Teen Bahuraniyan (1968)

Since I have started avoiding films with words like “Bahu” in the title like the plague, I was a bit nonplussed when this film arrived in my mailbox. Then I realized that probably what I had planned to order was Teri Meherbaniyan. Not the same thing, not at all. I really need to pay closer attention to what I’m doing sometimes.

But since the stars are the likes of Rajendranath, Prithviraj Kapoor and Shashikala, I thought: how bad can it be? (Which admittedly has gotten me into trouble a few times, but I never learn.) And in what turned out to be a bit of serendipity, it isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s quite sweet! It isn’t a feminist’s dream exactly, but given the time in which it was made it isn’t a nightmare either. Mostly it’s a funny story about a joint family and the plethora of complications that arise when a famous actress moves in next door. It reminded me of one of those 1950s Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedies. Plus, the songs are lots of fun (by Kalyanji Anandji) and hilariously picturized.

Dinanath (Prithviraj Kapoor) is the patriarch of a large, happy family consisting of his three sons and their wives and children. Dinanath is a retired school teacher, and he still gives his grandchildren lessons each morning at a chalkboard standing in the hall of their house.

To maintain peace in the household, Dinanath has divided it into separate areas for each of his sons, and he keeps separate bank accounts for each as well. The oldest son is Shankar (Agha), a music teacher married to Parvati (Sowcar Janaki), and they have five children. The middle son is Ram (Ramesh Deo) and his wife is of course Sita (Kanchana); he is a clerk at the high court and they have one child. The youngest son is Kanhaiya (Rajendranath), a pharmaceutical salesman, and he is married to Radha (Jayanthi). Sita’s unmarried sister Mala (?) also lives with them and studies at the local college.

Unfortunately the credits are all in Hindi, and imdb is not very helpful so I don’t know the names of most of the principal actresses. Updated to add: thanks to you guys, now I do!

This setup has worked well, and the fiercest arguments are over who gets to make Dinanath his morning tea. He has a sweet setup indeed! The three daughters-in-law do their chores together happily and sing a very pretty song, “Hamre Aangan Bagiya.”

This idyllic life is about to be disrupted, though. A famous film actress named Sheeladevi (Shashikala) buys the house next door and moves in, accompanied by her secretary Mahesh (Jagdeep). Our bahus are thrilled, especially when they invite her over for tea and she happily accepts.

A frenzy of home renovation ensues, with each woman roping her husband into making improvements to their parts of the house—new furniture, new plaster, new paint, new cushions and curtains, and radios and air-conditioning. Dinanath is horrified.

His sons assure him that they will pay for everything through “installments.” It’s the credit crisis—40 years early! The three women are increasingly competitive over whose home is the most luxurious and impressive, and arguments begin to erupt. Sheeladevi’s visit does nothing to mitigate this situation either—in fact, it only escalates it.

Meanwhile, her secretary Mahesh has fallen head over heels in love with Mala, Sita’s sister.

And the three husbands decide to milk their new friendship with the film star as well. Kanhaiya pays a visit to see if she will be willing to pose for advertisements for his company’s new headache medicine. Mahesh has some (possibly legitimate) objections to this plan:

and she’s away on a shoot anyway; thwarted for the time being, Kanhaiya indulges in a fantasy song where he ends up in some movie stills hanging on her wall:

It’s very cute!

Sheeladevi calls Shankar over to her house and asks him to teach her music. He tells her that he’s promised Parvati that he would never give music lessons to a single woman, since he began courting her during their music lessons.

(Is that not the best thermos you have ever seen? *Curse you for this obsession, Bollybob!*) He really wants to teach Sheeladevi though, and she agrees to keep the lessons a secret from his family. Then Ram shows up, wanting Sheeladevi to help him become an actor; and when the usually irascible and unhelpful Mahesh discovers that his beloved Mala is Ram’s sister-in-law, he promises to help him out.

Sheeladevi herself is a nice, down-to-earth woman who just happens to have a glamorous job. She gracefully fields the bahus’ intrusive questions (I loved this, having been subjected myself to blunt and very personal questions in India):

and genuinely enjoys their company, little realizing how her growing friendship with them is disrupting the formerly peaceable household. The sisters are increasingly acrimonious and competitive, and they spend all their time running around with Sheeladevi.

Dinanath is all too aware of it, though. Nobody fights over who gets to feed him anymore; in fact, the children aren’t even fed half the time, and they are neglected on other fronts as well.

And—horror of horrors!—the tulsi plant in the courtyard DIES.

