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Articles on this Page
- 03/25/11--01:38: _Cat on a Hot Tin Ro...
- 03/29/11--23:58: _Ten of my favourite...
- 04/03/11--23:38: _Teesri Kasam (1966)
- 04/06/11--21:45: _Only Angels Have Wi...
- 04/12/11--09:00: _Jahanara (1964)
- 04/19/11--04:00: _Rattan (1944)
- 04/26/11--07:47: _How to Steal a Mill...
- 04/28/11--23:57: _Ten of my favourite...
- 05/04/11--02:10: _Abe-Hayat (1955)
- 05/08/11--06:00: _I Remember Mama (1948)
- 05/14/11--22:49: _Ek Saal (1957)
- 05/20/11--23:09: _North-West Frontier...
- 05/27/11--05:10: _Ten of my favourite...
- 06/06/11--01:56: _The Train (1970)
- 06/10/11--18:22: _And Then There Were...
- 06/17/11--00:22: _Gumnaam (1965)
- 06/24/11--05:45: _The Hound of the Ba...
- 06/30/11--21:49: _Bees Saal Baad (1962)
- 07/07/11--23:55: _Ten of my favourite...
- 07/14/11--06:02: _Some thoughts on th...
- 03/25/11--01:38: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
- 03/29/11--23:58: Ten of my favourite bird songs
- 04/03/11--23:38: Teesri Kasam (1966)
- 04/06/11--21:45: Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
- 04/12/11--09:00: Jahanara (1964)
- 04/19/11--04:00: Rattan (1944)
- 04/26/11--07:47: How to Steal a Million (1966)
- 04/28/11--23:57: Ten of my favourite ghoda-gaadi songs
- 05/04/11--02:10: Abe-Hayat (1955)
- 05/08/11--06:00: I Remember Mama (1948)
- 05/14/11--22:49: Ek Saal (1957)
- 05/20/11--23:09: North-West Frontier (1959)
- 05/27/11--05:10: Ten of my favourite train songs
- 06/06/11--01:56: The Train (1970)
- 06/10/11--18:22: And Then There Were None (1945)
- 06/17/11--00:22: Gumnaam (1965)
- 06/24/11--05:45: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
- 06/30/11--21:49: Bees Saal Baad (1962)
- 07/07/11--23:55: Ten of my favourite Waheeda Rehman songs
- 07/14/11--06:02: Some thoughts on the songs of Pyaasa
Less than two months ago, a couple whom I am distantly connected to by marriage were in town. The lady’s American; her husband is Indian, and they live in New York. We were chatting about this and that, and the lady told us an interesting story: of how, some years back, they had been invited [...]
Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Big Daddy turns 65
The elder son, Gooper
Mae and her brood
Maggie and Brick
Mae and Gooper
Gooper reveals his pain to Big Momma
A drunken race - against no-one
Brick spends his days on the couch, drinking...
... and ignoring Maggie
Maggie, the cat on the hot tin roof
One of Gooper and Mae's daughters taunts Maggie
Brick, haunted by the shade of Skipper
The Pollitt family, with Big Daddy's doctor
Big Daddy with his favourite son, Brick
Birdsong? No, really. Bird songs. I spent a bit of last Sunday at Delhi’s Okhla Barrage Bird Sanctuary. The barrage on the Yamuna hosts a vast number of migratory birds through the winter. Most of them are gone by this time of the year, but there’s plenty of bird life still to be seen: The [...]
Whitebreasted Kingfisher at the Okhla Barrage Bird Sanctuary
Redwattled lapwing at the Okhla Barrage Bird Sanctuary
Northern shoveller and garganey at Okhla Barrage Bird Sanctuary
Ek tha bulbul... or ek thi ek aur bulbul! At the Okhla Barrage Bird Sanctuary
Suno sajna papihe ne from Aaye Din Bahaar Ke
Jangal mein mor naacha, from Madhumati
O meri mynah, from Pyaar Kiye Jaa
Cheel cheel chillaake kajri sunaaye, from Half Ticket
Ek tha gul aur ek thi bulbul, from Jab Jab Phool Khile
Kuchh din pehle ek taal mein, from Laajwanti
Kaahe koyal shor machaaye re, from Aag
Bhor hote kaaga, from Chirag
Chalat musaafir moh liya re, from Teesri Kasam
Murge ne jhooth bola, from Manmauji
One reason I’m glad I began this blog is that, because of it, I’ve met (although in most cases only in cyberspace) a lot of other people who are as enthusiastic about cinema as I am. Through these friends, I’ve been introduced to ‘new’ old films, to songs and directors and actors and styles of [...]
Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman in Teesri Kasam
Heeraman vows never to transport stolen goods again
... and never to carry bamboo again
Birju hires Heeraman and his bullock cart
A few prayers at a temple
... and a revelation
Heeraman and Heerabai become friends
A scene from the film
Waheeda Rehman in Teesri Kasam
Heerabai gets to know Heeraman a little better
Heerabai gets free passes for Heeraman
Heeraman's friend tries to get some time alone with Heerabai
... as does the zamindar
Heerabai on stage
The site stats for this blog sometimes show decidedly odd search terms that bring people to www.dustedoff.wordpress.com. ‘bollywood hide and seek behind a tree’; ‘sailing boat naked’; ‘iwanttohearmukeshsonginmukeshvoice’; ‘saree of kolkata grandmother’; and – this is one I can agree with, wholeheartedly: ‘cary grant being beautiful’. Yes, Cary Grant was very beautiful indeed (would ridiculously [...]
Cary Grant in Only Angels Have Wings
Cary Grant and Jean Arthur in Only Angels Have Wings
Bonnie Lee explores Barranca
... and makes friends with Les and Joe
Bonnie Lee is introduced to Dutchy
Geoff gives Joe and Les their orders
Geoff tries to help Joe land in thick fog
Bonnie and Dutchy see Joe crash
Geoff begins eating Joe's steak dinner
Frustration, grief and apparent callousness
Geoff tries to knock some sense into Bonnie Lee
Flying up in the mountains
The Kid tries to refuse the truth about his eyes
Geoff tells Bonnie about his past
Bonnie is told to leave
... his nemesis
... and his wife
Hindi cinema’s fascination for the Mughals is – well, fascinating. Even before independence, we were busy churning out semi-historicals such as Humayun (1945) and Shahjehan (1946); then, in the 50s and 60s, there followed a spate of rather more big-budget extravaganzas, complete with big names, vast armies, glittering palaces and superb music: Mughal-e-Azam, Taj Mahal [...]
Madhubala as Anarkali in Mughal-e-Azam
Mumtaz Mahal's tomb, the Taj Mahal
Mala Sinha, in and as Jahanara
Jahanara and Mirza Yusuf Changezi bid farewell to each other
... and meet again years later
Karuna encourages Jahanara in her love for Mirza Changezi
A forbidden love flourishes
Mumtaz Mahal on her deathbed
Mumtaz Mahal's grieving offspring: Jahanara, Roshanara and Dara
... and her heartbroken husband, Shahjahan
Karuna offers to help Mirza Changezi
- using pigeons,
- and the help of Gulley, disguised as a eunuch
Roshanara spies on Jahanara and Mirza Changezi
Dara visits Mirza Changezi in prison
Mirza Changezi makes a friend...
...meets two young women...
... and gains an admirer
Aurangzeb turns rebellious
An example of art direction gone wrong...
... and another
In an interview, while reminiscing about his first few years in the Hindi cinema industry, Naushad mentioned how, after he had moved to Bombay and become a music director, his parents arranged his wedding. “We have told your future in-laws that you are a tailor,” his mother said. “If we’d said you were into music, [...]
Karan Dewan and Swarnlata in Rattan
Gauri and Govind
Gauri's mother warns her off Govind
Govind and his parents
A loving couple
Gangu comes calling, with a proposal
Gauri gets married and leaves the village
Rattan's bhabhi and Manju fuss over Gauri
Rattan realises how young Gauri is
Rattan and Gauri
Rattan begins reading an uncannily apt manuscript
Gauri's mother asks a favour of Govind
Watching the dance at Diwali
Rattan's bhabhi insists Govind stay the night
Swarnlata as Gauri in Rattan
Ever noticed how many old films were set in Paris? The Last Time I saw Paris, Gigi, An American in Paris and countless others celebrated the French capital’s reputation as one of the world’s most romantic cities. Interestingly, too, a lot of films that weren’t primarily romances were also set in Paris. Ninotchka, A Shot [...]
Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million
Charles Bonnet appears at an auction of a 'Cezanne'
The Cellini Venus is loaned
Nicole hears the news
Charles Bonnet at work
The 'Cellini Venus'
Nicole hears a burglar
... and catches him trying to take away the 'Van Gogh'
Simon Dermott turns on the charm
Nicole shoots, and then binds up, Simon
A goodnight kiss
Simon examines the paint scraped from the 'Van Gogh'
... and learns about museum security
M de Solnay asks Simon's opinion on Bonnet
Nicole hears some disturbing news about the man she's dating
Nicole learns the truth about Leland
M Bonnet authorises insurance for the Venus...
- and, unwittingly, more
A bombshell drops
Nicole hires an expert to steal the Cellini Venus
This post is dedicated not just to music directors like O P Nayyar and Naushad (who made ‘tonga beats’ an important musical style), but also to friend and blog reader pacifist, who came up with the idea. Writing to me some weeks back, pacifist made a request: that I do a list of horse-drawn vehicle [...]
Dilip Kumar and Nadira in Aan
Yoon toh humne laakh haseen from Tumsa Nahin Dekha
Yeh kya kar daala tune from Howrah Bridge
Main rangeela pyaar ka raahi from Chhoti Bahen
Haule-haule saajna dheere-dheere baalma from Saawan ki Ghata
Maangke saath tumhaara from Naya Daur
Ek toh soorat pyaari from Vallah Kya Baat Hai
Banda parvar thhaam lo jigar, from Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon
Piya piya piya mora jiya pukaare from Baap re Baap
Dil mein chhupaake pyaar ka toofaan from Aan
Mera salaam le jaa, from Udan Khatola
I’ve been very busy the last couple of days, and the busy-ness doesn’t look like it’ll come to an end soon. My husband, therefore (and what a model of husbandly devotion!) offered to write the review of Abe-Hayat for me. This, mind you, without having seen the film, just on the basis of a very [...]
Prem Nathi in Abe-Hayat
The evil Saamri
The Sabz Pari gives Rukhsana a few tips
The Sabz Pari, turned to marble
Jalal makes himself popular
Shahzaad excels at fencing...
... and pasting on a moustache
Aqeel follows up on a due debt
Jalal wins against Aqeel
... and takes an unconscious stranger to his home
Aqeel kidnaps Shahzaad
Shahzaad tells her dad about Jalal's heroics
The Wazir faces a dilemma
Aqeel meets the Sultan (and Sultana) of Halam
Aqeel makes a nuisance of himself
Another hard decision for the Wazir
Sorrows assail the lovers
Saamri carries Shahzaad off
The Sultan surrounded by his well-wishers
Jalal hears the proclamation and decides to take action
Sadabahaar falls for Jalal
... as does the Sabz Pari
Off to save the world
Helen as a tavern dancer in Abe-Hayat
Shashikala in Abe-Hayat
Premnath in Abe-Hayat
Ameeta in Abe-Hayat
The Times of India ran an interesting little article yesterday (I tried searching for it online, but sorry – can’t find it), as part of its run-up to Mother’s Day. It was a little piece about a mother who found herself reduced to a pair of hands – “can you open this?”, “can you fix [...]
My mama and I, years ago
Mama - the centre of the family
Katrin begins reading out her story of her Mama
Irene Dunne as Marta Hanson, 'Mama'
Philip Dorn as Lars, 'Papa'
The oldest of the Hanson children, Nels
... and Dagmar, the youngest
Aunt Jenny, the bossy one
Aunt Sigrid, the whiny one...
... and Aunt Trina, the timid one
A Jehu comes to San Francisco
Uncle Chris, at the top of his form
Jessie, Uncle Chris's 'housekeeper'
Mr Hyde reads to the Hansons
Mama in her role as the Hanson household accountant
...pulling together to avoid going to the bank
I Remember Mama
Did the producer and director Devendra Goel specialise in film names that incorporated numbers? Have a look at this (admittedly select) filmography: Ek Saal, Ek Phool Do Maali, Ek Mahal ho Sapnon ka, Do Musafir, Dus Lakh… Was he, perhaps, doing a countdown to what he hoped would be some blockbuster magnum opus that would [...]
Ashok Kumar and Madhubala in Ek Saal
The doctor gives Colonel Sinha some terrible news
... leaving him devastated
Usha celebrates her birthday in Lucknow
A surreptitious flick of fingers...
... and nani finds her necklace gone
Nani refuses to let JB Pinto search her guests
Suresh tries to flirt with Usha - and get the necklace from her bag
Usha meets the new estate manager - Suresh!
Suresh's partner-in-crime, Rajni
Suresh and Rajni, back in Lucknow...
