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  • 05/10/12--03:09: Piccadilly Jim (1936)
  • … a review, to be followed (probably tomorrow) by some ramblings on film adaptations of books, and why so many tend to flat on their faces. I adore the books of P G Wodehouse. His writing is utterly charming, very witty, and very intelligently (not to mention intricately) plotted. From the loony Lord Emsworth and [...]

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    P G WodehouseP G Wodehouse

    Robert Montgomery in Piccadilly JimRobert Montgomery in Piccadilly Jim

    'Up at the crack of dusk''Up at the crack of dusk'

    Mr Crocker rehearsesMr Crocker rehearses

    Jim and Mr Crocker discuss the meeting with the PettsJim and Mr Crocker discuss the meeting with the Petts

    At the bar, with a friendAt the bar, with a friend

    Jim 'rescues' a pretty girlJim 'rescues' a pretty girl

    The girl at the barThe girl at the bar

    Jim tangos with the girl...Jim tangos with the girl...

    ...and learns her name is Ann, but not much more...and learns her name is Ann, but not much more

    Nesta Pett and Mr Pett meet Mr CrockerNesta Pett and Mr Pett meet Mr Crocker

    A caricature by Piccadilly JimA caricature by Piccadilly Jim

    Jim meets the PettsJim meets the Petts

    A forlorn Jim tries in vain to find AnnA forlorn Jim tries in vain to find Ann

    Jim's bestselling cartoon strip, starring caricatures of the PettsJim's bestselling cartoon strip, starring caricatures of the Petts

    Nesta, Eugenia and Ann get a look at the cartoonsNesta, Eugenia and Ann get a look at the cartoons

    Jim discovers who his mystery girl isJim discovers who his mystery girl is

    Ann tells Jim how much she hates Piccadilly JimAnn tells Jim how much she hates Piccadilly Jim

    Tea in the countrysideTea in the countryside

    Lord Priory offers to chaperone Ann on the boatLord Priory offers to chaperone Ann on the boat

    Ann and Lord Priory meet Bayliss and his 'son'Ann and Lord Priory meet Bayliss and his 'son'

    ...and Count Olav Osric of Denmark introduces himself to Eugenia...and Count Olav Osric of Denmark introduces himself to Eugenia

    Eric Blore, Frank Morgan and Robert Montgomery in Piccadilly JimEric Blore, Frank Morgan and Robert Montgomery in Piccadilly Jim

    Robert Montgomery and Madge Evans in Piccadilly JimRobert Montgomery and Madge Evans in Piccadilly Jim

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    While writing my review of Piccadilly Jim—and comparing it to P G Wodehouse’s book—I was struck by the fact that most of the time, when I watch a film based on a novel I’ve read, I end up feeling let down. What is it, after all, that makes it difficult to recreate the magic of [...]

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    Mala Sinha in and as JahanaraMala Sinha in and as Jahanara

    A man's sinister shadow... in The Night of the HunterA man's sinister shadow... in The Night of the Hunter

    Vimmi in HumraazVimmi in Humraaz

    An illustration of a Regency-era lady, painted in 1813An illustration of a Regency-era lady, painted in 1813

    A scene from Pride and Prejudice (1940)A scene from Pride and Prejudice (1940)

    A scene from InkaarA scene from Inkaar

    Kurosawa's Tengoku to JigokuKurosawa's Tengoku to Jigoku

    A scene from Don CamilloA scene from Don Camillo

    A scene from Far From the Madding CrowdA scene from Far From the Madding Crowd

    Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd in Ben HurCharlton Heston and Stephen Boyd in Ben Hur

    A scene from Von Ryan's ExpressA scene from Von Ryan's Express

    Deborah Kerr and Robert Taylor in Quo VadisDeborah Kerr and Robert Taylor in Quo Vadis

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    Some of you may have noticed my recent hiatus. Some of you may even know the reason for that—a trip to Kashmir (or, to be more specific, Srinagar). I lived in Srinagar for 3 years, beginning with when I was about 9 years old. I loved Srinagar. It was a beautiful place, and the beauty [...]

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    Poppies at the Botanical Gardens in SrinagarPoppies at the Botanical Gardens in Srinagar

    Hum chalein door, from Ek Thi LadkiHum chalein door, from Ek Thi Ladki

    A flower-seller in a shikaraA flower-seller in a shikara

    Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra, from Kashmir ki KaliYeh chaand sa roshan chehra, from Kashmir ki Kali

    Mere yaar shabba khair, from JungleeMere yaar shabba khair, from Junglee

    A view of part of the Shalimar BaghA view of part of the Shalimar Bagh

    Tumse achha kaun hai, from JaanwarTumse achha kaun hai, from Jaanwar

    Chinar leaves in summerChinar leaves in summer

    Laakhon hain nigaah mein, from Phir Wohi Dil Laaya HoonLaakhon hain nigaah mein, from Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon

    Another view of Nishat: from Laakhon hain nigaah meinAnother view of Nishat: from Laakhon hain nigaah mein

