very simple example;
      The English word ‘hair’ would be OK to translate ‘baal’, but for the word ‘zulfen’ the word ‘hair’ sounds pedestrian, but then there is no word to get out the otherness from the word ‘zulfen’.

      • There are other English words for hair, such as locks, tresses, etc. too. That’s why good translation requires great fluency in both languages being translated to/from, so that the words selected come the closest to conveying the meaning.

        • Yes, agree, tresses would come close, but as I was saying not the right feeling, it’s archaic and begins to sound heavy (to my ears at least) and rather than the soft, lyrical, musical etc sound of the word ‘zulfen’.

          Lock is unsuitable too IMO. With a ‘tinging’ sound.
          I would rather have the word hair instead of Lock. Hair sounds more breezy.

          • My POINT was that you can’t say that just because “hair” isn’t right doesn’t mean another word won’t be…

          • It was just an example to explain my point that English words don’t sound the same….even the other words.

            There may exist ‘some’ words, but by and large IMO its quite impossible to have a translation generating a feeling of the original (if it’s lyrical or has a cultural colouring to it).

  19. I don’t require perfect translations by any means especially not of poetry (although it is done very well on occasion, which is how I know that I love Sahir’s lyrics—although not thanks to this film), but #NAME? for regular dialogue that I can even understand in Hindi doesn’t measure up to even the lowest of standards and there is no excuse for it.

  20. Happy New Year Memsaab and thanks for this review.All songs and music is superb I like this movie and this time Shemaroo Dvd is working good.I am so gald.Sunil Dutt looks handsome and Tanu & Nanda too.

  21. Thank you for posting this. I seriously had to stifle my laughter (since I’m at the office) I do like Sunil Dutt and he looked very nice.

    “#Name?” is awful and there is no excuse to make a product available for purchase without checking it – I assume they didn’t since no one no matter how lazy or sloppy would agree to sell this.

  22. I just came across Ranvir Singh in another film, Shaheed (1965). It is him, isn’t it? You can see him in this song:

    The problem is that no Raj Kumar is listed in the credits of Shaheed

    • He isn’t Raj Kumar, I’ve updated the post to add a screencap of Raj Kumar that Shalini shared with me. That is definitely him again in the clip from Shaheed though…might he be Lal Bahadur? Is that name in the Shaheed credits? His role in this film is fairly large, although the credits are not extensive by any means. But Lal Bahadur is one of the names I don’t have a face to associate with. There is also Shah, Nawab, and Abdul, plus two names which I think are actress names (but not sure): Kumud Deshpande and Uma Khosla.

  23. Excellent review, Memsaab, but I have one thing to ask of you:

    #NAME?

  24. memsaab after a very long time you have reviewed a movie worthy of being reviewed in this site and also u have reviewed it really very very well .
    i mean memsaab initailly you only wrote review for those films which rarely others write about like the good films of superstar rajesh khanna and chupa rustom, haye mera dil, hum sab ustaad hain type rare movies etc… but later too many bad movies u reviewed and you also agreed that they are bad movies like main wohi hoon, pakistan movies etc..

    this movie was a musical hit plus a critically acclaimed movie.
    such a well made movie.
    somehow people rarely alk about this movie .
    It would be great if this movie is released in colur version so that larger audience gets to see it.

    excellent performance by Sunil Dutt.
    tanuja and deven verma are very young in this.
    as usual ashok kumar rocks man.

    • I was surprised actually at how little there is out there about this one. I guess maybe it’s a little “fluffy” to be considered a classic, but I found it really well done and interesting…and the music just lovely, lovely. Glad you liked the review.

  25. I’m going to join the chorus here and add that I’m also a huge Tanuja fan (she’s better than Nutan and much better than her daughter Kajol). She looks wonderful in thisi!

  26. Yes this was a nice film,I liked Ashok kumar, he played the arrogant ruler really well and as for Tanuja she was ideal for such roles; actually I do not know whether you have seen Anupama but I feel she would have done more justice to Shashikala’s role in Anupama. Shashikala looked old, she was in fact too old for the role, she already had grown up daughters in real life. As the kiddish Annie I felt she looked out of place, a young and sprightly Tanuja would have been perfect.

    • He did play his part marvellously as he always did, the only thing I wished is that the character had been a little less one-dimensional. He was so awful to people, especially his kids, that their loyalty to him made little sense (although their fear certainly did).

