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Devdas (1936)

 |  Drama  |  1936 (India)
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Devdas (Saigal/Barua), son of a zamindar, and Parvati (aka Paro)(Jamuna), his poor neighbour's daughter, are childhood sweethearts. Status and caste differences prevent their marriage and ... See full summary »


(as P.C.Barua)


(adapted from story of the same name) (as Sarat ChandraChatterji) , (scenario) (as P.C.Barua) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
K.L. Saigal ...
Devdas (as Saigal)
A.H. Shore ...
Pahadi Sanyal ...
A Friend (as Pahari)
Krishna Chandra Dey ...
Bairagi (as K.C.Dey {Blind Singer})
Mr. Raju ...
Biswanath Bhaduri ...
Narayan (as Biswanath)
Yusuf Attia ...
Rai Saheb
Kailash ...
Nemo ...
Kidar Nath Sharma ...
Jagannath (as Kedar)
Vikram Kapoor ...
Cart Driver (as Kapoor)
Jamuna ...
Rajkumari ...
Kshetrabala ...
Piyari (as Khettrabala)
Sitara Devi ...
Monorama (as Sitara)


Devdas (Saigal/Barua), son of a zamindar, and Parvati (aka Paro)(Jamuna), his poor neighbour's daughter, are childhood sweethearts. Status and caste differences prevent their marriage and Devdas is sent to Calcutta while Paro is married off to an aged but rich widower. In Calcutta the hero meets the prostitute Chandramukhi (Rajkumari/Chandrabati Devi) but remorse drives him to alcohol and (after a long train journey in which he attempts to run away from himself) he comes to die in front of his true love's house. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

1936 (India)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

The self indulgence of the male vs the self sacrifice of the female
19 October 2013 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

An all-time favourite film of mine is Bimal Roy's 1955 Devdas, imagine my surprise when finally getting to see the 1936 version to find his name down the credits as cinematographer. And after a wait of many years also find this was one (Hindi) of three different language versions (with Bengali and Assam); from all the information I can gather don't think he worked on either of those. And finally I also thought the 2002 version – which maybe should have been called SRKdas - was the latest. Not so! I think the only thing I'm sure about now is that this is a classic tale no matter which generation picks it up.

Young man Devdas goes to big city Calcutta leaving his childhood friend Paro behind, both realise their love for each other after her marriage to another man has been arranged. On the downward path and back in the big city Devdas takes to the big bottle and finds solace with an honourable prostitute. Once you get used to the stilted acting and production and grotty print condition it's an engrossing tale littered with beautiful images and earnest poetic ghazals and qawalis but! It's nowhere near as good, or as important for that matter as Roy's 1955 take on the subject. And it didn't have the wonderful music of S. D. Burman and Lata either! I can't be totally sure of course but I'd guess that the ladies would prefer Dilip Kumar to Kundun Lal Saigal too. Favourite bits: the scene when Devdas hit Paro, just because even the beauty of the Moon is scarred was a little contrived but the whole meeting was beautiful to watch; alcoholic Devdas coughing blood and the dramatic next minute expertly portrayed; the startling last few minutes of the film will be hard to forget. However, the original novel ended even less romantically.

So, on its own merits it was an interesting, even fascinating two hours and well worth my time but on comparison this isn't a work of Art worth my revisiting as is the case with the 1955 version.

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