    Nishat Bagh, todayNishat Bagh, today

    Joy Mukherji in Humko tumhaare ishq neJoy Mukherji in Humko tumhaare ishq ne

    A view of the canals and old houses of SrinagarA view of the canals and old houses of Srinagar

    A view of old Srinagar - across the JhelumA view of old Srinagar - across the Jhelum

    Pukaarta chala hoon main, from Mere SanamPukaarta chala hoon main, from Mere Sanam

    Ae nargis-e-mastaana, from AarzooAe nargis-e-mastaana, from Aarzoo

    The canals of Kashmir, in Pardesiyon se na akhiyaan milaanaThe canals of Kashmir, in Pardesiyon se na akhiyaan milaana

    Shashi Kapoor as a Kashmiri houseboat-waala in Jab Jab Phool KhileShashi Kapoor as a Kashmiri houseboat-waala in Jab Jab Phool Khile

    Maqbool chacha in his shikaraMaqbool chacha in his shikara

    Padmini dances in Nishat Bagh, in KalpanaPadmini dances in Nishat Bagh, in Kalpana

    A periwinkle, abundant in Kashmir in summerA periwinkle, abundant in Kashmir in summer

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  • 05/30/12--23:06: Pyaar ka Mausam (1969)
  • Or, The Nasir Hussain Rule Book of Fool-proof Rehashing. I’m beginning to think I’m an idiot for trying to think up new stories every time I write. Look at people like Betty Neels or Nasir Hussain; they managed to get by with basically the same story, over and over again, and very successfully too. [which [...]

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    Shashi Kapoor and Asha Parekh in Pyaar ka MausamShashi Kapoor and Asha Parekh in Pyaar ka Mausam

    Wasti in Pyaar ka MausamWasti in Pyaar ka Mausam

    Ranjit Singh asks to adopt his employee's baby daughterRanjit Singh asks to adopt his employee's baby daughter

    Ranjit Singh's evil stepbrother, ShankarRanjit Singh's evil stepbrother, Shankar

    Gopal sings his signature tune to JamunaGopal sings his signature tune to Jamuna

    Ranjit Singh shares the good news with his sisterRanjit Singh shares the good news with his sister

    A traveller asks Gopal for shelterA traveller asks Gopal for shelter

    Shankar plots to murder Gopal, Jamuna and Sunder by burning down their hutShankar plots to murder Gopal, Jamuna and Sunder by burning down their hut

    Jamuna loses her mindJamuna loses her mind

    Sunder is adopted by a passing coupleSunder is adopted by a passing couple

    ... and grows up as Sunil... and grows up as Sunil

    Sunil's friend arrives, and Sunil confides in himSunil's friend arrives, and Sunil confides in him

    Sunil gatecrashes a picnicSunil gatecrashes a picnic

    A song-and-danceA song-and-dance

    Jhatpat Singh arrivesJhatpat Singh arrives

    A fight begins at a nightclubA fight begins at a nightclub

    A drunk Seema gets nasty with her rescuerA drunk Seema gets nasty with her rescuer

    Love eternalLove eternal

    Shankar's nasty son, RameshShankar's nasty son, Ramesh

    Shankar, Ramesh and their henchman Keshav plotShankar, Ramesh and their henchman Keshav plot

    A chance meeting between father and sonA chance meeting between father and son

    Ranjit decides to shower all his wealth - and Seema as wife - on his 'grandson'Ranjit decides to shower all his wealth - and Seema as wife - on his 'grandson'

    Asha Parekh in Pyaar ka MausamAsha Parekh in Pyaar ka Mausam

    Shashi Kapoor in Pyaar ka MausamShashi Kapoor in Pyaar ka Mausam

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  • 06/06/12--03:06: Neecha Nagar (1946)
  • I am a bit of an iconoclast. Maxim Gorky’s play The Lower Depths, while considered one of the great classics of Russian literature, left me cold when I read it. To me, it seemed too cluttered with characters, too devoid of plot, and just—well, without anything that would make me want to go back to [...]

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    Rafiq Anwar as Balraj in Neecha NagarRafiq Anwar as Balraj in Neecha Nagar

    Rupa and SagarRupa and Sagar

    Balraj, Rupa's brotherBalraj, Rupa's brother

    Rupa and Balraj's bhabhi, played by Zohra SaigalRupa and Balraj's bhabhi, played by Zohra Saigal

    Maya with BalrajMaya with Balraj

    Rafi Peer as SarkarRafi Peer as Sarkar

    Sarkar gives orders for the drain to be diverted to Neecha NagarSarkar gives orders for the drain to be diverted to Neecha Nagar

    A delegation from Neecha Nagar arrives to meet SarkarA delegation from Neecha Nagar arrives to meet Sarkar

    Sarkar rulesSarkar rules

    SagarSagar

    Sarkar coaxes an eager Sagar into his campSarkar coaxes an eager Sagar into his camp

