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Manmohan

 

MANMOHAN

Sagar Movitone (1936)

Director: Mehboob Khan

Music: Ashok Ghose

Cast: Bibbo, Surendra, Yakub, Ashalata, Bhudo Advani, Pandey, Pesi Patel, Kayamalli, Mendi Raza, Zia Sarhady.

Plot: Mohan (Surendra) and Vimla (Bibbo) had grown up together in Bombay. On his deathbed, Vimla’s father had asked Mohan’s father, his best friend, to raise the girl.

Now in young adulthood, Mohan, an artist, had long felt love for Vimla and she in turn loved him, but Vimla was already promised in marriage to a wealthy young man named Jagdish (Yakub), who resided in Ahmedabad. The announcement of the wedding was a blow to Mohan, and though he knew his son was distraught, Mohan’s father also knew that it would be disastrous for Mohan to marry Vimla.

 

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Surendra and Bibbo in MANMOHAN

 

Vimla and Jagdish married, although Vimla’s heart had been reserved for Mohan alone. This separation of the two led Mohan into a stretch of extreme depression but great artistry, and whenever he began to paint, it was Vimla he would think of. He kept his artistic endeavors secret, however, and created portrait after portrait of his lover, which he would then destroy. To his father, to his little brother Gopal (Ramchandra), and to his admirer and pupil Shanti (Ashalata), it seemed as though Mohan had died, having lost all inspiration for life.

 

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Mohan’s father found one of the portraits Mohan had painted of Vimla, and he sent it in to be judged at an art exhibition. It won first prize and established Mohan as a great artist. But this newfound fame meant nothing to him.

Without Mohan, Vimla also was living a life of despair. One day Mohan came to visit her. Jagdish saw them together and in a jealous rage he hired a goon named Prithviraj (Zia Sarhady) to kill Mohan. The plot was not a success, however, as Prithviraj only managed to injure the artist, though it was a serious injury to his hand which led to an amputation.

To make matters worse, Mohan’s father passed away, leaving his two sons penniless. Mohan and his devoted little brother walked the streets, destitute and refusing any help from the wealthy Shanti, who was very much in love with her former teacher.

Then, little Gopal expired.

What would happen next to the broken-hearted Mohan? And what was the dangerous secret that kept Mohan’s father from letting the two lovers marry?

 

Manhomah - surendra

Surendra in and as MANMOHAN

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Young India 001

 

YOUNG INDIA aka JAI BHARATI

Young India Pictures (1929)

Director: B.B. Mishra

Producer: Indulal Yagnik

Cast: Zubeida, Sultana, Lobo, Master Vasant, Navinchandra, Pramoth Bose, Mengle, P.R. Joshi

 

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Pramoth Bose and Sultana in YOUNG INDIA

 

Two of the stars of YOUNG INDIA,  Zubeida (left) and Lobo (right). 

 

The heroes of YOUNG INDIA, Master Vasant (left) and Navinchandra (right)

 

Young India Sultana

 

Young India - unknown - Navinchandra and Master Vasant - right

(left to right) unidentified actor, Navinchandra, and Master Vasant

Mirza Sahiban - silent film

Sharda Film Corporation’s 1929 silent adventure MIRZA SAHIBAN starred Master Vithal, Nandram, Meher Banu, and Ata Mohammad and was directed by B.P. Mishra.

Note: B.P. Mishra (Bhagwati Prasad Mishra) was prolific director in the silent days. An artist, he was a poster designer prior to turning director, and occasionally, actor. He died in 1932 at age 36.

Jai Bharat from back page of Fauladi Mukka

 

JAI BHARAT (Hail India)

Wadia Brothers/Wadia Movietone (1936)

Director: Jai Bharat

Music: Master Mohammed

Cast: Husn Bano, Sardar Mansoor, Gulshan, Satish Sayani, Jal Khambatta, Bismilla

 

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LADIES ONLY

Sagar Movitone (1939)

Director: Sarvottam Sadami

Music and Choreography: Anupam Gatak

Cast: Sabita Devi, Surendra, Bibbo, Prabha, Bhudo Advani, Harish, Pandey, Krishnakumari, Gulzar, Sunalina Devi, Kaushalya.

