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Pakeezah (1972)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 904 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 5 critic

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

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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
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

dance | brothel | train | prostitute | qur'an | See more »

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

In 1972, veteran actor Pran turned down his Filmfare Award for Be-Imaan (1972), because while the Filmfare Best Music Award had gone to Shankar-Jaikishen for his own film Be-Imaan (1972), he felt that _Pakeezah (1971)_ had not been awarded on merit and that the late 'Ghulam Mohammed' was more deserving of that award. See more »

Quotes

Nargis: [singing] A moonlit night is far batter than a night with hundreds of stars...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Because I Don't Lie (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Mausam Hai Aashiqana
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar
Composed by Ghulam Mohammed
Lyrics by Kamal Amrohi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Meena's Monument
5 August 2004 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

At last - I've finally got round to it and managed to see a "clean" copy of Pakeezah! Up until now I've only had a mangled scratchy jerky version taped off Dubai TV sometime in the '90's, with quirky English subtitles, dizzying widescreen coverage and a fluid colour with a mind of its own. Having thought the world of such a poor (and short) copy I find the decent one was well worth the wait and the full 140 minutes even more of a pleasure than I thought possible.

This was the lovely Meena Kumari's film from start to finish, and I believe was planned by her from 1958 on, finally realising it in 1971. What a shame it was that chronic alcoholism finally killed her soon afterwards, and in fact that she was too ill to perform in some of the scenes in Pakeezah, necessitating a body double. In some scenes the strain definitely shows in her face.

The story of Purity versus Adversity I can only treat as fiction having no experience of anything remotely close to it, but I'm led to understand that it faithfully depicts a world now gone that must have been common at one time in India. It's a sparkling and colourful film with a simple relentless epic message, an intense romantic tragedy which is somehow simultaneously feelgood too. But to me it's the peerless golden music by Ghulam Mohammed as sung by the incomparable Lata Mangeshkar - especially Thare Rahiyo - and its part in the unfolding of the story that makes this film so outstanding. I've seldom heard such serious, beautiful, poetic, wondrously sung and played songs on any movie soundtrack. Singin' In The Rain may be my favourite musical film but Pakeezah has my favourite music - yet Lata said that the songs themselves meant nothing special to her. The only pity is that the also unique Mohammed Rafi only had the one song in here, albeit a classic duet with Lata.

Because of all this but not blind to its faults, Pakeezah is my favourite Indian movie, filmed at a time when the Westernisation of India was gathering pace and watched now when Western values seem to be state sponsored and de rigueur. At the very least watch Pakeezah for a taste of what Indian "pop" music had to offer the world before it was all jettisoned for drum machines, the Bollywood Beat and bhangra.


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