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Articles on this Page
- 12/31/12--20:02: _Happy birthday, Sha...
- 01/01/13--21:01: _Ten of my favourite...
- 01/08/13--04:02: _I Accuse! (1958)
- 01/15/13--08:44: _Kohraa (1964)
- 01/20/13--04:29: _Book Review: Housef...
- 01/28/13--01:08: _Pride and Prejudice...
- 02/02/13--06:28: _Lala Rookh (1958)
- 02/08/13--07:18: _La Tía Tula (1964)
- 02/13/13--23:16: _Ten of my favourite...
- 02/22/13--04:55: _The Bachelor and th...
- 02/27/13--09:13: _Goonj Uthi Shehnai ...
- 03/05/13--09:38: _The Night of the Ge...
- 03/08/13--02:48: _Ten of my favourite...
- 03/13/13--02:18: _Ek Do Teen (1953)
- 03/18/13--05:18: _Sharmeelee (1971)
- 03/25/13--03:45: _The Paradine Case (...
- 03/29/13--23:25: _Mirza Sahiban (1947)
- 04/04/13--03:21: _Raja Harischandra (...
- 04/09/13--03:28: _Chemmeen (1965)
- 04/15/13--07:40: _Pathala Bhairavi (1...
- 12/31/12--20:02: Happy birthday, Shakila!
- 01/01/13--21:01: Ten of my favourite Shakila songs
- 01/08/13--04:02: I Accuse! (1958)
- 01/15/13--08:44: Kohraa (1964)
- 01/20/13--04:29: Book Review: Housefull: The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema
- 01/28/13--01:08: Pride and Prejudice (1940)
- 02/02/13--06:28: Lala Rookh (1958)
- 02/08/13--07:18: La Tía Tula (1964)
- 02/13/13--23:16: Ten of my favourite ‘woman pianist’ songs
- 02/22/13--04:55: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
- 02/27/13--09:13: Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959)
- 03/05/13--09:38: The Night of the Generals (1967)
- 03/08/13--02:48: Ten of my favourite female duets
- 03/13/13--02:18: Ek Do Teen (1953)
- 03/18/13--05:18: Sharmeelee (1971)
- 03/25/13--03:45: The Paradine Case (1947)
- 03/29/13--23:25: Mirza Sahiban (1947)
- 04/04/13--03:21: Raja Harischandra (1913)
- 04/09/13--03:28: Chemmeen (1965)
- 04/15/13--07:40: Pathala Bhairavi (1951)
What better way to launch a new year than with a post on one of my favourite actresses? That too on her birthday? Yes, today, January 1, is the 78th birthday of the beautiful Shakila. Star of my all-time favourite ‘Bollywood noir’ suspense film, CID. Star of one of my favourite Shammi Kapoor films, China [...]
dustedoffShakila in Nakli NawabShakila in Ali Baba Aur Chaalees ChorShakila in Ustaadon ke UstaadShakila, now
When Shakila’s niece Tasneem Khan graciously agreed to write a guest post to mark Shakila’s birthday yesterday, I decided I ought to show my personal appreciation for Shakila by making a double bill of it—with ten of my favourite Shakila songs. Shakila, whether she was acting the vamp (in films like Aar Paar) or the [...]
dustedoffShakilaAankhon hi aankhon mein, from CIDHoon abhi main jawaan, from Aar PaarAe mere dil-e-naadaan, from Tower HouseZulfon ki ghata lekar, from Reshmi RoomaalO mister o mister, from Agra RoadMere dil mein hai ik baat, from Postbox 999Humein haal-e-dil tumse kehna hai, from Chaubees GhanteKyon udaa jaata hai aanchal, from Shriman SatyawadiMast aankhen hain ke paimaane, from Nakli NawabAe saba unse keh zara, from Ali Baba aur Chaalees Chor
One tradition I’ve upheld on this blog ever since I began is that every year, on my birthday, I dedicate a post to someone from the world of cinema who shares my birthday. This year, therefore, a post in honour of José Ferrer, the Puerto Rican actor who was born on January 8, 1912, and [...]