    The drain comes to Neecha Nagar, bringing death - and vulturesThe drain comes to Neecha Nagar, bringing death - and vultures

    Disease comes to Neecha NagarDisease comes to Neecha Nagar

    Sarkar commands an announcement to be made in Neecha NagarSarkar commands an announcement to be made in Neecha Nagar

    Rupa begins work in the seva gharRupa begins work in the seva ghar

    Rupa and Balraj's bhabhi refuses to let her daughter go to the seva gharRupa and Balraj's bhabhi refuses to let her daughter go to the seva ghar

    Despair reigns in Neecha NagarDespair reigns in Neecha Nagar

    Maya and BalrajMaya and Balraj

    Uma Anand as Maya in Neecha NagarUma Anand as Maya in Neecha Nagar

    Sarkar: a close-upSarkar: a close-up

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  • 06/13/12--03:58: La Grande Guerra (1959)
  • My original plan had been to watch and review Neecha Nagar, and follow it up by watching and reviewing Kurosawa’s Donzoko (also based on The Lower Depths). By the time I’d read Gorky’s play and seen Neecha Nagar, that plan had changed a bit—because I was feeling sorely in need of a funny film. La [...]

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    Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi in La Grande GuerraVittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi in La Grande Guerra

    At the office to enlistAt the office to enlist

    Busacca starts chatting with IacovacciBusacca starts chatting with Iacovacci

    Iacovacci talks to the officer...Iacovacci talks to the officer...

    ...and claims his 30 liras from Busacca...and claims his 30 liras from Busacca

    Busacca ends up in the armyBusacca ends up in the army

    Off to the borderOff to the border

    Busacca runs into - and after - IacovacciBusacca runs into - and after - Iacovacci

    An ominous train arrives at the stationAn ominous train arrives at the station

    Iacovacci and Busacca set off for the border, shirking all the wayIacovacci and Busacca set off for the border, shirking all the way

    A regiment returns for some restA regiment returns for some rest

    Rosario and his beloved Francesca BertiniRosario and his beloved Francesca Bertini

    Lieutenant Gallina reads out a love-letter for one of his menLieutenant Gallina reads out a love-letter for one of his men

    Bordin sets off on yet another dangerous missionBordin sets off on yet another dangerous mission

    Second Lieutenant LorenziSecond Lieutenant Lorenzi

    In the trenches, during winter - Bordin and Lorenzi see a messengerIn the trenches, during winter - Bordin and Lorenzi see a messenger

    The death of a manThe death of a man

    Costantina fends off the arriving menCostantina fends off the arriving men

    Busacca 'woos' CostantinaBusacca 'woos' Costantina

    ... and becomes more than a mere lover... and becomes more than a mere lover

    A hen is spottedA hen is spotted

    The hen makes its way between the trenchesThe hen makes its way between the trenches

    In the midst of warIn the midst of war

    An ingenious way of making holes in a skilletAn ingenious way of making holes in a skillet

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    I don’t often need to take a taxi to get around, but when I do, I always steel myself, because 9 times out of 10, the taxi driver will have music playing—a CD or a radio—and 99% of the time, it’ll be some completely vile stuff with just a monotonous beat, and no melody to [...]

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    Chakke pe chakka, from BrahmachariChakke pe chakka, from Brahmachari

    Kisi na kisi se kabhi na kabhi, from Kashmir ki KaliKisi na kisi se kabhi na kabhi, from Kashmir ki Kali

    Jeevan ke safar mein raahi, from MunimjiJeevan ke safar mein raahi, from Munimji

    Jiya o jiya o jiya kucjhh bol do, from Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota HaiJiya o jiya o jiya kucjhh bol do, from Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai

    Yeh lo main haari piya, from Aar PaarYeh lo main haari piya, from Aar Paar

    Baaju samjho ishaare, from Chalti ka Naam GaadiBaaju samjho ishaare, from Chalti ka Naam Gaadi

    Raahi mil gaye raahon mein, from Dil Deke DekhoRaahi mil gaye raahon mein, from Dil Deke Dekho

    Jab dekh liya toh chhupenge kahaan, from ChiragJab dekh liya toh chhupenge kahaan, from Chirag

    Unse rippy-tippy ho gayi, from Agra RoadUnse rippy-tippy ho gayi, from Agra Road

    Chaahe koi khush ho chaahe gaaliyaan hazaar de, from Taxi DriverChaahe koi khush ho chaahe gaaliyaan hazaar de, from Taxi Driver

    Yeh rang na chhootega, from China TownYeh rang na chhootega, from China Town

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  • 06/26/12--03:53: Lizzie (1957)
  • This photo of Eleanor Parker is the current wallpaper on my laptop screen: …and I’ve decided it’s time to change it, simply because it gets in the way of my work. Every now and then, while I’m working, I need to move to the desktop to open a folder or file that’s there. Invariably, I [...]