Then Dinanath’s sons all fail to contribute their monthly paychecks to the household accounts: their wives are demanding every penny in their quest to “keep up with the Joneses” (in this case, mostly each other!).

Things clearly cannot go on like this, but his grumblings fall on deaf ears (except Mala’s and the children’s).

Biwi ka ghulam, indeed!

His sons are also busy vying with each other for Sheeladevi’s favors (except Shankar who is trying to keep their music lessons a secret), plus they are being harassed by an increasing number of creditors. Dinanath’s daughters-in-law are occupied in quarreling with each other, and Dinanath catches their manservant one day with a silver pitcher given to him by Parvati for pawning. He instructs the servant to bring anything his bahus want to sell or pawn to him and he’ll give the money for it instead, and tells him to keep quiet about it.

His cupboard is soon full!

He leads his granchildren in a very cute and hilarious song about managing one’s finances, “Aamdani Athanni Kharcha Rupaiya.”

Then three anonymous letters arrive, addressed to each bahu, and they all bear the same terrible news (and are signed “Satyavadi”—hilariously subtitled as “Honest Joe”):

Can this reunite the formerly close sisters-in-law? Or will it further complicate matters? (Here’s a hint: there’s still an hour to go.) Will peace ever be restored to Dinanath’s home, and to his sons and their wives and children? And who is “Honest Joe” (that just cracks me up)?

Watch Teen Bahuraniyan to find out! It’s frothy and fun, and although it is firmly on the side of “a woman’s place is in the home taking care of her family” it is not obnoxious given the time and place it was made (heck, even Doris Day’s films want you to believe that!). Dinanath’s preaching about not spending more than you make, or coveting what other people have, etc. is not overdone, and is treated in such a cute manner that it doesn’t grate; it may have even been a more novel sermon back in 1968 than it has become in the 21st century. The direction is deft, and the different threads of the plot gradually tangle into the final web just beautifully. And as I’ve said already, the songs are oodles and oodles of fun.

Plus how FAB is Shashikala as a movie star!

She was great—in fact all of the actors were great. I am always happy to see my Kapoor Papaji in anything, and the male comedy quartet are all relatively restrained and fun to watch. Thanks to you for helping identify the three very funny bahus! If anyone can help out with Mala’s portrayer I’ll be most grateful too.

Now I just need to find Teri Meherbaniyan. Teri Meherbaniyan…Teri Meherbaniyan…TeREE MEHERBANiyan…(I seriously wouldn’t put it past myself to order this one by mistake again.)

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112 Comments to “Teen Bahuraniyan (1968)”

  1. Thank you Memsaab.
    This is my kind of film :-D
    Lots of characters with their own stories.

    I think the three bahuranis were all from the South, as far as I can make out.

  2. It’s been ages since I watched this one. It’s wonderful and some how reminds me of Padosan and Khubsoorat (of Rekha). I love this movie. It would be fun to find out the names of the kids in the film as well. I’ll see if I can find time to watch this one soon.

    As for Teri Meherbaaniyan – I could never muster up enough courage to watch it. Do share your thoughts after you get a chance to watch it.

    Thanks for sharing this, Greta.

    • Ha ha!!! Todd liked it, and if there’s a dog-human pyare dost in it I am totally on board. But I’m glad I screwed up, because I really enjoyed this :)

      ps the other good thing is that it’s available on a Music India Collection/Samrat dvd with NO LOGO interfering! Hooray! And the songs are subtitled too. Yay Music India (I always order their version if there is one)…

  3. I checked the youtube and discovered the names.
    Sowkar Janaki, Jayanti and Vaishali.
    I guess this is in order of their seniority – oldest, middle and youngest bahurani.

  4. Yep, this movie is a remake of “Bhama Vijayam” a Tamil movie. It was ceertainly a lotta fun. Never knew it re-made into Hindi !

    Happy New Year btw!

  5. Oh, I have fond memories of this one. I loved doing the twist to “aamdani aathani” as a kid.:-D

  6. This sounds hillarious, memsaab! (both the movie & your mistake of ordering the movie, hehe :P). If Mala is the former Baby Farida, then she’s the same person who played Sharman’s mother in 3 Idiots (as per one of the comments on that movie’s post), right? How time flies..!!

  7. Also the fact that the movie was produced by SS Vasan is another indicator of a South Production. I did recognise Sowcar Janaki as one of the bahus but not the other 2. See the old movie “Dosti” for Baby Farida’s talent. That movie is very famous for its songs too. You will like the songs. BTW, the movie is in B&W – so I do enjoy some movies in B&W – ha ha

    • So does Sowkar Janki play Parvati for sure? Or one of the others?