dustedoffJosé Ferrer in I Accuse!Alfred DreyfusEsterhazy visits the German embassy......and offers a dealA cleaning lady finds something in a binDreyfus arrives at his officeDreyfus with PicquartMercier and Sandherr address the officersHenry entertains Esterhazy and DreyfusEsterhazy hears about the imminent unearthing of the spySandherr is introduced to EsterhazyHenry sees the letterSandherr gives his ordersDreyfus at home, with Lucie, Pierre and MathieuDreyfus and his familyPicquart faces up to SandherrDuPaty de Clam dictates a letterA discussion is held at the officeMathieu and Lucie try to find a way out for Alfred DreyfusDemange agrees to fight for DreyfusIn the courtroomDreyfuss is stripped of his insigniaOn Devil's IslandIn the courtroom: a crucifix
I feel that, no matter how high an opinion one may have of oneself, it is risky business to attempt to remake a classic. If (for example) Alfred Hitchcock made a film, don’t attempt to remake it—especially if you plan on tinkering with the way the story plays out. Biren Nag (who had already made [...]
dustedoffWaheeda Rehman in KohraaMonogrammed towels in P's bathroomA horde of guests await PP sits at her desk, all dressed upDai in an admonitory moodP goes for a rendezvous with KamalDead!Ramesh. the drunkThe zamindar's wife makes nefarious plansRaj meets Amit and falls in loveAmit acts oddlyWith Ranjan, the estate managerDai Maa praises Poonam...as does JhumkiAt a party, Raj finds herself alone and alienatedRaj meets RameshAmit takes Raj to taskWaheeda Rehman in KohraaA still from KohraaWaheeda Rehman and Biswajeet as Raj and AmitAsit Sen in KohraaAbhi Bhattacharya in Kohraa
Despite the fact that I love reading as much as I enjoy watching films, I don’t read too much cinema-related writing. Part of the reason is that a lot of what I see in bookstores consists of biographies or autobiographies, and I have a horror of picking up one of those, only to find myself [...]
dustedoffHousefull: The Golden Age of Hindi CinemaRaj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman in Teesri KasamNutan in MilanLeela Naidu in Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar KeDilip Kumar and Nadira in AanRajesh Khanna with Farida Jalal in AradhanaAngmo bemoans her lost loveDilip Kumar and Vyjyantimala in LeaderEngraved in Stone, by Madhulika Liddle
Happy 200th birthday, Pride and Prejudice! As crazy as that might sound, it is the truth. Jane Austen’s wonderful romance novel was first published on January 28, 1813. Originally titled First Impressions, the novel was written by Austen in 1796-7, and was eventually (after numerous revisions by the author) finally published by Thomas Egerton of [...]
dustedoffJane AustenMrs Bennet with Jane and Lizzy in MerytonThe ladies see a carriageMrs Bennet starts getting ideasMary with her sisters and motherLydia and Kitty with the officersThe race back homeMr Bennet springs a surpriseMr Darcy dances with Caroline BingleyLizzy overhears some unflattering opinionsLizzy accepts Wickham's offer for a danceWickham tells Lizzy his woesJane sets off in the rain..... and falls illLizzy is greeted at her arrival at Netherfield ParkMr Collins arrivesAt the garden partyA budding friendship - and a chance overhearing of a conversationLady Catherine de BourghGreer Garson as LizzyLaurence Olivier as DarcyDarcy, the effervescent
A couple of years back, I dedicated one month of blog posts to the readers of Dusted Off. Since then, many more readers have begun following this blog. Some drop by, leave a comment, or like a post. Some lurk in the background. Some become staunch friends. It’s been a while, so I thought it [...]
dustedoffTalat Mahmood and Shyama in Lala RookhShah Murad and Mansoor go out in disguiseHassan sings a song......and receives a scolding from his mother.Murad looks onTwo strangers arrive asking for a mealThe mystery of the disappearing foodHassan is praised for his generosity...... and generously rewardedThe wazir comes to meet MuradThe wazir tries to pleadMurad decides to see his intended brideLala Rookh watches a danceA wounded Murad, Hassan, and Para are brought before the wazirMurad gains consciousnessLala Rookh learns about Shah Murad...... and does not like what she hearsThe wazir tries to dissuade Lala RookhMurad, the poet, sings at the campMurad and Lala RookhThe wazir tries to reason with the princessThe caravan sets off for NoorabadTalat and ShyamaMurad in disguise
Continuing in my endeavour to devote February to my blog readers, a film that was not just recommended to me by a reader, but actually gifted. Bawa, who was one of the first people to encourage me to watch and review international cinema on this blog, gave me an English-subtitled DVD of this classic Spanish [...]