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    Eleanor Parker, born June 26, 1922Eleanor Parker, born June 26, 1922

    Eleanor Parker as Elizabeth Richmond/Lizzie/BethEleanor Parker as Elizabeth Richmond/Lizzie/Beth

    Elizabeth arrives at workElizabeth arrives at work

    Elizabeth with her friend and colleague, RuthElizabeth with her friend and colleague, Ruth

    Johnny Valenzo asks Ruth for a date at Rick's TavernJohnny Valenzo asks Ruth for a date at Rick's Tavern

    A threatening note from LizzieA threatening note from Lizzie

    Ruth reads the note Elizabeth's receivedRuth reads the note Elizabeth's received

    Elizabeth at work - and making mistakes because of her forgetfulnessElizabeth at work - and making mistakes because of her forgetfulness

    Aunt Morgan waxes eloquent about bourbonAunt Morgan waxes eloquent about bourbon

    Elizabeth talks to Aunt MorganElizabeth talks to Aunt Morgan

    Elizabeth expresses her confusionElizabeth expresses her confusion

    A sudden changeA sudden change

    At Rick's TavernAt Rick's Tavern

    Elizabeth meets Johnny Valenzo at the tavernElizabeth meets Johnny Valenzo at the tavern

    'poison pen' Elizabeth writes a nasty note'poison pen' Elizabeth writes a nasty note

    Valenzo confronts Elizabeth with a note she's writtenValenzo confronts Elizabeth with a note she's written

    Aunt Morgan pitches out some empty bourbon bottlesAunt Morgan pitches out some empty bourbon bottles

    Walter makes a suggestion...Walter makes a suggestion...

    ... and talks to Elizabeth too... and talks to Elizabeth too

    Elizabeth goes to meet Dr WrightElizabeth goes to meet Dr Wright

    Dr Wright commences hypnotism...Dr Wright commences hypnotism...

    ... and Lizzie emerges.... and Lizzie emerges.

    Beth makes her presence known during hypnosisBeth makes her presence known during hypnosis

    During a session with Dr WrightDuring a session with Dr Wright

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    Poor Biswajeet must have gotten thoroughly sick of romancing spooky women in the ‘60s. True, in this one, the spookiness is rather more pronounced (Waheeda Rehman was pretty sunny and un-mysterious in Bees Saal Baad; everything else seemed steeped in mystery). But there is the inexplicability of everything around, dozens of very loud and pointed [...]

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    Biswajeet and Sharmila Tagore in Yeh Raat Phir Na AayegiBiswajeet and Sharmila Tagore in Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi

    Rita comes to the excavation sire to take her father to the railway stationRita comes to the excavation sire to take her father to the railway station

    Suraj comes homeSuraj comes home

    At the haveli...At the haveli...

    ... a spooky figure... a spooky figure

    Suraj meets Professor Sahib and RakeshSuraj meets Professor Sahib and Rakesh

    A mysterious woman watches SurajA mysterious woman watches Suraj

    Rita tries to woo SurajRita tries to woo Suraj

    An unsettling find:An unsettling find:

    ... and ancient skeleton... and ancient skeleton

    Professor Sahib and Rakesh examine an old statueProfessor Sahib and Rakesh examine an old statue

    The mysterious woman, againThe mysterious woman, again

    Kiran addresses Suraj by nameKiran addresses Suraj by name

    Suraj, the artistSuraj, the artist

    At the exhibition of Suraj's paintingsAt the exhibition of Suraj's paintings

    Following - and losing inexplicably - KiranFollowing - and losing inexplicably - Kiran

    A song and danceA song and dance

    A boatman claims to be Kiran's fatherA boatman claims to be Kiran's father

    The spooky 'monk' at the haveliThe spooky 'monk' at the haveli

    Rita complains to her fatherRita complains to her father

    Kiran arrives for the partyKiran arrives for the party

    Biswajeet in Yeh Raat Phir Na AayegiBiswajeet in Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi

    Prithviraj Kapoor in Yeh Raat Phir Na AayegiPrithviraj Kapoor in Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi

    Biswajeet and Sharmila Tagore in Yeh Raat Phir Na AayegiBiswajeet and Sharmila Tagore in Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi

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  • 07/07/12--23:03: Dupatta (1952)
  • I saw a mention of this film for the first time on Richard’s blog a couple of years ago. Richard had mentioned that Dupatta (or Dopatta, as it’s referred to in some places) was available for viewing online. I’d stored away that snippet of information somewhere in the back of my mind, and forgotten about [...]