      You are so right about Anupama—Tanuja would have been great in that! :)

    • Now that you both mention that, I completely agree. She was so full of life in Jewel Thief (1967) as well.

      Don’t know why Dharmendra didn’t recommend Tanuja to Hrishikesh Mukherjee for Anupama (1966). They had already worked opposite each other in Chand Aur Suraj (1965) and Baharein Phir Bhi Aayegi (1966). But they went on work in Izzat (1968) and Do Chor (1972) too, so I guess they did share a camaraderie.

  27. I vaguely remember seeing Raj Kumar’s name in ‘Main Bhi Ladki Hoon’ (1964) starring Dharmendra, Meena Kumari and Balraj Sahani. But I don’t know if its the same actor as I watched that movie probably in my last janam (birth) :-)

    Greta – Its high time you change your pen name to #NAME saab :-D

  28. The #NAME part is hilarious really. But despite that handicap, looks like you did manage to understand the movie.

    Another movie where Ashok K. plays a sort of authoritarian role is Chalti ka naam gadi. How his brothers are simply terrorized by him on all things female!

    Fun review that I enjoyed reading!

    • I adore Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, especially Ashok in it. That was a better written role, too, because he wasn’t as one-note in it as he is here, but this is a lovely film too and well worth seeing.

  29. OT: Can you bleeding believe it!!?? Ultrabrown[dot]com has shut down …7 months ago! And the host didn’t seem bother to move all the information to a free website/blog. Does anyone know why the host decided to shut it down? He did write a post about it, but of course I can’t read it now that the site is inaccessible.

    • Time commitments etc. did not permit them to continue, as I recall. It is a shame but it’s a lot more work maintaining a blog and website than people realize :)

  30. @Memsaab – I remember seeing parts of this movie on Doordarshan a long time ago. I think after seeing this, some of us used ‘Nanda’ as a euphemism for anyone who used to cry. I can’t believe Ashok Kumar actually did a role where he had to be strict a la Murad or Amrish Puri.

    For the #NAME gaffe, I would not be so inclined to blame the subtitler as much as the subtitling software. Regardless, this error is inexcusible.

  31. Saw this film on Doordarshan a long time ago. My feelings about the film were more or less identical to yours (not much lost in translation :-)) ). I came across the film CD some time back but put it right back – as I had had enough of weepy Nanda even after all these years! But seeing the stills above, I am happy to see the quality of the film has not deteriorated- and I may but it yet. I was lucky to have seen many old films in cinema halls during the 80s when the current Hindi films were more often thrashy than not and re-runs of old hits had a good market. Sadly with steep hikes in ticket rates (you paid less to see old films) the 90s saw this trend of re-runs die out. Often when I buy current CDs of old films I am shocked to see the deterioration – the scratches, the hissy harshy sound track (most vulnerable part of film that is usually the first to go to the dogs) and some scenes just getting chopped off. Even Pakeeza has suffered (the original credits against the red back ground seems to have gone forever). I must say Americans have shown much more care about restoration of old films.

    • A friend of mine just visited the Film Archives in Pune this week and sent me a synopsis of his visit, and lots of photographs—I want to put a short post on it together today because it was so interesting and encouraging. The people who work there are passionate about preservation and about sharing what they can in the legacy of Indian cinema, but say that some people higher up in the government don’t seem to agree :(

  32. I just watched this. I loved Tanuja and liked the Agha bits. The extended melodrama of the Maharaja and Hemlata really got on my nerves thugh. Why do these films always have to resort to 2D villains (in the forms of Fathers, Mothers) who make a complete flip at the last moment to allow for a happy ending? Is it not possible for the dushman to slowly give in without being so stubborn or open but resistant in a neutral manner.. Argh..

    • The #NAME thing wasn’t too bad I thought. It only showed up in-between more important dialogue and went away pretty quickly. The 5 minute late subtitles are the worst.

    • Agree, those two characters were kind of ridiculous by the end. But the others made up for them! The #NAME? thing got on my nerves too, although I didn’t feel I missed out on plot because of it, I really really really got sick and tired of seeing it. And just the incompetence and indifference that it signifies on Shameroo’s part inflames me, because I AM SO VERY TIRED OF THAT too.

