Centenary Of Indian Cinema

Ashok Kumar’s ‘Kismet’ – India’s First Film To Run For 3 Years In A Single Cinema Hall

Kismet (1943) was Bombay Talkies‘ biggest blockbuster that broke all box-office records and runs to packed houses for uninterrupted 3 years at Roxy Theatre in Kolkata!  The film introduced the lost and found drama which later became a favorite of Bollywood and it minted gold in the ’70s with films like Waqt (1965), Yaadon ki Baraat (1973), Fakira (1976), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), etc.

Written and directed by Gyan Mukherjee, the major highlight of the film was its tight script and crisp screenplay. However, few are aware that when Gyan Mukherjee presented his script to Ashok Kumar, he was not impressed. Hence Ashok Kumar gave Gyan Mukherjee a book, written by American author Frances Marion, to read. The book called ‘How to Write and Sell Film Stories’ gave important tips to sharpen a story and improvise a screenplay. Thus after reading the book, Gyan Mukherjee was highly inspired and made necessary alteration in his script and screenplay. The result, the film turned out to be a fabulous entertainer with the right dose of romance, action, and music.

The other highlight of the film was that the film broke several bondages of the Hindi film industry and for the first time experimented with an Anti-Hero, and the unique concept of double role. Besides, a good story the film’s melodious music was another reason for the film’s success. Songs like Ghar Ghar Mein Diwali …and a soothing lullaby, Dheere Dheere Aa….were super hit.

However, the cherry on the cake was the famous song Door hato aye duniya walo, Hindustan hamara hain‘ .  Since the movie was released at a time when India was fighting for freedom and Mahatma Gandhi had given the Quit India call, hence film lyricist cleverly wrote the song Door hato aye duniya walo, Hindustan hamara hainto generate patriotic favor in Indians.

It’s reported the song had created such a mass hysteria that the people had literally, gone crazy and used to watch the movie repeatedly, particularly to hear Pradeep‘s patriotic number. When the song used to appear on the screen, the sitting audience uses to give a standing ovation and amidst thunderous applause demand a repeat run of the song, which the theatre owners usually obliged!!!

When the British government came to know about the success of the song, they had issued a warrant against Kavi Pradeep. Later few corrections were made in the song to satisfy the British!

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