dustedoffAurora Bautista and Carlos Estrada in La Tia TulaTula shows her caring sideTula comforts her niece and nephewAt home in Tula's houseTula with little TulitaTula attends to her tenantsTula ticks Ramiro off for walking about without his shirt onTula cares for an ill RamiroEmilio finds himself thwarted... and confides in RamiroRamiro talks to Tula about EmilioAt a roadside tavernEmilio talks to Ramiro The proposalTula and RamiroTula manages to fend off Ramiro's advancesTulita at her first communionA moment of domesticityAurora Bautista in La Tia Tula
When I created a list of my favourite car songs, blog reader Ragni requested a list: of songs that feature women playing a piano. I riffled mentally through the film songs of the 50s and 60s, and quickly responded: there would be just too many; how could I choose just ten? Another reader, Chris, came [...]
dustedoffSimi plays a piano in 'Yeh kaun aaya', from SaathiJawaan hai mohabbat, from Anmol GhadiTum apna ranj-o-gham, from ShagoonSab kuchh lutaake hosh mein aaye, from Ek SaalYahaan main ajnabi hoon, from Jab Jab Phool KhileDheere-dheere machal, from AnupamaChehre pe khushi chhaa jaati hai, from WaqtTera jaana dil ke armaanon ke, from AnariAe dil dekhein hain humne bade-bade sangdil, from Shriman SatyawadiTum jiyo hazaaron saal, from SujataNoel Corke and his mother in Taxi DriverBaanki adaayein dekhna ji dekhna, from Amaanat
This particular film review was supposed to have been dedicated solely to blog reader Professor in Peril, who first recommended The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (also known as Bachelor Knight) to me. Then, since bombaynoir has been raving about Cary Grant for the past several weeks, I figured she’d enjoy this too. The other day, [...]
dustedoffCary Grant and Shirley Temple as and in The Bachelor and the Bobby-SoxerMargaret, Bessie and SusanMargaret defends a verdict...... and Susan speaks up against itIn courtMargaret hears a caseRichard Nugent & Co are let off the hookAt the school auditorium Susan's knight in shining armourSusan buttonholes Richard... and insists on interviewing himSusan arrives, passing herself off as a model...... and falls asleepRichard settles in for a quiet nightA sudden shock - and anotherMargaret and Tommy arrive at Richard'sRichard chats with his attorneyA meeting in cameraUncle Matt explains mattersSusan shows off her new beauRichard meets JerryCary Grant and Myrna Loy in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
Raja, while commenting on my post on saheli songs, mentioned that Akhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona from Goonj Uthi Shehnai was his “all-time favourite”, and “In my list of 1-10, I’d fill all 10 spots with this song.” I’ve had the VCD of this film lying around at home for quite a while, but I’d [...]
dustedoffpic1Ragunath Maharaj's riyaaz is disturbedGopiRaghunath Maharaj meets KishanKishan begins to learn music...watched by GopiAt the dolls' weddingGopi's mother throws a spanner in the worksGopi, enchanted by Kishan's shehnaiGopi gets Kishan's name tattoedA furious ma rails at GopiGopi's uncle and maKanhaiyya, at work as postmanShekhar makes Kishan an offerShekhar meets Gopi Raghunath Maharaj gets madKishan is thrown out - and makes a vowRaami surreptitiously accompanies Kishan to LucknowKishan meets Shekhar
As a young teenager, I went through a phase when I watched a lot of war movies. And when I say ‘a lot’, I mean a lot: everything from Operation Daybreak and Operation Crossbow to The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, Escape to Victory, Von Ryan’s Express—and this one. I remember The Night of [...]
