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    Sometime back, blog reader Anup remarked that some songs had a major singer not really doing much singing. Duets, he pointed out, where one singer does almost all the singing, while the other one just does a supportive ‘la-la-la-la’, or … Continue reading

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  • 04/17/17--20:56: Brilliantovaya Ruka (1969)
  • Some of my favourite films are those that cleverly combine crime with humour. Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry, for instance, a witty story about a man whom everybody seems to have been wanting to get rid of. Or—one of my … Continue reading

    dustedoffA valuable cane changes handsThe boss and the ringGuesha and Lyolik report to the bossPreparatory to going off on the Mikhail SvetlovSenya races to rescue his little girlGuesha and Lyolik rehearseSenya makes friends with GueshaA prostitute tries to waylay SenyaSenya is dragged away into the apothecary'sThe 'diamond arm'Guesha tries to pass on the paaswordSenya pours out his woes to the captainA very suspicious characterpic13pic14dustedoffA valuable cane changes handsThe boss and the ringGuesha and Lyolik report to the bossPreparatory to going off on the Mikhail SvetlovSenya races to rescue his little girlGuesha and Lyolik rehearseSenya makes friends with GueshaA prostitute tries to waylay SenyaSenya is dragged away into the apothecary'sThe 'diamond arm'Guesha tries to pass on the paaswordSenya pours out his woes to the captainA very suspicious characterpic13pic14

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  • 04/21/17--22:33: Naukri (1954)
  • I have a confession to make: I am not especially fond of Kishore Kumar as an actor. He’s a brilliant singer, and he can be pretty funny in films like Chalti ka Naam Gaadi or Pyaar Kiye Jaa or Padosan—but … Continue reading

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    This post may come as a surprise to those who are familiar with my blog, and with its chronological area of interest: Vinod Khanna, after all, debuted in a film that released in 1969, and this blog focuses on cinema … Continue reading

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  • 05/02/17--20:33: Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971)
  • This blog focuses almost exclusively on films from before the 1970s. Very occasionally, though, I make exceptions. For films that are pretty much on the cusp, and which evoke more a sense of 60s cinema than 70s, which were made … Continue reading

    dustedoffVinod Khanna, Asha Parekh and Dharmendra in Mera Gaon Mera DeshAjit pleads his case in courtAjit and the jailor - and a decision to be madeAjit meets Jaswant SinghMausi comes, claiming Ajit as her sonAjit finds some drinking partnersAjit and Anju fall in loveJabbar Singh comes callingAjit and Jaswant Singh, and the scared villagersJabbar Singh plotsMunni Bai goes off to find out more about AjitJabbar SinghPurnima and Dharmendra in a scene from Mera Gaon Mera DeshVinod Khanna and Laxmi Chhaya in a scene from the filmVinod Khanna and Laxmi Chhaya in Mera Gaon Mera DeshSanjeev Kumar in SholayAmjad Khan as Gabbar SinghdustedoffVinod Khanna, Asha Parekh and Dharmendra in Mera Gaon Mera DeshAjit pleads his case in courtAjit and the jailor - and a decision to be madeAjit meets Jaswant SinghMausi comes, claiming Ajit as her sonAjit finds some drinking partnersAjit and Anju fall in loveJabbar Singh comes callingAjit and Jaswant Singh, and the scared villagersJabbar Singh plotsMunni Bai goes off to find out more about AjitJabbar SinghPurnima and Dharmendra in a scene from Mera Gaon Mera DeshVinod Khanna and Laxmi Chhaya in a scene from the filmVinod Khanna and Laxmi Chhaya in Mera Gaon Mera DeshSanjeev Kumar in SholayAmjad Khan as Gabbar Singh

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  • 05/09/17--06:46: Lucky Star (1929)
  • Lucky Star is a movie of moments. A moment when a man, washing down the head of a young girl who’s grubby as can be, happens to ask her how old she is, and realizes, with a start of embarrassment, … Continue reading

