Miss 1933


MISS 1933

Ranjit Movitone (1933)

Director: Chandulal Shah

Cast: Gohar, Mehtab, Eddie Billimoria, Yakub, Dixit, Ghory, Keki Adajania

Plot: Kusum (Gohar) was an ultra-modern girl in all of her behaviors, but in her heart lurked the old ideals which held traditional Indian culture in high esteem.

Kusum’s guardian wished to marry her off to a wealthy, older man…old enough to be her grandfather! But Kusum protested and refused, and as a result she sought shelter at the home of Kishandas (Keki Adajania), a well-known philanthropist. Kishandas’s son was staying in Kashmir, and thus his fatherly love fell on the orphaned Kusum.

One day, while taking herself for a drive, another car sped past Kusum, throwing muddy water all over the young woman. The negligent motorist stepped out of his car and asked her forgiveness, but Kusum was in no mood to be pleasant. She tossed abuses at him, calling him a brute, and he in turn lost his temper and told her “Learn manners, you…Miss 33!”


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Gohar and Eddie Billimoria


Returning to Kishandas’ abode, Kusum came face to face with the young man whom she had quarreled with on the roadway. Just as she was about to call the servant to help throw him out, Kishandas arrived and introduced the man as his son, Jayant (Eddie Billimoria)! All was forgiven between the two youngsters, and eventually they grew close.


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Eddie Billimoria, Gohar, and (in inset photo) Mehtab


Kishori (Mehtab) and Ramesh (Yakub) were Jayant’s college friends. Kishori had a place in her heart for Jayant, and after meeting Kusum, took a dislike toward her. Meanwhile, Ramesh had strong feelings for Kishori.


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Keki Adajania, Gohar, Dixit, Eddie Billimoria, Ghory, and Mehtab


One day Kishandas invited a group over so that Kusum, who was of marriageable age, might meet a potential mate. Jayant thought this custom, known as ‘sayamvar’ was silly and jokingly suggested Kusum choose the portly mill-owner, Manharlal (Dixit). In order to tease Jayant, Kusum began to act as though she were interested in Manharlal, and the next day Jayant even saw her making goo-goo eyes at a photo of the businessman…or so he thought! Jayant was disturbed by this, but as it turned out, it was not a photo of Manharlal, but a photo of Jayant himself! Relieved, he and Gohar decide to get married.


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Yakub, Gohar, and Eddie Billimoria


As it turned out, Kishori ended up marrying Manharlal, much to the chagrin of Ramesh. One day Kishori invited everyone to a picnic where she proceeded to playfully flirt with Jayant. Kusum decided to make hubby Jayant jealous by mixing with Ramesh, who Jayant felt was a little bit of a scoundrel. This caused a fight between Jayant and Ramesh, and then a terrible quarrel between Jayant and Kusum, with the result that Kusum left her husband.


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Eddie Billimoria and Yakub


Still in love with the now married Kishori, Ramesh wrote a note to her to go away with him on a trip to Lilapur. But Ramesh accidentally dropped the note when he went to visit Kusum.

Not realizing what was going on, Kusum followed the instructions on the note and went to the train station where Ramesh was waiting for Kishori. Ramesh took advantage of the situation and a bewildered Kusum, thinking she was going to meet her husband, ended up travelling to Lilapur with the wiley Ramesh.

Getting Kusum alone in a hotel room in Lilapur, a drunken Ramesh forced himself on her. In self-defense, Kusum shot Ramesh.


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Kusum was jailed on a charge of murder.

Jayant, having found the confusing note that Ramesh mistakenly left for  Kusum, went to the prison and explained to her what had actually transpired.

In court, Kusum bravely defended herself, and just as the jury was to announce their verdict, Kishori rushed in proclaiming herself to be the killer!

Who was the real killer? And would Kusum ever find herself back in the arms of her husband, Jayant?


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Ghory and Dixit




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Imperial Pictures (1934)

Director: Nandlal Jashwantlal

Music: Pransukh N. Naik

Cast: Sulochana, D. Billimoria, Raja Sandow, Jamshedji, Jilloo, Hadi.


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Indira (Sulochana), having completed her education at Oxford, was taking a ship home to India to see her parents, Bansilal (Jamshedji) and Yamuna (Jilloo).

While at sea she meets Lieutenant Pyarelal (D. Billimoria), a  womanizing rouge who makes a pass at her. Rather than being shocked at his behavior, she takes a liking to the handsome playboy.


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D. Billimoria and Sulochana


But Indira is betrothed to Kishore (Raja Sandow), a college professor, who worships the very ground she walks on.


