Posts tagged ‘Saira Banu’

February 23, 2017

April Fool (1964)

aprilfool_title

Lord I love Indian spy films from the 1960s, but make no mistake about it: this is a bad movie. Since I expected that going in, I was not disappointed, and in fact was delighted to find a decent level of (possibly inadvertent) hilarity. I will share those gems here so that you can give the painfully awkward and sparkless Biswajeet/Saira Banu pairing, the boring songs, and the disaster that is the plot(s), a miss.

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July 15, 2010

Pyar Mohabbat (1968)

Hackneyed fairy-tale featuring a lost prince returning home? Check. Shrill Saira Banu opposite preternaturally youthful Dev Anand? Check. Portly Premnath as an evil Senapati? Check again. Did I like the film? Oh hell yes! What’s not to love about a movie that advertises a cast of “about 500 Indian & International junior Artistes” and delivers on that promise? Who cares if the plot is silly? Not I, given a frothy sixties travelogue with ports of call in a Middle East populated by blonde belly dancers and stoned hippie extras. I love to see my people in Hindi movies. Plus, Shankar Jaikishan provide some seriously catchy tunes to accompany all the onscreen antics.

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February 24, 2010

The Best of Stardust 1978

In October 1971 the first issue of Stardust magazine was published and a new era of film journalism began: it was snarkier, more gossipy, more intrusive, and a smash hit with readers.

Seven years on, a special edition of the magazine called “The Best of Stardust” was published to commemorate its success.

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December 3, 2009

Bluff Master (1963)

For all the Manmohan Desai and Shammi films I’ve written up, it’s kind of criminal that I’m only now getting to one of their collaborations. Better late than never, right? And this is a much better film than their second venture together, Budtameez (1966). In fact, this is a film to which Shammi brought his acting “A” game. He is just great in it, giving a realistic and three-dimensional portrayal of a slick and charming con man who has some hard lessons to learn. Saira Banu is his love interest, and although she’s not my favorite, she is lovely to look at here and, as with Junglee, a good foil for Shammi. Mr Desai himself shows little sign of the unrestrained lunacy he was to bring to cinema in the 70s, and has directed a movie with brisk pacing, interesting characters and an entertaining—if predictable—story. The songs, by Kalyanji Anandji with the able assistance of Laxmikant Pyarelal, are just fabulous too.

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June 5, 2009

Vintage photo fun

Shashikala is one of my favorite actresses. And how much do I love the verbiage on this page:

shashikala

I’m not sure I would appreciate being called an “incubator bred chicken,” gorgeous or not!

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February 15, 2009

International Crook (1974)

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This movie is what happens when a person (producer/director/writer Pachhi) with money to burn sets out to follow his dream—a dream for which he has no aptitude whatsoever. I can’t even say I wasn’t warned. But the temptation of Dharmendra and Feroz Khan circa 1974 in a film by the awesome name of International Crook proved too much for me to resist. Even the presence of Saira Banu dressed up like a dog’s dinner did not deter me. And while I won’t *quite* say that I’m sorry I watched it, I will say that it is a bad film. A very bad film.

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September 18, 2008

Jhuk Gaya Aasman (1968)

As you might know, I love Hindi remakes of old Hollywood films. This is a copy of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) which has also been remade a few times in Hollywood; the version that I’ve seen is Heaven Can Wait (1978) with Warren Beatty. The subject is perfect for a Hindi film, actually; reincarnation is a no-brainer, and since identical people who aren’t related is a common occurrence, our hero gets put into an identical body. So convenient! I would have liked this more had it starred Shammi and Asha (I know: duh) instead of Rajendra Kumar and Saira Banu (who honestly were just fine); but it’s thoroughly entertaining with lovely songs courtesy of Shankar Jaikishan, and a strong supporting cast of character actors and goofy Rajendranath.

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June 27, 2008

Junglee (1961)

This is the movie that propelled me into helpless and undying Shammi infatuation. I did go willingly! It’s a lovely romantic story set largely in the beauty of Kashmir, with songs to match by Shankar Jaikishan (including the completely fabulous Helen number “Suku Suku”). Shammi is so engaging as a stern, unhappy man who is transformed by love. He is very ably supported by Lalita Pawar, Shashikala, Anoop Kumar and others—and Saira Banu in her debut film.

Warning: this is a long post with many screen shots, because I can’t talk enough about this film (and I can’t seem to stop taking Shammi screen caps)!

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March 12, 2008

Saazish (1975)

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Today I am going to stray from my usual format for discussing movies. I can’t offer a synopsis of the story, since it was nonsensical and bewildering and I lost the thread about halfway through. The closest I could come would be to say that it’s “The Love Boat” meets every cheesy spy movie/tv show ever made.

But I present this argument: a coherent plot is not always necessary. Despite the lack of one, this film had entertaining goodies a-plenty.

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