From the archives: more filmindia

The beauty bounty continues with color plates of Madhubala:

and Nargis, in one single issue! (March 1956):

Plus, the movie Insaniyat seems to have been on the cover of this magazine for about a year!

Too bad the film didn’t quite live up to all that hype.

Here’s another shot of Cowboy Shammi in Sipah Salar, a movie I really really want to see although I fear it doesn’t exist any more. I love Kum Kum too.

And finally, Nigar Sultana channeling Carmen Miranda. Gorgeous!

43 Comments to “From the archives: more filmindia”

  1. Ha ha, lovely.

    In his slouching style here, Shammi reminds me a bit of James Dean. Or maybe it’s the hat and the scarf round the neck. :-) I really want to see this movie too. :-)

    Love the Nigar Sultana pic too. Loved her in Magroor.

    It is wonderful to see these rare pics, memsaab. Thanks a lot.

  2. @Memsaab – This is lovely. Thanks for bringing it to us. Madhubala looks heavenly. Nargis’ eyes seem so much like Sanjay Dutt’s.
    I like the byline for Insaniyat – a picture with a moral. Maybe that’s why people stayed away as they did not want to be sermonized :)

  3. If IMDB is to be believed, “Sipah Salar” boasts an enviable cast – Shammi, Nadira, Helen, Cuckoo and Kum Kum. The few songs that I’ve heard from the film are lovely and I’m sorely tempted to go hunting…

  4. “A wild tale of love wildly told”. :-D
    I want to see ‘Mastani’ …… in addition to Sipah salar, of course.

  5. Thanks for sharing Memsaabji!!! Nothing to beat Filmindia!

  6. Lovely, lovely. The hand-painted posters of the film are so well done.

  7. Thank you – loved those! And I do so want to see Sipah Salar.

  8. memsaab ji,

    I have seen the film Sipahsalaar(which roughly means commander in chief or Senapati).Since I find that many people are curious about this film,based on my notes I give herewith a short synopsis of the film.if you are unable to see the film,atleast here is some info about it.

    It was an Eagle films presentation,produced by F.C.Mehra and directed by Mohd.Hussain who also wrote its story,s/play and dialogues as well.Music was by Iqbal with lyrics from Faruk kaizer.

    The evil Vazir of Bharatpur(Randhir) ousts the good king(Kamal Mehra) and captures the throne.The good but helpless king escapes to another country.However his loyal,trustworthy and brave Sipahsalaar(S.Nazir) goes underground and continues guerilla fighting with the Vazir.

    The king wants to send a plan to recapture his kingdom to his Sipahsalaar.For this purpose he chooses a Captain(Shammi Kapoor).He is ready to undertake this dangerous mission.Disguised as a Truck Driver,the Captain starts his journey,but is recognised and stopped by a major(Shyam kumar) at the border.At this time a mysterious,beautiful patriot girl(Nadira) saves him and both escape in the jungle.
    hereafter the film depicts many adventures,jungle scenes and moments of love between SK and nadira,including some songs.

    They finally reach sipahsalaar,etc etc.

    -Arunkumar Deshmukh

    • Arunkumarji – You sure are a discovery for all of us. You have given so many details of a movie many of us haven’t even heard of.

      With your help, we could pen biographies of so many stars gone by.

    • Thank you for the info.. The jodi of Nadia and Shammi Kapoor however makes one mind boggle :D. And where did Kumkum come in (seen in the picture above)? and that cowboy outfit ? Shammi appears to have beat Feroz Khan and Akshay Kumar to the draw by several years!

      Loved the old pics – especially Nargis. I love it when Nigar curls up one side of her lips.

      • Nadira and Shammi were awesome together in Professor Pyarelal…but the young sizzling versions of them would be great to see!

      • Salim ji,
        As far as I remember,kumkum was planted by the intercepting Major(Shyamkumar) to engage Shammi kapoor till his truck was searched for his true identity,at the state border.Shammi Kapoor had that get up while driving the truck,throughout the long journey(perhaps he was hoping that no one will recognise him in it).
        -Arunkumar Deshmukh

        • Thank you once again for the information Arunkumarji (Please call me ‘Salim’ as I am more like your younger brother). Your mention of ‘notes’ recalled my teenager days when I too used to keep ‘reviews of films I saw. Do you have your own blog? I am sure you could tell us a lot.

          • salim ji,
            I do not have any blog.
            I have kept notes on almost every film that I saw since my first film.I did not keep notes on well known films,though.
            I regularly write on,where I have already written about 270 old,less known and obscure films,starting with the first Talkie Aalam Ara-1931.I have also written about 200 notes on movie backgrounds,old songs,singers,directors,MDs,lyricists,production houses and allied topics.
            I also write on blogs like cineplot,Harveypam,kamalp.,dustedoff,songsofyore,memsaab,chitrapatsangeet etc.
            As far as writing the suffix ‘ji’,it is a must for me.
            -Arunkumar Deshmukh

          • It never occurred to me to take notes about any film until I started writing this blog, but it is really helpful in making a film stick in my mind. Thank you again for all the detail…

    • What Shashi said…thanks Arunji! Did you see it in a theater, or is there some hope that a digital copy of it exists somewhere?

      • Memsaab ji,
        I saw it in a Theatre,after it was released in 1956.
        I think the DVD may be available in some online store,who specialise in old films.
        But be careful to check the cast before buying as there was another film by the same name’Sipahsalar’,produced in 1936 featuring singing star Khurshid,Yusuf,jani babu,Balabhai,Effendi etc.
        The chances of getting the older film are,ofcourse,almost nil.