      I will look for Dosti :) I think SS Vasan made Insaniyat, but other than that I’m not too familiar with him. I just know that Gemini remade southern films in Hindi.

      • Sowcar Janaki is the one in blue saree in the screen
        cap third from last ie one with subtitle that says ” The
        husband of one of you is crazy about Sheela Devi”

        Another famous producer from the South who remade
        southern hits into hindi was L V Prasad for eg – Ek
        Dujey Ke Liye, Jeeney ki Raah (Tanjua) etc. He also
        produced movies in Hindi -eg Khilona

      • S.S. Vasan also directed our favorite actress Asha Parekh in “Gharana” (1961) with Rajendra Kumar. The writer K. Balachander was just starting out when he wrote this story, but when he became a director as well, he became a major feminist voice in the 70’s & 80’s in mostly south indian films, and his films made stars out of Jayaprada, Kamal Hassan, etc. If you ever decide to watch his South Indian films, you should try “Anthuleni Katha” (1976), one of Jayaprada’s first films. It’s in black-and-white, and she looks absolutely gorgeous. The movie is on youtube. No subtitles, but you’ll immediately grasp the story of her as an unmarried office worker who financially supports her family. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN9QhBMNXvM

        • I think he directed Insaniyat too (or maybe that was SS Balan, I don’t remember). Thanks for the information and for the links—I am familiar with K Balachander’s name, but will investigate his work a little more thoroughly! I do love a good feminist voice :D

          • Memsaab, Balachander has written,
            directed and produced several films.
            The tamil original of hindi Aaina (73 ver) ie
            Aaarangetram was one of those movies
            focusing on women. There has been a lot
            of discussion on this hindi version at
            bollywoodfoodclub. Likewise his original
            telugu version “Marocharitra” (B &W) of the hindi
            ek dujey ke liye was enjoyable –
            Kamala Hasan and Saritha (fat, non glam
            but very talented actress). His more
            recent hits include Mani Ratnam’s Roja as
            a producer. I think another tamil film called
            Aboorva Ragamgal (roughly tranlsated as
            unusual ragas or melodies) is also a
            famous movie

  8. Memsaab, you sure stumbled upon a goodie! Don’t you love when things like that happen!

    This was the film that made me a die hard fan of both Rajendranath and Prithviraj Kapoor. And I didn’t even realize that Shashikala was in it. Back when I watched this movie (it was among my first Bollywood films) I was unaware of her as an actress. Now I must watch it again.

    • It was serendipitous! The title made me groan and roll my eyes, but I was sucked in by the cast and am so glad I was :) You should watch it again—Shashikala as the move star rocks it.

  9. All the three actresses are South-Indian for sure but I don’t know their names…Had I been in office today, I could have checked with my colleagues and told you who was who, but it being a bandh today, I am at home.
    Movie is interesting. I had seen it in Tamil couple of years back, but with no sub-titles I couldn’t understand much (I can hardly understand few words in Tamil). Don’t even remember if it had the same star-cast. Never knew it was re-made in Hindi and that too with Prithviraj!!!
    Thanks a lot! I have already given a long list of movies to the guy at video store (and he claimed he hadn’t even heard of some of them like Miss Coca Cola, Shankar Hussain etc but has promised to get them for me). Will add this one too :-)

  10. Sowcar Janaki is the oldest bahu – she was a big star in Telugu back in the early B&W days – was also very pretty. Sowcar is not her surname – her first movie was called Sahukaaru (merchant in Telugu) shortened for practical purposes to Sowcar.
    The middle one (pink saree in last photo) is Jayanti – I remember sitting through old Telugu movies and cringing whenever she came on screen – she played sisters and sisters-in-law and was almost always crying….
    Not sure about the last bahu..
    Papa Kapoor makes a cute teddy of a grandpa.
    I’ve seen both Telugu and Hindi versions of this movie and both were pretty fun..

    • Hooray! Once I finish going through the comments I’ll update the post with all the info all of you have given me :) This was really fun, the plot was just so good, and the comedy nicely understated for the most part. The personalities involved were allowed to play out and the situations which developed from that were hilarious but realistic.

  11. The oldest bahu, as others have pointed out is Sowcar Janaki, the second bahu – the one that wears glasses is Kanchana and the third is Jayanthi. The original B&W tamil version had the same female leads (except the sister, who was played by Sachu – shortened form of Saraswati :) ) and the male leads were funnier than those in the Hindi version !!

  12. And yes, the sister character looks like Leena Chandavarkar..

    • Cool! I will update my post with the names! :) The sister isn’t Leena Chandavarkar, I think I would have recognized her if so, because I’m pretty familiar with Leena C.

