The Big City (1963)
"Mahanagar" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  27 September 1963 (India)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,731 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 59 critic

Life at home changes when a house-wife from a middle-class, conservative family in Calcutta gets a job as a saleswoman.



(from a story by), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Anil Chatterjee ...
Subrata Mazumdar
Madhabi Mukherjee ...
Arati Mazumder
Haren Chatterjee ...
Priyogopal (Subrata's father)
Sefalika Devi ...
Sarojini (Subrata's Mother) (as Shephalika Devi)
Prasenjit Sarkar ...
Haradhan Bannerjee ...
Himangshu Mukherjee (as Haradhan Banerjee)
Vicky Redwood ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bibhuti Banerjee ...
(as Bibhuti Bandyopadhyay)
Manisha Chakraborty
Tapan Chatterjee ...
(as Tapen Chattopadhyay)
Arun Chowdhury
Pritish Dey
Shailen Ganguli
Shyamal Ghoshal


Calcutta in the early 1960's. Bhambal supports his wife Arati, his parents, and two children. Money is tight, so Arati goes to work. She's successful and enjoys it, but this untraditional step throws the household into chaos: her in-laws initiate a "cold war" of silence and disapproval. When Bhambal loses his job, her working is essential; he loses self respect, and the gulf between them widens. Arati questions whether to keep her daughter in school. At work, her friendship with Edith, a Euro-Indian who smokes, swears, and uses lipstick, brings Arati close to impertinence with her genial boss. Her job is imperiled, she acts impulsively, and who will understand her actions? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

27 September 1963 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Big City: Mahanagar  »

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Did You Know?


When Priyogopal (Subrata's father) goes to visit his student Anupam Roychowdhury to ask for money he is shown having a conversation with Anupam in his office. When he is explaining his circumstance the camera shows him only sitting on a chair with his walking stick. In the very next scene when all the three characters are shown (third one being Anupam's wife ) the top of his walking stick has changed direction. The round bit on top was towards the right before and is turned to the left in the very next scene. See more »


Arati: [to her husband] You would not recognize me if you saw me at work.
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User Reviews

City Blues
29 December 2005 | by (Bangalore) – See all my reviews

Mahangar captures the middle class culture of post-independence Calcutta effectively. The movie shows the emotional crisis of a family caught between family tradition and increasing expenses. The husband-wife relationship starts unraveling under the stress of brand new corporate identity and financial comfort the wife discovers. Its interesting how the other family members come to terms and make peace with the changed dynamics when they see their own gratification with the higher salary. Ray has done an exceptional job in uplifting the role of the Indian wife and depicting an almost perfect superwoman character – rising to the occasion and being the pillar of support at home and at work. Throughout these changes in lifestyle, she continues to rely upon her husband for moral support. The ending is well scripted – in their current dire situation, the couple finds mutual confidence and solace to continue the struggle and dream.

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