‘Mother India’ was made by taking loan from Nargis | Mehboob Khan made ‘Mother India’ by taking loan from Nargis: Hollywood filmmakers had sent invitation, made fun of him for not knowing English

9 minutes agoAuthor: Virendra Mishra

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Today is the 60th death anniversary of producer-director Mehboob Khan, who made a cult film like ‘Mother India’. This film was a remake of ‘Aurat’, which was made in 1940 under the direction of Mehboob Khan. Producing this film was no less than a challenge for Mehboob Khan. When Mehboob Khan was finalizing the star cast of ‘Mother India’, the first name in his mind was Dilip Kumar, but the film’s actress Nargis objected to it.

When the budget of the film increased, Mehboob Khan took a loan from Nargis and completed the shooting. This film showed the way to Oscar, but it lost by just one vote. Mehboob Khan was not very educated. Therefore, he was not very good at English. After ‘Mother India’, he once got an invitation from America that some big Hollywood filmmakers wanted to meet him. He became nervous at the thought of going to America. He asked Dilip Kumar to accompany him.

Some big Hollywood directors came to meet Mehboob Khan in America. They would ask questions to Mehboob and Dilip Kumar would answer them. After a while Mehboob Khan started feeling that these English people were not taking him seriously and were making fun of him. He got angry and immediately left the place taking Dilip Kumar with him. After this he decided that he would never work with the Hollywood people.

At the age of 16, he ran away from home and reached Mumbai (Bombay) to become a hero

Born on 9 September 1907 in Bilimora, Gujarat, Mehboob Khan’s real name was Ramzan Khan. Mehboob was fond of becoming an actor since childhood, but his father was strongly against it. He was so fond of films that at the age of 16, he ran away from home to Mumbai (Bombay) to become a hero. His father brought him back from Mumbai to Bilimora and got him married so that he could give up his dream of becoming a hero and settle down, but something else was written in his fate.

After coming to Mumbai, he got the job of nailing horseshoes in the stable

When Mehboob Khan came back to Mumbai after marriage, he got a job of nailing horseshoes in a stable, but he had not yet given up his dream of becoming an actor. One day, Mehboob Khan went to the shooting of a South Indian film to mend horseshoes. There, he talked to the film’s director Chandrashekhar about acting. Chandrashekhar gave Mehboob a small job in Bombay Film Studio. After doing a few small jobs, Mehboob also got a chance to assist in films during the silent film era.

Played the role of one of the forty thieves in ‘Alibaba and Forty Thieves’

When Mehboob Khan was struggling for acting, he played the role of one of the forty thieves in the film ‘Alibaba and Forty Thieves’ for the first time. This film was released in 1927.

Selected for the role of hero in ‘Alam Ara’

In 1931, Mehboob Khan was selected to play the hero in Indian cinema’s first talking film ‘Alam Ara’, but the film’s producer-director Ardeshir Irani thought that for the film’s success, it would be better to give the role to an established actor rather than giving a chance to a new artist.

He gave the opportunity to Master Vithal to work in this film instead of Mehboob Khan. After this Mehboob Khan joined Sagar Movietone and played small roles in many films, but was not successful in acting.

Became director with ‘Al Hilal’

When Mehboob Khan’s career in acting did not work out, he decided to try his luck in direction. In those days, he was also working as an assistant director in films. Mehboob Khan got the opportunity to direct independently in the film ‘Al Hilal’ (Judgement of Allah) in 1935. This film was based on the background of the war between Arabia and Rome, this film was liked by the audience a lot.

Success from ‘Ek Hi Rasta’

After ‘Al Hilal’, Mehboob Khan directed films like ‘Manmohan’, ‘Jagirdar’, but these films were not very successful. After this, in 1939, Mehboob Khan directed the film ‘Ek Hi Raasta’. This film was made on a social background, the audience liked this film very much. After the success of this film, Mehboob Khan succeeded in making his place as a director in Hindi cinema, but in 1939, due to the Second World War, the film industry had to face a lot of financial loss, due to which the financial condition of Sagar Movietone also became very weak and it had to close the studio.

,Established ‘Mehboob Khan Productions Ltd.’

After Sagar Movietone, Mehboob Khan directed some of the best films of National Studio like ‘Aurat’ in 1940, ‘Behan’ in 1941 and ‘Roti’ in 1942, but Mehboob Khan did not like this studio for long and he established his own production house ‘Mehboob Khan Production Ltd’. Under his production banner, he produced films like Nazma, Taqdeer in 1943 and Humayun in 1945.

The film ‘Anmol Ghadi’ released in 1946 proved to be a superhit film. In the 1949 film ‘Andaz’, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Nargis worked together for the first and last time. After this, after films like ‘Aan’ and ‘Amar’, Mehboob made ‘Mother India’ in 1957 and this film proved to be a milestone. Mehboob Khan established Mehboob Studio in 1954. ‘Mother India’ was shot here. This studio is one of the most popular studios in Mumbai.

Nargis refused to work with Dilip Kumar

When Mehboob Khan was finalizing the star cast of ‘Mother India’, the first name in his mind was Dilip Kumar, but the film’s actress Nargis objected to this. She said that she had played Dilip Kumar’s lover in so many films that people would not be able to accept her in the role of his mother. Mehboob Khan understood this and cast Sunil Dutt instead of Dilip Kumar.

Completed the film by taking loan from Nargis

The budget of the film ‘Mother India’ was initially Rs 25 lakhs, but gradually its budget started increasing and Mehboob Khan started running out of funds. Then he asked Nargis for help to complete the film. Nargis had become a big actress by that time and she was also in a position to help Mehboob Khan.

The first Indian film to pave the way for Oscars

Mother India was a blockbuster after its release. This film is considered a cult film of its time. A special show of this film was held at Rashtrapati Bhawan for many leaders including President Rajendra Prasad, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at that time. This film won two National Awards. This was the first film to be sent from India for the Oscar Award.

Did not get Oscar award because of one vote

In the Oscar award, the film ‘Mother India’ was left behind by just one vote. In the Oscars, it had a close competition with the Hollywood movie ‘Nights of Cabiria’ which emerged as the winner. Actually, no one made it clear to the selectors how much devoted Indian women are towards their sindoor.

The film was dedicated to the age-old ideals of India. To win an Oscar, a publicity department should have been appointed to explain the cultural background of the film, but the government and the film industry were unaware of how much effort other countries make to explain the cultural background of their films.

The last film was not a success

After the great success of Mother India, Mehboob Khan made Son of India in 1962. This film had Mehboob Khan’s son Sajid Khan, Kamaljeet, Simi Garewal in lead roles. This film proved to be the biggest flop. After this film, Mehboob was preparing for his next film, but he died of a heart attack on 28 May 1964.

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