Usha's friend brings along an 'engagement garland'
Usha faints after being rejected by Suresh...
Colonel Sinha meets Suresh with a proposition
Happiness all around
Rajni starts getting suspicious
... and hires JB Pinto and Mary
Madhubala in Ek Saal
Johnny Walker and Minoo Mumtaz in Ek Saal
R H Stowell in Ek Saal
While I was writing the review of Ek Saal last week, I was reminded of this film. And that for what might seem an obscure reason to some: I S Johar was the man who suggested the story idea for Ek Saal, and he – now as actor, not writer – plays one of the [...]
I S Johar in North-West Frontier
A group of near-strangers set off on a perilous journey
I S Johar, Kenneth More and (in the background) S M Asgaralli in North-West Frontier
The raja of the North-West Frontier fears for his life - and his son's
Kishan is handed over to Captain Scott, along with Mrs Wyatt
Scott and his escort leave for Haserabad...
... which is flooded with refugees
Sir John Windham tries to be reassuring...
... but Mrs Wyatt is sceptical, and vocally so
Scott discovers Empress of India
Scott and Gupta concoct a plan
Scott shares the plan with Windham etc.
Doubts give way to acceptance...
Peters hitches a ride on the train...
... as does Van Leyden
Mr Bridie gets on the train because he's been ordered to do so...
... as does Lady Windham
Victoria begins her journey
Mrs Wyatt steps into a train of massacred refugees
A memorable dialogue
The original 'curry Western'?
Continuing with my plan to link every post to the previous one… well, what next? (Harvey: you were close when it came to guessing!) My last post, North-West Frontier, was set mostly in a train – and that too a train in the Indian subcontinent. So it seemed appropriate to do a list of my [...]
Songs on a train
Hai apna dil toh awara, from Solvaan Saal
Apni toh har aah ek toofaan hai, from Kala Bazaar
Dekhoji ek baala jogi, from China Town
Rukh se zara naqaab utha do, from Mere Huzoor
Dil thhaam chale hum aaj kidhar, from Love in Simla
Badal jaaye agar maali, from Bahaarein Phir Bhi Aayengi
Cheel-cheel chillake, from Half Ticket
Auraton ke dabbe mein mard aa gaya, from Mud-mud Ke Na Dekh
Humko samajh na lijiye, from Kalpana
Dekh tere sansaar ki haalat, from Nastik
While, in the world of Hindi films, songs are often sung on trains, alas – trains too are occasionally dangerous places to be in. And I’m not simply talking about a train in which a heartbroken and lonely hero or heroine is travelling [such trains invariably have frightful accidents in which the hero(ine) is about [...]
Rajesh Khanna in The Train
A murderer kills a rich merchant...
... and is picked up by an accomplice
'Nawab Sahib' comes to Hiralal's shop...
... receives a phone call...
... and leaves behind a distressing cheque
Neeta and Shyam celebrate their love
Shyam lets the cops know he's one of them
Shyam receives a call from the baddie
Lily at work...
... and play
Shyam gets down to work
Neeta tells her mother about Shyam
The truth is revealed
Ram Dev arrives, an escapee from the law
Shyam tries to dig up the truth
In the villains' den
An 'old pal' of Ram Dev's turns up with an offer of help
Kalavati makes friends with Pyarelal
Pyarelal receives a bad shock
... and Sethji is stabbed dead
Rajesh Khanna and Helen in The Train
Obviously Nanda in profile...
- and someone completely different when she turns around!
Since The Train was, all said and done (though I’m not convinced about it) a suspense film, I decided to stick to that genre for this post as well. And Then There Were None is a classic suspense film, based on Agatha Christie’s book of the same name. Christie’s book (originally titled Ten Little Niggers) [...]
Ten little Indian boys...
A group of strangers travel in a motorboat
The house on the island
The Rogerses begin showing the guests to their rooms
The guests at the Owens'
The frivolous Nikki, Prince Nikita Starloff
Ms Emily Brent
The sleuth, Blore...
Vera recites the nursery rhyme
Nikki plays the piano, before a startling revelation...
Accusation after accusation
Rogers admits to having put the record on to play
Armstrong has a sudden brainwave
... and Nikki dies at the piano
A china 'Indian boy' disappears
For anybody who’s been following my idea of ‘linked posts’ – each post connected to the one before, and to the one after – this probably comes as no surprise. And Then There Were None was based on Agatha Christie’s highly popular novel and play; Gumnaam is, in turn, an adaptation of And Then There [...]