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    Noorjehan in DupattaNoorjehan in Dupatta

    A young woman pleads with the plastic surgeonA young woman pleads with the plastic surgeon

    The doctor talks to the young womanThe doctor talks to the young woman

    Bulbul's stepmother talks to Bulbul's suitorBulbul's stepmother talks to Bulbul's suitor

    A handsome stranger, RoshanA handsome stranger, Roshan

    Bulbul and RoshanBulbul and Roshan

    Bulbul's father berates herBulbul's father berates her

    Bulbul makes a promise to her fatherBulbul makes a promise to her father

    Bulbul tells Roshan of their plightBulbul tells Roshan of their plight

    Bulbul's father looks onBulbul's father looks on

    Bulbul pleads for Roshan's lifeBulbul pleads for Roshan's life

    Chaacha and chaachiChaacha and chaachi

    Bulbul, married to Roshan, comes to his homeBulbul, married to Roshan, comes to his home

    A made-over Bulbul irritates chaachi unwittinglyA made-over Bulbul irritates chaachi unwittingly

    Bulbul weeps to see Roshan goBulbul weeps to see Roshan go

    Roshan asks for a promise from BulbulRoshan asks for a promise from Bulbul

    Bulbul misses RoshanBulbul misses Roshan

    Bulbul talks to the doctor who's come to attend on MunnaBulbul talks to the doctor who's come to attend on Munna

    Chaachi spies on Bulbul and the doctorChaachi spies on Bulbul and the doctor

    Chaachi and Bulbul quarrelChaachi and Bulbul quarrel

    Bulbul at her father's deathbedBulbul at her father's deathbed

    Bulbul cares for the doctor's wifeBulbul cares for the doctor's wife

    Bulbul and her colleagueBulbul and her colleague

    The other nurse makes some insinuationsThe other nurse makes some insinuations

    Bulbul inadvertently learns of the doctor's feelings for herBulbul inadvertently learns of the doctor's feelings for her

    A scarred strangerA scarred stranger

    Noorjehan in DupattaNoorjehan in Dupatta

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  • 07/13/12--05:14: Rustom-e-Rome (1964)
  • Another tribute, to yet another great who’s passed on. Dara Singh, the wrestler-turned-actor who made such a big niche for himself in a slew of films, especially in the 1960s, passed away on July 12, 2012. As a child, nearly all my movie-watching was restricted to what was aired on Indian TV—Doordarshan—(and later, the few [...]

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    Dara Singh in Rustom-e-RomeDara Singh in Rustom-e-Rome

    Dara Singh in Rustom-e-RomeDara Singh in Rustom-e-Rome

    The queen mourns her dying husbandThe queen mourns her dying husband

    In the woods, with the little princesIn the woods, with the little princes

    A bereaved motherA bereaved mother

    A masked bandit picks up the younger princeA masked bandit picks up the younger prince

    The queen meets Darvesh BabaThe queen meets Darvesh Baba

    Scipio arrives to tell the king about the boy he's foundScipio arrives to tell the king about the boy he's found

    Darvesh Baba suggests a name for the child - FirdausDarvesh Baba suggests a name for the child - Firdaus

    Princess Ruma of JodiaPrincess Ruma of Jodia

    Firdaus defeats allFirdaus defeats all

    The jewelled dagger that Firdaus is offered by RumaThe jewelled dagger that Firdaus is offered by Ruma

    Arsalan arrives with a challenge to FirdausArsalan arrives with a challenge to Firdaus

    Arsalan battles his conscience - and the conscience wins hands downArsalan battles his conscience - and the conscience wins hands down

    Friends for lifeFriends for life

    Firdaus and Arsalan are sentenced to deathFirdaus and Arsalan are sentenced to death

    Darvesh Baba pleads for the lives of Firdaus and ArsalanDarvesh Baba pleads for the lives of Firdaus and Arsalan

    Darvesh Baba introduces Arsalan to ShabnamDarvesh Baba introduces Arsalan to Shabnam

    Love blossomsLove blossoms

    The ex-queen feels maternal towards ArsalanThe ex-queen feels maternal towards Arsalan

    Ruma and Firdaus get closeRuma and Firdaus get close

    Firdaus and  a friend go searching for the kidnapped RumaFirdaus and a friend go searching for the kidnapped Ruma

    Dara Singh in Rustom-e-RomeDara Singh in Rustom-e-Rome

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  • 07/18/12--02:38: Bringing up Baby (1938)
  • The other day, I was thinking aloud, wondering what to do for my next blog post, and my husband said, “Review a comedy.” So here it is. A review of a film that’s intentionally funny, and which, furthermore, stars one of my favourite Hollywood actors: the incomparable Cary Grant, a leading man who had a [...]

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    Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing up BabyCary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing up Baby

    At the museum - the incomplete BrontosaurusAt the museum - the incomplete Brontosaurus

    A chat between the bride and groomA chat between the bride and groom

    Alice puts her foot downAlice puts her foot down

    Mr Peabody refuses to discuss business on the linksMr Peabody refuses to discuss business on the links

    Susan hijacks David's ballSusan hijacks David's ball

    ... and drives off in David's car, smashing it along the way... and drives off in David's car, smashing it along the way

    David meets Susan againDavid meets Susan again

    Susan gets some impromptu advice from Dr LehmanSusan gets some impromptu advice from Dr Lehman

