Pather Panchali (1955)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  22 September 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 12,393 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 95 critic

Impoverished priest Harihar Ray (Kanu Bannerjee),dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Kanu Bannerjee ...
Harihar Ray (as Kanu Bandyopadhyay)
Karuna Bannerjee ...
Sarbojaya Ray (as Karuna Bandopadhyay)
Chunibala Devi ...
Uma Das Gupta ...
Durga (as Uma Dasgupta)
Subir Banerjee ...
Apu (as Subir Bandopadhyay)
Runki Banerjee ...
Little Durga (as Runki Bandopadhyay)
Reba Devi ...
Seja Thakrun
Aparna Devi ...
Nilmoni's wife
Tulsi Chakraborty ...
Prasanna, school teacher
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Haren Banerjee ...
Chinibas, Sweet-seller (as Haren Bandyopadhyay)
Rampada Das
Nibhanani Devi ...
Dasi Thakurun
Rama Gangopadhaya ...
Ranu Mookerjee
Roma Ganguli ...
Roma (as Rama Gangopadhyay)
Binoy Mukherjee ...
Baidyanath Majumdar (as Binoy Mukhopadhyay)


The story of a young boy, Apu, and life in his small Indian village. His parents are quite poor - his father Harihar, a writer and poet, gave away the family's fruit orchard to settle his brother's debts. His sister Durga and an old aunt also still lives with them. His mother Sarbojaya bears the brunt of the family's situation. She scrapes by and sells her personal possessions to put food on the table and has to bear the taunts of her neighbors as Durga is always stealing fruit from their orchard. Things get worse when Harihar disappears for five months and Durga falls ill. Even after Harihar returns, the family is left with few alternatives. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pather Panchali  »

Box Office


$536,364 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(within Bengal)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rated as one of the best 100 films of all time by the Time Magazine in 2005. See more »


Although the film is set in early 20th Century rural India (a time in which public health campaigns presumably did not exist), when Apu and Durga are shown hiding in the fields waiting to catch a glimpse of the train, a vaccination mark is clearly visible on the right arm of Uma Das Gupta, who portrays Durga. See more »


Harihar Ray: Whatever God does is for the best.
See more »


Followed by The World of Apu (1959) See more »


It's A Long Way to Tipperary
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
Played by the band
See more »

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User Reviews

A Magnificent Movie!
4 May 2005 | by (India) – See all my reviews

I don't know how even 6.4% of the female voters could have given this movie a 2!!!!! This was Ray's first movie, but his economy of dialog, his synchronization and sympathy with India's rural life is incredible. So little said, yet so much! Apu and Durga following the sweetmeat seller, the scene where they run through a "kash" field....superb, the work of a real artist, a master. The film develops its characters and the atmosphere slowly and resolutely. The narrative builds up to a powerful climax. Ray had an ancient camera while shooting this movie, did it matter? No. His expression and technique was more than sound, although this was a maiden venture.

Some critics found(and still find, I might add) the film to be too slow. Satyajit Ray wrote about the slow pace - "The cinematic material dictated a style to me, a very slow rhythm determined by nature, the landscape, the country. The script had to retain some of the rambling quality of the novel because that in itself contained a clue to the authenticity: life in a poor Bengali village does ramble."

There you are, if you have not watched this movie, you'll probably missed the greatest movie made on Indian rural life. That's why Akira Kurosawa said of him:"To have not seen the films of Ray is to have lived in the world without ever having seen the moon and the sun"

49 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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