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Kaala Patthar (1979)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | 24 August 1979 (India)
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Inspired by a true mining tragedy the film is about people from all walks of life showing courage and character to fight the forces of nature.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Anita, Press Photographer
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Channo, jewellery seller (as Neeto Singh)
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Dhanraj Puri, Owner of the Coal Mine
Romesh Sharma ...
Vikram
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Raghunath's daughter
Manmohan Krishna ...
Crippled hotel owner
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Vikram's father
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Mr. Singh (as Iftikhar)
Sudha Chopra ...
Mrs. Singh (Vijay's mom)
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Raghunath - Miner (as Satyen Kappoo)
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Storyline

Captain Vijay Pal Singh is branded a coward, disgraced, humiliated by society and disowned by his parents for abandoning his ship risking the lives of over 300 passengers. With guilt on his mind and low self-esteem Vijay takes up work as a miner in a coal mine owned by Dhanraj Puri. Puri is a self-senile man who thinks about himself, by endangering the lives of his workers to profit himself and with no benefits or medical facilities for them. Vijay attempts to get rid of his cowardice by saving the lives of his co-workers by the contended wrath of Puri. The same happens when water forces its way into one of the mining tunnel endangering the lives of hundreds of workers; this time Vijay hopes to make it big so that he can be able to put together his life again. Written by gavin (racktoo@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 August 1979 (India)  »

Also Known As:

A Luta Pela Vida  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shatrughan Sinha accused Amitabh of getting his role severely slashed. He was also angry Yash Chopra promised a certain amount then went back on his word. He mentioned he was the least paid from the entire film. See more »

Quotes

Vijay Pal Singh: A man can get up after falling from the top of the Himalaya, but once he falls in his own eyes then he just keeps on falling.
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Connections

Featured in Raees (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Jaggaya Jaggaya
Performed by Mahendra Kapoor, S.K. Mohan & Pamela Chopra
Music by Rajesh Roshan
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User Reviews

 
Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi, Jo Tham Gaye To Kuchh Nahin
16 October 2012 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Producer-director Yash Chopra is known in Bollywood as the 'King of Romance' because he has made certain classic romantic movies. However he had made some different movies too. One of them is Kaala Patthar (1979).

The story of Kaala Patthar (black stone) has been set in the a coal mine whose owner is a greedy businessman - Dhanraaj (Prem Chopra). Dhanraaj compels the coal mine workers to work in potentially dangerous conditions. He does not care for their welfare or health or even security of life and interested only in making maximum money out of that coal mine. He hires the services of an engineer - Ravi (Shashi Kapoor) who while working in his mine, is stunned to see that due to the excessive mining, one tunnel is about to go for water-logging and the lives of some 400 workers are in danger. Ravi also happens to see the poor condition of the workers and the lack of even the basic amenities for them which are the minimum requirement not only under the labour laws but also on humanitarian grounds. The doctor in the hospital maintained just for the sake of a legal formality - Sudha (Raakhee) keeps on complaining for medicines and a compounder but her calls fall on deaf ears of the management.

Among the workers, there are some goons too who extort money from the weak and hapless workers. Besides, there are two unique workers also. One is an escaped jailbird Mangal (Shatrughan Sinha) and the other is a courtmartialled naval ship captain Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) who was labelled a coward when fled away from his ship endangering the lives of 300 passengers and abandoned by his family. Vijay comes closer to Sudha who is able to sniff out that Vijay is actually not what he is visible to the world. Two parallel love stories also run. The first one is a hilarious love story of Ravi with Dhanjraaj's niece - Anita (Parveen Baabi) who is a journalist and the second one is the love story of Mangal with a village girl - Chhanno (Neetu Singh) who sells toys and the things used by married women as a symbol of their marital status (being SUHAAGIN).

As we can easily guess that the continuous extraction of coal from the potentially dangerous tunnel, finally leads to its collapse and lethal water-logging in the climax of the movie. Vijay, Ravi and Mangal do their best to save as many lives as possible but still many lives are lost including that of Mangal.

The movie is less realistic and more formulaic because the script-writers and the director have nowhere compromised on the entertainment front. The movie is damn interesting and the writer-director team should get full marks for not allowing even an ounce of boredom in this movie which is in a league of its own.

The movie starts in a very impressive way when the young engineer Ravi heads towards his destination by riding a motorbike and singing a very very inspiring song - Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi, Jo Tham Gaye To Kuchh Nahin (the life is a path and if you stop somewhere, it's nothing for you). The song runs with the credits and the drama begins soon after the song.

The art director - Sudhendu Roy is the unsung hero of this movie who has done a splendid job by bringing a coal mine area, tunnels, tea stall cum Dhaaba (small restaurant), workers' homes etc. everything as alive on the screen. The complete look of this movie is realistic (though the script is formula-based).

Rajesh Roshan's music is not great but the song mentioned above as well as in the title of this review is a memorable one which Kishore has sung (with Lata also contributing). The other song that stands out is Dhoom Mache Dhoom Aaj Ki Raina sung jointly by Lata, Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor, S.K. Mahan and chorus. Lyrics have come from Saahir's pen.

In the author-backed role, Amitabh Bachchan has portrayed his guilt-complex, anguish and stuffiness with utmost proficiency. The role is apparently subdued but actually a highly emphatic one. Despite being a multi-starrer movie, Kaala Patthar allows Amitabh Bachchan with his soot-stained face, to stand out from the high profile cast.

Among others, Shatrughan Sinha is there with all his theatricals and Shashi Kapoor with all his jolly gimmicks. Prem Chopra has done villainy in his typical style. Ladies did not have much to do but Raakhee has delivered a very mature performance and her chemistry with Amitabh Bachchan is also touching. The emotion in the relationship of Vijay and Sudha is subtle and remains as undercurrent in their interaction. Both Amitabh and Raakhee have performed this part with perfection. The director has not done any injustice to any actor in this multi-starrer movie and all have got ample screen-space and scope to show their mettle. Sanjeev Kumar also impresses in his cameo of the outgoing doctor.

Kaala Patthar was commercially not successful when released. May be because the people were expecting something different from the maker of feelgood movies. However it can be considered a classic now.


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