    Susan hands David her purseSusan hands David her purse

    The Lehmans think Susan's a purse-lifterThe Lehmans think Susan's a purse-lifter

    An embarrassing accidentAn embarrassing accident

    Outside Mr Peabody's homeOutside Mr Peabody's home

    Mr Peabody gets whacked on the headMr Peabody gets whacked on the head

    David receives the Brontosaurus bone - and a phone callDavid receives the Brontosaurus bone - and a phone call

    Susan with BabySusan with Baby

    David arrives to find Susan hale and heartyDavid arrives to find Susan hale and hearty

    ... and refuses to help her drive Baby to Connecticut... and refuses to help her drive Baby to Connecticut

    David, Baby and Susan - on the roadDavid, Baby and Susan - on the road

    Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing up BabyCary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing up Baby

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    I saw very few films till I was about ten years old. Till then, my father had been posted in small towns that had rather dreadful cinema halls. Then, in late 1982, we acquired a TV. And suddenly, though there wasn’t a spate of films to see (Doordarshan’s Sunday 5:45 PM film was the highlight [...]

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    Rajesh Khanna in AnandRajesh Khanna in Anand

    The deathbed scene in AnandThe deathbed scene in Anand

    The spooling tapeThe spooling tape

    Rajesh KhannaRajesh Khanna

    Rajesh Khanna in IttefaqRajesh Khanna in Ittefaq

    Rajesh Khanna in KhamoshiRajesh Khanna in Khamoshi

    Rajesh Khanna in SafarRajesh Khanna in Safar

    Rajesh Khanna with Sharmila Tagore in AradhanaRajesh Khanna with Sharmila Tagore in Aradhana

    Rajesh Khanna in AndazRajesh Khanna in Andaz

    Zindagi kaisi hai paheli hai, from AnandZindagi kaisi hai paheli hai, from Anand

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  • 07/20/12--22:15: Noor – Mrs. Johnny Walker
  • We’ve mourned the passing of a favourite star, but now—in the yin and yang way of zindagi and maut that Anand would possibly have appreciated—it’s time to celebrate a birthday. Today, July 21st, is the 77th birthday of a very lovely lady who began a career in cinema, appeared in some landmark films, and then [...]

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    NoorNoor

    Noor in Anmol Ghadi, in the song 'Udankhatole pe ud jaaoon'Noor in Anmol Ghadi, in the song 'Udankhatole pe ud jaaoon'

    Noor in Naukri, as Kishore Kumar's sisterNoor in Naukri, as Kishore Kumar's sister

    Noor with Johnny Walker in Aar PaarNoor with Johnny Walker in Aar Paar

    Noor in Aar PaarNoor in Aar Paar

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  • 07/27/12--20:11: Zulu (1964)
  • While this blog is all about old films—and the bulk of my film-watching is old films—that doesn’t mean I don’t watch new films. I do; lots of them. But the odd thing is that invariably, new films that I watch end up having some connection (even if in a roundabout way) to an old film. [...]

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    Michael Caine as Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead in ZuluMichael Caine as Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead in Zulu

    Zulu - the Battle of Rorke's DriftZulu - the Battle of Rorke's Drift

    After the Battle of IsandlwanaAfter the Battle of Isandlwana

    Mr Witt and his daughter are hosted by Cetewayo at a functionMr Witt and his daughter are hosted by Cetewayo at a function

    At the mass weddingAt the mass wedding

    The Witts get a rude shockThe Witts get a rude shock

    Bromhead goes huntingBromhead goes hunting

    Bromhead and Chard meet for the first timeBromhead and Chard meet for the first time

    Bromhead, elegant and refined...Bromhead, elegant and refined...

    ... and Chard, down to his waist in water... and Chard, down to his waist in water

    Adendorff arrivesAdendorff arrives

    Bromhead and Chard discuss the matter of who takes commandBromhead and Chard discuss the matter of who takes command

    Mr Witt arrives at the stationMr Witt arrives at the station

    Zulu battle tacticsZulu battle tactics

    The Zulus, heading towards the mission stationThe Zulus, heading towards the mission station

    Colour Sergeant Bourne faces up cheerfully to Mr Witt...Colour Sergeant Bourne faces up cheerfully to Mr Witt...

    ... and takes charge of his men... and takes charge of his men

    Mr Witt has to be restrainedMr Witt has to be restrained

    Hook makes no attempt to helpHook makes no attempt to help

    Bromhead and ChardBromhead and Chard

    Nigel Green as Colour Sergeant Bourne in ZuluNigel Green as Colour Sergeant Bourne in Zulu

    Surgeon Reynolds gets down to work, in the chapelSurgeon Reynolds gets down to work, in the chapel

    Chard, Bourne and BromheadChard, Bourne and Bromhead

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    I have been meaning to write this post for a long time now—I love qawwalis—but I’ve kept putting it off, because I’ve always thought that it would be impossible to create a list of just ten filmi qawwalis that are my favourites. (Barsaat ki Raat itself features at least three qawwalis that completely bowl me [...]

