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1955 163’ b&w Hindi d S.M. Sreeramulu Naidu pc Pakshiraja Studios st Namakkal dial/lyr Rajinder Krishen c Sailen Bose m C. Ramchandra lp Dilip Kumar, Meena Kumari, Shammi, Achala Sachdev, Pran, Om Prakash, Raj Mehra, Badri Prasad, Randhir, S. Nazir, Murad

Hindi remake of Pakshiraja Studio’s major M.G. Ramachandran hit, Malaikallan (1954). D. Kumar takes on the twin roles of Khan Saheb who is an urbane businessman by day but becomes the urban vigilante Azad by night. (It is instructive to note that at this time not even US comics had the temerity to cast businessmen as vigilante superheroes). Heroine Shobha (Kumari) is kidnapped by villains Sunder (Pran), Jagirdar (Murad) and Chunder (Nazir). Azad rescues her and she falls in love with him. Various efforts by the baddies to kidnap her again are foiled by Azad, as are other crimes, while Khan Saheb gives the cops (Prakash and Mehra) the runaround before explaining everything to them. Rather than serving MGR’s particular political agenda, the Hindi version portrays capitalist entrepreneurs as the guardians of society. Remembered mainly for Dilip Kumar’s change of image and for Ramchandra’s songs (including Kitna haseen hai mausam, sung by the composer with Lata Mangeshkar, Radha na bole re and Aplam chaplam). The film also relies on the staccato editing prevalent in 50s Madras cinema.