A Year in Hindi Movies 1938


1938 - Kamaal Amrohi starts career

The number of Hindi talkies drops to 88 this year. The big event
is the entry of Kamaal Amrohi.

Born in a rich landlord family in Amroha near Moradabad U. P., Sayyad
Ameer Hyder Kamaal "Amrohi" died on February 11, 1993 at age 76. From
childhood he liked to write stories. He went to Madan Theaters,
Calcutta, but did not get anywhere. So he went to Bombay Talkies and
wrote a story. He recited it to Sohrab Modi, who decided to let the
young man write the lyrics and dialogs for the movie "Jailor (1938)"
based on his story. Next year, he gets to write "Pukar", which was much
praised for its dialogs involving the king, Chandramohan and, minister,
Sohrab Modi. These two movies established Kamaal as a writer.

Producer Ashok Kumar wanted to cast Meena Kumari in Mahal (1949), but
Kamaal did not like her that much. He insisted on Madhubala and Ashok
finally gave in. The first mystery suspense Hindi movie was a slickly
directed by Kamaal and was hugely successful in establishing Madhubala.

A much younger Meena Kumari, on the other hand, saw a picture of the
director of Mahal and fell in love with him. He was a poet, she was a
poet. He knew her as one of the three daughters of Master Ali Baksh and
had rejected her for a child role in "Jailor" already. One day while
travelling from Mahabaleshwar to Bombay, Meena was involved in
a car accident, and while she was in a hospital in Poona, Kamaal used to
go to see her. Apparently, he liked her now and they got married
quietly on February 15, 1952.

We will pick up their careers later.

Some other movies in 1938 were:

abhaagin - first movie for Chaman Puri, older brother of Madan Puri.

baaGbaan - Naushad recorded a song as an assistant for Mushtaq Hussain.

bahaadur kisaan - First Hindi movie for Bhagwaan as director.

brahmachaarii - In her very first film as heroine, Meenakshi Shirodkar
becomes the first heroine to wear a swimming suit, bathe in
cold water and sing a song, "jamunaa biich khelu.N khel,
akelii kyaa, saajanaa, lehare.n hilore khaatii". It was
very controversial, but she was married and her husband,
Pandurang Yashvant Shirodkar, did not mind!

gramophone singer - Anil Biswas records Zohrabai Ambalewali's first
song: "piyaa ghar naahi.n akelii mohe Dar laage" written by
Pandit Sudarshan.

industrial India - Naushad is assistant again for Mushtaq.

miiThaa zahar - naushad is assistant to MD B. S. hoogan

street singer - Kanan Devi sings 6 wonderful songs. Two beautiful songs
by Saigal. A must-see movie available on video. The famous music
director Khemchandra Prakash (Mahal fame) provides the male voice
in a comedy song: "lo khaalo madam khanaa, kyo.n itanii der lagaaii"

vatan - Anil Biswas uses a tune created by Kazi Nazrul Islaam in the
song, "ragge ja.n se Ku.n uchhal pa.De jis pe jaaye jal"

zamaana - a beautiful song from this movie "ai dard zaraa dam le,
karavaT to badalane de" sung by Amirjan, later known as Amirbai
Karnataki was played in the background on the Radio in the
1948 movie "ghar kii izzat" starring Dilip Kumar.

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.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.
is my preferred address.

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