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The Holy Man (1965)

Mahapurush (original title)
A devout Hindu family falls victim to a charlatan posing as a holy man.



(story "Birinchi Baba"), (screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Charuprakash Ghosh ...
Birinchi Baba
Rabi Ghosh ...
Birinchi Baba's assistant (as Robi Ghosh)
Prasad Mukherjee ...
Gurupada Mitter (as Prasad Mukhopadhyay)
Gitali Roy ...
Satindra Bhattacharya ...
Somen Bose ...
Nibaran (as Somen Basu)
Santosh Dutta ...
Professor Nani
Renuka Roy ...
Nani's wife
Satya Banerjee ...
Nitai (as Satya Bandyopadhyay)
Haridhan Mukherjee ...
Ganesh (as Haridhan Mukhopadhyay)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
J. Banerjee
Dilip Bose ...
(as Dilip Basu)
Jagat Chakraborty
Ila Chatterjee ...
(as Ila Chattopadhyay)
Santi Chatterjee ...
(as Shanti Chattopadhyay)


A retired lawyer meets a holy man # Birinchi Baba (Charuprakash Ghosh) and his assistant (Robi Ghosh) # on his way back from a pilgrimage # and is totally taken in by his supernatural life. The holy man is on first name terms with Buddha and all the gods of the Hindu pantheon. What the world calls 'Cruci-fiction' he calls 'Cruci-fact' because he has seen it with his own eyes! He even starts giving orations to an audience of the rich and famous at the lawyer's residence. The gullible lawyer decides to get his entire family initiated into the guru's fold # including his unmarried younger daughter (Gitali Roy) who is being courted by a young man (Satindra Bhattacharya). His group of intelligent and rationalist friends (Somen Bose et al) decide to take matters in their own hands # and hatch a plot to expose the smooth-talking charlatan. Written by Diptakirti Chaudhuri

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Release Date:

7 May 1965 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Saint  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Slight but very watchable.
4 January 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Mahapurush: The Holy Man" is a decent little film, but I definitely should point out that it is little in scope and style. Satyajit Ray has taken one of his short stories and brought it to the screen. And, at only a little over an hour and a very simple plot, it seems pretty obvious that it was a short story. Because of this, the film is rather slight and I don't recommend it for folks not familiar with Ray's work, as he's done better and more amazing films. This one is more for someone wanting to see all of Ray's films--even the minor ones.

The film begins with a widower meeting a holy man on a train. Soon, the man is won over by the holy man and has convinced practically everyone in his family to become disciples of the guy and he comes to live with them. There is only one problem--he spouts nothing but hogwash and he's clearly a phony. For example, the guy claims to be older than the Buddha and Jesus AND that he told Einstein about the theory of relativity!! So how are the family's friends going to expose the truth? See the film and find out for yourself.

My biggest complaint about the film is much of the ending--which I found a bit vague and confusing. However, there are some nice character studies and the film is enjoyable. In many ways, this is like an Indian version of the old Moliere play, "Tartuffe".

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