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Sulochana and Raja Sandow


But does Indira love Kishore? Unfortunately, she does not, and as a result they split apart, the shock of which causes her mother to leave the family home.


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Jilloo, Sulochana, and Jamshedji


Bansilal, a drinker, had a habit of wandering ’round the bars, which is where he met Pyarelal, and took an instant dislike of him…of course, he had no prior knowledge that Pyarelal was romancing his daughter. But now the father was shocked! He hated Pyarelal and begged Indira to have nothing to do with the rascal. “I love him!” She confessed, and compared her father’s addiction to liquor to her love for Pyarelal.


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Sulochana and D. Billimoria


Bansilal made a bargain with his daughter, he would give up drinking if she would promise to no longer see Pyarelal. Indira agreed to that deal, but days later found her father in a drunken stupor, and so she went out and married Pyarelal in a civil ceremony.

Learning of their marriage sent Kishore into a kind of madness…you see, he still loved Indira with all his heart. Then one day Kishore saw Pyarelal in the embrace of another woman…all of a sudden, a mysterious man tried to assault Pyarelal. Kishore rushed in and saved him just in the nick of time, and Pyarelal then and there promised Kishore that he would be loyal to Indira and make her a good husband.

Try as he might, though, the marriage disintegrated and there now loomed the spectre of divorce. And there was a war going on…and Pyarelal was sent to the front.

Along came Mr. Smith, a foe of Pyarelal’s, who tried to molest Indira, and to Indira’s rescue came Kishore who was now charged with the murder of Mr. Smith.


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Sulochana and Raja Sandow


Bansilal was not only Indira’s father, he was also a brilliant lawyer, and if anyone could help Kishore, it was he. Bansilal appealed to the jury and explained that, as a father, he had failed — he was a drunk and had led his daughter into the ways of western morality. So if anyone was guilty, it was he.

Indira, touched by her father’s plea in court, realized what she needed to do, and she traveled to the battle front to find her husband.


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Jamshedji, Hadi, Sulochana, and D. Billimoria



Hell's Paradise


HELL’S PARADISE (alternate title: GORI BALA)

Imperial Productions (1929)

Director: P.Y. Altekar

Cast: S.B. Nayampally, Mubarak Merchant, Jilloo, Kamla, P.S. Wagle, Sakhu.

Prince Surtan Singh of Amberpur (S.B. Nayampally), who imbibes western culture, become a willing victim to the wiles of Madeline Pendergast (Kamla), a visiting foreign adventuress who is craftily aided by her cousin, Carl, and by the prince’s cousin, Mahir Singh (Mubarak Merchant), who happens to be the next in line for the throne. This devilish trio is intent on getting the Prince hitched to Madeline and they take diabolical advantage of those closest to him: The simple and loving Queen Premlata (Jilloo) — Banbir ((P.S. Wagle), the prince’s bodybuilding uncle  —  the cynical and indifferent Bebhan Singh —  and Sarju, the helpless valet.

But Sukhlata (Saku), Banbir’s wife, is not blind to the intrigue going on around them. And the other’s eyes begin to open, too, when it is discovered that the state’s treasury is being drained!


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Unable to stop the prince’s unabashed obsession with Madeline, and his willingness to squander the royal fortune on his new friends, Banbir proposes a secret plan of action.

Meanwhile, the comical Bebhan offers his love to Madeline, but is rejected, and he is astonished to learn that the prince has promised to make her the queen of Amberpur!


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At a dance party that evening, the prince, who had been quite restless, is seen leaving the dance floor with Madeline. Bebhan and Banbir follow them to the garden where they overhear the prince discussing marriage to Madeline, and even his conversion to Christianity for her sake! They plan to announce their engagement a little later at the party.

Banbir narrates the scene to Sukhlata and Queen Premlata. Sukhlata whispers something to the queen, then runs over to the dance hall crying out that the queen has fainted. In the confusion, Sukhlata drags the prince to the queen’s chambers where he finds his mother lying unconscious on a sofa.

Mahir and Madeline try to enter the queen’s room, but are pushed back by Banbir. Bebhan fetches the doctor, who examines the queen and tells the prince he must stay near his mother for some time, which upsets Madeline’s plans to announce the engagement.


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Madeline fumes with anger, but Mahir comes up with an idea. They get the prince to join them for dinner. Madeline makes the prince drunk and extracts a written promise of marriage and conversion from him.

Later, Sukhlata accompanies Queen Premlata to visit Madeline who disregards the two women’s pleas. Sukhlata turns violent and Madeline begs for mercy.