  13. I love these big family fun kind of movies if they are not too laden with self-sacrificing women. Shashikala is gorgeous, was so even when I saw her once at FTII, when she must have been around 60??

    Mm, not sure about the Baby Farida bit, my memory of Baby Farida is quite different, isn’t she the one who plays the niece Kuku in ‘Ram aur Shyam’, Pran’s daughter? The girl in yellow in the ‘Aamdani atthani’ song looks more like her.

    • No self-sacrificing women in this!!! It’s totally fun, and apparently I am really confused over the Baby Farida/Farida Jalal/Farida Das (in 3 Idiots) thing—too damn many Faridas! I will work on getting them straightened out :) You are right about Ram Aur Shyam and the girl in yellow I think, based on more comments below!

      • Yes Baby Farida is the girl in yellow. Baby Farida I think did not continue acting as an adult. She seems to have come back after years in 3 Idiots. I think Farida Jalal was not a child star and she is easy to recognise from movies in the 70s (Aradhna, Jurmana etc) and more recent “ma” roles in movies.

      • Our local newspaper had confirmed that she was Baby Farida who would act in 3 Idiots.
        Going by her looks, the child actress in Teen Bahuraniyan was Baby Farida herself. Her name is even in the credits in Hindi.
        P.S. – Mala, the younger sister of Sita is portrayed by Vaishali (as seen in credits) . (No surname in internet,,)
        IMDB has falsely credited Kanchana as Mala and Radha as Vaishali. I’ve submitted the rectification just today.

  14. I checked with some friends here – the eldest bahu is Sowcar Janaki, the next is Kanchana (http://earlytollywood.blogspot.com/2008/01/kanchana.html). Yet to find the third bahu’s name.

    • Oh poor Kanchana :( Doesn’t sound like she had a very easy life. She was my favorite of the three bahus—very very pretty, and quite funny. Her facial expressions were just wonderful…and she looked familiar to me too, but without her name I couldn’t figure out why. It’s because she was in Farz too, which I recently saw…thanks for double-checking!!!! :)

      • Kanchana was a famous actress in telugu movies down south i

      • To clarify some of the responses to your questions:

        The movie Teen Bahuraniyan was a remake of the tamil film Bama Vijayam by K. Balachandar who has now completed directing more than 100 films.
        The three daughters-in-law are in order, Sowcae Janaki, Kanchana, and Jayanthi. Sowcar Janaki, Kanchana and Jayanthi were all successful and highly regarded stars (and actors too!). All three achieved success in Tamil films while Jayanthi was also did a lot of work in Kannada films.

        I just stumbled onto this blog and find your interest and reviews fascinating!


  15. Oh, this sounds like a lot of fun! (Teri Meherbaniyaan isn’t, by the way – I thought it excruciating).

    • I agree… I found ‘Teri Meherbaniyaan’ absolutely AWFUL… even the cute dog (whom I can’t help thinking must have been quite badly treated on the sets) could not save it. Very poorly scripted and misogynistic. I think you lucked out with this mistake. ‘Teen Bahuraniyan’ sounds charming.

    • Oh sadness re: Teri Meherbaniyan. I cannot resist movies with big roles for a dog! But I did totally luck out with this one—would probably never have ordered it on purpose.

      Does this mean I need to rethink the whole “Bahu”-type word avoidance plan? Hmmm.

      • I think it is sensible to continue avoiding “bahu” titles movies. If you are really interested in dogs having a prominent roles in
        hindi movies then you will like “Noorie” – Poonam Dhillon and
        Farookh Sheikh – kashmiri love story with a lovely dog too.
        I haven’t seen this movie but I remember my then 10 yr old kid
        brother going crazy about the dog and the song “Noorie”

  16. Baby Farida I think was too young in 1968 to have played Mala. She played one of the kids in Teen Bahuraniyan. She is the tallest kid (in Churidaar kammez) in the screen cap where the kids are dancing to ‘Aamdani aathani kharcha rupayia’.

    Baby Farida also played Shahsi Kapoor’s kid sister in Jab Jab Phool Khile.

  17. Yes…remember seeing this one on TV a loooooong time back and that song “Aamdani atthanni kharcha rupaiya” is quite catchy. It was a fun movie – of course, full of all the excesses that you’d expect from a Hindi movie.

    But fun all the same. :)

  18. Filmbuff: The Baby Farida in ‘Dosti’ grew up to be Farida Jalal. The Baby Faida in here is different. This one played kid roles in Ram aur Shyam and Jab Jab Phool khile and some others.

