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Aparajito (1956)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 October 1956 (India)
2:03 | Trailer
Following his father's death, a boy leaves home to study in Calcutta, while his mother must face a life alone.


Satyajit Ray


Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay (novel) (as Bibhutibhushan Banerji), Satyajit Ray (script by: in subtitles) | 1 more credit »
Top Rated Indian Movies #21 | Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 6 wins. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Kamala Adhikari Kamala Adhikari ... Mokshada
Lalchand Banerjee Lalchand Banerjee ... Lahiri (as Lalchand Bandyopadhyay)
Kali Bannerjee ... Kathak (as Kalipada Bandyopadhyay)
Kanu Bannerjee Kanu Bannerjee ... Harihar Ray (as Kanu Bandyopadhyay) (as Kanu Banerji in subtitles)
Karuna Bannerjee ... Sarbojaya Ray (as Karuna Bandyopadhyay) (as Karuna Banerji in subtitles)
Panchanan Bhattacharya Panchanan Bhattacharya
Debabrata Chakraborty Debabrata Chakraborty
Harendrakumar Chakravarti Harendrakumar Chakravarti ... Doctor
Hemanta Chatterjee Hemanta Chatterjee ... Professor (as Hemanta Chattopadhyay)
Meenakshi Devi Meenakshi Devi ... Pandey's wife
Subodh Ganguli Subodh Ganguli ... Headmaster
Smaran Ghosal ... Apu - adolescent (as Smarankumar Ghoshal) (as Smaran Ghosal in subtitles)
Charuprakash Ghosh Charuprakash Ghosh ... Nanda
Santi Gupta Santi Gupta ... Ginnima (as Shanti Gupta in subtitles)
Ajay Mitra Ajay Mitra ... Anil


After living awhile in Benares, 10 year old Apu and his mother move in with her uncle in a small Bengali village. Apu enters a local school, where he does well. By the time he graduates, he has a scholarship to study at a college in Calcutta. So off he goes. His mother is torn by his leaving, and by his growing independence. She loves her son very much and wants him to succeed, but she does not want to be left alone. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Set against the colorful, rustic background of India and its great cities, "Aparajito" continues the epic drama of the lives and fortunes of the family introduced to American audiences in "Pather Panchali" See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


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


Kalicharan Banerjee: "Look! She weeps with her head on Krishna's breast. Wait till I tell my brother." Then Jatila quietly takes her brother Ayan to her hiding place and says "Brother, look there. See what your wife Radha is up to. She weeps with her head on Krishna's breast. Wait! Where did they go?" For in the meantime, Krishna had told Radha, "Lay flowers at my feet as an offering, and I shall take the form of Kali, Ayan's favorite goddess."
See more »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Aparajito: Possibly The Best of The Apu's Trilogy
1 July 2002 | by ssbagchiSee all my reviews

Aparajito (The Unvanquished), second film in Apu's trilogy by Ray, is truly a masterpiece in the sense that it can still captivate any sensitive audience even after 56 years of its making and it can easily figure in any selected list of forever-classic films. The film unfolds a story of Harihar (Kanu Bannerjee), Sarbojoya (Karuna Bannerjee) and their child Apu (Pinaki Sengupta) living in the city of Banaras after leaving Nishchintapur (their ancestral village in Bengal) mainly due to the tragic death of their daughter Durga as shown in Pather Panchali, the first film of the Apu's trilogy. For earning, Harihar, who is a Brahmin reads the holy Hindu scriptures on the banks of holy Ganges to some Bengali widows who prefer to live in the holy city of Banaras after getting widowed. Sarbojoya is busy in her housework while Apu is spending most of his time by playing with his friends. But these moments of prosperity were cut short by the untimely death of Harihar after a brief illness. Sarbojoya was compelled to take the job of a cook in a wealthy Bengali family settled in Banaras. But to save her child from the inevitable slavery Sarbojoya left Banaras for Bengal to live in her uncle's house at Manasapota village. Apu started his study in the village school, fared very well and got a scholarship for the higher study in Calcutta. After much hesitation Sarbojoya gave his son (now played by Smaran Ghosal) the permission to pursue the higher study in Calcutta. Apu began his struggle in the city of Calcutta to pursue his study as well as earning money for the same and became busy in it. In the mean time Sarbojoya became seriously ill and died just before Apu's final examination. Apu comes back to the village only to retrieve his mother's belongings and then returned to the city again to appear for the examination with a promise to his grand-uncle to perform his mother's post-death rites (Shradhwa) in Calcutta. Aparajito or The Unvanquished is primarily a story of struggle between the tradition and progress first by Sarbojoya in Banaras and then by Apu. The film transcends its linear narrative style with Ray's majestic touches and excellent cinematography by Subrata Mitra. The way the film captured some fascinating glimpses of Banaras mainly through the eyes of Apu who plays and roams around the narrow and shabby lanes of Banaras, steep stairs on the banks of the river Ganges, old and squalid houses and sometimes in temples with the monkeys is truly beyond description. The depiction Harihar's death here with the groaning of Sarbojoya fit into the scene of suddenly dispersed pigeons on the banks of Ganges can fit among the best scenes of the Indian cinema. Some other unparalleled metaphors of the film include Apu's entry to the city of Calcutta with a geographic globe in his hand (meaning entry into the wider world), the English class in which the topic synecdoche is being taught and Apu falls asleep or in the last shot where Apu is heading for the city with his mother's last belongings and the sky is heavily overcast with the sounds of thunders indicating the Apu's severing of ties with the traditional occupation and journey to an uncertain and tumultuous world. The music by Ravi Shankar sublimed the whole film. Use of the Multani tune in flute of Pather Panchali to unravel the visualisation of the green landscape of Bengal in the shot when Sarbojoya and Apu are returning to Bengal is simply breathtaking.

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Release Date:

11 October 1956 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Aparajito See more »

Filming Locations:

Calcutta, West Bengal, India See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,064, 10 May 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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