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Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 706 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 9 critic

A lowly servant, Bhootnath gets close to the wife of his employer, and narrates her story through his eyes and perspective.



(dialogue), (novel)
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Title: Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Chhoti Bahu
Guru Dutt ...
Atulya Chakraborty 'Bhootnath'
Rehman ...
Chhote Sarkar
Nasir Hussain ...
Suvinoy Babu (Jaba's father) (as Nazir Husein)
Dhumal ...
D.K. Sapru ...
Chaudhary (Majhle Sarkar) (as Sapru)
Harindranath Chattopadhyay ...
Ghari Babu (as Haren Chatopadhyay)
Pratima Devi ...
Badi Bahu
Ranjit Kumari
S.N. Banerjee ...
Tanga Driver without a turban (as S.N. Bannerji)
Krishan Dhawan ...
Master Babu (as Kishen Dhawan)
Jawahar Kaul
Vikram Kapoor ...
(as Bikram Kapoor)
Mukund Banerjee ...
(as Mukund Bannerji)


A Zamindar neglects his wife and prefers the company of alcohol and dancing girls. The decadence of the Bangali Zamindar milieu and the raising bourgeoisie in the late 19th century, seen through the eyes of a young upward mobile rustic seeking fortune in Calcutta, and fascinated by the lady of the house... Written by Dirk Muysers <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical






Release Date:

June 1963 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


When Guru Dutt's Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam was submitted for the Oscars, the academy wrote a letter to Guru Dutt saying a woman who drinks was not a permissible taboo in their culture. See more »


Bhanwara Bada Naadaan
Sung by Asha Bhosle
Music composed by Hemanta Mukherjee
Lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni
See more »

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User Reviews

The Master, The Mistress & The Servant...
22 May 2007 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Guru Dutt's 'Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam' remains one of the most accomplished pieces of art in Indian cinema. No wonder why it is referred to as Indian cinema at its best. Starting with the technological aspect, I was amazed by the excellent cinematography. The movement of the camera that guides us to the world of the characters, to their minds, to their emotions and to their fate. The way the camera focuses on Choti Bahu's sad eyes or the way it zooms towards Jabba's face while she cheerfully sings, demonstrates the importance of characters' non-verbal language.

Likewise direction is top-notch. Not a moment is wasted on trivial subplots. Everything in the movie seem to fit like a jigsaw puzzle, whether it's the songs, the haunting background score, the sets, the emotions portrayed by the actors, the performances etc.

Performances are first class. We see Guru Dutt as the young (and middle-aged) and naive Bhootnath. He beautifully brings both comedy and intensity to his character communicating mostly with his expressive eyes. His relationship with the tragic Choti Bahu and the simple but headstrong Jabba is superbly portrayed through a wonderful chemistry between the actors. Meena Kumari gives one of her finest performances as the doomed Choti Bahu. Her scenes with Bhootnath and one particular scene with Rehman (just before she drinks alcohol for the first time) is mind blowing. Waheeda Rehman, being one of the finest actresses, brings grace and equally makes her presence felt in a comparably smaller but noteworthy role. Rehman as Chote Babu is brilliant.

'Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam is about love, fear, jealousy, anger, greed, addiction, lust, ignorance, despair, sadness and redemption. Many of the movie is set during the British Raj. We see most of the events through Bhootnath's eyes. He falls for the vivacious and lovely Jabba. However, when he meets Choti Bahu, he's amazed by her beauty and they too develop a loving relationship. We are hinted that he blames himself for Choti Bahu's fate and yet he sees tries to forgive himself.

What was it about alcohol that Choti Bahu got attached to? All she craved for her husband's love but even when he requests her to leave alcohol, she can't. We see her offering herself as a prostitute so that Chote Babu won't leave for the brothel. Did she feel in some way grateful to alcohol that she had her husband back? Was it the alcohol itself? Was it a whole other state of mind that had nothing to do with her surroundings? Whatever it was, it destroyed her.

However, she the one person she always relied on was Bhootnath and whenever he'd appear, she had a smile on her face except that one time when she's about to make that request that would change her life. Bhootnath, the only person she confided in, was the last we see her with.

We also see a jealous Jabba who is afraid that Bhootnath is slipping away. After all, who is this Choti Bahu that seems to intrigue him so much? She hopes that Bhootnath might express his love but fears that the love is for a mysterious Choti Bahu.

In a sentence, I'd say go watch this movie otherwise you would never know what you've missed.

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