Plot: This is the story of three women, from different cultures and walks of life, who meet in Bombay.

Sarjojini (Sabita Devi), a college grad, has arrived from Gujarat to begin a career in journalism…Asha (Bibbo), a spirted young Punjabi gal and aspiring singer, hails from a family of privilege…and Chhaya (Prabha), from Bengal, comes from a poor family, but is highly educated.

The three meet in a railway station and, thanks to a multilingual porter named Jairam (Bhudo Advani), they manage to strike up a friendship. The girls think it would be a great idea, since they are all new to the area, if they got an apartment together and hired Jairam as their servant.

Once they are settled in, Sarojini takes a job as editor of the “women’s section” of the newspaper, while Chhaya takes a teaching position at a local school…then there is Asha, simply on an extended vacation, who meets and falls in love with their neighbor, a civil engineer named Satish (Surendranath)… though Satish, while friendly, seem oblivious to her charms.

Things were going well for all three until Sarojini writes an editorial — a tirade against men and their mistreatment of women and children — which has some of the newspaper’s male readers up in arms. Sarojini’s boss (Pandey), unhappy with the reaction the article has received, tells her she must tone-it down or get out. She chooses neither option and is fired.

 

Ladies Only 001

 

Meanhile, Chhaya is having troubles of her own. She has a class of rowdy kids who are making life miserable, and she begins to wonder if she is cut out for teaching. Along comes Harish (Harish), the older brother of a student at the school, who sympathizes with her. The two eventually fall in love, but Chhaya’s timidity keeps her from telling her room-mates about Harish, and when he shows up at their apartment one day, she refuses to acknowledge him, breaking his heart.

 

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Harish, unidentified child actress, and Prabha in LADIES ONLY

 

Sarojini, having turned her efforts towards public service, is helping to open up an ashram for women and children and chooses Satish to design the building. Things between Asha and Sarojini become complicated when it appears that Sarojini is spending too much time with Satish.

 

Ladies Only 1939 001

 

When Asha worries that she is losing Satish to Sarojini, the two women have a violent quarrel. Asha, Sarojini and Chhaya then confront Satish to find out why it seems he has turned the two friends into rivals for his heart.

Satish is flabbergasted, not understanding what the heck is going on… and just then another woman enters the apartment…it is Satish’s wife, returned from an extended trip! And she demands to know who are these three women!

 

We Three

 

WE THREE (aka HUM TUM AUR WOH)

Sagar Movitone (1938)

Director: Mehbhoob Khan

Music: Anil Biswas

Cast: Motilal, Maya Bannerjee, Rose, Yakub, Bhudo Advani, Harish, Sankatha, Pandey, Sunalina Devi.

Plot: Bina (Maya Bannerjee), Leela (Rose), and Moti (Motilal) are college classmates, the best of friends, and completely devoted to one another. Bina and Moti are in love, while Moti thinks of Leela as just a good friend. Leela, on the other hand, has developed feelings for Moti.

Joining the trio as a new student is Moti’s wealthy friend, Rajgir (Yakub), who falls head-over-heels for Leela.

 

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Rose and Yakub in WE THREE

 

At a party Bina jokingly makes Moti and Leela join their hands in marriage. But what was just fun-and-games turns serious for Leela who, from that moment on, begins to think of Moti as her husband and feels certain that she can make him love her back.

One night, Leela gets Moti to meet in her room. She makes advances upon him, convinced that the two are practically man and wife. Moti resists and almost passes out, but finds himself still in Leela’s room the next morning. Feelings of guilt make Moti confess all to Bina, who, heartbroken, breaks off the relationship. Rajgir, meanwhile, asks Leela to marry him, but she refuses.