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    From Barsaa ki RaatFrom Barsaa ki Raat

    Chaandi ka badan, sone ki nazar, from Taj MahalChaandi ka badan, sone ki nazar, from Taj Mahal

    Na toh kaarvaan ki talaash hai, from Barsaat ki RaatNa toh kaarvaan ki talaash hai, from Barsaat ki Raat

    Ae meri zohrajabeen, from WaqtAe meri zohrajabeen, from Waqt

    Teri mehfil mein kismat aazmaakar, from Mughal-e-AzamTeri mehfil mein kismat aazmaakar, from Mughal-e-Azam

    Jaan-e-mann ek nazar dekh le, from Mere MehboobJaan-e-mann ek nazar dekh le, from Mere Mehboob

    Meri duniya lut rahi thhi, from Mr and Mrs 55Meri duniya lut rahi thhi, from Mr and Mrs 55

    Mere banne ki baat, from GharanaMere banne ki baat, from Gharana

    Sharmaake yeh kyon sab, from Chaudhvin ka ChaandSharmaake yeh kyon sab, from Chaudhvin ka Chaand

    Sharmaake yeh kyon sab, from Chaudhvin ka ChaandSharmaake yeh kyon sab, from Chaudhvin ka Chaand

    Allah yeh ada kaisi hai in haseenon mein, from Mere Humdum Mere DostAllah yeh ada kaisi hai in haseenon mein, from Mere Humdum Mere Dost

    Hum tere dar se nahin, from Nakli NawabHum tere dar se nahin, from Nakli Nawab

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  • 08/07/12--04:19: Benazir (1964)
  • ‘Bimal Roy’s Benazir’ is what it says on the DVD cover. Enough to conjure up, for me, memories of some of the greatest Bimal Roy films I’ve seen: tender, thought-provoking, real films about real people. Benazir, perhaps because it wasn’t directed by Bimal Roy himself but by S Khalil (who also scripted the film) falls [...]

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    Meena Kumari in and as BenazirMeena Kumari in and as Benazir

    Benazir talks with her foster-fatherBenazir talks with her foster-father

    Laadle Mirza arrives to meet BenazirLaadle Mirza arrives to meet Benazir

    Benazir with Afsar NawabBenazir with Afsar Nawab

    Afsar Nawab receives a phone callAfsar Nawab receives a phone call

    A father meets his newborn sonA father meets his newborn son

    Begum Sahiba rejects a ringBegum Sahiba rejects a ring

    Shahida, Afsar Nawab's young sister-in-lawShahida, Afsar Nawab's young sister-in-law

    Shaukat makes a pass at ShahidaShaukat makes a pass at Shahida

    Benazir dances for the men...Benazir dances for the men...

    ...while the begum presides at the celebrations...while the begum presides at the celebrations

    Benazir recites a poem in honour of the birthBenazir recites a poem in honour of the birth

    Anwar arrives...Anwar arrives...

    ... and Benazir is instantly smitten... and Benazir is instantly smitten

    Anwar is 'reintroduced' to ShahidaAnwar is 'reintroduced' to Shahida

    Anwar and ShahidaAnwar and Shahida

    Shahida's parents discuss Anwar's match for ShahidaShahida's parents discuss Anwar's match for Shahida

    Shaukat eavesdrops - and hears no goodShaukat eavesdrops - and hears no good

    A confrontation between Begum Sahiba and the NawabA confrontation between Begum Sahiba and the Nawab

    Benazir falls deeper in love with AnwarBenazir falls deeper in love with Anwar

    Nawab Sahib is hoodwinked...Nawab Sahib is hoodwinked...

    Shaukat plants seeds of discordShaukat plants seeds of discord

    At Benazir's home: a shock for Nawab SahibAt Benazir's home: a shock for Nawab Sahib

    Shashi Kapoor and Tanuja in BenazirShashi Kapoor and Tanuja in Benazir

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  • 08/13/12--04:19: Charade (1963)
  • I hadn’t been able to decide on which film to review after Benazir, so I asked a bunch of friends to help me out – just by suggesting a genre. I got a varied lot of answers. Romance. Comedy. Social drama, à la Ladri di Biciclette. Suspense. Something with Cary Grant. The result? This film, [...]

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    Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in CharadeCary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade

    Reggie confides in SylvieReggie confides in Sylvie

    Peter Joshua introduces himself to ReggiePeter Joshua introduces himself to Reggie

    Reggie returns to an inexplicably empty homeReggie returns to an inexplicably empty home

    Inspector Grandpierre talks to ReggieInspector Grandpierre talks to Reggie

    Reggie admits ignoranceReggie admits ignorance

    A letter from Charles LampertA letter from Charles Lampert

    Peter offers to help find Reggie a hotelPeter offers to help find Reggie a hotel

    A visitor comes up to Charles's coffinA visitor comes up to Charles's coffin

    The mirror-wielder, TexThe mirror-wielder, Tex

    Scobie pokes a pin in the corpse's handScobie pokes a pin in the corpse's hand

    Bartholomew shows Reggie an old photoBartholomew shows Reggie an old photo

    Charles in WWII, with some familiar facesCharles in WWII, with some familiar faces

    Bartholomew warns ReggieBartholomew warns Reggie

    Reggie goes out with Peter...Reggie goes out with Peter...

