Miss Frontier Mail (1936)

It seems fitting that this is the post to celebrate my five years of blogging! I never dreamed on June 22, 2007 when I created Memsaabstory that it would become such a big part of my life and be the catalyst for so much learning and so many wonderful and rewarding friendships. I never dreamed that people would embrace the insanity that leads me to do things like this and this and this (and this, okay I’m stopping now), and I certainly had no idea how generously people would share their treasures with me. This is one such gift.

Miss Frontier Mail is utterly charming, made with the usual Wadia enthusiasm and attention to loony detail. The “Indian Pearl White” is certainly the focus, but she is more than ably supported by gangsters who balk at being dastardly, a fearsome spy-movie “Boss” precursor and his go-getter female assistant, futuristic gadgets, thrilling fights and chases, a banana-loving buffoon and so much more. It often feels very much like a silent movie, starting off with only music and no dialogue until seven or eight minutes in; title pages are interspersed throughout, the acting is exaggerated, and you can often hear the camera whirring. Like the Frontier Mail train itself, it picks up speed quickly and we’re off on a rollicking good ride as Fearless Nadia battles comic-book villains between dainty sips of tea in her fabulous Art Deco house. It is a literal and figurative rush of trains, motorcars, motorcycles and even an airplane!

We begin in the darkness of the Lalwadi train station as a gang of shadowy figures empty the warehouse of its goods to be transported. Led by a creepy man in what looks like a gas mask but later reveals itself to be a large microphone, they are nearly caught by the deputy station master, Ishwarlal; hapless Ishwarlal sees the gang leader’s face in the ensuing scuffle and is killed. Unbeknownst to the bad guy, one of his henchmen also sees his face and is astonished when he recognizes him.

When station master Maganlal (Master Mohammed, who also wrote the music for the film) finds his dying colleague—and despite me shouting “For the love of God don’t pick up the knife!”—he picks up the bloody knife next to the body and is instantly arrested for murder by the railway police as they conveniently burst in. How many times have filmi police ruined someone’s life on such flimsy evidence since then? Hundreds. Maybe thousands. Maybe TENS of thousands. Never, ever, ever, touch the murder weapon or get the victim’s blood on you if you are in a Hindi movie. It spells doom.

Maganlal has a tall, strong, blonde daughter who loves to hunt named Savita (Nadia) and a son Jayant (Jaydev, the “Indian Frankie Darro“) who is an aspiring filmmaker always accompanied by his goofy banana-obsessed sidekick Lagoo (Manchi Thoothi). They receive a telegram from their uncle Shyamlal (Sayani Atish) giving them the news that their father is in custody. But as they exclaim in disbelief, someone throws another letter at them from the bushes.

It’s the henchman who had recognized his leader the evening before, and he wants to meet Savita that afternoon. First she needs to see her father, now at the railroad’s HQ in Bombay. This involves a frantically comedic bicycle ride (she takes the hapless telegram guy’s bike, and then takes out a few hundred vegetable vendors) and a last minute leap onto the Frontier Mail train. She arrives just as the head of the railroad (Jal Khambata) hands over Maganlal to the authorities behind his locked office door. Maganlal’s brother Shyamlal is there with him—and he is none other than the gang leader himself!

Savita fights through a whole lot of office peons with glee and not a little panache and gains entry.

Savita is called Frontier Mail because she is fast: she rides fast, she drives fast, her switch is basically always on. She tells everyone present—including Shyamlal—that there is a witness who can exculpate her father and the railway head’s son Sunder (Sardar Mansoor) reads the note aloud, triggering Maganlal’s memory. Uh-oh.

Jagannath is of course the henchman who saw Shyamlal’s face, and I don’t hold out much hope for his making it through the afternoon. Shyamlal pretends to be happy at this turn of events, and offers Savita his car to go to the meeting spot. He is thwarted by Sunder, who is clearly smitten with Savita and also offers her his car. She happily accepts but insists on going alone. She speeds off in his car, leaving Sunder and his admiring gaze in her dust.