Madeline, humiliated, complains of this treatment to Mahir, but Mahir soon makes known his real intentions and cuddles up close with Madeline in the guest house. Sarju witnesses this deception and informs the others who must convince the prince that he is being used.


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Kamla and Jilloo in HELL’S PARADISE


Mahir, with Madeline sitting on his lap, explains that when they show everyone the prince’s letter it will create a scandal and he will be made to abdicate  the throne. Mahir, then, will naturally become the ruler and Madeline will become his queen. Just at that moment, the prince appears and states, “I am sorry to disappoint you, my dear cousin!

The prince grabs Mahir by the throat and Madeline pleads with him, then skillfully uses a potion dripped into her handkerchief to make the prince unconscious. The two then carry the prince out to their car.

Sandow, Bebhan and Sarju, searching for the prince, see a car speeding away. They follow, and a thrilling chase ensues.

Will they be able to rescue the prince from the clutches of this painted foreign flapper?


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College Girl 001



Ranjit Movitone (1935)

Director: Jayant Desai

Music: Master Revashanker, Master Bennekhan

Cast: Madhuri, Raja Sandow, Ghory, Dixit, Keki Bawa, Charlie, Ishwarlal, Ram Apte, Khatoon, Sheela, Shanta.

Plot: The local college is putting on a play and Miss Dolly (Sheela), an England-returned girl, is asked to play the heroine. Dolly, however, shows great contempt towards Indian culture and refuses to have anything to do with the amateur production. The students then ask Miss Urmila (Madhuri) to take the part, as she admires her country’s culture.

Urmilla’s father died when she was a minor and Hariharai Sheth (Keki Bawa), a respected and wealthy man, was made her trustee. But Sheth has recently lost heavily in business and much of Urmila’s property is now gone. With Urmila now of an age to get married, Sheth becomes anxious to find a way out of this financial difficulty and schemes to have Urmila marry his worthless son, Chiranjiv (Ghory). Sheth’s accountant (Charlie) is very clever and cunning and is given the chore of making Chiranjiv worthy of Urmila’s hand, and in the process, manages to extract a great amount of dough out of Chiranjiv.


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Into the picture comes Sunderdas (Ishwarlal), who outwardly appears the perfect gentleman, but who is actually a rogue and a scoundrel. He suggests to Sheth that a clause should be added to the will of Urmila’s father that the girl will only inherit the family wealthy if she make’s Chiranjiv her husband. Sheth agrees to it and Sunderdas undertakes forging a new will. Once done, Sunderdas leads Sheth to believe that the original will has been destroyed.

Although he has a devoted wife named Sushila (Khatoon), Sunderdas becomes enamored of Dolly and takes to drinking and gambling. It also turns out that he has kept the original will and is using it to blackmail Sheth for money.


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Ramnath (Dixit), a press reporter, comes to know of some of Sunderdas’ other dark deeds and publishes an expose in the paper. Sunderdas threatens the publisher and Ramnath is discharged. But Ramnath’s young son, Chaman (Ram Apte), keeps track of Sunderdas by following him around and taking photographs whenever possible in the hopes that he can someday get revenge.

Chiranjiv, having been well coached by both Surnderdas and Dolly, aspires to make Urmila his, but Urmila rebuffs his advances as her heart already belongs to Madhusudan (Raja Sandow), a young attorney who works for Sheth, and who has been hired to act as Urmila’s tutor.


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Love bloom between the two and this upsets Sheth’s plans as Urmila stubbornly refuses to marry his son, even if it means losing her inheritance. Madhusudan supports Urmila and as a result is fired. But he is resilient, and starts his own law practice.

Now penniless, Urmila seeks employment, which, unfortunately, leads her into the clutches of Sunderdas, due to his sweet words. Thankfully, she is saved from the situation by her ever-loving Madhusudan.


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Madhuri and Raja Sandow in COLLEGE GIRL


Not one to give up easily, Sunderdas plans to entrap Urmila, who then finds herself in a helpless situation! She grabs Sunderdas’ revolver and wounds him. As she flees the scene, Sheth arrives, intending to put an end to the blackmail. An injured Sunderdas catches Sheth in the act of taking away the original will and to save himself, Sheth fires at Sunderdas, killing him.

Sushila enters the scene only to find her husband dead. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law hold her guilty of the murder, and Sushila does not protest the charges.

Brought to court, Sushila is defended by Madhusudan who argues her innocence. Despite this, Sushila confesses to the killing and is condemned. Urmila then declares herself to be the murderer!

Will Sushila go to the gallows or will Urmila? Or will proof finally appear showing that Sheth is the culprit?


