More Baburao

I don’t feel much like writing these days so will share more of Filmindia magazine (the September 1958 issue) and Baburao’s particular brand of wit.


I absolutely love the covers on these magazines.

Poor Sulochana gets a couple of snide remarks (but I love how young she looks!):


His caption here:

Experience makes a woman’s face and vision broader. She gets more thought and thought always expands because there is fire in thought. But this expansion of Jupiter spoils the original design of Venus and a sweetheart soon begins to look like a mother. Let us see what Sulochana is thinking about in “Chhupi Police”, a detective yarn produced by Filmdom.


Not so fond of children, either, is he?

And this caption just cracks me up (especially the end of it):


Love this color ad for one of my favorite films of all time!


And again I find it necessary to say: WHY is this not on DVD? WHY????


Part of one of his more scathing reviews:

“Hum Bhi Kuchh Kam Nahin”, A Nightmare!
Pedestrian Presentation Of Overchewed Plot

Filmistan’s “Hum Bhi Kuchh Kam Nahin” is perhaps one of the most idiotic pictures ever produced anywhere in the world. Hideous like a nightmare and incoherent like a lunatic’s raving, it is a telling torture for the picturegoer and a disgrace for the Indian film industry. It is also a crime in these days of severe raw film shortage to waste raw film in this manner…

The production values are disgustingly shabby. The sets are crude and ugly and unimaginative. The photography is erratic. The sound recording is far from satisfactory. The music is awfully dull. The dialogue is generally nonsensical. As to the direction, this picture does not seem to have been made with the help of a director at all…

In short, “Hum Bhi Kuchh Kam Nahin” is a stupid, rotten and disgraceful picture. It is a torture that must be avoided. It is a picture that will lose money for the most stouthearted exhibitor.

He (mostly) likes Zimbo, though, especially Pedro the Ape Bomb: I’m beginning to think that Baburao was a reviewer I would have trusted completely!

“Zimbo”, A Fair Escapist Fare
Crude But Colourful Presentation Of Tarzan Stuff

website statisticsHandsomely photographed in Gevacolor, produced on a rather lavish scale and crammed with thrills, buffoonery, simian antics, human intrigues and quite a few…specimens of the Indian fauna, the picture, without being specifically intended to be so, is a nice children’s film. It can also appeal to adults who can tolerate logic being thrown overboard, be patient with some of the usual stupidities of Indian films and appreciate the epidermis of Chitra, the heroine, who displays a pretty pair of legs and round smooth shoulders. “Zimbo” of course could be much more sensible and much more thrilling but as it is, it is not bad…

The production values of the picture are quite impressive. The sets, except in places, are colourful and serviceable. The colour photography is uniformly good though the colours are screaming in places. It is however, one of the chief attractions in the picture. The sound is fairly well recorded. The dialogue is rather stupid. The music, blatantly hybrid, is pleasant enough in places. The direction on the whole does a good job of packaging juvenile entertainment…

There is little to be said about acting in this picture, Azad as Zimbo makes an acceptable if not very impressive prototype of Tarzan. Chitra as Leela proves quite a good looker in Gevacolor and air-conditioned costumes. B. M. Vyas as Biharilal seems to do as well as the role would allow. The rest deserve to be ignored except the chimpanzee who is the most entertaining in the whole cast…

This all leads me to wonder why Shemaroo’s VCD of this film is in black and white? What is WRONG with Indian video manufacturers?

63 Comments to “More Baburao”

  1. Baburao certainly doesn’t mince his words, does he?

    I love the poster for Chalti Ka Nam Gaadi! Was that standard to announce that the film was nearly finished? Too funny.
    It will come to you like a gust of FRESH BREEZE
    How could I possibly resist that tag line!

    • I loved that line too :-)

    • Wow, my reply to your question is exactly an year later!