 

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Rose and Motilal in WE THREE

 

Bina, who has become ill, is sent to a far off village where her family plans to get her married to a rich man. When Bina’s dad (Sankatha) discovers that Moti is still pining away for his daughter, he tells him that the girl is dead, which causes Moti to lose all hope in life.

When Leela finds out that she is expecting a baby, her father (Pandey) insists she marry Moti or commit suicide. Leela finds no sin in her desire for Moti, but Moti wants nothing to do with her, his fondness for Leela having turned to hate.

 

 

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Motilal in WE THREE

 

 

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Rufy Khan was born in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Kashmir. He grew up in Srinigar and later earned a degree in engineering from Aligarh University in Uttar Pradesh state. His real ambitions, however, steered more toward the creative arts, so with his good looks and muscular physique he found steady work as a model doing print ads, commercials, and music videos. He also decided to try his hand at acting, something he had been interested in for a while, taking parts in small, independent productions which helped him gain experience and get noticed.

 

Rufy Khan is featured in this music video for Sunny Saleem’s song JA BAEMANA

 

As an actor, Rufy’s big break came when he was cast in a supporting role in Subhash Gai’s melodrama YUVVRAAJ (2008). He then went on to receive good reviews as Pooja Savli’s philandering ex-boyfriend in the comedy NAUTANKI SAALA! (2013). Since then, he has played mostly leads in films such as the disturbing “based-on-a-true story” feature KALA SAACH: THE BLACK TRUTH (2014) and in the action-packed crime drama DHARA 302 (2016).

More recently, Rufy has taken to working behind the camera, and his hard-hitting short film WHO DIES…?, which he wrote, produced and directed, has been making the rounds, and winning awards, at film festivals in India and internationally. It will next be screened at the Al-Nahj Film Festival in Karbala, Iraq.

Having enjoyed his work as an actor, and having been fortunate enough to recently see WHO DIES…?, I was very curious to know what led Rufy Khan to expand his show business horizons. And although he was quite busy getting ready for the latest showing of his film, the actor-turned-film maker was kind enough to take time out to provide answers to my many questions.

 

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Mike Barnum: When did you first realize that acting was something you wanted to pursue?

Rufy Khan: It happens that when I was doing my engineering degree we went on a college tour to Mumbai. During that tour, I was actually being offered to act in films by some film directors who met us while we visited different locations to see film shoots. But at that time, I couldn’t leave my schooling half way.

MB: Growing up, did you have any favorite films or performers?

Rufy Khan: Yes, I was amazed to see Amir Khan in JO JEETA WOH SIKANDAR (1992) and QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK (1988), and also I used to dream on Salman Khan’s film songs from JAB PYAAR KISISE HOTA HAI (1998). These things gradually made a place in my heart, but I didn’t know how to actually choose films as a career.

 

rufy khan

 

MB: You started out as a model, is that correct? What kind of modeling did you do?

Rufy Khan: Modeling was the perfect thing to start with. In modeling, acting stuff is less, and you keep learning from every small modeling shoot.  I was lucky to get started with modeling assignments, and within one year I had worked with almost every advertisement director and appeared in prominent TV commercial works alongside stars like Priyanka Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Hema Malini.

 

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MB: You also have quite an athletic background, as can be seen in your show reel. What kind of athletics are you involved in?

Rufy Khan: I was in all type of sports in my academic life. I also played some sports till national level, like cricket and football. I was also involved with martial arts in my school and college days, and that helps me today to keep fit. Also, martial arts skills help you stand out from other actors because you have a skill to perform as an action character. Athletics and martial arts support you everywhere.

 

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MB: YUVVRAAJ, with its all-star cast, was a big boost to your career.

Rufy Khan: I was a beginner when I did YUVVRAAJ with super-star Salman Khan.  I played his stepbrother in that, and learnt a lot during the film shoots.

 

yuvvraaj poster

 

MB: NAUTANKI SAALA was your break-out film. What was that experience like?