    • I think Baby Farida of Dosti is the same as the kid in yellow here. Some body may confirm this but I don’t think she grew up to be Farida Jalal. I am happy to be corrected if i am wrong!

  19. Sorry second row should read as Baby Farida

  20. Love the vivid colors! Chennai made films of yesteryear are always a treat for those who love psychadelic color as I do.

    Oh and Shashikala has always ROCKED!

    These were the kinds of films my parents took me to as a child. Anything with vivid colors, kids on screen and a “family values moral”. Special place in my heart for them.

    Meanwhile I take my kids to see a shirtless SRK in OSO. Same thing right…. ummmm hell yeah there are family values in that too. Right? right?

  21. Baby Farida and Farida Jalal are different. Even I can tell them apart. Farida Jalal was about 10 years older than Baby Farida.

  22. Can someone give me the youtube links to the songs of this movie ? I can only get links to a TV serial of the same name.

  23. As many have done here, I’d also suggest you to skip Teri Meherbaaniyan…Noori would be a better bet. Similar story, a pristine looking Poonam Dhillon, an even more pristine looking Kashmir, good music and of course, the ubiquitous dog. And if movies with dogs are something you dig so much, I’d also suggest Mard (1985) *ing Amitabh Bachchan & Amrita Singh or Parivar (1987) *ing Mithun Chakraborty & Meenakshi Sheshadri.

    • I think I have Noorie—I will need to bump it up my list (Filmbuff recommended it too above)…

      I LOVE Mard (have reviewed it here), in total opposition to any kind of common sense. So I’m not convinced that Teri Meherbaniyan will be as awful for me as for others. But you never know!

      • In this instance memsaab, i think when u eventually see Teri Meherbaniyan you will say – “folks thanks for all the warning to avoid the movie” !

        Another good movie with dogs (lovely ones) worth seeing is the telugu movie “Anand”. The gogs are part of the lovely story and do not have a big role unlike some of the hindi movies. Ajnabi and Nicky have reviewed this movie on their blogs. I too have been strongly recommending this movie to you.

  24. yes baby farida and frida jalal are two different ladies. The kid in yellow is baby farida

  25. I watched this film before three years ago with my grandfather. Actually he was a huge film fan. I think i was just 14 years old at that time. I loved this film. I loved this film mainly because of two persons, first Kanchan, she was just lovely in the film and the most loveliest among the three bahus. Her expression and of course acting was just superb in the film. And secondly because of Shashikala, she was as usual lovely and looking really cute in the film. I just love her. Thank memsaab for reviewing this beautiful movie. I am really missing my grandfather now who passed away a year ago. Now i am really feeling to watch the movie again but unfortunately i don’t have the DVD of this film because i watched this film on a TV channel.

    If you can so please review the film Ek Nanhi Munni Ladki Thi because i heard that its an superb film produced by the Ramsay brothers, who were known for making horror films. But i am not getting the DVD of this film too. I wanna watch it because i am a big fan of Hindi horror films and of course because of Helen and Laxmi Chhaya.

    • I don’t know where you are, Subah, but I got the DVD from nehaflix.com (Music India/Samrat, which is a decent dvd manufacturer). They ship worldwide though. I think Moserbaer has it out too, although of course you will be flogged by their miserable quality standards and logos.

      I have Ek Nanhi Munni Ladki Thi—but it’s a VCD without subtitles, which I don’t mind watching but find difficult to review (since I have no clue what’s going on)…

      I’m sorry about your grandfather :( I still miss my grandmother too!

  26. I remember watching this. It was sweetly sermonic. Loved Amdani Athanni, the song was a rage when I was a kid.

  27. Shashikala was really great looking here.

  28. The song Aamdani adhani is almost ingrained in all indians who were born before 1985, lovely song. ithis is one movie where people remember the songs but cant remember the movie.
    I wish they would make at least one movie in Eastman color or technicolor every year, its such a relaxing experience.
    in Teri meherbaniyaan even the dog steals the thunder from jackie shroff really sad :-)
    I seriously recommend a classic for you “jungle mein mangal” with pran at his possible comedic best and kiran kumar in one of his few lead roles, before allegations of being gay ruined his career.
    and also johar mehmood in hong kong.

    • Yes, I love all the songs although the picturization of Aamdani Adhani was particularly fun. (I love the Indian Twist!)…LOL@doing movies again in Eastman Color or Technicolor—there is nothing quite like it, is there? I love Gevacolor too :D

      I have been meaning to watch Jangal Mein Mangal—it’s lying in front of my TV as I write this :) Looks like fun.

  29. Memsaab,

    Let me first mention that I am a big big fan of your blog. And this is my first comment.