      Not only did they announce the upcoming movies, in a weekly (Telugu) magazine, I used to read commentary on current shooting of a movie. I mean a detailed description of the scene being sot for a movie that is in production! Of course, they didn’t cover all the segments of a movie, and you had no idea (unless it is a historical or mythological movie the story line of which you already knew) where in the story that scene falls in.

      But it created a level of anticipation.

  2. haha…. baburao ki jai!


  3. I love love love me some baburao.

  4. Please create a whole list of Baburao writings on a different site.. I bet it would be awesome !!!

    • Yikes! I don’t have time for that for sure. And not enough Baburao either, sadly :( One of these days I’ve got to visit the Film Archives in Pune…

  5. Zimbo is damned with faint praise! I am curious about Hum Bhi Kuch Kam Nahin – if it deserved so much of Baburao’s vitriol it may be worth watching. Any info about cast and plot?

    Baburao would be shocked at me – but I do prefer Rajendra Kumar’s “voice culture” to Dilip Kumar’s!

  6. OMG, he is sooooo mean. So mean. I love it.

  7. murali, anonymous, ajnabi: He is very very very funny. So mean.

  8. The beautiful kid (older one) in the pictutre is Honey Irani. Both she and Daisy were famous child stars those days. Apparently they were more popular than most of the stars themselves.

    Thanks for sharing these pics memsaab.

    • Ah, good to know :) I don’t pay as much attention to the child stars as I should (except Master Raju, who is the cutest kid ever born)…

      • Maybe you already know this, but Honey Irani is the ex-wife of Javed Akhtar (of Salim-Javed fame), and the mother of Farhan & Zoya Akhtar, both of whom are movie directors in their own right.

        She also was the scriptwriter of a Yash Chopra movie “Lamhe” that starred Anil Kapoor and Sridevi, and dealt with the “taboo” subject of (much)older man and (much)younger woman.

      • Hi Memsaab,

        I am amazed at reading such a vast ocean of knowledge about old Indian films at these pages. I wasn’t aware that there was a magazine called Film India (Film India has a directory of A-Z of films).

        I’m writing a biographical book about the most successful female screenwriter in the Indian cinema, Ms. Honey Irani. The book will include quotes about Ms. Honey Irani from all the successful and renowned directors, producers, actors, actresses and experts from Bollywood. For the purpose of this book can you please share the old issues of film magazines & newspapers 1956 onwards. I’ll give you due credit for the same. If you are interested, I’ll can send you a formal email regarding this. Looking forward to hearing from you.
        Sandhya Valecha
        Creative Director
        Unseen Movements, India

  9. Dear Memsaab,

    I came across your Website a couple months ago when I Googled “Nau Bahar” to answer a question about the film from a friend’s father. And I was hooked. Your Website is truly amazing. The most amazing thing about you is your encyclopedic knowledge of Hindi films that you have acquired in such a short time. I love the fact you give full attention to Helen, Bela Bose, Laxmi Chhaya (all personal favorites of mine) and actors who play even the smallest roles in the most obscure films. And you introduced me to Baburao. How can I ever thank you for all this?

    I was, however, surprised to read you saying “WHY is this not on DVD? WHY????” about “Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi.” Well, I have a DVD of the film and will be happy to loan it to you.

    Keep on writing. Your Website is treasure! And if you are ever in Austin, Texas, my wife and I would love to have you over for dinner — and what else? — Hindi movies.


    • Oh you are nice Raj! :-) If I’m ever in Austin I will be sure to let you know! I’m always happy to find others who like to find out about the more “obscure” (but equally talented) people who have remained (for whatever reason) in the background.

      And I have Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi on DVD—I was referring to the Raat Ke Rahi Shammi film which I have never seen on DVD (although it’s not at all clear that that’s what I meant from the way I ramble from one subject to another) :-) And more Baburao will be forthcoming, I am so enchanted by his magazine! Wish I could have met him, even though he would have called me well-upholstered and other things, no doubt!

