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Mehboob Khan: A tribute to the legend


AN A TO Z GUIDE TO THE MOVIE-MAKING GIANT, FROM LAUNCHING STARS AND OSCARS TO HIS IMMORTAL CLASSIC MOTHER INDIA by ASJAD NAZIR This month marks the death anniversary of legendary Indian filmmaker Mehboob Khan, whose many impressive achievements included getting India’s first Oscar nomination for his 1957 masterpiece Mother India. Perhaps the most influential commercial filmmaker during the golden age of Indian cinema, he also delivered classic films, built a giant studio and gave a platform to many newcomers, who would become superstars. So to pay tribute to the legend, who passed away on May 24, 1964, aged just 56, Eastern Eye compiled an all-you-need-to-know A to Z about arguably the most important moviemaker in Bollywood history. A is for Andaz: This visionary filmmaker delivered one of the most important movies in the history of Indian cinema in 1949. It remains the greatest love triangle ever made and became the highest grossing Bollywood film when it was released. But its biggest achievement was turning the three relative newcomers in the lead roles, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Nargis, into superstars. Andaz was also stylistically influential and gave a platform to the then-unknown Lata Mangeshkar. B is for BR Chopra: Before he became a famous filmmaker, legendary producer-director BR Chopra worked as a journalist and was able to spend time with Mehboob, learning from him. Then after Chopra started making films, Mehboob turned down Naya Daur (1957). Chopra snapped up the screenplay and scored the first big blockbuster of his career. Mehboob turned up to the premiere of Naya Daur and magnanimously admitted he was wrong to reject such a great film in front of the entire fraternity. C is for Colour: Mehboob’s 1952 blockbuster Aan was India’s first technicolour release and the highest budget movie made at that time. It smashed…

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