    The search that brought me to your blog almost 8 mnths ago was “Double Cross” (Vijay Anand) – I was making a collection of all songs of R D Burman and no other website gave me any idea about what this movie was about. And hey presto! there I found such a “panoramic review” (thats what i call your way of putting screenshots with subtitles in between your reviews on this movie. And I must say, I was ZAPPED ! I just rented and watched this movie last week.

    Coming to this post, Is it just a coincidence that “teen bahuraniyan” has been reviewed right after ” 3 (teen) idiots” ?

    Let me guess..Is “teen deviyaan” coming next ?!

    I think I have watched this way way back in 80s on national TV.

    • Hey I like panoramic better than long-winded, which is what I tend to call my reviewing style!!! LOL :) I’m glad you’ve left a comment and pleased to meet you.

      It is a total coincidence that 3 idiots was followed by 3 bahus :) What did you think of “Double Cross”?

      • “Double Cross” I watched a day after I watched 3 Vijay Anand directed classics one after the other (Guide, Jewel Thief, Teesri Manzil). So, watching ACTOR Vijay Anand was as if he was enacting the roles for the actors he was directing. Dont know if he started speaking and acting that way under the influence of Dev or he WAS that way just because he was his real brother…

        Anyway, the movie was 70s masala – property hungry uncle/aunty/son combo along with an orphan girl, add to that a sudden twist of long lost twin brothers going different ways, some misunderstandings…umm..not bad… Was the director Gogi Anand yet another one of the Anand brothers (Dev, Chetan, Vijay)?

  30. Great movie and songs. Cheers one up. Happy 2010 Greta.

  31. ooops! Sorry. That should be Goldie and not Gogi. :-(

    Gogi Anand was another person. He passed some years ago.


    • Yep!

      I did my ‘research’ too and found he was another nephew of the three Anand Bros. He made some other movies like ‘Doosri Sita’, ‘Darling Darling’.


    • Sounds like Jaya Bachchan understands the sad neglect of Hindi cinema’s icons…so why doesn’t she do something about it? :( When I go to build my Hindi film museum I’ll be banging on her door!!! Watch out Jaya!

      • Greta,

        What can she do alone ? Build an “old age neglected cine artistes home” ? Lets say she organizes a felicitation programme and with the clout that Bachchans have, many will come and say good things and return. BUT…its a collective psychology..she can’t change our attitudes..its a fast fast world and money rules… I dont thing we can expect the likes of her to do anything..my two cents..


        • There’s a lot she could do “alone” if she wanted, she has the money and the influence. The world is full of good things that began as one person’s idea and passion. I’m not even talking about the financial neglect of these elderly people—I’m talking about doing something about the general neglect of Hindi cinema history. There are plenty of ways to go about beginning to change that if you have the means—and she does.

          • I still have my reservations on that but without sounding adamant, let me ask you how it functions in the Hollywood because sitting here we don’t have an idea how cine icons are treated world over and specially in US.

            Maybe we can pick up a cue and see how things can be changed here. Anything that you can think of?

  32. tin bahuraniya….
    mala role plaid by actress VAISHALI…
    she has also perform as heroin role in RATON KA RAJA…
    lovely song DOOR SE TERA DIWANA AYA HAI RUK JANA picturies on her and dihraj..
    prithviraj kapoor voice was dubbed by actor BIPIN GUPATA..at that time prithviraj kapoor facing trouble with his voice due to cancer…

    vinod dave

    • Thanks!!! I’ll add Vaishali to my gallery :) And thanks for the other information as well :)

    • The information you have provided here is priceless. Please give us more biographical information on actress Vaishali if possible. She’s looks and acts better than most of her contemporaries. It’s unfortunate that we know so little about her.

  33. everyone, look’s awesome in this, especially shashikala! should have done more films with cool blacked out shades!

  34. I remember watching this film being made! -shashikala is my aunt!

  35. Bama Vijayam is the tamil movie released in 1967.It was a superhit and was more well made in tamil by director K.Balachander.Music was by M.S.Vishwanathan ,the RD Burman of Tamil Films.
    kanchana,sowcar janaki could have made it bigger in hindi too but they were too busy in tamil movies.
    as far as shashikala is concerned it should hve had a bigger actress on likes of Sharmila or Asha Parekh in the film.The film was a success in Hindi too but hindi viewers have forgotten the film where as tamil version remains a eternal classic on lines of say hindi’s padosan.
    also the heroes should have been mehmood playing role of what nagesh played in tamil version.muthuraman’s role could have been done by a shahsi kapoor then it wold have been a bigger hit.