  10. Memsaab,

    When I met Shammi Kapoor, he said he had traced out Raat ke Rahi on DVD/ VCD along with Mirza Sahiban where he is opposite Shyama. So guess Raat ke Rahi is floating out there somewhere… If one finds it will let u know.

    Cheers! The Filmindia stuff is great!

    • I have Mirza Sahiban on DVD, but I’ve never even seen Raat Ke Rahi on VCD…but this gives me a reason to live! If you find it first do let me know! :-)

      • Me too! I want all those old Shammi Kapoor films that seem to have sunk without a trace – this one, Coffee House, etc… I haven’t even got around to unearthing Boyfriend yet, but will see if I can find it on induna.

        And that actress in the coloured cover doesn’t look like Shyama, even though the credits suggest it is. This is an interesting image, though: a poster of a film as a magazine cover? Hmmm. Were Baburao and Co. paid in “black” or white for that, I wonder? ;-)

        • As a new self styled fan of Shyama, the picture does look like Shyama’s to me. It is just that it is in colour and we are used to watching her in black and white.

        • Dustedoff—you haven’t seen Boyfriend? With the sweet Madhubala in one of her last roles? You must! It’s pretty easily available, or used to be. If you can’t find it let me know and I’ll bring it to you when I next come to Dilli :)

          And I agree with Atul that it does look like Shyama, in fact I think it’s a lovely representation of her. And all the issues I have do have movie posters/ads as covers, and they are just beautiful. I’ll put the rest up as I get them scanned.

          • No, I haven’t been able to find Boyfriend :-( I so want to see it: Shammi Kapoor + Madhubala + great music = worth a watch, no matter about the rest of it. But if I remember correctly, you wrote in your review that it was watchable enough.

            I’ve seen Shyama in a few colour films too, and I still don’t think it looks like her. The eyes, yes; not the mouth.

            Whatever! Remember, there was this picture of Helen which nobody seemed to think was her?! ;-)

          • It’s not my favorite Shammi, but it’s got lovely songs, and the eye candy is fab of course. Do let me know if you can’t find it, I will make sure to get it to you :)

  11. Awesome stuff. I love the poster of the shammi movie and chalti ka naam gadi. Get goosebumps when I read the line…. Now nearing completion. Sigh ! I wish I could time travel at will.

  12. Suvarna Sundari poster is fabulous. I have real fond memories of the movie, i saw it as a 12 yr. old!
    Sulochana was a very beautiful lady.
    Very mean to put what he says about motherhood there. As if indian women in those days had family planning in their hands!

  13. And to call Daisy Irani ugly!

  14. Hey,

    We at WorldSpace have been reading your website long before it became as famous as it is now (Filmfare yada yada). While researching for shows, it’s always a delight to discover a film that has been reviewed by Memsaab. As for Baburao, I am so glad people are waking up to a brand of writing so completely awesome, almost dare I say Hedda Hopper-ish, although I couldn’t be sure if he wrote as much gossip as pithy comments on sad films. It’s a pity we can’t seem to locate enough FilmIndias. The copies that we have, have been generously thumbed.

    Good job, Memsaab.

    • Thanks Radio Farishta! I’m glad Baburao propelled you into commenting here :-D

      He is Hedda Hopper-ish, you are quite right. I think he loved gossip as much as anybody too! And it’s my considered opinion that anybody with copies of Filmindia magazine owes it to everybody else to scan them and share!!! (hint, hint!) :-P

  15. I used to wait for the latest issues of Filmindia, even if I didn’t quite follow the remarks therein, but the pictures were always great! After reading your post, I realized that I have seen this movie, “Zimbo”, and I think it was in color, but after all these years, and considering I wasn’t even in school at that point, who knows?I vaguely remember a monkey, and that’s it!

    I love to come to this site, Memsaab. Keep up the good work!

    • Oh you are lucky! Zimbo is such fun, and would be even better in color!!!!

      Damn you Shemaroo! *shakes fist in their general direction*

      Apparently everyone agrees that Pedro was the best thing about it :-) And I’m glad that you like coming here, I like having you come here!

