Vintage film : Ankhen (1949)

Ankhen (Hindi: आँखें) was a 1949 (some say it was released in 1950) family drama directed by Devendra Goel and starring Shekhar, Bharat Bhushan and Nalini Jaywant. A moderate box-office success, the film became the tenth highest earning Indian film in the year of its release. It was the debut movie of Madan Mohan as a music director, and perhaps as a singer too. For me the highlight of the film is a song (Rail Mein Jiya Mora) sung by Raj Khosla, who later on made it big as a film director. Very few of us know that Raj Khosla entered the film industry with the hope of making it as a playback singer.

Shamshad Begum & Madan Mohan – Humse Na Dil Ko Lagana :  Download

Shamshad Begum & Mukesh – Humse Nain Milana BA Pass Karke :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Kismat Ne Humein Majboor Kiya :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Mohabbat Karne Walon Ka :  Download

Mohammad Rafi – Ham Ishq Mein Barbad :  Download

Meena Kapoor – Mori Atariya Pe Kaga Bole :  Download

Mukesh – Preet Lagake Maine Yeh Fal Paya :  Download

Raj Khosla & Madan Mohan – Rail Mein Jiya Mora :  Download

.. more vintage films »

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Vintage film : Achhut Kanya (1936)

Achhut Kanya (Hindi: अछूत कन्या) is a 1936 Hindi film by Bombay Talkies. The film was one of several successful Bombay Talkies collaborations between Franz Osten, who was a German filmmaker, Niranjan Pal, Himanshu Rai, and their leading lady, Devika Rani. Ashok Kumar played the male lead. Music was by Saraswati Devi. Among the early super-hits in the Hindi film industry, the film dealt with the social position of low caste girls and the problems they faced.

The film opens at a railway crossing where a man is about to kill his wife when the narrative spins into the past via a song. The story is of the unhappy love affair between Kasturi (Devika Rani), the Harijan (untouchable) daughter of a railway crossing guard, and Pratap (Ashok Kumar), the Brahmin son of a grocer. At first, rumour and mob violence are deployed to lethal effect in order to maintain a traditional and oppressive morality. Later, when the main protagonists are about to marry, rumours and malicious methods are employed to trigger renewed violence until the on-rushing train of fate stops the strife.

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani – Khet Ki Muli :  Download

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani – Main Ban Ki Chidiya Banke :  Download

Ashok Kumar – Kise Karta Moorakh Pyar Pyar :  Download

Ashok Kumar – Peer Peer Kya Kahe Pyare :  Download

Devika Rani – Udi Hawa Mein Jati Hai :  Download

Mumtaz Ali & Sunita Devi – Chooriyan Laya Anmol :  Download

Saraswati Devi – Kit Gaye Ho Khewanhar :  Download

Kusum Kumari – Nadiya Dheere Baho, Hum Utrat Paar :  Download

P.S: Some visitors on this blog, particularly Mr Surjit Kohli and Mr Sanjay Jain have been large hearted and magnanimous enough in correcting me whenever I commit errors in naming the songs or the singers. Their support is a big help in carrying this blog deeper into the mist of Hindi film music of the old era. Thank you all.

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Vintage film : Khazanchi (1941)

Khazanchi (Hindi: खजांची) was a 1941 film produced by Pancholi Production, which was based in Lahore, and directed by Moti B Gidwani. The film starred M Ismail, Ramola Devi, S D Narang, Manorama, Durga Mota and Ajmal. Music was directed by Ghulam Haider, who left the profession of a dentist to become a musician. Ghulam Haider revolutionalized the face of the Hindi film songs and laid the foundation for the Hindi film as we know it today by combining popular ragas with the rich verve and rhythm of Punjabi music. A huge hit, Khazanchi was one of the films that helped to establish the musical style of the Hindi film industry in subsequent years. The film also shot Shamshad Begum into the big league.

Shadilal (M Ismail), the khazanchi (cashier) must take some jewellery to Bombay. His son Kanwal (S D Narang) wants to marry Madhuri (Ramola), the daughter of the rich Durgadas (Durga Mota), but the wicked Ramesh (Ajmal) is determined to marry her to get his hands on her wealth. The news comes from Bombay that Shadilal has murdered an actress and stolen her jewellery. A typical murder mystery, the rest of plot should be best left to your imagination.

