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:

(as Mehboob)

Writers:

(dialogue) (as Vajahat Mirza), (dialogue)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Radha
Sunil Dutt ...
Birju
Rajendra Kumar ...
Raaj Kumar ...
Shamu (Radha's Husband)
Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi ...
Sukhilala (as Kanhaiya Lal)
Jilloo Maa
Kumkum ...
Champa
Chanchal
Sheela Naik ...
Mukri ...
Shambu (as Muqri)
Siddiqui
Ram Shastri
Fakir Mohammad ...
(as Faqir Mohomed)
Geeta
Hameeda
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Storyline

The film begins with the finishing of a water canal for the village set in the present. Radha (Nargis), as the mother of the village, is asked to open the canal and remembers back to her past when she was newly married, mirroring the new independence of India. The wedding between Radha and Shamu (Raaj Kumar) was paid for by Radha's mother-in-law, who got a loan from the moneylender Sukhilala. This event starts the spiral of poverty and hardship that Radha endures. The conditions of the loan are disputed, but the village elders decide in favor of the moneylender, after which Shamu and Radha are forced to pay three-quarters of their crop as interest on the loan of 500 rupees. While trying to use more of their land to alleviate their poverty, Shamu's arms are crushed by a boulder. He is shamed by his helplessness and is humiliated by others in the village. Deciding that he is no use to his family, he leaves and does not return. Soon after this, Radha's mother-in-law dies. Radha continues... Written by gavin@sunny_deol2009@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

village | poverty | field | farm | bandit | See All (75) »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Family

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 February 1957 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Madre India  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Gevacolor) (negative)| (Technicolor) (prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Sabu, one of the most famous Hollywood stars of Indian origin, was to play the role that Sunil Dutt got eventually. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Haider (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Na Main Bhagwan Hoon
Performed by Mohammad Rafi
Lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni
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User Reviews

Incredibly moving: It's the Music!
27 June 2003 | by (Colorado) – See all my reviews

This film had me in tears at least three times; and not tears of sadness, but because it was just so beautiful. Don't expect anything near Hollywood slickness; if you want to find errors and things to laugh at, there are dozens. But the whole spirit of the piece is very poetic. In Hollywood movies, the musical numbers are when I take a break and go out. But in Indian movies, the musical numbers are spellbinding! And in this one, perhaps the best. The lyrics, the melodies, the staging (even with noticeable lip-sync) are just wonderful. Take the best songs from Broadway musicals and compare them to these, they've met their match. The passion in the lead female voice matches Callas. Superb!


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