dustedoffThe three generalsA Pole sees someone through a crack in a doorMajor Grau arrives to investigateGrau hears the witness's testimonyGeneral Gabler with EleanoreOtto speaks to General KahlenbergeHartmann reports to KahlenbergeHartmann meets Frau GablerGrau sees what Tanz is capable ofGrau finds his way blocked... and gatecrashes a partyHartmann and UlrikeA romance blossomsGrau gets a promotion - and a transferOperation Valkyrie is plottedGabler and KahlenbergeHartmann receives orders...... and some adviceTanz sees the sights in ParisGrau meets a French copChristopher Plummer as RommelPeter O'Toole as General Tanz in The Night of the Generals
Hindi cinema has seesawed wildly when it comes to the depiction of women: on the one hand we’ve had films that glorify womanhood (even if it’s long-suffering, almost-always patient womanhood, as in Mother India); on the other, we’ve had appalling stuff like Suhaagan, which made no bones about telling women exactly where their loyalties lie. [...]
dustedoffSai and Subbluaxmi in Aplam chaplam chaplai reKya ho phir, from Nau Do GyarahKya ho phir, from Nau do GyarahHumre gaaon koi aayega, from ProfessorGhoonghat hataaike, from Rangeen RaateinGarjat barsat saawan aayo re, from Barsaat ki raatReshmi salwar kurta jaali ka, from Naya DaurNa na na re na na haath na lagaana, from Taj MahalJab-jab tumhe bhulaaya, from JahanaraNa main dhan chaahoon, from Kala BazaarManbhaavan ke ghar jaaye gori, from Chori ChoriTeri mehfil mein kismat, from Mughal-e-AzamTeri mehfil mein kismat, from Mughal-e-Azam
I am a fan of Meena Shorey’s. I find her a delight to watch: those eyes are very expressive, her smile is wonderful, and the characters she plays seem to be invariably feisty, self-assured young women who are resourceful and witty. Just my type. I’d already watched (and adored) Meena Shorey in Ek Thi Ladki [...]
dustedoffMeena Shorey in Ek Do TeenA party at Asha's homeRoma is attackedA robber brandishes a daggerMoti and Heeralal rescue RomaMoti tells a recovered Roma the whole storyRoma phones homeRoma's and Moti's fathers have a face-offLove on the telephone......with friends eavesdroppingShekhar tells Mansukh Lal of Moti's wealthMoti's father on his deathbedSome dumb and sexist advice......which is listened to, most patientlyRoma prepares for her weddingMoti gets friendly with a dancerRoma takes Moti to taskRoma overhears a threatA murder is fakedMoti confesses 'all' to RomaAsha tells Shekhar the secret she's been harbouringIn the courtroomMeena Shorey lifts Motilal in a scene
Happy 75th birthday, Shashi Kapoor! Yes, the youngest of the three Kapoor brothers was born on March 18, 1938, in Kolkata. He is one of my favourite actors, and one of the very few whom I like also in his 70s avatar—that charm didn’t desert him with time. But. To return to the time period [...]
dustedoffShashi Kapoor in SharmeeleeKanchan in the woodsAt Father Joseph'sKamini is mistaken for KanchanKanchan is rejected Kamini consoles KanchanA Kashmiri caretaker tells off KaminiAt the mess: Kamini sees AjitThe end of a brief chaseAjit gives orders for the girls' dinnerThe colonel supports AjitFather Joseph drops a bombshellAjit comes home on leaveFoster-father and -son discuss Ajit's love lifeAjit meets Kanchan, and thinks she's KaminiKamini comes homeA shattering blow for KanchanTiger, in his denKundan, in Tiger's roomKamini runs Kundan overKamini's father is told the news...The maid makes a crazy suggestionShanti intercepts a letterAjit learns the truthThe swift plummet into despairShashi Kapoor and Rakhee in Sharmeelee
This is one of the few Hitchcock films I didn’t see in my younger years. And, considering that Hitchcock is one of my favourite directors, and Gregory Peck one of my favourite actors, that is odd indeed. Perhaps I should put it down to the fact that The Paradine Case is not one of Hitch’s [...]
