A Year in Hindi Movies 1937


1937 - A Year in Movies

Once again more than 100 Hindi movies were released this year. I
would like to "single" out two of them.

naujavaan - In the era of the talkies this was the first songless movie
which as produced by Wadia Movietone as an experiment. The story
took place in a 24 hour span and was basically about crime,
suspence and fighting. But in many cinema halls people shouted
that they had been cheated and there were reports of the usual
riots. Backgroud music was by Master Mohammad and direction was
by Aspi.

president - This was a very successful Saigal vehicle, music by R. C.
Boral and Pankaj Mullick. The story was used later in
"bahaare.n phir bhii aaye.ngii." Saigal sung 5 of the 8 songs,
ek raaje kaa betaa, rahegii naa badariyaa chhaaii, ik ba.ngalaa
bane nyaaraa, naa koii prem kaa rog lagaaye, by himself and,
prem kaa hai is jag me.n pa.nth niraalaa with Pahadi Sanyal.
There is a scene in the movie when veteran actor Prithviraj says
to Saigal, in a meaningful voice, words to the effect that he
likes his work very much and is proud of him. I can't get it out
of my mind that it was a case of an actor praising a fellow
actor-singer, and not just the movie characters. The second name
of this movie was " ba.Dii bahan".

Some other movies of this year were:

eshiyaaii sitaaraa - It had a song, "bhaiyyaa aan pha.nsii ab ban me.n",
a parody of "baalam aay baso more man me.n"

duniyaa naa maane - Directed by V. Shantaram, this is the first and the
only movie to dispense with the concept of artificial background
music entirely. Only natural sounds were used. Whenever there
was music or songs, their source could be seen and identified.
The only other movie I know that used natural sounds is "The Virgin
Spring" directed by the famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman,
released in 1959, full 22 years later. By using the fallacious
argument that if B did something after S, B must have copied
from S, we get the result that Bergman got the idea from
Dr. V. Shantaram.

kisaan kanyaa - India's first completely color film, although
experiments in partial color were done before.

mahaagiit - This was the first time playback singing was introduced in a
film made in Bombay, great master Anil Biswas was the MD.

two women - India beats Sophia Loren, whose movie with the same name
came much later. My tongue is in my proverbial cheek.

vidyaapatii - hit movie, hit songs from K. C. Dey, Kanan Devi and
Pahadi Sanyal. I have been told that whenever K. C. Dey's
"panaghaT pe kanhaiyaa aataa hai" was played, sachmuch me.n
dhoom mach jaatii thii.

zambo, the ape man - Because of copyright law scare, this could not be
called Tarzan, although this was the first of a series of Tarzan
movies made in India. It was also the first movie appearance by
David Abraham, LL. B., hailing from a Jewish family settled in
India in the fifteenth century. He got Rs. 75 for this movie.
Before acting in this movie, he had been variously, a clapper-boy,
a continuity-boy, assistant director and a production manager. He
won the Filmfare award for his role as "John Chacha" in Raj
Kapoor's Boot Polish.

Most of the info comes from the following books:

1. The Encyclopaedia, volume 1, compiled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh
"Hamraaz", published by Mrs. Satinder Kaur, his wife.

2. Listeners' Bulletin, a monthly, edited by Hamraaz Saahib and
published by the Secretary, the Flying Listener's Club, Kanpur.

3. Limca Book of Records, 1993 edition, edited by Vijaya Ghose,
published by Bisleri Beverages Limited.

4. The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats, by Patrick Robertson,
published by Guinness Books in 1988.

5. Star-Portrait, by Harish S. Booch and Karin Doyle, published by The
Lakhani Book Depot, Girgaon, Bombay in 1962. It cost Rs. 4/- in those
days and is probably out of print now.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.

 Back to the Index of Articles by Surjit Singh

 Back to Surjit Singh's Home Page