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Chhoti Si Baat (1976)

Arun (Amol Palekar) is a shy accountant in Bombay who dreams of romancing Prabha (Vidya Sinha), but never gets past following her around without managing to actually speak up. While Arun ... See full summary »


Basu Chatterjee

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashok Kumar ... Col. Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh
Vidya Sinha ... Prabha Narayan
Amol Palekar ... Arun Pradeep
Asrani ... Nagesh Shastri
Nandita Thakur ... Deepa
Rajan Haksar Rajan Haksar
Ashim Kumar Ashim Kumar
Devendra Khandelwal Devendra Khandelwal ... (as Devendra)
Baba Majgoakar Baba Majgoakar
Noni Ganguly Noni Ganguly
C.S. Dubey ... Gurnaam (Garage owner)
Amol Sen Amol Sen
R.S. Chopra R.S. Chopra
Sudarshan Sahni Sudarshan Sahni
Milon Mukerji Milon Mukerji


Arun (Amol Palekar) is a shy accountant in Bombay who dreams of romancing Prabha (Vidya Sinha), but never gets past following her around without managing to actually speak up. While Arun twiddles his thumbs, suave Nagesh (Asrani) steps into the picture and turns on the heat, prompting Arun to take "love coaching" from "romance specialist" Julius Nagendranath (Ashok Kumar) to win Prabha back. One of the funniest Hindi films of the 70s - is a nostalgic favourite for its quirky take on pre-hypercongestion Bombay. The film established Amol Palekar as having an uncommon comic talent for playing mousy characters, a role he would repeat several times in his career. Written by Joyojeet Pal

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

9 January 1976 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

A Little Affair See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

B.R. Films, NH Studioz See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


It is remake of a 1960s british film school for scoundrels. See more »


References Zameer (1975) See more »


na jaane kyon hota hai yeh zindagi ke saath
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar
See more »

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User Reviews

One small talk you cannot forget!
19 August 2011 | by Peter_YoungSee all my reviews

Chhoti Si Baat is for me the ultimate romantic comedy of those times - simple, funny and totally charming. Basu Chatterjee was an amazing talent. Like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, he used to make films that reflected the lives of people from the middle-class. Everything in this film is kept simple and contributes to its authenticity, including dialogues, characters, sets, props and costumes. Chatterjee brilliantly captures the world of Arun, an ordinary and rather insecure fellow who is deeply in love with a young and beautiful girl named Prabha. The story follows Arun's trials and tribulations and his later attempts to get her through the help and guidance of a love-guru, when another guy enters the picture. It's amazing how the viewers are given a chance to witness and experience every thought, yearning and disappointment that the character of Arun is going through, and yet the movie remains consistently humorous, lighthearted and comic.

I think that's what makes both the film and particularly the character of Arun so easy to relate to. I think everyone has been at some point secretly in love and could not express his feelings. And clearly this would not be so believable without Amol Palekar's great portrayal. Palekar's comically melancholic performance is wonderful. He never tries to do more than required or over-express his deep feelings. And yet it is always understood. This is easily one of his best. Vidya Sinha is beautiful and ever so graceful that it's easy to understand why she is the love interest here. Asrani is not the type of guy who would really look like a serious rival who could undermine one's confidence, but he is inevitably funny and suitably annoying. Ashok Kumar is just outstanding in a role which is quite different from his usual ventures. As the witty and kind Colonel Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh, he is hilarious, likable and memorable.

Some of the film's scenes are still remembered today, including the sequences showing Arun daily following Prabha on her way to her workplace. The lively streets of the yet-unconjested Bombay are efficiently shot and are nostalgic to look at. The scenes involving Arun and the love-guru Julius are of the best moments in the film, while Arun's transformation afterwards and his renewed interaction with Prabha is incredibly entertaining. Salil Choudhury's soundtrack for the film is beautiful. In another evident attempt to keep the film realistic, the songs are not visualised as one would expect in a Hindi film. The songs either play over montage sequences ("Na Jaane Kyun" and "Yeh Din Kyaa Aaye") or appear as part of a film the characters go to see in the cinema (the wonderful "Jaanemann"). In either way, they express the characters' state of mind brilliantly. Overall, Chhoti Si Baat is one classic gem to remember. Go now.

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