    ...and ends up being threatened by Tex...and ends up being threatened by Tex

    Peter comes to Reggie's rescuePeter comes to Reggie's rescue

    Peter meets Tex, Scobie and Gideon...Peter meets Tex, Scobie and Gideon...

    ... and is found to be actually Carson Dyle... and is found to be actually Carson Dyle

    Audrey Hepburn as Reggie, with Cary GrantAudrey Hepburn as Reggie, with Cary Grant

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  • 08/21/12--03:46: Parakh (1960)
  • The last Hindi film I reviewed was a Bimal Roy production – and it left me feeling very disappointed. To get over that (and to remind myself that Bimal Roy’s films can generally be counted upon to be good), I decided to rewatch this one, an old favourite that reinforces Bimal Roy’s style of film-making: [...]

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    Asit Sen and Motilal in ParakhAsit Sen and Motilal in Parakh

    Haradhan lugs the mail sack to RadhanagarHaradhan lugs the mail sack to Radhanagar

    ...and sorts the mail...and sorts the mail

    Nivaran Babu and Haradhan at workNivaran Babu and Haradhan at work

    Nivaran Babu pleads his inability to repay an old debtNivaran Babu pleads his inability to repay an old debt

    Seema and her 'chaacha', HaradhanSeema and her 'chaacha', Haradhan

    Seema with RajatSeema with Rajat

    Rajat and his students face off against Bhanju BabuRajat and his students face off against Bhanju Babu

    Bhanju Babu goes fishingBhanju Babu goes fishing

    Seema's parents discuss Bhanju Babu's proposalSeema's parents discuss Bhanju Babu's proposal

    Nivaran Babu receives a startling letterNivaran Babu receives a startling letter

    Haradhan has a look at the letterHaradhan has a look at the letter

    An audience with the zamindar, Taandav TarafdarAn audience with the zamindar, Taandav Tarafdar

    Taandav agrees to a meetingTaandav agrees to a meeting

    A meeting is held at the zamindar's haveliA meeting is held at the zamindar's haveli

    The men discuss the letter and its consequencesThe men discuss the letter and its consequences

    Doctor Sahib becomes a do-gooder, overnightDoctor Sahib becomes a do-gooder, overnight

    Tarkalankar prays for the money to come to himTarkalankar prays for the money to come to him

    The zamindar meets the peasantsThe zamindar meets the peasants

    Ajanta learns about the promised wealthAjanta learns about the promised wealth

    Haradhan, aka Sir JC Roy, back homeHaradhan, aka Sir JC Roy, back home

    Sadhana in ParakhSadhana in Parakh

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  • 08/28/12--20:52: Spellbound (1945)
  • When I posted my review of Charade a couple of weeks back, I ended up being reminded of this film. Firstly, because Charade is referred to as ‘the best Hitchcock film Hitchcock didn’t direct’. Secondly, because in the comments, a couple of readers mentioned a film in a similar vein, the Gregory Peck-starrer, Arabesque. My [...]

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    Ingrid Bergman with Gregory Peck in SpellboundIngrid Bergman with Gregory Peck in Spellbound

    Dark stripes on a white background: a recurring themeDark stripes on a white background: a recurring theme

    Constance counsels Mr GarmesConstance counsels Mr Garmes

    Fleurot tries to flirt - unsuccessfully - with ConstanceFleurot tries to flirt - unsuccessfully - with Constance

    Dr Murchison talks to Constance about his retirementDr Murchison talks to Constance about his retirement

    At the dinnertableAt the dinnertable

    Constance 'draws' on the tablecloth with her forkConstance 'draws' on the tablecloth with her fork

    Dr Edwardes sends Constance a noteDr Edwardes sends Constance a note

    A phone call from a Mrs CramerA phone call from a Mrs Cramer

    A day out - and Constance and Dr Edwardes fall in loveA day out - and Constance and Dr Edwardes fall in love

    Back at Green ManorsBack at Green Manors

    Constance fetches Dr Edwardes's book from the libraryConstance fetches Dr Edwardes's book from the library

    Constance's robe seems to distress Dr EdwardesConstance's robe seems to distress Dr Edwardes

    At the operating tableAt the operating table

    Constance compares two notesConstance compares two notes

    Gregory Peck as 'Dr Edwardes'Gregory Peck as 'Dr Edwardes'

    Constance and her mentor, Dr Brulov, question 'Dr Edwardes'Constance and her mentor, Dr Brulov, question 'Dr Edwardes'

    Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck in SpellboundIngrid Bergman and Gregory Peck in Spellbound

    Part of the dream sequence from SpellboundPart of the dream sequence from Spellbound

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