Shamshad Begum – Diwali Phir Aa Gayi Sajni :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Ek Kali Nazon Ki Pali :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Laut Gayi Papan :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Man Dhire Dhire :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Mohe Bhabhi La Do :  Download

Shamshad Begum – Mori Churiyan :  Download

Umrao Zia Begum – Pine Ki Din Aaye :  Download

Shamshad Begum & Ghulam Haider – Nainon Ke Baan Ki :  Download

Shamshad Begum & Ghulam Haider – Sawan Ke Nazare Hain :  Download

Shamshad Begum & Ghulam Haider – Tori Ankhen Hain :  Download

The outstanding feature of this film is its music composed by Ghulam Haider, especially ‘Sawan Ke Nazare Hain’, ‘Ek Kali Nazon Ki Pali’ and ‘Nainon Ke Baan Ki’. Some of tracks have Ghulam Haider himself singing alongside Shamshad Begum. ‘Pine Ke Din Aaye’ is sung by Ghulam Haider’s wife Umrao Zia Begum. It is even said that the film introduced the then very young Baby Noor Jehan, as a playback singer in the song ‘Sawan Ke Nazare Hain’ as a chorus participant. It was the first film, which was without actress Baby Noor Jehan on screen and with her song picturized on other actress.

.. more vintage films »

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Legends : Khursheed

Khursheed (1914-2001) was a pioneer actress and singer of the Indian cinema. Her career ran through the 1930s and 1940s. She was born Irshad Begum in the village of Choonian in Lahore, then in British India. Most of her films were released between 1931 and 1942, a period during which she went unnoticed. Khursheed acted in a number of films for Ranjit Movietone and her leading men included K L Saigal, Motilal and Jairaj. She was among the two singing actresses of Hindi film industry who have shared stellar honors with the legendary actor and singer K L Saigal. The other one was Suraiya.

Khursheed – Main Prem Baag Ki Panchhi (Sitara 1939) :  Download

Khursheed – Pahle Jo Mohabbat Se Inkar Kiya (Pardesi 1941) :  Download

Khursheed – Mori Atariya Hai Sooni (Pardesi 1941) :  Download

Khursheed started her film career in the silent film Eye For An Eye (1931), the year when the first talkie film of the sub-continent Alamara was also released. Some of her films in 1940s were Musafir and Holi in 1940, Pardesi, Beti and Shaadi in 1941, Tansen and Nurse in 1943. Tansen was a high point in her acting career. She became known both as an actress and a singer and the song ‘Ghata Ghan Ghor Ghor’ became a rage of that time. Her other famous films are Mumtaz Mahal and Shahenshah Babar in 1944, Prabhu Ka Ghar and Moorti in 1945, Aage Badho and Mitti in 1947 and Aap Beetee in 1948.

Khursheed & K L Saigal – Chandni Raat (Bhakta Surdas 1942) :  Download

Khursheed – Ghata Ghan Ghor Ghor (Tansen 1943) :  Download

Khursheed – Mohabbat Mein Sara Jahan (Shahenshah Babar 1944) :  Download

Her last film in India was Papeeha Re (1948), which was a great hit, prior to her migration to Pakistan, leaving her mark in the Indian film industry. Khursheed migrated to Pakistan after the Partition of India, with her husband and manager Lala Yakub, who was also an occasional actor, where she settled down in Karachi. Later she divorced Yakub and remarried in 1956 to Yusuf Bhaimia, an admirer of her work, entrepreneur in the shipping business, and a philanthropist. After her marriage to Bhaimia, she appeared in few PTV shows. A number of private shows were also held by her admirers and by private institutions. Khursheed died on April 18, 2001.

.. more Legends »

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Lost melodies part 4

In the early days of Indian film industry, actors mostly recorded the songs they were shown singing on the screen. However in the 1940s playback singers began to be increasingly used. This was not immediately accepted. Part of the audience’s enjoyment of early sound films came from their knowledge that the actor on the screen was actually singing the songs they heard. When playback singing first became common, the sudden disjuncture between the voice of the singer and the body of the actor was a source of ‘discomfort’ for audiences. Particularly unnerving was the use of one singer’s voice for many different actors. While playback singing was seen by some at the time as unauthentic, others sensed in it the possibility for greater creativity and entertainment.

Noor Jehan – Shala Jawaniyan Mane (Gulbakawali 1939) :  Download

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani – Mere Jeevan Ke Path (Anjaan 1941) :  Download

Suraiya – Aise Mein Agar Tum Aa Jate (Balam 1949) :  Download

Lata Mangeshkar – Yad Rakhna Chand Taro (Anokha Pyar 1949) :  Download

.. more Lost Melodies »

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