  9. Wonderful post !!

    I could barely recognise Dev Anand from his profile in the “Insaaniyat” poster. Pity he didn’t co-star with Dilip Kumar again.

    Nargis picture seems to be coloured later. The Red isn’t the natural read one gets to see….Madhubala as usual is divine.

  10. WOW…Memsaab…j’adore these vintage filmi magazine pin-ups!!!!!! God bless you for sharing them with us…you just made my day…

  11. Great historical treasures you’re sharing, thanks! So Insaaniyat came out not long before Naya Daur? That one is one of my favourite films, so happy it didn’t have “I really AM a Dev” Anand in it, his presence is a blight on any film. And the Madhubala poster reminded me again how much a Panjabi friend looks like a ( “dusky”) version of her. Shammi as a cowboy, priceless!

  12. Isn’t it interesting going through old magazines,? Dad had quite a collection of old Film Indias and Filmfares, I remember rushing up to his room every time we visited my grandparents in Nagpur just to eagerly flip through these magazines.

  13. r u int 2share old filmfare 1952first20 issue

  14. Hey memsaab, Do you know from which movie this Helen photo is from? I need to know immediately. Thanks in advance.

  15. It’s from the Sept 1962 issue of Filmfare magazine. I think its from Kabli Khan or Shikari though I am not 100% sure. But thanks anyway !

  16. Guess what debonair Dev Anand has reverentially thought and said about genius Baburao Patel?

  17. Dev Anand – filmindia – Baburao Patel

    Ever-debonaire Dev Anand on Baburao Patel —- the Humanist! *

    ‘Now,the ever-debonaire Dev Anand, the sigh and heart-throb of millions of day-dreaming women, took over the microphone.
    For a good two minutes, he could not speak due to the continuous applause.

    And then, began Dev Anand’s oration in perfect diction’:

    “Mr. Baburao Patel is one of the most outstanding men of our Times.
    I deem it an honor to speak on him!

    My acquaintance with him dates back to my College days. That was in Lahore, now in Pakistan.
    I very vividly remember, when I joined my College in the 1st year,
    all the University boys in the campus used to carry copies of ‘filmindia’ along with their text books.
    That was their Bible!

    In fact,the Indian Movie Industry then,also meant Baburao Patel !
    A great movie critic, whose writings in his Journal spelt Magic amongst readers.
    So,naturally, when I first came to Bombay, looking for a break in the movies,
    somewhere within me also lurked a desire to meet the man,
    and have a look at this Magician, who meant the Indian Movie Industry to me.

    He made and un-made stars.
    He established or destroyed a film, with just a stroke of his pen!
    That much Power he wielded,then.

    My first close contact with him, in fact, came when I made the film, “The Guide”.
    That was a very expensive film. I had put all that I had in terms of money and talent into it,
    and so,naturally,I was very nervous before it’s release.

    And,fortunately, I went to Baburao Patel to seek his Blessings before its release.

    He not only blessed me,but he also had a Pooja performed for me.
    I was touched.I was blessed !

    The movie was a success, and in my mind Baburao,the Humanist,the Kind-hearted,the Religious and
    God-fearing Baburao came to the forefront, instead of the image of a harsh-hearted,ruthless bully which the Movie Industry held of him.

    When his ‘filmindia’ turned into ‘Mother India’,Baburao was on the threshold of a new experience.
    He turned to politics.He was fighting an Election.
    I remember he told me that he went from village to village,walking,tramping,covering hundreds of miles of dusty roads by jeep,meeting men and women of his Country,
    seeking their confidence,seeking their votes.

    I met him then again,just to lend him my moral support as a fellow human being.
    And,I was a witness to another aspect of Baburao.
    Of Baburao,the leader of mankind.

    He radiated confidence and warmth,and a sense of leadership amongst his fellow beings.
    So,here is a man with so many facets to his personality.
    He is a man of tremendous Learning and tremendous Knowledge,tremendous Depth.
    A great Patriot,a great Nationalist,a great Genius!
    His pen is as sharp as a sword.
    A great Doctor who heals as much with his words, as with his medicines.
    He has written books on Medicine.
    A great astrologer whose Scientific study of the Stars is unlimited.
    A politician.
    And above all,a Man —- a Great Man,
    A combination of a Man and a Sage!

    And today,and now he has reached that stage of his life,
    that whenever I have some sorrow in my heart,
    whenever I am a little depressed,I can easily go to Baburao.

    I can sit at his feet for his words of Wisdom,
    for his wisdom of the world, to heal my sorrow! (Applause)

    It is an honour to speak on Baburao.
    It is an honour to honour Baburao !

    The Nation should have honoured him long ago!
    May he live long!

    Thank you.”

    ‘This short,direct and dynamic speech electrified the audience.
    What impressed the audience most was Dev Anand’s fluency of speech,
    his perfect diction of the English language,
    and his unique choice of the right words.
    And,above all,his utter sincerity of feelings!’

    *Dev Anand’s speech was delivered before an Elite International Audience,
    assembled in Mumbai, to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Baburao Patel,
    Editor of ‘filmindia’ and ‘Mother India’ ——– the most exciting magazine in the World!

    The above speech has been reproduced from
    the Platinum Jubilee Number of ‘Mother India’ published in December 1979.

  18. Baburao Patel must have been a man of strong likes and dislikes. He would simply decimate the leading ladies of the arena but see here how he dealt with Nigar Sultana with kid gloves.

  19. Meena kumari was the heroine of Memsahib n not Madhubala

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