The archetypal love story celebrating love - not marriage - based on Saratchandra’s famous 1917 novel. Has spawned numerous adaptations (Tamil, Telugu and yet another Hindi version in 1957 with Dilip Kumar) but the original directed by P.C. Barua has the one and only Saigal.
Sant Tukaram Marathi, 1936
Tukaram is the prototype of the poet-saints of the bhakti movement who broke the stranglehold of ritualism in religion. A joint directorial effort by Damle and Fathelal - hitherto mere technicians at Prabhat Film Studio - this is truly a ‘cult’ film.
Dr Kotnis Ke Amar Kahani Hindi/English, 1946
The ruling English approved of this true-life story of a young Indian doctor (who, in 1935, went to work amongst the Chinese war-wounded) and the Communists applauded because the Chinese force depicted in the film was the famous Communist Eighth Route Army of Mao Zedong which eventually established Communist China! But where have all the true-life stories gone?
Parasakthi Tamil, 1952