Solva Saal (1958)


Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night has inspired more than a few Hindi remakes, three of which I’ve seen: Raj Kapoor’s Chori Chori, Shammi’s Basant, Aamir Khan’s Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin. This one is now my favorite by far. The camera work and lighting is as lushly beautiful as Guru Dutt’s pictures always were; there’s no need for any color here! Add the sheer gorgeousness of (and chemistry between! and performances by!) Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand, SD Burman’s sublime songs, and Raj Khosla’s brisk direction and it’s a classic (I like it even better than Capra’s original, and that is saying something).

Beautiful Laj (Waheeda Rehman) lives with her father, two younger sisters and younger brother. She’s in love with a sullen sort of fellow named Shyam (Jagdev).


She sings the lively “Yeh Bhi Koi Ruthne” to cheer him up, but he’s sulking in an effort to get her to run away with him—and it works. She agrees to meet him later that night to go to Ahmedabad and get married. At home, her father is planning her marriage to a “boy” recommended by a friend. In the morning he’ll fly to Bangalore to meet the boy’s mother and finalize everything, and meet his future son-in-law at the airport before he goes.

Laj overhears these plans when she arrives.


Her father asks her to wake him at 5 am so that he can catch the flight to Bangalore.

Though it clearly pains her greatly, she takes a strand of precious pearls that belonged to her mother, and sneaks out of the house to meet Shyam at the train station.


Once on the train, it soon becomes clear that Shyam has something altogether different planned. A passenger “sleeping” in the seat behind hears their conversation about the expensive necklace and perks up his ears. It’s Prannath Kashyap (Dev Anand), a newspaper reporter on the prowl for a story along with his photographer friend Gogi (Sunder). Shyam slips the necklace into a pocket and gets off the train at a stop on the pretext of getting some cigarettes. Laj waits with mounting anxiety as the train begins to pull away, until it stops suddenly when the emergency chain is pulled. Shyam is forced to get back on board, and pretends that he was about to jump on a bogie further back.

I am distracted by the guy in the middle: he’s our friend Herman Benjamin!


In any case, Pran’s reporter instincts have now been thoroughly roused and he sings a funny song which takes aim at Shyam’s obvious (to him) intentions, “Hai Apna Dil To Awara.” His insinuations are not lost on either Shyam or Laj, and they leave the compartment in anger at the next stop.


Pran takes leave of Gogi and follows them (and I have to share this screen shot—the cinematography by Dwarka Divecha is just so fine):


They board the train for Ahmedabad, where Shyam finally manages to ditch Laj, taking the pearls with him. She finally sees his true character, and gets off the train to pursue him, still followed by Pran. She trips on the tracks and is almost hit by a train, but Pran pulls her clear just in time. She’s not grateful, though; she is irritated at both his interference and his refusal to chase after Shyam.


Seeing her agitation, he finally relents enough to take her to a nearby taxi stand, where another driver agrees to take them to the main garage. There they can meet the driver who took Shyam as a passenger and find out where he went. On the way, Pran continues to tease and flirt with Laj, and she remains steadfastly irritated with him. It reminds me a lot of the cab scene from Jab We Met, only without the Legoland special effects.


While they wait at the garage for Shyam’s driver, Pran sings a hilarious song—“Yehi To Hai Woh”—about Laj, while she glowers at him and the other cab drivers gather around in amusement. It’s so very very cute! I am totally in love with this pair.


The other driver finally returns and takes them to the place he had taken Shyam earlier: a film studio.

At the studio, Shyam is reassuring an actress-dancer named Neena (Kammo) about his love for her, and he shows her the pearl necklace. She is thrilled, but he suggests they sell it to a jeweler she knows so that they can get married. Meanwhile, Pran and Laj have arrived at the studio and Pran has run into his friend Gogi who happens to be working there. He asks Gogi to keep an eye out for Shyam (whom he’d seen on the train earlier) while he takes Laj to the police.

Laj refuses to go to the police or to explain anything to him, and leaves. Pran follows her. Laj, despairing, hears the voices of her father and siblings and jumps into the river with Pran close behind her. He fishes her out of the river and she finally tells him everything. He takes her to a dhobiwala so they can get dry clothes, and we are treated to the famous curtain scene. While they change clothes on opposite sides of said curtain, Pran flirts with her some more, and this time she flirts back.