  16. –> braces himself for disbelieving looks.

    When it was merely the “upholstered comment”, I shrugged. Oh well, I mean, it WAS the instant reaction and the coincidence in choice of words was merely that … a coincidence.

    But this!

    “air-conditioned costumes” AND Zimbo!

    –> Drumroll.

    I am Baburao reincarnate.

    Those who carp about timelines … do not watch Hindi movies.

    Memsaab, Have I Told You Lately ?

  17. Hi Memsaab,
    I have been following your post for a while now.. but just hadn’t got around to write back..
    I must say you do a super entertaining job, and it works so well for people like me, who enjoys bollywood and love bolly-trivia and reviews but don’t end up really writing blogs over them :)
    Love the goofy stuff and the posters you put up!

    and need i say Shammi Rocks! (cant believe you made it all the way to Bombay and met him- must have been such a dream come true!)

    Will keep writing my comments, now that I have started, and hope to keep up!

    • Oooh, another Shammi fan (there are just so many of us!) :-) It WAS a dream come true, still have to pinch myself when I look at the photos!

      And yay for Baburao for bringing another reader out of the dark. Please do keep commenting, I love to hear from everyone and have learned SO much from you all!

  18. Joy! This must be my day for discovering fabulous Bollywood-themed blogs. I can’t thank you enough, Memsaab for your georsity – for sharing your wit, immense knowledge and love of Hindi films and these wonderful artifacts from Bollywood history. To land on a blog where folks not only speak loving of Shammi Kapoor but actually know about obscure movies like “Cofee House” – Joy!

    I’d give a lot myself to see “Coffee House” and other films pairing Shammi with wife Geeta Bali. As it is the only one I’ve managed to find and see is “Raangeen Raatein” in which Geeta plays Shammi’s would-be brother-in-law! Yes, you read that right, Geeta plays a man in RR!

    • *dies of envy* :) Thanks, Shalini!

      I would kill to see Rangeen Raatein…there’s a poster from it in one of my previous Filmindia posts. Shammi himself told me that he really wants to see Coffee House, since that’s where he met Geeta (and she subsequently convinced the director of RR to let her go on the outdoor shoot and said she’d play a man even, so that she could be with Shammi there). There are so many films he did that I am dying to see. I have all the ones I’ve been able to find on VCD or DVD, but have never seen many of them available anywhere.

      • As luck would have it, I have an extra DVD of Rangeen Raaten. Would be happy to send it to you.

        As for Shammi, a few weeks ago I uploaded a song from a truly obsure movie of his, “Daku” on You Tube. The song is cute enough but the real attraction is a shirtless, young Shammi Kapoor decked out as gypsy.:-)

        PS. Raat ke Rahi songs have been posted on YT as well.

        • 8-D!!!!!!! Seriously???!!!!! Have sent you an email…and the daku song is FAB (have still to check out the Raat Ke Rahi but I know I will love them too)…Shammi is SO rocking that striped headband and gold earrings!!!!!!

  19. I have Suvarna Sundari with Anjali Devi. It is in telugu. Really good movie!

  20. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I don’t know how to make a link to it, but there is a charming clip from “Suvarna Sundari” on you tube’ The song is “kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya”

  21. I always suspected that thinking would spoil my Venus nature.

    But seriously, that review of “Hum Bhi Kuchh Kam Nahin” is the kind of film criticism we need more of!

  22. “But women never have the character to deny themselves the thrills of a man’s bed-thrill that bring home children the chill one’s life.” Love that quote. Great post memsaab, as usual.

  23. Your love for the B Grade Hindi film is admirable–I am sure you have seen Khote Sikkey, the one true cult film of the 1970s (and a kind of precursor to Sholay.) Feroze Khan as the man with the black cape is terrific.
    On another note, I envy you your collection of Mother India magazines. I am finishing research on a book about Dev Anand–any way you can help on reviews of his early films in the mag? Credit will be duly given.