He decides to follow her and takes his father’s car (“Kids today are so spoiled!”). Shyamlal excuses himself and drives off in a hurry—no wondering why!

Shyamlal’s gang spend most of their time singing, gambling, and drinking, and seem disinclined towards villainy. They are really more like Keystone Cops than gangsters! They are prodded into action only by the lovely Gulab (Gulshan) when Shyamlal contacts them about Jagannath (who is now on his way to meet Savita). I am already so thrilled by the radio, the ginormous microphone, and the lazy gangsters that when Shyamlal calls himself Signal X it almost kills me off.

It must be said that the two women in this film are really the highlights for me: smart, strong, stylish, and completely kick-ass.

Gulab organizes the expedition and dons a Zorro-like face mask. This makes me laugh, because nobody else is wearing one and she looks very suspect indeed. They set up a fake road block and Budhu (Minoo the Mystic)—the CSP guy in the gang—flags Savita to a stop. She looks at the rest of the gang hanging out by their car nearby, Gulab front and center in her mask, and comes to the same conclusion that I have. The two women are dressed almost identically too, in jodhpurs, riding boots, blouses with frilly puffed sleeves, and bindis on their foreheads. Savita’s beret makes up for her sad lack of a mask. Stylish!

She drives through the blockade at top speed and they race after her. Bringing up the rear is Shyamlal in his black hardtop and Sunder far behind; there is a lot of dust! Savita meets Jagannath at the meeting place but he drags out the conversation so that Signal X gets there and shoots him before he spills the beans, although by that point he could have recited the whole Yellow Pages if he’d wanted to. Shyamlal escapes while his gang engage Savita in gunfire and then fisticuffs, until she gains reinforcements in the person of Sunder (who finally gets there) and then Jayant and Lagoo. The gang defeated, Savita and company run back to Jagannath, who is hilariously still breathing but nonetheless still fails to give her the name she needs.

Nice work milking that situation for all it’s worth, Homi Wadia!

At this point I am wondering what has happened to John Cawas (billed in the credits as the “Indian Eddie Polo“), who has only been seen fleetingly in a photograph carried by Jagannath. Sunder (credited as “Hind Kesri” probably referring to his eponymous role in the 1935 Wadia film of that name) is clearly Savita’s love interest here, and though I have nothing against him he looks like a little boy next to her. And he is no John Cawas! Still and all, romance isn’t really the focus so it’s a minor quibble. He accompanies Savita home and on the way they run into Shyamlal, who pretends to be upset that Jagannath failed to provide the murderer’s identity.

Sunder decides that he’ll ask his father for a transfer to Lalwadi station in order to stay close to Savita and some half-hearted romancing ensues. Bless Nadia, she seems as uncomfortable doing romantic scenes as Dara Singh always does.

Back in the gang’s hideout, Gulab is disgusted with her inept cohorts. The robberies which Shyamlal has been coordinating are part of a plot that he has hatched with the owner of an airline company who wants to run the railroads out of business. Mr. Jain is not happy with Shyamlal’s progress and is about to up the ante.

On Signal X’s orders, Gulab sends the gang out to dynamite a bridge just before the train gets to it. Jayant and Lagoo happen to be filming at that bridge, and they quickly realize what’s going on. They shoot a short movie of gang members setting the dynamite and then run to the station house to warn Sunder. Meanwhile, Savita has just left Sunder; at the station she sees the gang members tasked with taking out the train engineer getting on the train. She runs to catch it and a thrilling fight sequence atop the fast-moving train follows. Nadia really was fearless!

She and Sunder manage to stop the train right at the edge of the now-destroyed bridge. Shyamlal is not pleased at all although of course he hides his frustration. Then Jayant informs everyone that he and Lagoo have film of the bandits setting the dynamite. Uh-oh again! I love Shyamlal’s facial expression whenever he is thwarted.

Gulab, back in the hideout, has picked up the photo of John Cawas that Jagannath used to carry—and I perk right up!