He tells Laj that he’ll help her retrieve the necklace and get her back home to her family before 5:00 am—when she is supposed to wake her father. They have several hours left  in which to accomplish it all. These scenes where they finally get together are so heart-meltingly sweet. Dev Anand was such a handsome and charming man in his youth. And Waheeda…well. Who wouldn’t fall in love with her?

Back at the studio, Neena is conspiring with her jeweler friend (Bir Sakhuja) to fool Shyam. Her friend declares the pearls to be fake (sending Shyam into a tizzy) and tosses the necklace to Neena—who promptly puts it on, telling Shyam that for her, they are “real” enough.


Neena is a fabulous example of a bad girl looking after herself! I need more Kammo! She is called to the sets for her dance number; on the way she blows off the jeweler too, who naturally wants to share in her ill-gotten gains. I love his face: doesn’t he look like a Barrymore? (Thanks Madhu for coming up with the actor’s name, and Kammo’s too!)


In any case, he’s not happy—and I don’t think he’s the pushover that Shyam appears to be either! Pran and Laj arrive back at the studio and are shanghaied as extras by an assistant director, at about the same time as Gogi spots Shyam in Neena’s dressing room.

Whew! Neena is wearing the necklace, the jeweler and Pran (now wearing a huge walrus moustache) and Laj are all after it as well, and Shyam’s not out of the picture yet either. Will Pran and Laj succeed in their plan to get her home with her necklace and her family none the wiser? What about their love for each other? Laj is getting engaged the next day, and she’s learned her lesson about running away from home!

Before those questions are answered, we are treated to some Tun Tun goodness as well. She hams it up as a dancer and singer, then actually sings a short bhajan (the assistant director tells her to forget acting, that she should be a playback singer—the opposite of what happened to her in real life!):


She also rescues Laj from a lecherous opportunist:


I cannot recommend this film highly enough. If you love classic Holly- or Bollywood, you will love Solva Saal. Great acting, great direction, beautiful cinematography, a thrilling and romantic story, and gorgeous songs…it has everything (except Shammi, but that’s actually okay this time).

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84 Comments to “Solva Saal (1958)”

  1. I know it is sacrilige, and as a male I should not really know but young Dev Anand was probably handsomer than Shammi. Among other films check out Vijay Anand’s Nau Do Gyarah – another road romance with a lovely song “Aaja Panchi akela hain” (Come this bird is lonely) which got into censor trouble. :-p

  2. Nooooooo! Not handsomer than Shammi! NO WAY. But still handsome, and it’s good to have variety :-) I have seen Nau Do Gyarah (I’m a big Vijay Anand fan too), lovely film…

  3. oh memsaab, you’ve reviewed one of my MOST favorite films!! 8-D .. I’ve not left a comment on your blog for the longest times, but i read it daily (I just wanted to let you know that!) :)

    how are you? how’s gemma?

    • This is too funny, and seriously it’s true: just yesterday I was looking at an old post where you had commented, and I thought to myself “what’s happened to Ranya?” I’m glad you haven’t abandoned me!!!!

      And this is now one of MY favorite films also. Just PERFECT. And we two are fine, thanks :-D

      • oh wow!! telepathy!!! :D just like the hindi movies actually, no?
        you know, somebody rings a bell in the temple thinking of someone,
        and no matter how far away this person is, the other person still feels something in the air… we two are long lost sisters in the ‘kumbh mela’, what say? 8-D

  4. I LOVE this movie and am so glad you agree!
    If It Happened One Night is my favorite Clark Gable movie, then this is my favorite Dev Anand movie. And the two of them made quite a few movies that I love (well, before Dev Anand let his puff do his thinking for him anyway).

    • I think Dev in this trumps Clark in It Happened One Night :) Wonder how Dev would have done as Rhett Butler, though? Ooh, I could totally see Waheeda as Scarlett though!

  5. I MUST see this. MUST. That top screencap is a thing of beauty.

    The actress who plays Neena looks like Scarlett Johansson, doesn’t she?