dustedoffGregory Peck in The Paradine CaseThe butler announces a visitorInspector Ambrose arrives with an arrest warrantMrs Paradine takes her arrest in her stride......but asks Sir Simon Flaquer to find a lawyerAnthony and Gay KeaneA happy marriageKeane meets Mrs Paradine.......and is bowled overJudy talks to her fatherMrs Paradine tells Keane about her pastKeane promises to helpIn CumberlandKeane meets LaTourLaTour finally arrives at Keane's roomA charged scene between Keane and LaTourMrs Paradine threatens to drop Keane as her counselLord Horfield presidesGay faces up to Keane's obsession with Mrs ParadineGregory Peck as Anthony Keane
If you’ve read Greta’s latest blog post, you’ll know there are some recent and utterly mouthwatering additions to the Edu Productions page—including this film, Noorjehan’s last to be made in India. Greta, on the Edu Productions page, mentions that “source is a mediocre quality tape supplied by Muz.” Well, no longer. Tom’s cleaned it up [...]
dustedoffNoorjehan and Trilok Kapoor in Mirza SahibanMirza makes life miserable for the villagers......who come to complainMirza's mother, sister, and mamuMamu decides to take Mirza away and bring him upMami throws a fitPumman and Mirza get into a fight... and Shamir and Mirza get into a fightMirza and Sahiban grow up, in lovePumman tries to get fresh with SahibanMirza makes a mark for himselfPumman sneaks to ShamirShamir and Mirza face offShamir ousts Mirza from their householdPumman sneaks to Sahiban's motherSahiban's mother beats MirzaMirza and Shamir's aunt intervenesChhati abuses the absent SahibanNoora with SahibanNoora hoodwinks and distracts PummanNoorjehan in Mirza SahibanTrilok Kapoor in Mirza Sahiban
April 2013 has a special significance: this month marks 100 years of Indian cinema. The country’s first indigenously produced full-length feature film, Raja Harischandra, made by the legendary Dhundiraj Govind ‘Dadasaheb’ Phalke, was shown to a select audience at Bombay’s … Continue reading
dustedoffDhundiraj Govind 'Dadasaheb' PhalkeHarishchandra in Distress, by Raja Ravi VarmaPhalke at work, editingMandakini Phalke as Krishna in Kaliya MardanMale actors acting as women in Raja HarischandraAnna Salunke as TaramatiRohitas shows off his skill at archeryHarischandra goes off hunting......and hears the wails of womenAn intertitle from the film- and its Hindi equivalentThe trigunashakti appears before VishwamitraHarischandra offers his kingdom to VishwamitraVishwamitra orders Harischandraa & Co. to get the dakshinaA weepy departure from the palaceTaramati meets her husband on a sad occasionHarischandra sends Taramati offTaramati is framed for murderPhalke directing actorsAn intertitle from Raja Harischandra
When I first began searching the Net to find landmark regional films to review for this special ‘100 years of Indian cinema’ celebration, Chemmeen was one name that cropped up again and again. It sounded impressive. This was one of … Continue reading
dustedoffMadhu and Sheela in ChemmeenThe catch is brought in and sortedAchankunju and NallapennuKaruthamma with PareekuttyPanchami sneaks on KaruthammaChacki scolds KaruthammaChembankunju goes to meet Pareekutty...... and a deal is struckChembankunju buys a boat and is very impressedThe new boat is inauguratedPanchami gets slapped by her fatherPareekutty finds himself being swindledChacki becomes a wealthy womanChacki and Chembankunju at homeA match is fixed - with PalaniKaruthamma insists on going awayChacki suffers a strokePareekutty watches as the wedding party leavesKaruthamma and Palani, shunnedA poignant but charged scene of forbidden loveA frame from Chemmeen, courtesy Marcus Bartley
When I’d decided to dedicate this month to regional Indian cinema, I’d also decided that I wouldn’t restrict myself to only the grim, stark ‘real’ films that win awards (Chemmeen, as you will see over the next few films, was … Continue reading
dustedoffThe cave of Pathala BhairaviRamu's mother shoos him from the gardenPrincess IndumatiRamu with AnjiThe king and queen, with the queen's brotherThe queen's brother throws his weight aboutA meeting in a gazeboRamu saves Indu and the UncleI spy with my little telescope...Nepala Mandrikudu at workA spirit appears and gives some instructionsRamu, en route to Indu's roomIndu declares her love for RamuThe king overhears the two loversRamu is freedThe magician approaches Ramu... and enrolls himRamu emerges from the pond, after being bittenAn apparition gives Ramu some advicePathala BhairaviThe idol of Pathala Bhairavi