  33. have u seen sunil dutts movie called mujhe jheen do?
    its about him leading a gang of dacoits, its a great film which earned him an award, he is also one of my top 5 favorites, which would include amitabh bachchan, rajesh khanna, shammi kapoor, and shatrughan sinha

  34. I may have mentioned it before, but that Raj Kumar is usually seen in religious movies and his full name is Raj Kumar Pande.

  35. I believe his full name was in one of the movie credits. Will try to find out which one.

  36. Har Mandir Singh lists him as Raj Kumar Pande, based on the film booklet of Maya Bazar 1958. A copy of the relevant page is on my photos on facebook http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2230614647502&set=a.2109417657653.129773.1311955231&type=1&theater

    • So, here is the ‘final’ story on the 3 Raj Kumars, which I put up on my facebook page mentioned above. Once again, these 3 are different from and unrelated to the famous Raaj Kumar (real name Kulbhushan Pandit).

      Coming back to the other 3, all are listed as Raj Kumar in the film titles. From the left the first one is listed as ‘Introducing Raj Kumar Gupta’ in the film booklet. The second one is listed as Raj Kumar Pande under the picturization info for the two duets in the movie in the book on Rafi by Ajit Pradhan and Preetam Menghani.

      What about the third one, the one in the Artist Gallery, the one I questioned about and had email conversations about with Atul and Arunkumar? Opinion is divided. My wife and I think he is the same as Pande. Other people think differently. So my request to memsaab is to put 1 and 2 in the Gallery as Gupta and Pande, respectively. About the third, I would leave the final decision to her.

  37. I have been discussing about 3 non-famous Raj Kumars with Atul and Arun Kumar. Will report more later. In the meantime I posted photos of 3 ‘suspect’ Raj Kumars on my facebook page. Please feel free to express your opinion about whether all three are same or two are same etc. Thanks.

  38. For all those Tanuja fans out here, the bubbly and effervescent actress is also remembered for the following movies. So, please watch them.

    1.The laugh riot Hamrahi with Randhir Kapoor
    2.Bachpan (Sanjeev Kumar)
    3.Priya (Sanjeev Kumar)
    4.Do Chor (Dharmendra)
    5.Jeene Ki Rah (Jeetendra)
    6.Ek Thi Rita(Vinod Mehra)
    7.Mom Ki Gudiya

    She is one actress, who unlike her actress daughter, switched over to character roles right at the age of 33 years. A lover of books, her bohemian lifestyle was the cause for her never making the “A” grade. After playing the lead with Jeetendra, in a matter of 13 years, she became Jeetendra’s screen mother.

    The worst phase in her career was when she was reduced to playing weepy mother roles with the likes of Dr Shreeram Lagoo or the vamp in “Khud dar” (starring Amitabh). The tragic part was when she played a lead role as a cabaret dancer in a Dara Singh movie ‘Rustom’ that was released in the 80’S.

    A bit of nostalgia – Tanuja was supposed to play mother to Amitabh in Khud dar. But Amitabh requested that the character be changed to bhabhi as he had worked with her as a hero in “Pyar Ki Kahani”. What a noble gesture by Amitabh !

    • That’s another reason Tanuja is great — she did a lot of non-conventional movies. Even after being in big movies like Jewel Thief (she should have been the heroine instead of Vyjayanthimala imo) and Haathi Meri Saathi she was willing to do arthouse films like Anubhav (which is wonderful).

      I do wish Asha Parekh did some art house movies as well. :(

  39. Well defind performance cannot be defined over and again. Haath kungan ko arsi kiya.

  40. This movie is inspired by the ‘Baretts of Wimpole Street’

  41. Well, unless Memsaab borrowed from herself, then the one review on Amazon for this movie was “inspired” by this review. Well, not just inspired but basically just cut and pasted the first handful of lines. Now, if it was you Memsaab – that’s fine, you wrote it, it’s yours to do with as you please, but if not then I guess you could basically consider it a compliment, in true Indian eshtyle of “borrowing” someone else’s work :-)

    • Alas no, it was not I…thanks for bringing it to my attention although there’s probably nothing I can do about it but as you say, take it as a compliment…:)

  42. I really like Tanuja here as much as in Mem-Didi.. the younger she was ..she was cutely naughty :)

    love the whole Movie and as usual if I watch a movie and know that there is review on that by Memsaab, I then watch and read together

    I

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