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Sagar (1939)

Director: Zia Sharhady

Music: Anupam Khatak

Cast: Maya Bannerji, Prem Adib, Bibbo, Arun, Bhudo Advani, Jyoti, Kayamali, Kanhayalal, Jagdish Sethi, Niranjan, Putlibai, Gazi.


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Plot: Love blooms in the examination hall when Swarup (Prem Adib) gets a gander at fellow student Tara (Maya Bannerji), and he could not help stealing a glance at this beauty sitting behind him. Swarup noticed Tara’s handkerchief sitting at the edge of her desk and he snatched it away. Tara insisted on having it back, and Swarup did not give it up! But at the close of the day he returned it, having written the letters I.L.Y (I Love You) on it. Upon returning the kerchief, Swarup figured the brief courtship was over, as he did not have the courage or confidence to pursue her.


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Maya Bannerji and Prem Adib in POOR SWEETHEARTS


But his friend Birla (Bhudo Advani), while failing miserably in his education, was notorious for giving advice on matters of love! Birla helped Swarup find out where Tara was taking her courses and on the day the examination results were to be posted, they waited for Tara to show up to check her score. Finding the courage to finally go up to Tara, Swarup spoke to her. They talked and arranged to meet the next day in a garden.


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Maya Bannerji and Prem Adib in POOR SWEETHEARTS


Swarup realized, after watching Tara come to and from school in an expensive car, that she must be from a wealthy family, while he himself subsisted on an allowance from his uncle (Jagdish Sethi), which was just enough to cover his college expenses. Tara also noticed Swarup riding in similar style, but it was only because Swarup happened to have a rich friend named Kumar (Arun) who was kind enough to loan him the use of his automobile. Turns out Tara too had a rich friend, Leela (Bibbo), and that is the reason she was seen in those circumstances.


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Maya Bannerji and Bibbo in POOR SWEETHEARTS

The couple carried on for some time, each believing the other was financially well off. To keep up appearances, when Swarup or Tara would arrange for a party it would always be held in the fancy bungalow of their respective wealthy friend. But little did they know that Kumar and Leela were known to each other, and indeed, were to be married! This would result in the day when neither Swarup nor Tara could continue the charade.

Will the discovery of their true status make a difference to the love-birds?


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Arun and Bibbo in POOR SWEETHEARTS

Gaja Gauri 6



Maharashtra Film Company (1926)

Director: Baburao Painter

Cast: Kamla Devi, Anasuya, Gulab, Balasaheb Yadav, V. Shantaram, Z. Pawar.


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Plot: A story from the Mahabharata, leading up to the feud between the Kauravas and the Pandavas.

Gandhari, the mother of the Kauravas, thought of performing a ceremony known as the Gaja Gauri Vratha which consisted of distributing gifts to relatives of equal status. To do  this she would be riding an elephant, which was created out of mud by her sons.


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Gandhari arrived at the home of Kunti, the mother of the sons of Pandu, and gave her a gift, announcing that if she cared for her reputation she’d do the same.

Kunti was worried that her sons would not be able to build such a fine elephant as Gandhari had ridden, but her second son Bhim began collecting mounds of earth in order to make the animal.


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Her third son Arjun, seeing this, decided Bhim’s task was of no use, and that their mother should ride the elephant of Lord Indra, his father. He writes a letter to his father, attaches it to an arrow, and shoots it into the sky.


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Indra reads the note and lets his son know that if he wants the elephant, Airawata, he must arrange for its transport to earth.

Arjun builds a ladder of arrows reaching from the earth to heaven which Bhim then climbs, arriving at Indra’s court to demand the elephant.


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He is met by several gods and is told he may take the rather ferocious elephant away…if he can. Bhim is forced to wrestle the animal, as it is not wanting to follow along, and when he manages to overpower the beast, it turns into a lamb which he ties to a mace and brings to Indra. Indra tells the insolent Bhim that he should kindly untie the creature and take it to earth.


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When Bhim brings Airawata, now turned back into an elephant, to earth, he gives it to his mother who rides it to the house of Gandhari to return the gift as Ghandhari had suggested.


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Sati Simantini



Laxmi Pictures (1925)

Director: Manilal Joshi

Cast: Zubeida, Putli.


Scenes from SATI SIMANTINI (1925)


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Note: Many  thanks to Jasood Shah for his help in translating the film’s title.

Gool Badan 001


Gool Badan (or Gul Badan)

Sharda Film Company (1928)

Director: Harshadrai Mehta

Cast: Master Vithal, Zebunissa, Ata Mohammad, Miss Mani, Harishchandra Nayak, Dorothy, Narsinh Kalji Brahmbhatt, Roshan Ali, A. Anran, Josang Patel, Barsode.