Manoj Kumar and Nanda in Gumnaam
Khanna pays off a henchman
Asha hears the news
... and Khanna is killed by a visitor
... as does Kitty
... and Madhusudan Sharma
An unexpected stopover
The group ponders over their course of action
A spooky mansion - and an even spookier apparition
An odd butler
Anand reads out a scary message
Rakesh asks Kitty to have a drink with him...
Dr Acharya looks once again at the poison he's carrying
One missing diner
Anand and Asha fine Kishan, dead
A suspicious revelation
Dr Acharya pronounces Dharamdas's death by strangulation
Laxmi Chhaya and Co. in Jaan-pehchaan ho
Ted Lyons and his Cubs, and Herman Benjamin, in Jaan-pehchaan ho
Helen in Gumnaam...
... and more Helen!
My last two posts were related in a way common in cinema: the first was a review of a film based on a book, and that was followed by a review of a film that was a remake – in another language – of that film. So here’s the first of another duo of reviews, [...]
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in The Hound of the Baskervilles
A tramp (?) tries to rob the dead Sir Charles Baskerville
Dr Mortimer at the inquest...
... is stopped by his wife from saying something
At the inquest, the Stapletons and Dr Mortimer
Frankland has his say
A newspaper announcement
Holmes looks at Dr Mortimer's stick
... and meets Dr Mortimer
Hugo Baskerville and his friends
The hound howling over Hugo's body
Holmes invites Mortimer to bring Henry Baskerville to him
An odd message
Holmes meets Henry Baskerville
Holmes interviews the cab driver
A goodbye - and an assurance of help
Mr and Mrs Barryman welcome their new master
Watson and Baskerville surprise Barryman at some odd business
Henry Baskerville and Beryl Stapleton fall in love
A seance at the Mortimers'
A peddler on the moor
Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles
Beryl pleads with Henry to go away
Several people who read my last post – which, as I’d mentioned, was an adaptation of a suspense novel, and in turn was remade in another language – guessed what this post would be all about. You were all kind enough to not let the cat out of the bag, but I guess you all [...]
Biswajit in Bees Saal Baad
The jagirdar sets off into the grassland
The end of the jagirdar
Kumar meets Dr Pandey
A one-eyed man watches Kumar's arrival
Dr Pandey drives Kumar to the mansion...
... and introduces him to the weird Laxman
Kumar is faced with the first of many mysteries
Kumar meets Radha
Radha and her uncle, Ram Lal
Radha tells her uncle about Kumar
Mohan Babu tries to make friends
... but seems to be hiding a secret of his own
Gopichand jasoos puts in an appearance
Laxman signals to someone out in the grasslands
Kumar's lecherous dadaji
A glimpse of the woman who sings to Kumar...
Waheeda Rehman in Bees Saal Baad
What made Bees Saal Baad such a good watch was its music, its fairly good suspense – and its lovely heroine. Waheeda Rehman had it all: an immense amount of talent, a rare beauty, a grace and dignity that few possess – and she was a superb dancer. What’s more, as I discovered in a [...]
Waheeda Rehman in Baat ek Raat ki
Waheeda Rehman in Kohra
Kahin pe nigaahein kahin pe nishaana
Piya tose naina laage re, from Guide
Paan khaaye saiyaan, from Teesri Kasam
Badle-badle mere sarkar, from Chaudhvin ka chaand
Bhanwra bada naadaan hai, from Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam
Na tum humein jaano, from Baat ek Raat ki
Sach hue sapne tere, from Kala Bazaar
Rangeela re tere rang mein, from Prem Pujari
Bujha diye hain khud apne haathon, from Shagoon
Jaane kya tune kahi, from Pyaasa
Why not begin, I thought, where I left off in my last post? The last song I listed in my post on my ten favourite Waheeda Rehman songs was Jaane kya tune kahi, from Pyaasa. Interestingly, this was also the first song in the film. It’s a film I’ve seen a few times – always [...]
Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman in Pyaasa
Jaane kya tune kahi
Ho laakh musibat raste mein
Sar jo tera chakraaye ya dil dooba jaaye
Hum aapki aankhon mein is dil ko basaa dein toh
Jaane woh kaise log thhe jinke
Jaane woh kaise log thhe jinke
Aaj sajan mohe ang lagaa lo
Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahaan hain
Yeh mahalon yeh takhton yeh taajon ki duniya