Gulab until now is the only person who knows the real identity of “Signal X”. She is in a relationship with Shyamlal, but not unreasonably suspects that he’ll double-cross her; when she meets Jagannath’s morally upright son Kishore (John Cawas) she falls for him and I don’t blame her.

Will Shyamlal get the incriminating film before anyone sees it? Does it even matter since Savita and Sunder, not to mention Jayant and Lagoo, have seen (and punched) the gang members in person quite a few times by now (nit-picking, I know)? If he keeps trying, will he finally get the spectacular train crash he wants? Will the gang be left to sing and drink their days away like they want? Will Gulab betray Shyamlal and team up with Kishore? Will Maganlal ever get out of jail?

Here are a few more things I really love about the film. Gulab and Savita look just as good in saris as they did in jodhpurs, and a sari doesn’t stop Savita from launching herself into a fight!

Savita’s gym! What a woman. Sunder is enthralled too. I adore the posters of strong men on the wall.

Signal X’s radio. We see it rolling in and out of the wall on a pulley system about a hundred times during the course of the film, and it doesn’t get old—especially because Signal X laughs his evil laugh every time. Bwahahahahaaaa!

Signal X’s gadgets, including his disguise and a rifle that shoots sleeping gas.

John Cawas! He must have been a busy guy in 1936 because he only features in the last half hour or so. But he’s worth the wait, and I really like the bond that forms between bad girl Gulab and him. I’ve got to admit that I root as much for Gulab as I do for Nadia, with her silly bandit mask and chain-smoking.

The general ishtyle of the film: from the Dorothy Hamill wedge cuts on the boys, to the bungalows and interior design, to the already-talked-about outfits for the ladies, it’s stunning.

I’ve probably seen as many Fearless Nadia films as anyone—which isn’t many, they being so hard to come by and all—but I had almost lost hope of ever seeing one of the early ones. My grateful thanks to a reader (who wishes to remain anonymous) for supplying me with this, and to Raja and Ava for subtitling it (and one difficult song with horse-racing slang subtitled by Sudhirji) and Tom for putting it together. We can’t release it as part of our Edu Productions project because my friend Roy Wadia (grandson of JBH and great-nephew of Homi and Nadia) owns the copyrights for it, but hopefully this post will make you feel like you’ve seen it (and maybe you can pester Roy in the comments to let us share). He is trying hard to get his family’s movies restored and properly subtitled, but it’s an expensive process and slow and he wants to do it right (ie no Shameroo or Fiends, and I don’t blame him for that!).

Still—keep your fingers crossed for more Nadia in the future!

62 Comments to “Miss Frontier Mail (1936)”

  1. Ah, what a fun film this is! I thoroughly enjoyed subtitling it. It was my first Nadia film – and I must say I was very impressed by her presence. She was “busy” right through the film, whether running to catch a train, or beating up goons. I liked Gulab too – she was pretty kickass too. In fact, all the characters were actually very likeable – even Shyamlal, with that frown on his face, when his plans used to get repeatedly thwarted by his incompetent men.

    That scene when Jagannath meets Nadia but does not reveal the murderer’s name just cracked me up. Together with “don’t touch the murder weapon”, this scene has also been played hundreds of times – where the person is killed just as he/she is going to expose somebody.

    Thanks for this fun review of a fun film, memsaab. That song translated by Sudhirji has not so much Urdu in it but a lot of “racing” jargon, which neither Ava nor I was very comfortable or familar with. It was quite an exercise to get that translated, even by Sudhirji. But he finally managed.

  2. Congratulations Greta on the 5 year milestone! Following the blog over the years has been very rewarding. A special mention for highlighting so many actors from the past years who are mostly ignored by the Indian media. And off course the generally humorous reviews (and quirky screenshots).

    A suggestion: If you add a Google +1 button that would enhance the appearance in search results.

