Preteen brother and sister, abandoned by their father to care of an abusive prostitute aunt, survive life in an Indian squatters' camp, aided by a friendly cripple, by learning to shine shoes instead of begging.

Director:

Writers:

(dialogue), (photoplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Top 10 Indian Movies Added to IMDb Watchlists

Take a look at the top Indian movies IMDb users added to their watchlists last week. Are these movies on your radar?

See the full list

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mother India (1957)
Drama | Musical | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In this melodrama, a poverty-stricken woman raises her sons through many trials and tribulations. But no matter the struggles, always sticks to her own moral code.

Director: Mehboob Khan
Stars: Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar
Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two womanizing slackers, Omi and Jai (Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani respectively) attempt to woo the new girl in the neighbourhood, and fail - miserably. Their third room-mate, shy, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Sai Paranjape
Stars: Farooq Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Saeed Jaffrey
Dosti (1964)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Friendship of a lonesome studious blind boy with a crippled street singer.

Director: Satyen Bose
Stars: Sudhir Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Sanjay Khan
Bawarchi (1972)
Comedy | Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Squabbling Sharma family has a dubious reputation of not having any cook last there for more than a few months. Word spreads out about this family to such an extent that no person wants to ... See full summary »

Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Stars: Rajesh Khanna, Jaya Bhaduri, Usha Kiran
Khubsoorat (1980)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Nirmala Gupta runs her household and family in a very strict and authoritarian manner. While most of her family resent this, they do obey her and carry out her instructions, so as to be on ... See full summary »

Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Stars: Ashok Kumar, Rekha, Rakesh Roshan
Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Abused by an oppressive brother-in-law Gajendra (Pran), Ramchandra (Dilip Kumar) runs away from home, and ends up in a small village where he is mistaken for Shyamrao (also Dilip Kumar), ... See full summary »

Director: Tapi Chanakya
Stars: Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Mumtaz
Masoom (1983)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A happy family goes through turbulent times because of a big mistake by one of the family members.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Tanuja
Naam (1986)
Musical | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Janki lives a poor middle class life with her two sons Ravi and Vicky while Ravi works for a abusive boss Mr Ghanshyam,Vicky is jobless and always takes law in his hands and dreams of going... See full summary »

Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Stars: Nutan, Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Chandan (Sachin) lives with his elder brother and uncle. One day while going across the river to get some medications for his uncle, he meets with Gunja (Sadhana Singh), and both eventually... See full summary »

Director: Govind Moonis
Stars: Inder Thakur, Mitali, Savita Bajaj
Khatta Meetha (1981)
Comedy | Family | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Factory worker with 4 sons marries middle aged woman with 2 sons and a daughter

Director: Basu Chatterjee
Stars: Ashok Kumar, Rakesh Roshan, Bindiya Goswami
Mili (1975)
Drama | Romance | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mili is a fantastic romance in which Shekar has moved into an apartment block and does not like the place but sees Mili who he slowly falls in love with only to find out that she only has 2-3 weeks to live.

Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Stars: Ashok Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Usha Kiran
Parichay (1972)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In desperate need of a job, unemployed Ravi (Jeetendra) goes to his maternal uncle (A.K. Hangal) and aunt (Leela Mishra) in their village for a few days. His uncle decides that he can be a ... See full summary »

Director: Gulzar
Stars: Jeetendra, Jaya Bhaduri, Pran
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kumari Naaz ...
Belu (as Baby Naaz)
Rattan Kumar ...
Bhola
...
John (as David)
Chand Burke ...
Kamla Devi (as Chand Burque)
Veera
Bhupendra Kapoor
Shailendra
Mohanbali
Nissar ...
(as Master Nisar)
Bhudo Advani ...
Pedro (as Budho Advani)
Prabhu Arora
Edit

Storyline

Toddlers Belu and Bhola share an uncertain future when their mom dies in the plague, and their dad is imprisoned. They are then left in the uncaring care of Kamla, their aunt, who moonlights as a prostitute. She is cruel,abusive and forces them to take to a life of begging on the local trains, on beaches and crowded areas in Bombay. This is how the toddlers grow up, they want to lead a respectable life, and with the help of bootlegger John, they get a shoe-shine kit and start shining shoes on busy sidewalks and railway platforms. Their circumstances face more uncertainty when Kamla finds out about their new-found profession, beats them up and throws them out of the house. They temporarily seek shelter with John, but when he is arrested, they have to fend for themselves. Things become bad to worse when Bombay enters the monsoon season, when people do not get their shoes shined; then the duo are separated - with Belu ending up with a rich family, and when she asks about Bhola, she is ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mendigar o morir  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Remade as Morad o Laleh (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Nanhe Munne Bachche
Music by Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi & Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Touching Social Drama

This film ranks as one of the finest thought provoking social dramas asking how we look at ourselves given the limited resources and choices and faced with overwhelming odds. Raj Kapoor's presentation of the humble lifestyle of two children who wish to overcome the obstacles of abject poverty shows the importance of the spirit of endurance and dedication in the face of adversity. We can learn from children when they try to face challenges in the world created by greedy souls.

I would recommend this film as a lesson in the triumph of the human spirit when facing the evils of man made adversity. We probably can relate to the two youn protaganists of the film in our everyday lives. Life can be a bitch, and films such as BOOT POLISH show the more dramatic encounters of what we call the human struggle.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Boot Polish-Im Schatten des Lebens chholzi
Discuss Boot Polish (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?