IMDb > The Big City (1963)

The Big City (1963) More at IMDbPro »Mahanagar (original title)

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow) Videos
The Big City -- The Big City, the great Satyajit Ray's first portrayal of contemporary life in his native Kolkata, follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati, who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family. Ray builds a powerful drama that is at once a hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the modern Indian woman.


User Rating:
8.3/10   1,947 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Narendranath Mitra (from a story by)
Satyajit Ray (scenario)
View company contact information for The Big City on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 September 1963 (India) See more »
Life at home changes when a house-wife from a middle-class, conservative family in Calcutta gets a job as a saleswoman. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Ray's unforgettable metropolis... See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Anil Chatterjee ... Subrata Mazumdar

Madhabi Mukherjee ... Arati Mazumder

Jaya Bhaduri ... Bani
Haren Chatterjee ... Priyogopal (Subrata's father)
Sefalika Devi ... Sarojini (Subrata's Mother) (as Shephalika Devi)
Prasenjit Sarkar ... Pintu
Haradhan Bannerjee ... Himangshu Mukherjee (as Haradhan Banerjee)
Vicky Redwood ... Edith
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
Anuradha Guha
Jyoti Kripalani
Samir Lahiri
Ashok Mitra
Tarak Mitra
Shailen Mukherjee (as Shailen Mukhopadhyay)
Shailesh Mukherjee
Shila Pal
Gitali Roy
Subrata Sensharma (as Subrata Sen)
Smita Sinha

Directed by
Satyajit Ray 
Writing credits
Narendranath Mitra (from a story by)

Satyajit Ray (scenario)

Satyajit Ray (screenplay)

Produced by
R.D. Bansal .... producer (as R. D. Bansal)
Original Music by
Satyajit Ray 
Cinematography by
Subrata Mitra (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Dulal Dutta 
Production Design by
Bansi Chandragupta 
Art Direction by
Bansi Chandragupta 
Makeup Department
Ananta Das .... makeup artist
Production Management
Anil Choudhury .... production manager
Dulal Das .... assistant production manager
Gopal Das .... assistant production manager
Suren Das .... assistant production manager
Bhanu Ghosh .... production manager
Sudip Majumdar .... assistant production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Shailen Dutta .... assistant director
Girish Ranjan .... assistant director
Amiya Sanyal .... assistant director
Art Department
Surath Mondal .... assistant art director
Ramchandra Shende .... backdrops (as R. R. Sinde)
Sound Department
Atul Chatterjee .... sound recordist (as Atul Chattopadhyay)
Jyoti Chatterjee .... assistant re-recordist (as Jyoti Chattopadhyay)
Soumen Chattopadhyay .... assistant sound recordist (as Somen Chattopadhyay)
Debesh Ghosh .... sound recordist
Shyamsundar Ghosh .... re-recording
Edel Mulan .... assistant re-recordist (as Edel)
Bhola Sarkar .... assistant re-recordist (as Bholanath Sarkar)
Sujit Sarkar .... sound recordist
Babaji Shyamal .... assistant sound recordist (as Babaji Samal)
Camera and Electrical Department
Prabhas Bhattacharya .... lighting controller
Bhabaranjan Das .... lighting controller
Subrata Lahiri .... assistant camera
Fatik Mazumdar .... assistant camera
Pantu Nag .... assistant camera
Anil Pal .... lighting controller
Editorial Department
Kashinath Bose .... assistant editor
Music Department
Jyoti Chatterjee .... assistant background music recordist (as Jyoti Chattopadhyay)
Shyamsundar Ghosh .... background music recordist
Edel Mulan .... assistant background music recordist (as Edel)
Bhola Sarkar .... assistant background music recordist (as Bholanath Sarkar)
Other crew
R.D. Bansal .... presents
Dhiren Biswas .... laboratory staff
Mohan Chatterjee .... laboratory staff
Tarapada Chowdhury .... laboratory staff
Bimal Dey .... production controller
R.B. Mehta .... processing supervisor
Shailesh Mukhopadhyay .... publicist
Abani Roy .... laboratory staff
Debu Bandyopadhyay .... acknowledgment (as Shri Debu Bandyopadhyay)
G.D. Birla .... acknowledgment (as Mr. G. D. Birla)
Subrata Roy Chowdhury .... acknowledgment (as Mr. Subrata Roy Chowdhury)
N.C. Ghosh .... acknowledgment (as Dr. N. C. Ghosh)
Sanat Mukherjee .... acknowledgment (as Shri Sanat Mukherjee)
A. Pattison .... acknowledgment (as Mr. A. Pattison)
Sandip Ray .... acknowledgment (as Shriman Sandip Ray)
K.C. Sen .... acknowledgment (as Mr. K. C. Sen)
Asim Som .... acknowledgment (as Shri Asim Som)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Mahanagar" - India (original title)
"The Big City: Mahanagar" - USA (video box title)
See more »
India:131 min | USA:122 min | West Germany:122 min (25 fps)
Sound Mix:
Singapore:PG | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2012) | UK:U (1967) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Jaya Bhaduri's only film with Satyajit Ray.See more »
Continuity: 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.See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Ray's unforgettable metropolis..., 13 March 2010
Author: Peter Young from Earth

