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Dillagi (1978)

A new Sanskrit teacher (Dharmendra) comes to teach at a girls' school. The chemistry teacher (Hema Malini) becomes annoyed at his style of teaching. He falls in love with her and tries to win her over.


Basu Chatterjee (as Basu Chatterji)


Basu Chatterjee (dialogue), Basu Chatterjee (screenplay) (as Basu Chatterji) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dharmendra ... Swarnkamal
Hema Malini ... Phoolrenu
Mithu Mukherjee ... Geeta - English Lecturer (as Mithu Mukerjee)
Deven Verma ... Gopal Krishan Choudhry (as Devan Verma)
Asrani ... Ramesh
Urmila Bhatt ... Ramesh's mom (as Urmeela Bhatt)
Kajri Kajri ... Usha
Preeti Ganguli ... Charu - Student (as Preeti Ganguly)
Ritu Kamal Ritu Kamal
Anjali Paigankar Anjali Paigankar ... Shobha
Manjita Manjita
Poornima Jayaram ... (as Poornima Jairam)
Shobhna Shah Shobhna Shah ... (as Shobhana Shah)
Lalita Kumari Lalita Kumari ... Principal
Rajan Kapoor Rajan Kapoor


Phoolrenu lives in Kashipur with her widowed mom, and younger brother, Ramesh. She teaches Chemistry in distant Roop Narayan Girls' College, where because of her unfriendly and cold disposition she has been nicknamed 'carbon dioxide'. It is here that she meets the new Sanskrit Lecturer, Swarnkamal, who instantly falls head-over-heels in love with her, while she openly detests him; his manner of teaching Sanskrit; the teachings of Maha-Kavi Kali-Das; the romance between Lord Shankar and Devi Parvati; and the love poems that are having a detrimental effect on the entire female student body. Swarnkamal's overtures towards her, especially during the festival of color, Holi; then his asking her to be his Shakuntala during a play; his visit to Kashipur, amongst others, appear to bear no fruit. It is then he learns that he does have a place in her heart, but wants him to go through proper channels by responding to her matrimonial advertisement in a newspaper. Everything appears to be going ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance








Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$332,513, 28 November 1999

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?


Pramod Chakravorty signed the film but later opted out. See more »


The film opens with a shot of an 'All Girls College'. The All Girls College has an emblem of the Ramakrishna Mission. All Ramakrishna Mission Colleges in India are essentially 'All Mens Colleges'. See more »

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User Reviews

Basuda directed must see hilarious movie of Dharmendra and Hema Malini
9 September 2006 | by mathew-magimaidossSee all my reviews

Dillagi is one of the best comedies directed by Basu Chatterjee. Unlike his other movies such as Piya Ka Ghar, Choti Si Baat, Rajnigandha, Baton Baton Mein, Dillagi has a lighter and funny theme. Right from the very first scene to the last scene the movie is hilarious.

Dharmendra is a new Sanskrit lecturer of a "all girls" college who on the very first day at college falls for uptight fellow Chemistry lecturer Phool Renu (Hema Malini). For Phool Renu, the whole world is all about her mother and brother (Asrani); she does not have the time to think about herself. The rest of the story is about how Dharmendra through his sustained efforts ignites the flame of love in the heart of Hema Malini and, how they get united.

Definitely, Dillagi is one of the best movie of Dharmendra and Hema Malini combination. Both have acted very well. Dharmendra who in general is known for his muscle power in the movies dons the role of the Sanskrit lecturer effortlessly. Throughout the movie Dharmendra wears a funny big eye glass which makes you laugh. I believe this was primarily needed to cover the aging face of Dharmendra. Hema Malini has given a restrained and controlled performance. There are not any usual "um ah uh" scenes from her. Through out the movie she wears normal Sarees and has no special hair styles, but still she looks so beautiful that it looks natural when Dharmendra falls for her on the very first day at the college.

The supporting cast of Mithu Mukherjee, Asrani, Deven Verma have extended their support very well. Especially, Deven Verma despite having a very small screen presence leaves a memorable impression as a Bengali lecturer vying to marry Hema Malini. Shatrughan Sinha does well in cameo appearances as Dharmendra's friend and Mithu Mukherjee's lover.

The biggest credit goes to Basuda who has told this story in a very funny and hilarious way that one would like to watch this movie again and again. The main plus points of the movie are

(a) The story is plain and simple. What ever is shown in the movie, one could or must have seen or experienced it in their own day-todays life. Moreover, at no point in the movie the comedy is forced upon the viewers.

(b) The characters portrayed by Dharmendra, Hema Malini, and supporting cast are so natural and believable (there is nothing out of the world stuff) that the viewers can attach themselves to the characters till the end of the movie.

(c) The direction is impeccable.

Script, dialogues and the use of pure Hindi has always been the strength of Basuda's movies. This time Basuda ups it with quite some usage of Sanskrit words, their meanings and interpretations. A lots of Hindi movies story often revolve around college but seldom there is a good scene about the subject that is being taught by the teachers. In this movie, Basuda makes sure that the audience get the taste of the subjects taught by the main characters without digressing from the theme of the movie.

Rajesh Roshan has composed the music. There are four nice songs in the movie which at the first listening may not make an impact. Thus, to enjoy the songs you may have to listen them again. The first song "Oh Rang" is a mix of several tempos set in the back drop of Holi. The second song a duet "Prem Hai, Prem Hai" has been sung well by Nitin Mukhesh and Lata. The third song is the best, "Main Koun Sa Geet Sunaoon, Kya Gaoon, Jab Piyaa Bas Jaaye, Tere Tan Man Mein" beautifully penned by Yogesh and sung superbly by Lata. In the movie, Asrani's fiancée is shown singing this song on the banks of river and Hema Malini dreaming about Dharmendra, good editing work and voice of Lata makes sure that you hear and see the differences when the scenes change (Some times I have my doubts that this song has been sung by two female playback singers). The last one is the melodious "Baadal To Aaye, Lahara Ke Chhaaye, O Aane Vaale Par, Tum To Na Aaye" sung by Lata.

Dillagi is a collectible movie, i.e., it is worth to have it in the personal collection. Please note that in the DVD version, the video has been extracted from a badly worn out source.

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