7.3/10
1,419
24 user 8 critic

Pakeezah (1972)

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

Director:

Kamal Amrohi

Writers:

Aman, Kamal Amrohi
Reviews
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashok Kumar ... Shahabuddin
Meena Kumari ... Nargis / Sahibjaan
Raaj Kumar ... Salim Ahmed Khan
Veena ... Nawabjaan
D.K. Sapru ... Hakim Saab (as Sapru)
Kamal Kapoor ... Nawab Zafar Ali Khan
Vijay Laxmi Vijay Laxmi
Jagdish Kanwal Jagdish Kanwal
Nadira ... Madame Gauhar Jaan
Pratima Devi Pratima Devi ... Salim's Badi Amma
Prakash Gill Prakash Gill ... Hashim Khan- Horse Rider
Altaf Altaf
Praveen Paul Praveen Paul ... (as Parveen Paul)
Lotan Lotan
Chanda Chanda ... (as Chanda Bai)
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A lowly servant, Bhognath 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
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Suresh Sinha, a famous director, discovers star potential in Shanti, a woman he stumbled into one rainy evening, and casts her as the lead in a film. In a twist of fate, Shanti becomes a superstar and Suresh faces a decline in his career.

Director: Guru Dutt
Stars: Waheeda Rehman, Guru Dutt, Kumari Naaz
Umrao Jaan (1981)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Muzaffar Ali
Stars: Rekha, Farooq Shaikh, Naseeruddin Shah
Drama
    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
Pyaasa (1957)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A talented but indigent poet Vijay struggles for love and recognition in this selfish world.

Director: Guru Dutt
Stars: Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Mala Sinha
Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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
Waqt (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Members of a family are separated in a natural disaster. Several years down the line, they aren't united but their lives are strangely interconnected.

Director: Yash Chopra
Stars: Sunil Dutt, Sadhana, Raaj Kumar
Madhumati (1958)
Fantasy | Musical | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young man takes shelter in a mansion when a landslide blocks his route to the railway station. Then, he finds the mansion familiar and soon learns about the story of his previous birth.

Director: Bimal Roy
Stars: Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Johnny Walker
Full Moon (1960)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The setting is the city of Lucknow in northern India, where Islamic culture flourished. Two of the three best friends who live in this city have fallen in love with the same woman named ... See full summary »

Director: M. Sadiq
Stars: Waheeda Rehman, Guru Dutt, Rehman
Naya Daur (1957)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When the son of a landlord decides to modernize his business by replacing the horse carts with buses, a horse cart rider decides to challenge him.

Director: B.R. Chopra
Stars: Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Ajit
Mahal (1949)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young lawyer is involved with a ghostly woman in his new house, where the builder and his fiancée died shortly after it was built.

Director: Kamal Amrohi
Stars: Ashok Kumar, Madhubala, M. Kumar
Guide (1965)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

When mistaken to be a sage by some villagers, an ex-tour guide reflects on his past and lost love to search for spiritual wisdom to guide the villagers.

Director: Vijay Anand
Stars: Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Leela Chitnis
Edit

Storyline

Pakeezah is the story of a beautiful courtesan named Sahibjaan who is unable to break away from the cycle of prostitution until a young forest ranger named Salim falls in love with her enthralling beauty and innocence. Unfortunately, his wealthy parents are against their union.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Musical | Romance | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

It took 14 years for this film to be completed. To begin with, the film was launched in 1958, jointly planned by Kamal Amrohi and 'Meena Kumari'. It was launched in black-and-white, but when colour came in vogue, Amrohi scrapped those portions already shot and decided to start again. Later, Cinemascope came into vogue, and Amrohi acquired a Cinemascope lens from MGM and scrapped the plain colour portions too. Then Amrohi and Kumari separated in 1964, bringing filming to an indefinite halt. Finally, the film was resumed in 1968, and though by then Kumari was suffering from alcoholism and was in critical condition, she was still Amrohi's only choice and she agreed to complete the film. See more »

Quotes

Salim Ahmed Khan: [in a note to Sahibjaan] Aapke paon dekhe, bahut haseen hai. / Inhe zameen par mat utariyega, maile ho jayenge.
[Saw your feet; they are very beautiful. / Don't place them on the ground, they will get dirty]
See more »


Soundtracks

Alaap-instrumental
Composed by Naushad Ali
See more »

User Reviews

 
Meena's Monument
5 August 2004 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

At last - I've finally got round to it and managed to see a "clean" copy of Pakeezah! Up until now I've only had a mangled scratchy jerky version taped off Dubai TV sometime in the '90's, with quirky English subtitles, dizzying widescreen coverage and a fluid colour with a mind of its own. Having thought the world of such a poor (and short) copy I find the decent one was well worth the wait and the full 140 minutes even more of a pleasure than I thought possible.

This was the lovely Meena Kumari's film from start to finish, and I believe was planned by her from 1958 on, finally realising it in 1971. What a shame it was that chronic alcoholism finally killed her soon afterwards, and in fact that she was too ill to perform in some of the scenes in Pakeezah, necessitating a body double. In some scenes the strain definitely shows in her face.

The story of Purity versus Adversity I can only treat as fiction having no experience of anything remotely close to it, but I'm led to understand that it faithfully depicts a world now gone that must have been common at one time in India. It's a sparkling and colourful film with a simple relentless epic message, an intense romantic tragedy which is somehow simultaneously feelgood too. But to me it's the peerless golden music by Ghulam Mohammed as sung by the incomparable Lata Mangeshkar - especially Thare Rahiyo - and its part in the unfolding of the story that makes this film so outstanding. I've seldom heard such serious, beautiful, poetic, wondrously sung and played songs on any movie soundtrack. Singin' In The Rain may be my favourite musical film but Pakeezah has my favourite music - yet Lata said that the songs themselves meant nothing special to her. The only pity is that the also unique Mohammed Rafi only had the one song in here, albeit a classic duet with Lata.

Because of all this but not blind to its faults, Pakeezah is my favourite Indian movie, filmed at a time when the Westernisation of India was gathering pace and watched now when Western values seem to be state sponsored and de rigueur. At the very least watch Pakeezah for a taste of what Indian "pop" music had to offer the world before it was all jettisoned for drum machines, the Bollywood Beat and bhangra.


25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

India

Language:

Urdu

Release Date:

4 February 1972 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Pure Heart See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed