Laxmi lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in India along with her husband, Kishtaya, who is a deaf-mute. Both husband and wife work for the wealthy landlord. The landlord's son, Surya... See full summary »



(story and scenario), (dialogue) (as Pandit Satya Dev Dubey)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Arth (1982)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A film-maker who is having an extra-marital affair with an actress decides to leave his wife. Arth is the story of this women's search for her identity.

Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Smita Patil
Ardh Satya (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A newly appointed police rookie deals with corruption, romance, and brutality.

Director: Govind Nihalani
Stars: Om Puri, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri
Sparsh (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Anirudh Parmar is blind, but he does not let this impairment bind him down. He runs a school for the blind as a Principal. He meets with social worker, Kavita. Kavita is attracted to him, ... See full summary »

Director: Sai Paranjape
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Sudha Chopra
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After years of painstaking research at the cost of his domestic pleasure, Dr. Dipankar Roy discovers a vaccine for leprosy. The news is flashed over television and overnight, an ... See full summary »

Director: Tapan Sinha
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Pankaj Kapur, Irrfan Khan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In the hope of earning enough money to pay off his debts and save his land, a poor farmer becomes a rickshaw puller in the Calcutta and faces many difficulties.

Director: Bimal Roy
Stars: Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy, Rattan Kumar
Saaransh (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An old couple lend a room on rent after recent death of the bread earner of the family, their only son. A budding actress starts living with them, who is in love with a local politician's only son. The movie shows what later ensues.

Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Stars: Rohini Hattangadi, Anupam Kher, Soni Razdan
Mausam (1975)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A medical student, Amarnath meets and falls in love with the daughter of a herbal medicine healer, Chanda while preparing for his exams in Darjeeling. He returns to Calcutta to sit his ... See full summary »

Director: Gulzar
Stars: Sanjeev Kumar, Sharmila Tagore, Om Shivpuri
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Three woman-hating brothers face changes in their respective lifestyles when two of them fall in love.

Director: Satyen Bose
Stars: Ashok Kumar, Madhubala, Anoop Kumar
Jagte Raho (1956)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In hopes of improving his lifestyle, a poor peasant re-locates to Bombay virtually penniless. It is late at night and he is thirsty, and he is unable to find water anywhere. A singing drunk... See full summary »

Directors: Amit Mitra, Sombhu Mitra
Stars: Pradeep Kumar, Sumitra Devi, Smriti Biswas
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A lowly servant, Bhootnath gets close to the wife of his employer, and narrates her story through his eyes and perspective.

Director: Abrar Alvi
Stars: Meena Kumari, Guru Dutt, Rehman
Boot Polish (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Preteen brother and sister, abandoned by their father to care of an abusive prostitute aunt, survive life in an Indian squatters' camp, aided by a friendly cripple, by learning to shine shoes instead of begging.

Director: Prakash Arora
Stars: Kumari Naaz, Rattan Kumar, David Abraham
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Progressive, reform-minded young warden gets permission to take six surly murderers from prison to dilapidated country farm, to rehabilitate it and themselves through hard work and kindly guidance.

Director: Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram
Stars: Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram, Sandhya, Ulhas


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sadhu Meher ...
Anant Nag ...
Priya Tendulkar ...
Aga Mohamed Hussain
Mirza Qadirali Baig
Hemant Jeshwant Rao
Satyanarayan ...
(as Master Satyanarayan)
Sesham Raju ...
(as Shesham Raju)
Hameed Rashid
Aslam Akhtar
Syed Yakoob
Jagat Jeevan
Prafullata Natu
Kaleem Siddiqui


Laxmi lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in India along with her husband, Kishtaya, who is a deaf-mute. Both husband and wife work for the wealthy landlord. The landlord's son, Surya, has to cancel his studies and return home to look after the estate, as well as formalize his marriage to Saroj, the girl he was compelled to get married to when he was very young. Shortly thereafter Kishtaya is apprehended stealing toddy from the fields, is severely beaten, left senseless, and when he recovers he absconds, leaving Laxmi alone to fend for herself. Surya finds her attractive and starts an intimate relationship with her, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. Things only get worse when Saroj moves in to live with Surya - compelling him to make a final decision about a visibly pregnant Laxmi. Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Seedling  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in And the Show Goes on: Indian Chapter (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Seedling: that's where these talents have grown from.
20 July 2010 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Ankur is Shyam Benegal's first movie and amongst all his gems, this is one of those his name will be most associated with. The film was a unique feature of its time - real, poetic, genuine and disturbing. It did not have the songs, the melodrama, and the exaggeration one was used to see in Hindi movies. Instead it had an unusual and gripping storyline portrayed with striking maturity and realism. This film actually established a new genre within the Hindi film industry at the time, commonly known as 'New Wave Cinema', while today people use to describe it as 'Parallel Cinema'. The film was not only special in the way it was treated, but the story itself seemed to have tackled themes which till date are categorised as social taboos in Indian cinema, whether it's adultery or sexual frustration. The film's writers use symbolism to convey the story and many interesting paradoxes and ironies.

Ankur tells the story of Lakshmi, a young and serious village woman who works as a housemaid in the landlord's house and who is married to a deaf-mute man who keeps drinking. She sets on an affair with the landlord's son, Surya, who came to the village on his father's insistence to run the family business. From the very beginning of his staying there, he gets very attracted to Lakshmi. After being accused of stealing, Lakshmi's husband gets publicly humiliated by the villagers and later disappears. That's when Lakshmi and Surya's interaction grows and becomes constant. Their relationship, however, ends soon as Surya's young bride comes home. Lakshmi finds out that she is pregnant and Surya refuses to accept her, as he has also been persuaded by his wife to throw her out. A pregnant Lakshmi finds herself all alone struggling for survival, until one day her husband returns with a clear intention to make amends, very happy to find his wife's state but little knowing that he is not her child's father.

Benegal's direction is outstanding. He captures the rustic, simple and raw atmosphere of the village with all its cultural customs which would seem peculiar to people not familiar with this kind of lifestyle. He just pays attention to the smallest of details, and that's what makes it so extremely realistic. Whether it's the serene narrative style, the way the proceedings are unfolded, or the way the characters are brought out on screen, all these aspects contribute to this and manage to make the film tense and thrilling. The character of Lakshmi, for instance, is presented as an extraordinary beauty amongst the many ordinary-looking people in the movie, and the viewer can really see why a bored Surya can't take his eyes off her. Ankur is very matter-of-fact in its depiction. It is brutally honest and not even once does it feel sugarcoated or unconvincing. The film's dialogues are fantastic, especially those towards the end.

The brightest spot of this movie and the main reason it tugs at your heartstrings is unquestionably Shabana Azmi's powerhouse performance. Ankur is actually her first role, and it still ranks amongst the finest works of her illustrious career. Portraying her role with depth and sincerity, Azmi manages to convey a lot with just sitting silent in front of the camera. Her facial expressions, body language and line delivery are exemplary. Lakshmi draws the audience's sympathy despite being pretty unlikable. She hardly smiles once throughout the film, and looks indifferent to her surroundings, yet the viewers may really feel for her as they see her despair, her non-verbal pain and grief, her inner conflict, her daily struggles and ultimately her conscience and guilt feelings. It goes without saying that Azmi's emotional outbursts towards the end are superbly acted and moving. This one is an all-time great performance by a talent that is even greater.

Apart from Azmi who owns the show from start to finish, the acting in the movie is roundly natural. Anant Nag as Surya does a very good job. Sadhu Meher is excellent as Lakshmi's helpless and loving husband. Priya Tendulkar too performs well. The last few scenes of the movie are very intense and heartbreaking. The ending is by far one of the best endings I've seen in a Hindi film - meaningful, unusual and thought-provoking - descriptions which would be perfectly used to describe the film itself. Ankur, to put it simply in just a few words, is one gem of a movie.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The best Indian film I've seen and any other similar ones?? swturswt
Discuss Ankur (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: