8.1/10
6,674
24 user 25 critic

Mother India (1957)

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)
Top Rated Indian Movies #70 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Shamu (Radha's Husband)
...
Sukhilala (as Kanhaiya Lal)
Jilloo Maa
...
Champa
Chanchal
Sheela Naik ...
Kamla
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:

 »
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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

Actor Kanhaiyalal played the role of Sukhilal for the second time as he did the same in Aurat in 1940. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Duniya Mein Hum Aaye Hain
Performed by Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar
Lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Movie par excellence
8 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

This is perhaps one of the best if not the best Indian Movie ever made. A strong story line depicting the values and tribulations of rural India,this movie is backed up by some very powerful performances.All from Nargis,Suniel Dutt,Rajendra Kumar to Kanahiya lal are superb. The story revolves around Nargis and shows the trials and tribulations of her life. There are quite a few memorable sequences in the film. Starting from the scene when Nargis's one child has died due to malnutrition and the other two live ones are extremely hungry. In the moment of extreme despair when she decides to go to the village Baniya,her facial expression showing a mixture of pure contempt and extreme dejection are superb. A word must be said about the director of the movie,Mehboob Khan,right through out the movie one can see,his vision and creativity shining brightly. Every scene it seems has been hand crafted and all the sequences are closely linked to each other. The music too of the film is immensely pleasing to the ears. The songs give the aroma of the richness of the Indian village and are a treat to watch too. Above all the movie is about hope and values. Such a vivid interplay of emotions which are very close to the native Indian sensibilities is hardly ever seen in Indian cinema.The title is apt too surely this is the MOTHER India of all Indian films!


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