MB: It was a lifetime learning experience! Mr Rohan Sippy, who is the director of NAUTANKI SAALA, took 15 day workshops to all his actors for this film, and that workshop was a turning point for my career. I learned all the aspects of film making during those 15 days. That was the point where I started really thinking that I can try to direct my own film, and then WHO DIES…? happened, which is the award winning short film that I directed and acted in.

MB: Is there more pressure for an actor working on a big picture such as, say, YUVRAAJ or NAUTANKI SAALA, as opposed to working on a smaller budget film?

 

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Pooja Salvi, Ayushmann Khurana, and Rufy Khan in NAUTANKI SAALA

 

Rufy Khan: Yes, the pressure is to keep that trust which the director has shown on you. But once your director is convinced that you can deliver, then there is no pressure, then there is more fun. The director and other crew will be very supportive if you win them over through your acting skills

MB: DHARA 302 put your athleticism to very good use. Was it difficult to do such an action packed film?

Rufy Khan: I was looking for a film which can show my action skills, as I am very good in gymnastics and martial arts, so I grabbed the opportunity through DHARA 302 and I lead the film. It was an awesome and thrilling experience, and we shot in 50 degree temperature in Jaipur, Rajasthan [note: For those of us in America, that is equal to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit!!!]

 

dhara 302

 

MB: What can you tell me about KALA SACH?

Rufy Khan: KALA SACH was a film based on a true story. It was mostly made for festivals, but we did a release in theatres in Mumbai and all over India. It was a low profile release as the film was on a social awareness.

 

kala sach poster

 

MB: As an actor, do you have a preference between comedy, action or drama?

Rufy Khan: I love comedy and humor. Action is my favorite subject, and drama has to be there whether it is action or comedy. Actually, I prefer films of any genre, but it should create curiosity in its screenplay

MB: You wrote and directed WHO DIES…? What made you choose to work behind the camera?

Rufy Khan: I had a few ideas which I turned into film scripts; WHO DIES…? was one of them. So, after NAUTANKI SALA I started working on my ideas and trying to put them on screen. It took me 1 ½ years to create 10 mins of short film for WHO DIES…?, but when I received the accolades and awards for my film, internationally and nationally, then I felt that the 1 ½  year’s work was worth it.

MB: Who or what was your inspiration?

Rufy Khan: My inspiration is Mr. Rohan Sippy. He was my teacher when we took those 15 day workshops for NAUTANKI SAALA. There I was groomed as an actor, and as well, I kept a close eye on the making of the film. So, Rohan Sippy is my inspiration. I love his films also, which he has made. Apart from him, I get inspired by Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino; both are the cause for me to be a director. I also want to be like them, inshallah.

 

who dies poster

 

MB: You also act in WHO DIES…? Was it difficult to juggle acting and directing at the same time?

Rufy Khan: Yeah, it was, but I did my homework for this film, so everything was kept in mind. I couldn’t skip anything which I was supposed to direct in WHO DIES…? But if the pre-production is weak, then it is very, very tough to do both things, directing and acting.

MB: What did you learn, working as a first time director and producer?

Rufy Khan: I learnt economy as a producer, and as a director I learnt how to take advantage of the situation and get the performance done. A director has to be selfish sometimes for what he wants from the artist.

MB: WHO DIES…? has been making the rounds at film festivals worldwide. How has the reception been?

Rufy Khan: When I completed the post production of WHO DIES…? I kept showing the film to people. I showed to every section of people, whether it be a film guy, businessman, student, teacher, laborer, watchman of my building, doctor, house-wife, illiterate person, film critic, senior director, army chief …I showed it to everybody, and the reply I got from them was “Wow, what a film!” and that was the moment I felt good about my efforts.

 

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Rufy Khan in a scene from his short film WHO DIES…?

 

MB: Have you had the opportunity to meet other film makers at the festivals you have attended?

Rufy Khan: When I showed my film in festivals I used to get a standing ovation and audiences used to say to get the director on stage, as they wanted to ask questions about the film. Then I’d get a flood of questions from all the film makers, which I would answer. Those questions also matured me as a film maker.

