In Faizabad, British India, Daroga Dilawar is sentenced to several years in prison after Amiran's dad testifies against him. After his discharge around 1840, he extracts his vengeance by ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Mirza Hadi Ruswa), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Umrao Jaan (2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

J.P. Dutta's adaption of the Urdu novel "Umrao Jan Ada" by Mirza Haadi Ruswa (1905).

Director: J.P. Dutta
Stars: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Sunil Shetty
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
Pakeezah (1972)
Musical | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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

Director: Kamal Amrohi
Stars: Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar
Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Inspired by true events, a 16th century prince falls in love with a court dancer and battles with his emperor father.

Director: K. Asif
Stars: Prithviraj Kapoor, Madhubala, Dilip Kumar
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
Mirch Masala (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In colonial India, subedars (tax collectors) went from village to village with soldiers, often demanding more than taxes. A subedar commands Sonbai, a beautiful and confident woman whose ... See full summary »

Director: Ketan Mehta
Stars: Ram Gopal Bajaj, Benjamin Gilani, Mohan Gokhale
Katha (1983)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Rajaram P. Joshi (Naseeruddin Shah) is a middle-class Clerk living in a chawl in Bombay. He is secretly in love with his neighbor, Sandhya Karnik (Deepti Naval) but is unable to disclose ... See full summary »

Director: Sai Paranjape
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Farooq Shaikh, Deepti Naval
Chandni (1989)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A classic Yash Chopra love story - the story of how love takes the lives of three people and weaves them together - softly lyrical, throbbingly beautiful and filled with the sound of three hearts hopelessly in love...

Director: Yash Chopra
Stars: Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Sridevi
Aakrosh (1980)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A public prosecutor discovers the harsh realities about life of the scheduled tribes in India during 1980s while defending a case of a tribesman charged of murdering his wife.

Director: Govind Nihalani
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri
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
Permission (1987)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mahendra is in love with Maya and would like to marry her. But Maya is a woman of the 20th century, who does not believe in marriage, but would like to continue having a relationship. ... See full summary »

Director: Gulzar
Stars: Rekha, Naseeruddin Shah, Anuradha Patel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Shyam Benegal
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Sadhu Meher, Anant Nag
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Farooq Shaikh ...
Nawab Sultan (as Farouque Shaikh)
...
...
Shaukat Azmi ...
Khanum Jaan (as Shaukat Kaifi)
Ishtiaque Khan Ghilzai ...
(as Khan Ghilzai)
Prema Narayan ...
Akbar Rashid
Gajanan Jagirdar ...
Dina Pathak ...
Rita Rani Kaul ...
Ramdei
Shaheen Sultan
Umme Farwa ...
Seema Sathyu
Edit

Storyline

In Faizabad, British India, Daroga Dilawar is sentenced to several years in prison after Amiran's dad testifies against him. After his discharge around 1840, he extracts his vengeance by abducting Amiran and selling to a brothel madam. It is here Amiran will be re-named Umrao Jaan. Years later, Umrao has grown up and is an accomplished poetess as well as dancer extraordinary. She has many patrons, chief amongst them are Nawab Sultan and his father. The young Nawab is smitten by Umrao's beauty and her poems, but is finally forced to marry a girl of his mother's choice, leaving behind a heart-broken and devastated Umrao, who seeks solace in the arms of Faiz Ali and finally elopes with him, only to find out that he is a wanted bandit, and is shot down and killed by guards. Umrao re-locates to Lucknow where she establishes herself as a Poet and dancer, but is hunted down by brothel-keepers, Gohar Mirza and Husseini and brought back, where she is told that she must marry Gohar. Watch what ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 2005 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Umrao Jaan, a kurtizán  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of finance problems with difficulties Muzafar Ali completed this celebrated film. At one time the film was shelved for sometime than revived. Many awards were won for this film including Asha Bhosle's National Award. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chameli (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan leejiye
Lyrics by Shahryar
Music by Khayyam
Sung by Asha Bhosle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Unusually well-made Urdu film
24 February 2002 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

For many in India, this is a film famous for its haunting songs. To some, it was a film that brought an average, good-looking actress a dream role that fetched her a national best actress award.

"Umrao Jaan" did not create ripples among most critics when it was made because the story line revolving around a singer/dancer who sells her body was old hat for most Hindi/Urdu film-goers.

What made "Umrao Jaan" stand out? It was the director Muzaffar Ali's flash-in-the-pan directorial effort. His earlier film "Gaman" lends poor comparison to "Umrao Jaan." Ali was able to get superb performances from the ensemble of Bollywood actresses to whom subtlety is still a foreign concept. Rekha is quite restrained (wish she were more), so is Prema Narayan in this film. The effect is stunning. Some of the Indian actors could do so well, if only they were well directed!

But good direction does not come merely in dealing with actors. Each and every shot of cameraman Pravin Bhatt could have been mistaken for the work of Sven Nykvist in the early Bergman movies. The composition of each frame, taking three objects in perspective (faces, chandeliers, minarets, etc..) and juggling with the one, two, or three objects for composition within the frame brought a maturity to Indian cinematography rarely seen. This is a film to be enjoyed by sight and sound--not merely at the level of the story. This is probably why twenty years after it was made the film attracts audiences as it did before. It has stood the test of time. It was unfortunate that Indian critics by and large grouped it with commercial cinema churned out from Mumbai merely because of its song and dance component and its all too familiar theme for Indian audiences.

The screenplay was well written and mature in comparison to most Urdu/Hindi films. Melodrama was reigned in, yet music and song held sway. The melancholic thread in the film is developed right up to the dried leaves in the final scenes knitting together a very feminist tragedy by a male director. In many respects, this film was a major movie from India in the Eighties, on par with the efforts of some of the more notable directors like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

For Ali, this was his swansong--he never made a film that flashed his brilliance after this effort. Probably he knew he could not improve upon this effort....


35 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
English translation of lyrics fenell
the dancing writer_cb
Not a very good film... legofrod
Rekha writer_cb
Krishna? writer_cb
The camera writer_cb
Discuss Umrao Jaan (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?