24 January, 2021

1. Mother India - 1957

Director: Mehboob Khan; Stars: Nargis, Raj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, Kanhaiyalal

Osian's - Connoisseurs of Art Archive Collection
1. Mother India - 1957
  • Mother India almost got an Oscar for best foreign film award: it lost by one vote in the third poll.

  • During the shooting of the fire scene in Umra, Surat, haystacks were set on fire and Nargis was told to run in. There was a sudden change in the direction of the wind and the fire spread, with Nargis caught in the flames. Sunil Dutt, who plays her son in the film, rushed in and saved her.

  • Apparently the two were married before the film released, but kept it a secret only because Nargis was playing Dutt’s mother.

  • Dilip Kumar was originally cast as Birju. But since he had played romantic leads with Nargis earlier, it was felt that the audience wouldn’t accept the on-screen mother-son relationship.

It may be exaggerating things a bit to describe Mother India as the mother of all Indian films. But it’s certainly the prototype of countless films made after it: Deewar and Ganga Jumna among the more significant. Strangely, it is itself a remake, an opulent one, of Mehboob Khan’s own...


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