  3. Has it only been 5 years? I feel like I’ve ‘known’ you for ages, and as to the amount of work you have done in that time..Crikey! Congratulations and thank you :D
    Thanks for tempting us with yet another old and hard to find film. I hope Roy Wadia gets the resources he needs to restore his family’s films. I’ve only seen bits of one Fearless Nadia film and I do so want to track down more. After all, she should be an Australian icon too, only it is so hard to show people what she did. Hmmmm…maybe Roy could pester our national film and arts organisations for funding!

  4. Oh, I so envy you, Raja and Ava – I’ve long wanted to see Miss Frontier Mail. Fearless Nadia is so very watchable (okay, her films are pretty loony, but so what. She embodies kickass, and John Cawas is sheer eye candy). Thank you for this. :-)

  5. Waah ! Five years already ! Indeed it is five years already. I have followed this blog after it was more year old. And it has grown up tremendously from the time I began to follow the blog. It is in fact a place where likeminded people (Hindi movie lovers) love t o gather online and share their views.

    This blog is a mine of information, and it is helping people become aware of the past that was hardly known to many people. I personally was not aware of many lesser known personalities and movies from the past and I became aware of them here.

    With time, many wonderfully knowledgeable contributors have joined forces to help out. To my mind this blog is a wonderful example of what likeminded people can achieve together online. This is the power of internet that has been so nicely harnessed.

    I , like many regulars, love to regularly check the new posts, and also go through the old posts. Here is hoping to see many more years of great fin filled and informative blogging here. Five years is a lifetime for an internet blog, and the fact that this blog is still going strong shows that the blog has gots extremely solid foundations. Long live Memsaabstory.

    PS-I almost forgot to comment on the post. It is a lovely post as always. If only we could watch this movie. Your write ups make us feel like watching even unwatchable movie, and this movie is an eminently watcheable one from the looks of it. I hope that the rightholder of this movie will be able to share this movie with those who are interesting in watching this movie.

    • Ha ha, five years shows that I have way too much time on my hands more than anything else :D But I’m glad I do, I don’t regret a minute spent here! Thanks Atul.

  6. Greta ji
    Congratulations for completing 5 years.
    I am sure and I wish you write like this for another 100 years and I wish I will be there for reading those excellent write ups and to enjoy all the other goodies you provide for us.

    God Bless you and again I want you to tell YOU are simply SUPERB.

    My mother also conveyed her well wishes to you and OUR blog.

    Prakash & Prakash`s Mother Suneetha

    • Dear God, 100 more years? I plan to be dead way before then :) But thank you and give your mother a hug for me too!

      • 100 years / ‘Sau Saal” – it’s the type of hyperbole we talk in Hindi/Urdu- to signify the breadth of our feeling rather than meaning something literal; and it is very natural and not at all sounding odd when we talk in our lingo; but when we give a literal translation in English it seems so OTT – which is why English translations of Hindi/Urdu sometimes seem so full of hyperbole, breathless and insincere.

  7. Greta, when I posted late last night I talked only about the movie. I completely forgot it was your blog’s 5th birthday.

    Many hearty congratulations on the occasion. You’ve no idea what your blog means to me. I’ve spent so many wonderful hours on your blog, read so many lovely reviews, laughed SO much at your absolutely amazing – and wicked – sense of humor, empathised with your OCD-ness (it felt REALLY good to know that I had company!), admired your tremendous sense of openness and honesty (you speak your mind!), marvelled at your perseverance and passion to watch a foreign-language non-subtitled movie….

    In a way that you possibly don’t realise, you’ve created a sort of ecosystem of your own where you encourage and embrace those lovers of old Hindi cinema (wherever in the world they may be) to drop by, learn about obscure, yesteryear movies and actors, share their thoughts and wisdom and generally have a place to hang out in a world that is increasingly marginalising old Hindi cinema.

    If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t even have known Edwina and so many other wonderful people who’ve been part of yesteryear Hindi cinema. I’d never heard of Chandramohan before I read about him on your blog. Nazir Kashmiri is clearly your OCD discovery. :-) As are many others in your artist gallery (which is a fantastic piece of work in itself. As is the new “Nahiiiin” gallery. :-)).