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  • 05/18/17--08:27: Hanyo (1960)
  • Which, in English, is translated as The Housemaid, though it would perhaps have been more aptly titled Rats! I Got Me a New House. Not just because the catastrophe that swiftly unfurls in this film has its roots in the … Continue reading

    dustedoffThe pregnant wife, the chaebol, and the housemaiddustedoffThe pregnant wife, the chaebol, and the housemaid

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  • 05/23/17--06:49: Homes and Houses: Ten songs
  • Some context, first, for this post. I had recently been on a hiatus for a while because I shifted home. I’ve lived in Delhi for 32 years now, and for various reasons, my husband and I realized it would make … Continue reading

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  • 05/30/17--08:15: Ek Phool Chaar Kaante (1960)
  • Sunil Dutt and Waheeda Rehman. The two names themselves conjure up a mix of everything from Pyaasa to Mother India, from Gumraah to Kaagaz ke Phool. Sunil Dutt, whom I tend to associate either with suspense films (Humraaz, Mera Saaya) … Continue reading

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  • 06/06/17--23:09: Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957)
  • A hundred years, ago, on June 7, 1917, in Ohio was born Dino Paul Crocetti, the son of an Italian immigrant and his wife, also of Italian origin. Dino spoke nothing but Italian until he was five years old—and didn’t … Continue reading

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  • 06/12/17--09:03: Baadal (1966)
  • The Three Musketeers meets Hamlet meets Azaad meets general swashbuckling mayhem. I will admit I watched this film mainly for two reasons: for Sanjeev Kumar, who is deliciously handsome in his early roles; and for the song Nain bedaardi chhalia … Continue reading

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  • 06/17/17--23:16: The Outrage (1964)
  • Rashōmon, set in the Wild West. I hadn’t heard about this film, let alone seen it, till a few weeks back, when blog reader Hurdy Gurdy Man, commenting on my review of Rashōmon, mentioned it. Rashōmon—and the Rashōmon Effect—fascinates me, … Continue reading

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    It’s often struck me that there are a number of Hindi film songs that could well be interpreted to refer to medical problems. The omnipresent theme of romantic love in itself has enough substance for everything from insomnia to palpitations … Continue reading

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  • 06/28/17--22:17: Kasauli: Kissed by Clouds
  • I have often said that I am a pahaari at heart. I don’t have—as far as I know—any ancestors who belonged to the hills, but there is nothing that rejuvenates me as much as going to the hills. Remember Wordsworth … Continue reading

    A hill covered with pine trees, standing tall against the clouds.dustedoffA hill covered with pine trees, standing tall against the clouds.dustedoff

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  • 07/04/17--08:47: Baadal (1951)
  • The last Hindi film I’d reviewed was the Sanjeev Kumar swashbuckler Baadal. When I’ d begun watching that, I wondered briefly if it would be a remake of the Premnath Baadal, a film I’d seen too long back to remember much … Continue reading

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  • 07/11/17--02:21: Jhinder Bondi (1961)
  • Considering I’ve recently reviewed two Hindi swashbucklers (Baadal and Baadal), both obviously—in one case even with credit accorded—inspired by European sources, I thought it appropriate to continue in the genre for another film. Also a swashbuckler, also inspired by a … Continue reading

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  • 07/18/17--09:00: Fanfan la Tulipe (1952)
  • I’ve been on a swashbuckler spree these past few weeks, what with a couple of Hindi films and then the Bengali film, Jhinder Bondi. Before I drift off into another genre, I decided I may as well finally watch a … Continue reading

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    Not too long back, I went on a trip to Kasauli, in Himachal Pradesh. It was a brief, pleasant little jaunt, and on the way back, I suggested that we stop—since it was on the way, in any case—at Pinjore … Continue reading

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    Happy 70th birthday, Mumtaz! I have gone through phases when I’ve been very fond of a certain actor, only to later start disliking them. Or vice-versa. Dev Anand, for a while, I could watch in anything (until I discovered his … Continue reading

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  • 08/05/17--23:22: Pursued (1947)
  • Exactly a week back, this blog was celebrating the birthday of a favourite of mine: the gorgeous Mumtaz turned 70. Today, Dusted Off celebrates the birth anniversary—the centenary, in fact—of another favourite of mine: Robert Mitchum. Born on August 6, … Continue reading

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