  6. I looooove this film. Its sooooo romantic and fun and Waheeda+Dev is one of my favorite pairs (their Kaala Bazaar was so good, too). The parallels with It Happened One Night are obvious, but it still doesnt seem like it was inspired by IHON – probably because very early on in the movie, the heroine realises that her “true” love is neither true nor her love at all, while IHON heroines take the whole film to realise that! And then, nobody at her home realises that Laj has run away, so no powerful Daddy looking out for his beloved daughter – the staple of all IHON stories.

    • Yup, it’s now sitting up on my shelf with all the other VERY FAVORITE MOVIES that I go to when I need cheering up :-)

      It’s close enough to IHON to call it a remake! but it’s not exact, which is not a bad thing. And I count on you to identify people for me! Who plays Neena? And the jeweler? And Shyam? You are letting me down here!

      • Hmm… the jeweler looks like Bir Sakuja (the same guy as in this song from CID?). The other actors will take a lot more detective work!

      • Were there no credits in the film to identify those actors and actresses? And Dev Anand from his B&W days was the most handsome actor, leaving Shammi far behind. ;)

      • new to your blog and starting with my ”shukriya” for such delightful, well-written reviews :) i had to post here, because i like this film plus i’m a recently converted dev anand fan – he was fabulous, charming, adorable, handsome, charming, suave, charismatic and did i say charming on screen! like bollyviewer, i feel the similarity with ihon is limited to the ”they fell in love during the course of one night” bit. waheeda rehman is ethereal. i was visiting a friend at a hospital in india years ago and in the waiting area who should be seated next to me but waheeda rehman – looking so elegant and beautiful – her smile and her eyes still had that irresistible mischievousness n softness. i was hoping you’d have a screen shot of this dialogue they exchange when they’re about to part – i just die everytime i see that scene and along with the song ”pal pal dil ke paas”, from the movie blackmail (which u *must* if u haven’t already…something tells me you will like it)it’sone of the most romantic scenes ever! dev says – i met you just a few hours ago but feels like i’ve know you for six thousand years (sorry that sounds a tad banal but the delivery,their smoldering looks make these lines unforgettable)and again when she asks him -so what will happen to you and he recites this urdu couplet – tera milna khushi ki baat sahi, tujhse milkar udhas rehta hoon. i don’t want to spoil that by bad translation. yeah, love can hurt too. for a hopeless romantic like me,these actors are salvation :)wish to stay around and read more next time!

        • and memsaab – just curious to know – why did you think the song “hai apna dil…” was a veiled reference to shyam’s intentions? it’s the first time i’ve heard that song interpreted that way. i always thought it was straigt forward – his friend asks him about his and dev starts with calling his dil awara. it does start after they listen in on the conversation between laj and shyam, but after that he’s talking about his romantic travails and also a little flirting on the side. i’d love to know what gave you your impressions – (so interesting) :)

        • Blackmail is possibly my favorite movie of all time :) (It’s on here too)…SO ROMANTIC! This one is not far behind though. I don’t remember why I got that impression, the songs were subtitled so there was something in the translation that gave it to me. Subtitles are not always very true to the spirit of the actual lyrics/dialogues though.

          • Yes, the song “hai apna dil to aawaaraa” basically means “my heart is a vagabond, and it tends to fall for anyone”

    • I agree with bollyviewer – I don’t think it’s that much of a `lift’ from It Happened One Night, even though there are parallels. But yes, this one’s one of my favourite films – I love the music, I adore Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman in this (I guess this is my favourite of all the films they acted in together, though CID is probably a close second).
      And yes, I like the cameos too. Herman Benjamin (I hadn’t noticed him till you pointed him out) and Raj Khosla.

      BTW: That’s definitely Bir Sakhuja.

      • It’s not a complete lift for sure, but there are several things lifted directly: Dev is a reporter, Laj is running away from home for the sake of someone not worthy and he rescues her, the curtain scene…the way the story plays out is basically the same, but with definite modifications/additions. I meant nothing derogatory by saying it was a remake or inspired by IHON, I like this film better as a matter of fact!

