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Pakeezah (1972)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 942 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 5 critic

The story of a prostitute, with a pure heart (PAKEEZAH), and grand dreams...

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Title: Pakeezah (1972)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashok Kumar ...
Shahabuddin
...
Nargis / Sahibjaan
Raaj Kumar ...
Salim Ahmed Khan
Veena ...
Nawabjaan
D.K. Sapru ...
Hakim Saab (as Sapru)
Kamal Kapoor ...
Nawab Zafar Ali Khan
Vijay Laxmi
Jagdish Kanwal
Nadira ...
Madame Gauhar Jaan
Pratima Devi ...
Salim's Badi Amma
Altaf
Praveen Paul ...
(as Parveen Paul)
Lotan
Chanda ...
(as Chanda Bai)
Meenakshi
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Storyline

A girl, whose mother dies of sorrow from her husband's family's rejection, grows up singing and dancing like her mother. She works as a dancing girl and is courted by a prince, but can think only of a man she has never met, who left her a message on the train. She dreams of him and cannot dance, becomes frightened and runs into the night Written by William Kennedy <william.kennedy@spl.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Musical | Romance | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1972 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Pure Heart  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took 14 years for this film to be completed. To begin with, the film was launched in 1958, jointly planned by Kamal Amrohi and 'Meena Kumari'. It was launched in black-and-white, but when colour came in vogue, Amrohi scrapped those portions already shot and decided to start again. Later, Cinemascope came into vogue, and Amrohi acquired a Cinemascope lens from MGM and scrapped the plain colour portions too. Then Amrohi and Kumari separated in 1964, bringing filming to an indefinite halt. Finally, the film was resumed in 1968, and though by then Kumari was suffering from alcoholism and was in critical condition, she was still Amrohi's only choice and she agreed to complete the film. See more »

Quotes

Hakim Saab: Jo log doodh se jal jate hain woh chhas bhi phoonk phoonk kar peete hain.
[Those who get burnt by milk blow into buttermilk too before drinking it]
Salim Ahmed Khan: Afsos, log doodh se bhi jal jate hain.
[Alas, people get burnt by milk too]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bol (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Chalo Dildar Chalo
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi
Composed by Ghulam Mohammed
Lyrics by Kaif Bhopali
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sumptuous example of Indian film-making at its best!
30 December 1998 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the most polished and accomplished of all Indian films - Pakeezah does not fall into any of the traps commonly associated with Bollywood film (ie tackiness, farce, wholesale and unsuccessful imitation of western film themes/genres). Pakeezah is indigenous to the Sub-Continent and authentic, almost Madam Butterfly-like in plot. Characters are well-developed, direction, although sometimes unrefined by today's standards, perceptive and convincing. The Urdu-speaking milieux at the time of Pakeezah were masters of understatement and how the dialogue conveys the subtleties of the age! The acting (particularly the 'looks' and the dynamic between characters) are a delight to behold although the nuances may be lost on contemporary viewers or those not acquainted with the mores and customs of Muslim India.

Coupled, with a captivating screenplay is a beautiful musical score, enhanced by the protagonist displaying eminent command of classical Indian dance (kathak). As is the case with most romantic tragedies, the heroine must die, but she does not take her leave of the audience without the viewer feeling he/she has been party to a truly memorable cinema experience. Pakeezah is surely the pinnacle of what Indian cinema has produced and is unlikely to be paralleled.


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