    • Yes, I love Khote Sikkey—but could not write a review since my DVD is from Ultra (of the gigantic logo) and will not play in my computer for screen shot purposes.

      I would be happy to share anything I can find in my small collection (six) of Filmindia magazines about Dev Anand. Will send you an email so we can connect :)

  24. Hi Memsaab,

    I am amazed at reading such a vast ocean of knowledge about old Indian films at these pages. I wasn’t aware that there was a magazine called Film India (Film India has a directory of A-Z of films).

    I’m writing a biographical book about the most successful female screenwriter in the Indian cinema, Ms. Honey Irani. The book will include quotes about Ms. Honey Irani from all the successful and renowned directors, producers, actors, actresses and experts from Bollywood. For the purpose of this book can you please share the old issues of film magazines & newspapers 1956 onwards. I’ll give you due credit for the same. If you are interested, I’ll can send you a formal email regarding this. Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Sandhya Valecha
    Creative Director
    Unseen Movements, India

  25. Dear ‘Memsaab’,

    Last night while I was with a friend of mine and I was telling him that my baptism into journalism happened under Dr.Baburao Patel. His admiration for my fearlessness made him curious about Dr. Patel; we Google searched his name and reached your site.
    My late father Dr. K.L.Malick was the Delhi correspondent of the later incarnation of ‘filmindia’, the ‘MOTHERINDIA’.
    I have luckily inherited a big collection of ‘filmindia’ and ‘MOTHERINDIA’ magazines from my late father. They would remain my valuable possessions, and perhaps also of the generations to follow!
    How many issues of ‘filmindia’ do you have with you? Would you mind sharing PDF’s of these with me?
    Irrespective of your decision on my request, I greatly admire your effort of putting all that you have put of Dr. Baburao Patel on the web. He deserves much more, I am glad you have made a begining!

    • I have sent you an email…one of the things I want to do is scan my Filmindia magazines to share as pdf files, but it’s time consuming and I haven’t quite found it yet! But thanks for the push :)

  26. Dear Memsaab,
    I am doing research on female playback voice in Hindi film songs. In this project I am also interested in looking at films where the female protagonist plays the role of a singer, amateur or professional. Many films would fall in this category, especially those made on the tawaifs, where singinn is combined with dancing. I would like to widen the net. Could you kindly share with me some names.
    The films that come to my mind are Adaalat (Nargis), Abhimaan, Benazir, Dastak, Asha (Reena Roy), Sunny (Sharmila), Pakeezah, Umrao Jaan, Darpan (Waheeda), Sadhana, Devdas (both Vyjanti Mala). But I am sure there are several others.

    • Excuse me for jumping in here but you could also think of Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (Rekha), Mamta (Suchitra Sen), Amar Prem (Sharmila), Sharafat (Hema Malini), Ek Nazar (Jaya Bhaduri), Aakhir Kyon (Smita Patil – I think she becomes a singer later in the movie, I’m not sure), Ahista Ahista (Padmini Kolhapure), Devdas (Aishwarya Rai), Teesri Kasam (Waheeda Rehman), Tawaif? (Rati Agnihotri?). These come top of mind, in addition to the ones you’ve mentioned.

    • Anuradha, Leela Naidu’s first film where a professional singer and dancer gives up her career when she gets married. Until later on…

      The music, together with Lata’s singing, is outstanding.

  27. Dear memsaab,
    waiting for you response for my query. Will be much appreciated.

  28. Have you been able to find Shammi’s Raat Ki Rahi, Memsaab? How about Coffee House?

    I’m dying to see a Shammi-Geeta movie.

    • I think Raat Ki Rahi is floating around out there, but the quality is so poor that you can barely make out what’s going on onscreen, and there are of course no subtitles, not that it matters. I think mostly anything early with Shammi and Geeta is probably gone or so far gone it might as well be :(

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