  36. Vaishali is Madhumati’s sister. :)

  37. Hi,
    Another dog movie is Saccha Jhootha, it has Naaz too, besides Rajesh Khanna in Dual Role

  38. Very nyc movie jhakas super duper hit

    • Bhama Vijayam is a classic directed by K. Balachander and had excellent music and great cast….in hindi i guess they should have casted heroes for male lead roles…..in tamil heroes were cated for male parts…
      prithviuraj and 3 leading ladies did well in hindi n yes..still in hindi the movie became a huge box office hit but couldnt become classic like how it was in tamil…
      i like both versions but tamil version is better and is a classic……its like by even todays generation of tamil movie watchers……

  39. Hi Memsaab, I have always enjoyed your blog for a while now and stumbled on this post today and was kicked to find it. My grandfather (SS Balan) directed the film and he was the son of my great grandfather SS Vasan who founded Gemini Pictures. I noticed in a comment that you did not know much about him, but it would be really great if you do check out more about him (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._S._Vasan) and review more releases of Gemini’s in Hindi. Gemini Studios was the first to achieve all India success and distribution with Chandralekha in 1948 and also became one of the biggest production companies with many smash hits in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. I could send you information about the films or a list if you would like…

    Gemini studios right in the late 60’s recognized the emergence of independent filmmakers and producers. Hence they started offering a package service to aspiring producers and filmmakers that all they came with were a salable script outline, the spirit to make a film and credible talent. The packaging, distribution, casting and funding package were all worked out by Gemini and helped plenty of independent filmmakers and directors emerge especially in Tamil. The focus in the 50’s and 60’s of the studios was equally in making Hindi films as Tamil. The studio in fact pioneered multi-starrers and filming in multiple languages (such as the Dilip Kumar-Vyjayanthimala starrer Paigham being shot simultaneously with the Sivaji Ganesan starrer Irumbu Thirai in Tamil). I would like to email you and request you to review more films from the Gemini stable other than Insaaniyat (which for all the stars in it was not a great film and nor was it as successful as other films from the studio despite having Zippy the Chimp). When K.Balachandar (KB), the famous director down south made his foray in Tamil, the first few films were independent productions which were packaged together with support from Gemini. part of the deal was that Gemini bought remake rights of them with the hindi versions being made almost simultaneously (and in color)

    Teen Bahuraniyan, Lakhon Mein Ek, and Sanjog were three KB films (Bama Vijayam, Ethirneechal and Iru Kodugal) that were remade in Hindi by Gemini and directed by my grandfather SS Balan. Teen Bahuraniyan was one of Prithviraj Kapoor’s last screen appearances and he substitutes in the Hindi version for the legendary actor Balaiah of the south. PK had earlier played a major supporting role a decade earlier in Gemini’s Zindagi (Vyjayantimala, Raj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor, & Mehmood) which was directed by Ramanand Sagar (who was associated with Gemini for many years) and a remake of the Tamil film Vazhkai Padagu by the studio starring Gemini Ganesan.

    Ethirneechal, another KB film was one of the famous comedian Nagesh’s finest and it was played by Mehmood in the Hindi version Lakhon Mein Ek, (as Shrikant would have preferred!). The Hindi film was a very good hit at the BO as well and a hauntingly beautiful song “Chanda O Chanda” (Both Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar’s versions) was also very popular. Mehmood was very good friends with my grandfather and also the lead of this film. Spurred by the success of these two films, the third remake of Iru Kodugal was being planned in which Gemini Ganesh played a sensitive role in the original Tamil which had a man coming face to face with his presumed missing/dead first wife who returns as his boss, the Collector, upsetting his now happily married and settled life. It was a mature role and the film had been successful in Tamil.

    At this time, there was a lanky young man who used to live in Mehmood’s outhouse who had done only a supporting role in a film titled Saat Hindustani. That young man was recommended by Mehmood to be given a break as a leading man and was cast to be the lead of the third remake, Sanjog that released in 1971 opposite Mala Sinha. The credits of the film introduces none other than Amitabh Bachchan, the lanky young man who became a legend of Indian cinema. Unfortunately the film did not do as well in the box office but Anand where AB plays a supporting role propelled him further and after 1973 with Zanjeer hitting bulls eye, the rest as they say is history…

    • How nice to meet you! I have seen so many Gemini pictures, I love the production logo at the beginning (twins with trumpets) :) and generally I can be sure I will enjoy the movie a lot! Do feel free to suggest some…I’ve been sadly lacking in time lately but do want to get back to watching films and writing about them.