    It is also thanks to your blog that I’ve got to know many more like-minded people from all over the world. I’ve learnt so much from these people too – it is a hugely humbling, and enriching, experience.

    Thank you so much for everything, Greta. May you continue to write like this and share your nuggets of wisdom with your readers.

    You completed FIVE years !
    May you get strength from God to continue for many more years.

    • I know! FIVE years is quite a feat for me. I am really good at starting projects, not so good at following through :) So something has kept me going, and I think besides the crazy films it’s all of you.

  9. Tempus Fugit…. specially when you’re having fun!

    Congrats on the milestone. It was fun all along, at least for us, “innocent bystanders” ;-)

    “Heeere’s Jaani” interview was very good too.

  10. This is a pretty good film!

    It’s interesting how Signal X manages to get his plans done when he personally does them (one of the few Hindi villains who actually succeeds in his plans) while his useless henchmen fail every time. He really has no reason to pay them because they failed in every thing he told them to do. It was Shyamlal who shot Jagannath, destroyed the film and got those two trains to crash. :P

    Jagannath is Bismillah btw a Wadia Brothers regular.

    • Oh FANTASTIC!!!! I knew I’d seen him before–I’ve seen him in some of Homi’s 50s fantasy films. Yay! Now I know who Bismillah is! :)

      The henchmen are awesome. They just don’t care about their tasks and want to get back to drinking and singing :D

  11. I loved Munchi Thoothi too! I was disappointed to find out that he’s not in any of the other Wadia brothers films — watched Diamond Queen shortly after this. :p The few other films he did seem to be lost so this seems to be his only surviving film.

    He’s so great though — his childlike voice, nearly bald head and hair pulling back to open his mouth which helps him to think. lol.

    • Munchi Thoothi acted in two more films:

      1. Hunterwali – 1935
      Munshi or Munchi Toothi (Actor of 30s) in Hunterwali-1935


      2. Vir Bharat (Sher E Hind) – Wadia Movie-tone – 1934
      Vir Bharat ((Sher E Hind))-Wadia Movetone-1934

  12. Oh Greta, thank you, thank you…so hope to see this one some day, but for the time being I will enjoy the entertainment brought about by this write-up! And a huge congrats on 5 years of a wonderful, heartfelt, educational blog! You are an amazing gal and I have learned so very much from you!

    And Roy, I truly hope that your dream (and ours) of getting the Wadia films released becomes a reality…and the sooner the better, as I ain’t gettin’ any younger! LOL!

  13. 70’s cinema theaters in my hometown used to have screenshot galleries for current and upcoming movies. Like other town folks, we used to make weekly and often daily pilgrimage to theaters just to see those screenshot galleries. Like most kids, we couldn’t possibly afford to see more than handful of movies a year, but going to theaters just to watch the screenshots for free was our favorite pastime. We would try to place those screenshots in the context of storyline that we would read about or gather from those who had seen the movie. This way, we used to get the kick out of movies without actually watching them. So when I see your reviews with screencaps, it makes me nostalgic and takes me back to my childhood fascination with the movies. I have lost much of my fascination with movies since 80s, but I can’t help taking a sneak peek at your blog every now and than, and relive that age of innocence.

    So here is a toast to your 5th anniversary. Keep up the good work.

  14. I wish there was a “like” or “agree” button for all the comments. Everyone has said, much more eloquently than I, everything that I wanted to say.

    Congratulations on five marvelous years! It is certainly a credit to you and your writing style, that I feel that I know you and all the regulars who comment here. It is also a testament to the power of the Internet to bring people together. I have learned so much from reading all the posts and comments.

    As a lifelong student of film, I applaud the efforts of you, Tom, Raja and Ava to bring quality versions of Hindi films to us. I am amazed at the wealth of information that has been collected here, especially the recollections of those who were there. Your dedication to finding the answers is truly inspiring.

    Your posts have opened a whole new world of film history and enjoyment to me. I cannot thank all of you enough for enrichment that you have brought to my cinema experience.

    Here’s to the first 5 and many more!

