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Pather Panchali (1955)

Not Rated | | Drama | 26 August 1955 (India)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.

Director:

Satyajit Ray

Writers:

Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay (novel), Satyajit Ray (screenplay)
Reviews
Top Rated Indian Movies #1 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 10 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kanu Bannerjee Kanu Bannerjee ... Harihar Ray (as Kanu Bandyopadhyay)
Karuna Bannerjee ... Sarbojaya Ray (as Karuna Bandopadhyay)
Chunibala Devi Chunibala Devi ... Indir Thakrun
Uma Das Gupta ... Durga (as Uma Dasgupta)
Subir Banerjee ... Apu Ray (as Subir Bandopadhyay)
Runki Banerjee Runki Banerjee ... Little Durga (as Runki Bandopadhyay)
Reba Devi Reba Devi ... Seja Thakrun
Aparna Devi Aparna Devi ... Nilmoni's wife
Tulsi Chakraborty ... Prasanna, school teacher
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Haren Banerjee Haren Banerjee ... Chinibas, Sweet-seller (as Haren Bandyopadhyay)
Rampada Das Rampada Das
Nibhanani Devi Nibhanani Devi ... Dasi Thakurun
Rama Gangopadhaya Rama Gangopadhaya ... Ranu Mookerjee
Roma Ganguli Roma Ganguli ... Roma (as Rama Gangopadhyay)
Binoy Mukherjee Binoy Mukherjee ... Baidyanath Majumdar (as Binoy Mukhopadhyay)
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Storyline

The story of a young boy, Apu, and life in his small Indian village. His parents are quite poor - his father Harihar, a writer and poet, gave away the family's fruit orchard to settle his brother's debts. His sister Durga and an old aunt also still lives with them. His mother Sarbojaya bears the brunt of the family's situation. She scrapes by and sells her personal possessions to put food on the table and has to bear the taunts of her neighbors as Durga is always stealing fruit from their orchard. Things get worse when Harihar disappears for five months and Durga falls ill. Even after Harihar returns, the family is left with few alternatives. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Saga of an Indian Family

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

Although the film is set in early 20th Century rural India (a time in which public health campaigns presumably did not exist), when Apu and Durga are shown hiding in the fields waiting to catch a glimpse of the train, a vaccination mark is clearly visible on the right arm of Uma Das Gupta, who portrays Durga. See more »

Quotes

Chinibas, Sweet-seller: Do you want anything? Delicious fried cream, sweet lentil balls, coconut candies, chandrapuli, sweet cheese balls.
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Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

It's A Long Way to Tipperary
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
Played by the band
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User Reviews

 
One of the best
9 September 2005 | by sumanta6See all my reviews

The film is certainly a masterpiece. The film is overwhelmingly real and the key element in the movie is the maintenance of this realism. The characters are so true to the ethnic rural-sixties Indian existence that one is compelled to wonder if the film was captured through surveillance cameras.

Pather Panchali, released in 1955, is the first film of director Satyajit Ray's Apu trilogy. The film is a serene and beautiful depiction of a little boy's childhood in the Indian countryside in the 1950s.The film was made on a shoestring budget by a hitherto unknown director. Apart from a seventy-year-old woman who made her name in the 1930s on the stage, none of the cast had ever acted before and many had been plucked from the Indian rurality. In contrast Satyajit Ray completed the trilogy on the behest of the Indian Prime Minister, pointing to the film's cultural impact.

It's a quiet, simple tale, centering on the life of a small family living in a rural village in Bengal. The father, Harihar (Kanu Bannerjee), is a priest and poet who cares more about his writing and spiritual welfare than obtaining wages he is owed. The mother, Sarbojaya (Karuna Bannerjee), worries that her husband's financial laxity will leave her without enough food for her two children, daughter Durga (Uma Das Gupta) and son Apu (Subir Bannerjee). Harihar's family often lives on the edge of poverty, coping with the unkind taunts of their neighbors, the burden of caring for an aging aunt (Chunibala Devi), and the terrible aftermath of a natural catastrophe.

Most of what transpires is shown through the eyes of either Sarbojaya or Durga, and, as a result, we identify most closely with these two. Harihar is absent for more than half of the movie, and, before the penultimate scene, Apu is a mere witness to events, rather than a participant. Until the closing moments, we don't get a sense of the young boy as a fully formed individual, since he's always in someone else's shadow.

The simple story of the Bengali family will definitely stay in my heart for a long time to come. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?........


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Bengali

Release Date:

26 August 1955 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Pather Panchali: Song of the Little Road See more »

Filming Locations:

Boral, West Bengal, India See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,064, 10 May 2015

Gross USA:

$134,241

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$135,342
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (within Bengal)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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