        Thanks re: Bir Sakhuja—will remember him, he has such a great face! And where was Raj Khosla in the film? I don’t think I know what he looks like (I was thrilled to see Herman though ;-)

  7. As usual, I started reading your review of this film and quickly decided I must add it to my Netflix queue (or potentially buy it). I haven’t finished your review as I don’t want to read about spoilers (I like to come back and read the full review after I’ve seen the film). But I love Waheeda Rehman and the early Dev Anand films too. That combined with your praise for the film is all I need! Thanks and keep ’em coming!


    P.S. Don’t bother w/ Kambakkht Ishq if it’s playing in Boston. I wouldn’t even recommend it when it comes out on DVD!

  8. Hooray for screencaps! I like the 3rd one. The girl who plays Neena exudes a lot of sex appeal in a classy way – I would also like to know who she is.

  9. Oh K .. will try to find this. I have listened to Hai Apna Dil To Awara a million times and love it.

  10. Memsaab, the screen cap of Shyam looks like a young O P Ralhan.

    it could even be Rajendar Kumar from the side profile.

    Perhaps some other reader can identify? I would love to see this movie. perhaps i will add it to my list of indian movies to be bought in India (if i remember or get the time!)

    • I realize I didn’t really put any good screen caps of him here…definitely not OP Ralhan or Rajendra Kumar (I know both of them well)…

      Do buy it. You won’t be sorry to own it :)

  11. Hi Memsaab – I’m a newbie here as I bumped into your blog one fine
    day 2 wks ago while trying to get a review of the Vinod Khanna starrer
    Imtihaan. Been hooked to your blog ever since. Love your reviews and

    Though I’m a late 20s person, I am quite a fan of the classic Bollywood
    movies so most of my contemporaries think something’s wrong with
    me. But that doesn’t deter me from my love of the classics and the
    beautiful songs and fine actors from the bygone days.

    Btw, Dev Anand who is among my favorite actors was visiting Nepal
    where I’m from, few months ago to relaunch his autobiography. I got a
    chance to see him in flesh and blood at a small interactive interview
    program in Kathmandu. He was so full of life and new beginnings – who
    would believe he’s an octogenerian? He has always had a soft spot for
    Nepal and made quite a few of his movies some really popular ones
    (e.g., Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Johnny Mera Naam, etc) here.
    Thanks for reviewing this movie which I saw many yrs ago and loved it. I think he mentioned during the program about wanting to make a movie on the Royal Massacre in the future.

    Anywayz, just wanted to let you know you have company in Nepal too in your love for classic Hindi/Bollywood movies!

    And oh yes, I visited Dustedoff’s blog yesterday and really enjoyed her review of her 10 best classic bollywood beauties and hunks. Was thoroughly thrilled!

    • Welcome Simplegal and thanks for commenting :) Dev Anand does really love Nepal, he was friends with the royals as I recall. I would love to visit someday myself!

      And good for you for loving the old classics! I always did too—when I was in my teens I’d be glued to the TV every afternoon watching an old b/w Hollywood film.

  12. It was more then a year back, when I was doing research on rail songs that I came across this movie called “Solva saal” thanks to its rail song “hai apna dil to awaara”. I found out that his song sung by Hemant Kumar was the most popular song of 1958 and it finished number
    one in Binaca geetmala final of 1958.

    Moreover, the picturisation of this song was interesting. I was curious to find out what happened before the song. And it was this curiosity that took me to my trusted VCD/DVD shop. Lo and behold ! This movie was available in VCD.

    when I watched the movie, I loved it. I realised that it was a “It happened one night” kind of a movie, but it must be said that this movie is not just a mindless lift, it is done with finesse and class.

    after I watched the movie, i was curious to read the reviews of this movie to find out what others felt about this movie. to my surprise, I could not find a single review of this movie anywhere, not even in sites like “upperstall” which boast of reviews of a large number of movies.

    I thought of writing my own review of this movie, and I began writing a review of this movie. But there are so many things that I would have loved to say about this movie that my review was becoming longer and longer and I could never finish it.