    And, I hope that Roy can achieve his dream. I REALLY want to see these films!!!!

  15. Congrats on the milestone! This is one of the few blogs I frequently check out for new posts and information on Indian cinema. I rarely used to watch Rajesh Khanna films before came across the various reviews on this blog. and yes when are we going to see the next film of Shammi reviewed on the blog? I used to wonder why one of his well known films ‘Prince’ doesn’t have a ‘single’ review on the net? (I have watched it since).

    • Prince has no reviews? I will definitely have to remedy that! Can’t believe it! I haven’t watched a Shammi film since he passed away but maybe I can now :) It hurt my heart a little to think of it earlier.

      • Certainly there are no English reviews of ‘Prince’ anywhere , even on IMDB. I never saw it even on any Indian movie channel and I have seen many of Shammi’s films on TV. I thought maybe it is only known for its music,Eventually I saw it last year.
        Btw, Shemaroo’s dvds before 2009 are pretty good, then they became poor specially the average subtitles and the logo. do you think their quality is as bad as friends video?(I mean film and not dvd quality)

        • I really like Prince, so it’s not a hardship for me to watch it again :D Shemaroo’s early releases were fine, no logos and the quality was no worse than anything else. They have deteriorated greatly though. I suppose the quality of things available is deteriorating so if they aren’t interested in investing anything in them it will continue to. Fiends is about as bad as it gets, especially since their logo is so horrifying to begin with :D

  16. Cheers, Memsaab. A tip of the hat and a toast raised to your ‘birthday’. :) I may not comment on every post, but I read all of them with great interest. More often than not, you add a few smiles, if not outright laughter, to my day. So, with many thanks, I hope you keep going.

  17. Congratulations on 5 amazing years, Memsaab! Only, on Memsaabstory’s birthday shouldn’t we be giving you presents? Instead you’ve given us the gift of yet another brilliant post. Thank you for 5 years of laughter and delight (and, sometimes, tears).



    • Hey!!!! Long time no hear! I get presents from all of you every day. (When did I cause tears? Are you a Mithunda dancing fan?) :D

      • Those are tears of a different kind, Memsaab. :)

        I don’t comment very often, mainly because you have so many knowledgeable and articulate fans that I often feel that there’s not much that I can add to the conversation. But I try not to miss any of your hilarious, insightful, and (yes) moving posts. I have some inkling of the amount of thought, time, and effort that must go into each one, and I’m simply in awe. What a pleasure and a privilege it’s been to read Memsaabstory over the past five years, and I admit to the selfish hope that you’ll continue for many more years to come.

  18. Happy 5th anniversary/birthday, Memsaab! “Miss Frontier Mail” sounds like the perfect movie to celebrate your wonderful, warm, and fearless blog. More power to Roy Wadia and his efforts to restore his family’s films (which I thoroughly adore). And love to you, Memsaabstory and all it’s fabulous readers.

    • Ah, fearless. Yes. Mithun cannot dance, Raj Kapoor is overrated, B-movies are underappreciated, paragons of Indian womanhood should be ashamed of themselves :) That’s me!

  19. Happy, happy 5th blog anniversary, Memsaab, to you, and to all of us, lucky to have you around. Reading about ‘Frontier Mail’ here, is the second-best thing to actually watching it. I do hope Roy Wadia is able to restore the films, soon. Good luck to him on that worthwhlle project.

  20. Happy, happy 5th blog birthday! Carry on the good work!
    this sounds to be such a wonderful film with lots of thrills and so many twists and turns, though so simple yet such a complicated story.

  21. A very happy 5th blog birthday ‘sweetie pie’ *in Kaka’s especial tone* :-) You have brought much sunshine into some of our lives. Many thanks. ML.

  22. Check out this chronology of five years ago:

    June 22, 2007 – MemsaabStory begins.
    June 27, 2007 – Parties, Sarees and Melodies begins (which was a huge influence on the musical discoveries of the next blogger I’m going to mention).
    June 30, 2007 – The blog that would become Dances on the Footpath (then called Rough In Here) begins. More of a South Asian-leaning fusion music blog at that time, with too much enthusiasm for M.I.A. and an odd affinity for contemporary Pakistani mujras (LOL)… But the Bolly seeds were being planted, and it would start looking at Golden Age Hindi films in earnest in December of that year.