MB: Long before you made WHO DIES…? you were cast in a short film titled THE PINK MIRROR. Did working on it help at all when you made your own film?

Rufy Khan: That was my first short film with director Sridhar Rangayan. At that time I was a newcomer and I had no idea of acting and performing. But it was Mr Sridhar who extracted that skill in me, and for a film which was on a very sensitive subject. But at the end, it was an awesome film. You can watch THE PINK MIRROR on Netflix.

 

the pink mirror

 

MB: Do you have any other projects coming up?

Rufy Khan: I am working on a script for a feature film which I want to direct or maybe act in, also.

MB: So you plan to continue with directing?

Rufy Khan: I love directing! I have a lot of wonderful ideas which I want to put on the screen, but at the same time I am doing modeling and am still open for acting assignments.

 

Rufy Khan and Simran Kaur Mundi in scenes from the television film PICTURE PERFECT.

 

MB: What film makers or performers do you most admire?

Rufy Khan: Christopher Waltz is my favorite actor, especially in INGLOURIOUS BASTARDS, and Quinton Tarantino is my most admired film maker.

MB: What hopes do you have for your film career?

Rufy Khan: The film business is a very creative thing. The more you are involved in this business, the more you grow. So, my future depends on my creativity, like with WHO DIES…? It was a piece of creativity, so it works all over the world, and still is performing in many parts of the globe.

 

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Rufy Khan and director Mayank P. Srivastava on the set of KALA SACH: THE BLACK TRUTH

 

MB: Is there anything else you would like people to know about Rufy Khan?

Rufy Khan: Rufy Khan is an engineer by profession, but sacrificed his profession for his passion. I thank the almighty for this and that I chose what I loved.

 

Dancing Girl 001

 

DANCING GIRL (aka GUTTER NU GULAB)

Imperial Film Company (1927)

Director: B.P. Misra

Cast: Sulochana, Madanrai Vakil, Putli, K.P. Bhave, Elizer, Sakhu.

 

Scenes from DANCING GIRL (aka GUTTER NU GULAB)

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Chashmawali 001

CHASHMAWALI

Mohan Pictures (1939)

Director: K. Amarnath

Music: Pandit Bhagatram Batish

Cast: Indurani, Ashik Hussain, S. Nazir, Lobo, S.M. Sadique, Anvari, Shirazi A.M., Baby Indira, Shanti, Balabhai, Azar Ansari, Harun, Rafique, Varne, Nawaz, Garibshah, Pandit Kaul.

Plot: The city is terrorized by a mystifying, sword wielding woman who is plundering the wealthy citizens and distributing their riches among the poor.

 

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The police department mobilizes to end this reign of terror known as “Chasmawali”, and office Kumar (Ashik Hussain), in particular, promises to do his utmost to capture and bring her in.

 

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While on duty one day, Kumar hears the singing of a beautiful melody. He investigates and finds it coming from Lata (Indurani), a lovely young lass from a well-to-do family. He falls head over heals in love.

 

Indurani and Ashik Hussein in Chashmawalli 001

 

On another day, without Lata knowing, Kumar follows her to a strange cave where he is shocked to discover that the girl he loves is none other than the master criminal that he has been hunting, and had vowed to bring to justice!

 

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Note: Indurani (June 22, 1922 – February 18, 2012), sometimes billed as Indu, began her acting career in a small un-billed part in a Marathi film. After moving from Poona to Bombay she found plenty of work in stunt films and fantasy pictures, especially those produced by Mohan Studios. She is the sister of fellow stunt film actress Sarojini.

Indurani in Alladin Laila 001

 

Too learn more about Indurani check out the 2017 book Indurani: An Unsung But Unforgettable Heroine Of The Early Talkies by Professor Surjit Singh.

 

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Funny camption Hamlog 001

Another amusing caption from the pages of Filmindia, this one for the 1951 film HUM LOG.

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