    When I logged on to this blog and found the words “Solva saal” staring at me, I could not believe my luck. I went through the review and I agree with your assessment of the movie and its main characters. It is a superb review of the movie. Obviously you have much more passion ( not to say ability) for coming up with great reviews even when you have so many things to say on a topic. It is a fantastic review of a fantastic movie.

    Coming to the rail song, this song is picturised on a Bombay local train, and it is lovely to see how Bombay local trains looked 50 years from now. After Shyam and Laaj get down from the local, they catch the long distance train and it is here that Shyam gives her the slip.

    The sikh taxi driver who takes Laaj and Pran to his other mates in a bid to find the taxi driver of Shyam, is called Santa Singh. Modern movie watchers will find his name amusing because Santa Singh-Banta Singh jokes are so popular these days in India.

    When Laaj jumps into the river, only to be rescued by Pran,and Laaj protests vehemently, then a policeman comes enquiring what the fuss was all about. Pran assures him that she was his wife and the “Pandu” ( colloquial name for a Bombay policeman) is satisfied with the explanation.

    When the two reach to a washerman and his wife to have their wet clothes dried and ironed, the washerwoman takes them for husband and wife and ask them to go inside and change into dry clothes. The fact that Laaj is scandalised by the idea of changing in front of Pran is lost on the asherwoman.

    While changing inside, with a curtain separating the two, it is Laaj who decided to break the ice by asking Pran whether he knew the washerwoman earlier. On receiving a negative reply, she states that he was talking with the washerwoman as if the two were old acquaintances. She also “casually” enquires about his marital status and finds that he was single.

    This scene where the ice breaks and she warms up to him is a heart warming scene.

    when they come out of the hut in their makeshift clothes, they are treated to a lovely song by the dhoban (washerwoman). It was in this song that the word “solva saal” finds a passing mention, otherwise I do not know
    why this movie was called “solva saal” at all.

    Considering that this movie was inspired from IHON, the movie should have had a better title comparable to IHON. I think that the title “Solva saal” is misleading and this could be one of the resons whty this movie is not as well known as it should have been.

    Coming to the rail song, I have this rail song in my blog. The same duo figured in another great rail song two years later in “kaala bazaar” viz “apni to har aah ik toofaan hai”.

    Once again, my heartfelt thanks for this review. Sorry if my comment has become so lengthy. I mentioned it earlier that I had so many things to say about this movie.

    • I love that scene (where the ice breaks)—it’s very well done, and the two of them strike sparks off each other. So cute!!!! And thanks for all the other info as well (Santa Singh—fabulous name, and I’ve seen him in other films too I think…he looked familiar anyway).

      You may be as lengthy as you like, any time :-)

  13. Hi, your reviews keep inspiring to watch more movies!!! Btw, is Neena played by Sheila Vaz?

    • I thought it might be Sheila Vaz, but dustedoff (who is very well-versed in these things) thinks it is Kammo :)

      • As bollyviewer (and Richard) pointed out, Sheila Vaz is another actress – primarily a dancer. You can see her in Leke pehla pehla pyar from CID:

        And in Ramaiyya vasta vaiyya from Shree 420:

        As far as I remember, she also acted in Tumsa Nahin Dekha, as a tribal girl opposite Kanu Roy.

    • Shiela Vaz in fact is there in “Solva Saal” as well. She is the dhoban in this movie who lip syncs in Asha Bhonsle’s voice the song “dekhoji mera haal badal gayi chaal”.

  14. the sikh driver is called Santa Singh in the movie. I am not saying that it is his real name. I have no idea who he is.

  15. I was recently re-watching this movie,not once but twice! Any wonder? And it’s on a dvd with Baat ek Raat ki. I thought that title should be for this one. But maybe this movie means 16th year when someone is gullible and very much in love,maybe? I don’t know about love, so what can I say? Just some thoughts. And some movies are SO re-watchable. I’ve seen Chirag in ’69 in a theatre and then again on vhs. And whenever I read your reviews I hark back on them. Just wish I could have them on dvd. Fantastic reviews, thought provoking and humorous, just love them. Tun Tun sang the song from “New Delhi” and she does have a beautiful voice, doesn’t she? And yes, I WAS wondering-what if Shammiji had been in that role? I am a Dev Anand fan too and they go well together as you say.