Gool Badan is a silent costume picture from Sharda Film Company. I have been unable to determine the plot (the synopsis in the film booklet that I have is written in Gujarati), but, as it stars Master Vithal it is certainly a stunt picture of some sort.


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The director of Gool Badan, Harshadrai Sakerlal Mehta (sometimes billed as H.S. Mehta), had previously worked as an editor and cameraman for Kohinoor Film Company. His directorial debut came in 1925 with the film Verni Vasulat for the Krishna Film Company where he continued to make films such as Swapna Sundari (1925), Jal Kumari (1925), A Crown for Two Days (1926), Panch Kalyani (1926), Chastity Vs. Unchastity (1927), At the Clang of Fetters (1927), and Roop Sundari (1927).

Mehta headed over to Sharda Film Company where he directed action star Master Vithal in pictures like Swadesh Seva (1927), Karuna Kumari (1928), Prisoners of Love (1928), Sassi Punnu (1928), and Wine of Youth (1928) and then worked with wrestler-turned-actor Nandaram in Dilruba (1929) and What Price Loyalty? (1929). In 1930 he began making stunt films for Suresh Studios and then over at Mehta Luhar Productions he directed another popular action star, Navinchandra, in Tirandaz (1931), Peacemaker (1931), Black Tiger (1931), Hoor-e-Hind (1932), and Chaos (1933), among others. In 1936 he directed the Fearless Nadia film Mountain Girl (1936) for Wadia Movietone and a few years later he made a number of Tamil language films for Premier Cinetone including Shri Kanda Leela (1938) and Parasuramar (1940).


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For those who can read Gujarati, I have posted the several page plot outline below, and if anyone cares to share it in English, I am certain many film fans and historians would be grateful.


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Imperial Film Company (1926)

Director: M.D. Bhavnani

Cast: Madan Vakil, Jilloo, Elizer, Putli

Plot: “Based on historical events”, Pratap, the ruler of Mewar is in exile trying to evade capture by Akbar, the mughul emperor. Pratap is aided by a mysterious masked man each time his life is in danger.


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Akhbar sets Anup Sinha out after Pratap and Anup discovers that the masked man and Bhamasha, Pratap’s minister, are working together to place Pratap back on the throne of Mewar.


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Anup hires a youth named Suman to work as a spy and even gets his daughter, Panna, married to him. But Panna learns that Suman is actually working to help Pratap, and Suman manages to convince his wife to join his efforts against her father. [Alternate title: DIWAN BHAMASHA]


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Desh Deepak



Wadia Brothers/Wadia Movietone (1935)

Director: J.B.H. Wadia

Music: Master Mohammed

Cast: Sharifa, Iqbal, Husn Banu, Sardar Mansoor, Sayani Atish, (Fearless) Nadia, Parsi Charlie, S.L. Puri, Boman Shroff, John Cawas, Master Jaidev, Master Mohammad, Bashir Qawaal, Miya Allawali, Munchi Thoothi, Debara, Bismillah, Tarapore, Jijibhai, Abdul Rahman, Abu.

Plot: A kingdom loses its king and there is a mad scramble to take power which would otherwise go to the child prince (Master Jaidev), who is now in hiding. Meanwhile a young woman (Sharifa) is selected to run the country.


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To keep the woman in power, her elder sister (Iqbal) joins forces with the General (Sayani Atish) who, unbeknownst to anyone, desires the kingdom for himself. But the woman’s husband (Sardar Mansoor), a patriot, will not divulge the whereabouts of the prince, who is safely hidden away with a high priest (Master Mohammad) and his family, so the general puts him in jail.


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(Clockwise) Master Mohammad, Sayani Atish, and Sardar Mansoor in DESH DEEPAK


The General’s daughter, a pacifist, wins over one of her father’s officers (S.L. Puri) in hopes that he will help avert an all out war, but the General, feeling betrayed, demands his execution. The daughter then meets two entertainers (Nadia and Parsi Charlie) and they try to release the patriot and two other rebels (Boman Shroff and John Cawas), who are imprisoned with him, and together they hope to stop the execution of the young officer.


Desh Deepak Fearless Nadia in Desh Deepak

Nadia (aka Fearless Nadia) in DESH DEEPAK


When she comes to realize the General’s true plans, the elder sister turns against him and goes back to help her husband…but then, the younger sister and her army set out to crush the rebellion once and for all.


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S.L. Puri and Husn Banu in DESH DEEPAK



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