    Anyway, wow, what was in the air that summer?

    And that fall…

    The first Bolly blogger whom I was in touch with was Sitaji of Bollywood Food Club. She found me in a search for mujras when she was in the first month(s) her blog, in the fall of that same year(!). She recommended a few blogs to me, including MemsaabStory, which became another invaluable influence.

    Greta Memsaab, I can totally relate to this sentence:

    “I never dreamed on June 22, 2007 when I created Memsaabstory that it would become such a big part of my life and be the catalyst for so much learning and so many wonderful and rewarding friendships.”

    I feel so much that way myself!

    Anyway, happy anniversary.

    And, yes, Miss Frontier Mail is a nice way to celebrate it. I saw a number of scenes from this film before, but never with subtitles. A copy with subtitles would be very nice!

  23. @Memsaab – A very happy 5th anniversary! Thanks for enriching our lives with this wonderful site.

    Frontier Mail does seem like something I’d want to watch. I can’t believe it was made so long ago. It has a fairly ‘recent’ feel to it.

  24. Congratulations, Memsaab, on the blog’s fifth anniversary, and for introducing a whole new world. (Innocent bystanders does have an appeal, although “gawking, fresh juveniles” might also apply). This’s the blog that introduced me to Laxmi Chhaya, Faryal and Padma Khanna (I believe I stumbled upon the blog about three years ago, one late, drunken Friday night while searching for Laxmi Chhaya in Mera Gaon, Mera Desh, or maybe it was Scarlett Johansson, which led to Ghost World/Jaan Pehchan, and then Laxmi Chhaya/Ted Lyon). What a revelation!
    Still, never knew much about the pre-70’s hindi cinema (except Gurudutt, Raj Kapoor, and I totally share the sentiments about the later), the whole boutique of B-Grade and C-Grade movies, and the whole lot of actors out there to be discovered! And thanks to all the readers and their fantastic comments and inputs, this has to be most entertaining blog ever!!
    Oh, and some of your fav’s are (D4K, Beth etc) are a total delight, too! (Sorry about all the !, but I strongly feel they need to go in there!!!)

    • I think maybe this blog is best read while drunk, LOL :D And agree completely that all of you who comment, instruct, challenge are what make it fun. And use !!! all you like, I am a fan of expressive writing (including smiley faces)…

  25. What a pleasure it has been to follow your blog, Memsaab, though I discovered it only about a year or two back. Your writing, sense of humour, and the way you see the absurd in life is so refereshing to read. And this post lives up to all that! I don’t think I will ever have the patience to watch a 1930s movie in such detail, so reading about it makes up for that! I loved the bit about the bloody knife, specially. When will the people of Hindi filmdom know when to leave the murder weapon alone?? Keep writing, as it really saves us from having to watch the obscure movies, and it’s good to know you are there to take one for team of movie lovers.

    • You might be surprised at how much fun these oldies are to watch. But I’m happy to be the one watching them for you if that’s what you want! :) Thanks.

  26. Congratulations on the 5th Anniversary.

  27. Heartiest congratulations. I have been following your blog regularly for over a year though I may not be posting my comments. This blog is special for its great writing, tremendous amount of research and information on the neglected film personalities, and your transparent empathy your subject.

  28. Congratulations Greta on this milestone! Have been tied up (in knots) on both work and personal fronts. But I was determined to drop a line today to celebrate this blog :).

    Am I the only one, or does Nadia look like Barbara Streisand’s long lost sister (or Aunty :D)? I hope Roy is able to release DVDs of her films. I have only seen tiny snippets in documentaries.

    There was a wicked take on her recently in Outlook – though I don’t think it is her lifestory – more like treating her as a representative icon of past ‘phoren’ heroines. The link is here: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?280999

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