  16. And the ending was just so-o funny. Just like Ek Phool Char Kante- unexpected for those involved in it. Whe I saw these the first time, it surprised me too in SS, not Ek Phool.. But I liked their reactions in both these films.

    • I wasn’t surprised by the end…and it seemed a bit corny and convenient to me. But not a big deal in the face of all the other awesomeness :-) I love EPCK too. Esp. the music in it!

  17. Hello memsaab, long time reader here. Loved your review and will defnly watch it soon. The songs of course, have heard them so many times already.
    And the screen caps are awesome. You have managed to showcase the radiance that is Waheeda Rehman quite well. She is indeed spectacular and has last none of her grace and charm even now.
    And good call regarding Kambakth Ishq. How they could make a movie so offensive is a real mystery.

    • Hi Srinivas :) Waheeda’s radiance is so beautifully captured by Dwarka Divecha and Raj Khosla—at one point I was wondering if she had a love affair with either of them, because she just looks so gorgeous in every shot :-) Lighting is superb. And she does look really beautiful still, thank goodness she hasn’t attempted to keep herself looking 25 with botox etc.!

      As for KI…I haven’t read a review yet that makes me want to see it…

  18. A Dev Anand film after a long long time. It is your second Dev Film review on this blog isn’t it?
    Thanks. I also love Dev-Waheeda jodi.
    Would love it if you could bring more reviews of thier films!! :-)

    • I don’t know how many Dev films are on here, but probably only a few because I saw many of his films before I started writing the blog. But some more will go up here as I rewatch them—a lot of them are really worth it!

  19. This is not one of the Dev Anand films he talks much about. I have interviewed him often, and his top five favourites are–Guide (Hindi), Taxi DriverDriver, Hum Dono, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Baazi. I think he likes CID too.

  20. I like all those films as well, but I just LOVED this one. It is my kind of movie!

  21. I Really love the lyrics of the song Yaho toh Hain Woh…. Its endearing and at the same time hilarious. You can watch the movie on youtube if you cannot get it in your country like me…

  22. I am so happy that all the songs are subtitled (and well!) because the lyrics are spectacular! As you say—witty and endearing at the same time.

  23. Have obviously heard of this movie and “hai apna di” but somehow never had the urge to watch this movie.
    Now, because of your review, I thought I should watch it.
    And have just finished watching it.

    What a fantastic movie it is. So much fun.
    Dev looks so handsome, Waheeda looks out of this world.
    And the chemistry is just brilliant !!!

    Thanks a ton for writing up this review.
    Otherwise I doubt I would have watched the movie.
    Not that I do not like Dev-Waheeda (I am a big fan of both of them) but it is just that for some strange reason this movie is not that well-known except for “hai apna dil”.

  24. Now that I am in Dev Anand pre-hairstyle-change mode, I need to catch 3 other movies of his – Kaala Pani, Kaala Bazar and Tere Ghar Ke Saamne.
    Actually I have seen TGKS years ago – and remember liking it a lot. I also loved Paying Guest. But then I am a huge Nutan fan and she is really very good in the comedy scenes in both these movies.
    While at it, I think I will also try to get hold of Hum Dono and Teen Deviyan. If nothing else, the songs in these two movies are very good.

    See what this one movie, Solva Saal, has done to me. :-)

    • LOL @ pre-hairstyle-change mode :) I’m so glad you liked it! It’s really now one of my favorites. “Hai Apna Dil” isn’t even the best song in my opinion.

      I haven’t seen Kala Pani yet, but Kala Bazaar and TGKS are wonderful, and so is Teen Deviyan. The songs in all of them are lovely. I like Nutan too, except when she’s a sacrificial lamb. Also just saw an interesting film with Tanuja—she was really under-used for most of her career I think.

      Hum Dono is sitting in my yet-to-be-seen pile! Need to search for Paying Guest (not the new one)!

      • Oh, you must see Paying Guest, Nutan and Dev Anand look absolutely delectable together!

        BTW, have figured out who the actor is who plays Waheeda Rehman’s boyfriend here – Jagdev. I saw him in Haqeeqat as well, and since he’s the only one common in the cast of both films, I guess it’s him.