  40. It’s wonderful meeting you too! Thanks for your immediate response. I have been meaning to spend more time on your blog and comment for a couple of years but did not do so before today! I will definitely give you some good suggestions. Thanks for the compliment though, of course not all films are the best thing, but I do know that they did try to make sure the films were generally enjoyable! :D

  41. If I am not mistaken, S S Balan and K Balachander had an ugly spat during the shooting of “Bama Vijayam”. So much so that when Ananda Viktatan, a Tamil weekly was acerbic about KB’s later movie, KB got wild and the old controversy re surfaced.

    Kanchana, like Faryal, was an air hostess, who was spotted by Sridhar (who made DIL eK mandir). She had her moment of fame but once her market slided she ended up in penury and later she recovered. It was Ananda Vikadan that played a role in reuniting Kanchana with her estranged family.

    Jayanti married twice or thrice and divorced; her son also divorced his actress wife Anu Prabhakar (Kannada). She is now seen in Kannada TV serials. Janaki is settled in Bangalore and acts in Kannada movies.

    As almost 50% of the star cast was from the South, the Hindi film had a Southern feel to it. Agha, Ramesh Deo, Rajendranath did not fall in the hero bracket – bad choice. Tamilian actors who played
    the role were matchless

    • Lots of very interesting tidbits in your comments that I was not aware of. As far as I know:

      Kanchana did quite well, and had a pretty long career, in South Indian movies, especially Tamil, though she did land up in very dire straits as you mentioned, and has since her reunion been doing better.

      Sowcar Janaki was considered a versatile performer/actress (more than a star) and had an illustrious career. But she has, as far as I know, retired from acting quite a few years back, and spends a considerable amount of time volunteering at Tiruvannamaiai in Ramana Maharishi’s ashram. Didn’t know she was still active.

      Jayanthi, probably the youngest of the three actors, also had a long career in Kannada films, and Tamil films, though these were fewer in number, and most of these were directed by KB. She now moslty appears on TV serials.

  42. In fact, all three of them are still very much alive and active in a way.

    Kanchana was rehabilitated and is living a dignified life in Bangalore. After her decline, the only brief cameo she did in the 80’s was in Mani Ratnam’s “Mouna Ragam” where she appears as a divorce lawyer.

    Sowcar Janaki was also very famous as a cook and went into running a restaurant in Chennai for many years till recently when she became too old and arthritic. She also acted in TV serials till about a decade ago in addition. Sowcar is a veteran actress in Tamil and has performed a wide foray of roles with all the top actors of the south. She was especially known for her fine acting skills and total metamorphosis from a timid, tearful, bahu/widow to a totally wild glamdoll, drinking and dancing with varied men with wild abandon as the role demanded!

    Jayanthi is still active in Telugu and Kannada screens – both TV and film as well as appearing on Tamil screens now and then. She was given a couple of lifetime achievement award within the last few years. Jayanthi was a favorite actor used by KB in a multitude of his films. In fact, she acts in all three tamil versions of the KB films remade in Hindi in this series (Ethirneechal/Lakhon Mein Ek, Iru Kodugal/Sanjog as well as Bama Vijayam/Teen Bahuraniyan)

    I just happened to come on this thread again after a long time and wanted to note something… A quirk of cinematic fate indeed…. My grandfather (S. S. Balan/S.Balasubramanian) , who had directed this film passed away in December. Following him in a few days, K.B (K.Balachandar) also passed away… Both men were the best of friends and the greatest of critics/matched opponents. Their careers entwined each other for many decades where both supported, later sailed in parallel paths and also locked horns at their peak. However, personally, their regard, respect or affection for each other never disappeared.

    Both KB and my grandfather remained close friends for many decades barring a period in the middle (in the early 90’s; 30 years after the films had been made) where there was a controversy about an interview given by KB about an incident around the Telugu production of Bama Vijayam. It became a public difference of opinion between the top Tamil magazine editor and the top film director. Upset about the remark made in public, my grandfather chose to publish his version in the magazine and requested the readers to poll for who they thought was justified. Both achieved what they wanted publicly by trying to humble the other – but neither of their egos would be able to resume a cordial or close relationship any longer. Though, they still never held a grudge.

    Kanchana, Jayant

  43. Also, an added mention I wanted to make was that Ananda Vikatan – the tamil weekly mentioned in the comments above was also owned and edited by SS Balan/S Balasubramanian who continued on to edit the magazine and run it for 50 years till he retired in 2006. He sold Gemini Studios in the early 80’s to consolidate into magazine publishing and became the top editor in Tamil also having founded Junior Vikatan, the first Tamil investigative magazine.

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