Arati is a young middle-class housewife. The household includes Arati, her husband Subrata, who works as a bank clerk, their children and his elderly parents. Subrata is unable to support the entire family with his salary, and after a great deal of indecision, the couple decide that Arati must find a job. And she does so, much to the displeasure of his parents, who react with shame and anger when they find out that their daughter in-law has turned from a housewife into a working woman against tradition.

The story follows Arati's acclimation with her job as a sales woman, her growing independence, and her new relationships with people from different social and financial classes, one example being a young Anglo-Indian colleague named Edith whom she befriends. The real conflict, however, does not happen when Arati's in-laws start a silent "cold war", but when her husband himself loses his own job and Arati becomes the sole breadwinner of the family. Subrata loses self-respect and is filled with negative feelings of inferiority and shame.

This is the story of Satyajit Ray's extraordinary classic 'Mahanagar', a poignant, quiet and moving picture which depicts a whole world of conflicts resulting from modernisation and changing social and generational norms. Ray's portrayal of the urban India, its lifestyle and people, is brilliantly done. Everything about the film is, as expected, very authentic, very real and very easily identifiable with Ray's style of film-making. He makes the proceedings and the characters very interesting and very easy to relate to.

The film deals with the struggle of middle-class families to survive in the big city through their everyday hardships, but in the process, shows the gender role conflicts and criticises the hypocrisy of traditional conservativeness. One such instance is shown when Arati's father-in-law, a retired teacher who had complained that he was in need of a new pair of spectacles, now prefers going and begging from his former student rather than accepting money from his working daughter-in-law who 'breaks tradition'.

The relationships in Mahanagar are perfectly portrayed, whether it's Arati's relationship with her husband, with her kid, with her in-laws, with her employer. But the best thing about it is the portrayal of Arati's acquaintance with her new self. Her job provides her with confidence and self-belief as she grows increasingly independent, both socially and economically. Mainly due to her friendship with the Anglo-Indian Edith, who she would later stand up for, Arati learns to use lipsticks, wear dark fashionable glasses, speak more assertively and stand up against injustice, while still maintaining her individuality as a simple, unselfish woman.

Madhabi Mukherjee is astonishing as Arati. She is a natural beauty, and acts with grace and dignity. She convincingly transforms from a simple housewife into a modern and smart woman of substance, always letting the viewer sense her struggle, confusion and pain. Anil Chatterjee is great as the slightly embittered yet loving husband. Jaya Bhaduri is completely lovable and charming in her debut role. Prasenjit Sarkar is cute as a button as Pintu. Vicky Redwood is quite nice though her line delivery is often weak. Haradhan Bannerjee is very sympathetic as Arati's boss though his character is slightly prejudiced.

Mahanagar is another example of Ray's indelible craftsmanship, of his superb storytelling and his exceptional ability to tell a universal story which is both moving and educative in a simple yet very effective way. The film's pace may be a bit slow, but it is steady enough, and the picture remains thoroughly and consistently engaging and captivating. The ending is bittersweet - sad yet optimistic, satisfying and inspiring. Mahanagar is overall a beautiful social drama; a classic and fascinating piece which is highly recommended.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (20 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Big City (1963)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Together The Official Story Devdas The Best of Youth Adventureland
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb India section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.