        • Yay!!!!! You are a regular sleuth at this. Thanks :) I haven’t seen Haqeeqat yet (sounds v.v. depressing) although I have it, but will put Paying Guest on my list of films to search for!

        • Yes, I too concluded independently that the character Shyam is played by Jagdev.

  25. You’re welcome. And yes, Haqeeqat is depressing, but it’s also good in an unusual way (for Hindi cinema)… and the music’s good. Review coming up within the next couple of days!

  26. Memsaab,

    Thanks from the depth of my heart for this lovely film. The songs bring childhood memories…i was about 8 years old at that time, back in mauritius..Now i am in France.and i am rediscovering thes old bollywood films…Of course Dev saab has been my favourite actor and all these actresses like Waheeda; Nutan; Madhubala..Sadhna Great Ladies…Dev films have always had the most memorable romantic songs..always have them ringing in the back of my mind whatever I am doing….Thanks a lot mate..

    By the way,, where are you from,


    • I’m glad you enjoyed it and are rediscovering these old films :) I am glad to be discovering them for the first time! I am an American mongrel (no Indian though!)…

      • Hi,
        Thanks for your prompt reply….

        American mongrel?. ..No way…You are a great guy or lass; I admire you as you seem to have a very broad concept of human culture….You surely have a good knowledge of urdu-hindi to be able to love these indian movies…I have just finished watching ” Tere ghar ke samne” for the umpteenth time; What a lovely well made film with good acting, good music and good direction..rafi-lata-Dev-Vijay-Nutan-the Burmans .

        Thks a lot for this blog where I can reach to sympathisers across the globe.


        • Being a mongrel is not a bad thing :) Just as absorbing what “other” cultures have to offer is a great thing! It IS all human culture after all when you come right down to it.

  27. Whew! I just discovered Atul’s website a few days ago, and didn’t think I would find another great one so soon afterwards.

    As to the fascination with what Shammi might have done in the role, I have to seriously differ.

    Compared to Dev Anand (or any one for that matter), Shammi was a monkey. a talented one, but nevertheless a monkey. But I heard that lately, he has matured, and been a formidable presence on the web.

    • I am a big big fan of Atul’s too :) I loved Dev in this, see no need to replace him and am happy to have both Shammi and Dev to watch when I want to! I will say that certainly I am glad that Dev gave up so many roles which Shammi took on and made his own (Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Teesri Manzil to name two). But I wouldn’t want to give up either one of them. Jo bhi hoga achcha hoga :)

  28. I thought you would be furious at me, for having slighted Shammi.

    “Jo bhi hoga achcha hoga” – is the tag line of a song that is at the tip of my tongue. The song tells a story. The lines are churning a little bit below my vocal chords, trying to take shape.

    I don’t thhink I will remember it until after I post thi scomment; and then I will bite my tongue!

    • No no…I love Shammi but I don’t think everyone else has to :) Each to his/her own.

      The song is “Ek Thi Ladki” from Gumraah ;-) A favorite of mine.

      • Yes!
        Mala Sinha singing a song to her sister’s kids.

        yE mat poochO kal kyA hOgA, jO bhee hOgA, achchA hOgA!

        You were commenting on Sasikala in your site. Sasikala in this movie was great.
        Was she also in Kanoon? She never made it more than a friend of the heroine.

  29. I watched this film online and it was just as joyous as I hoped it would be, but there some parts that come up very abruptly and towards the end, it’s pretty much been shredded to pieces.

    The version that I saw is only 2 hours long. Do you remember how long the movie is on the DVD, memsaab?

    BTW, did you mean that “Ek Thi Ladki” afavourite or that the movie “Gumrah” is a favourite?

    • I don’t, although I would remember if it seemed hacked to pieces and it didn’t.

      “Ek Thi Ladki” is a favorite :)

      • Was the DVD missing opening credits?

        It is in 2 versions I’ve seen even in the longer version where everything else seems intact. I’d still like to make sure though.

  30. For the life of me, I can’t see how “Solva Saal” could be considered anything similar to IHON. I haven’t seen Basant or “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” so I can’t comment on them.

    I am intrigued by the mention of Gumrah here. What does memsaab think of Gumrah itself, other than “Ek thi Ladki” song? I have a notion that it will be thumbs down. Is it?

  31. Hi Greta,
    Just to inform you of my own take on Solva saal, which this time I enjoyed as much as you did (twas not the case with Dulhan ek raat, remember?), but perhaps for other reasons! I was first and foremost struck by Waheeda’s *positive gorgeousness*, (they probably makes them as pretty nowadays, but are they as divinely beautiful?), and I didn’t find the songs very remarkable, contrary to a number of your commentators. Well, a question of taste perhaps. Dev was real fun, on the other hand. Sorry I said something like he’s better looking than Shammi Kapoor! Unfortunately, the guy just isn’t my cup of tea!
    Anyway, another great moment of fun and pleasure.

  32. I watched this movie for the first time before I was sixteen. I watched the song “hai apna dil tho aawara” and then started looking for the movie (fortunately this turned out well, unlike “kabhi kabhi”). Dev A. was so charming in his day. I assumed “solva saal” to mean that the heroine is a 16 year old and it was a mistake of teenager to fall for the wrong guy and elope.

    I watched it again as an adult and now it doesn’t make any sense to think that the girl is 16. She was going to college and of marriageable age (none of this was too unusual). She takes care of her sisters and brother and it appears that it has been happening for awhile. But, she can’t be in charge of all at 12-13 (Her mother died giving birth to her younger brother)? That’s way too unusual.

    So, now I am confused about the title too. It didn’t occur to me to compare it to IHON. Mainly because of the characterization of the heroine. There she was more selfish and a rebel (just as in “dil hain ki manta nahin”). Here she is portrayed as a really responsible person, excepting that one mistake and she quickly realizes it too.

  33. Violet – you are a darling for saying it didn’t occur to you to compare this movie with IHON. You and I seem to be in a minority (truth is the truth, even if in minority!)

    It is inot inconceivable for someone to be in college at 16. I joined college when I was 16 plus couple of months. Whether she looks 16 is something else.

    As to taking care of younger sisters and brothers, you mature quickly when circumstances force you to.

    But other than that casual line in the dhoban song, the movie doesn’t harp on her being 16, directly or indirectly. Someone here said baat Ek Raat ki would have been good title for this movie. agree. In that sense, “It Happened One Night” is an apt summarization of this movie, with absolutely no connection with the Clark Gable movie.

  34. I have no idea why it is called “Solva Saal” and I don’t think I even speculated on that anywhere…but it does have definite similarities to It Happened One Night; I did not say it was a “remake”—only inspired by. Which may or may not be true, but that’s how it felt to me. I think this is a film that stands on its own though, and I hope that’s clear from my review.

  35. I saw Solva Saal after reading your post and loved the one night idea and whole story framed. from train to sets to marriage. And I saw the film few months back in night time till 3:30 am around.

    The first picture you put here of Solva Saal – aweee.. I love that scene so much. Their ‘Ekraar’ for each other.

    Today too I saw a film from around 1:00 a.m. around with silence all around and I remembered you Greta as many as 10+ times. I could see not only the parallels of story which take place in whole night and then leads to happy marriage but also here the whole story is carried by my fav: Madhubala.

    A general introduction of film is: A woman encounters assorted suitors/suspicious characters while on the run from killers. Film Name: Gateway of India (1957)

    Each person Madhubala meets has his own character and Madhubala for a moment seems to be trapped in each setting but deals with so much wit and Madhubala style that you will just enjoy every different character and the chemistry. Everyone’s destination is Gateway of India! You know the murdered on very first mins of film, but the way film progresses is very differently done. With each acquaintance Madhubala has she has her name changed in the film and a song is portrayed according to situation……

    I think you may have seen the movie but since you loved Solva Saal (which I liked very much), you will love this movie too:)

  36. Excellent movie. Great acting, direction and music. I liked Dev anand in his older movies before he had his Dev anand mannerisms. He was a much better actors esp. in his earlier movies with suraiya and madhubala. Waheeda rehman is wonderful as usual. The song hai apna dil is a favorite in my country to this day

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