wiki:Phani Majumdar

Phani Majumdar (1911-94)

Hindi and Bengali director born in Faridpur (now Bangladesh). Also worked in other languages. Graduated from Carmichael College (1930); worked as a typist. Employed by P.C. Barua (1931-7) as stenographer and later as assistant director and scenarist for Mukti (1937). Also scripted Prafulla Roy’s Abhigyan (1938). First film: Street Singer, a big New Theatres hit which added a new dimension to the K.L. Saigal persona initially moulded by Barua. Kanan Devi is the female lead and Rai Chand Boral’s music included Saigal’s biggest hit song, Babul Mora. Doctor is based on a Sailajananda Mukherjee story and scored by Pankaj Mullick. Moved to Bombay (1941) and worked at Laxmi Prod. making musicals. Associated with New Maharashtra Film as producer; also made films at Bombay Talkies, at Ranjit and as a freelancer. Late 40s work became more ‘socially conscious’(Insaaf, Hum Bhi Insaan Hain, Andolan). Baadbaan is the last film of Bombay Talkies, financed by the studio’s employees in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy. Like Balkrishna Narayan Rao, he made several features for Shaws Malay Film Prod. (1956-9) in Singapore, starring e.g. the singer P. Ramlee in Hang Tuah, one of the earliest Malay colour features, and in Kaseh Sayang, a successful war movie about the Japanese invasion; also made Long House/ Rumah Panjang, an English-Malay bilingual about Borneo headhunters shot on location, and his last film before returning to India, Circus, a Chinese-Malay bilingual. The prominent Malaysian film-maker Jamil Sulong assisted Majumdar on 6 of the 8 films. Later wrote the travelogue Borneo Ke Naramund Shikari (1983). Also made films in less familiar Indian languages: Magadhi (Bhaiya) and Maithili (Kanyadaan), having already made a Punjabi film (Chambe Di Kali) while still in Calcutta. Also made several documentaries and children’s shorts, such as Saral Biswas based on a Tagore poem, Veer Purush and TV series such as Bulbul and the 52-episode Our India (1993). Best-known films include Tamasha and Baadbaan, starring Ashok Kumar. Script credits include Sharan Agarwal’s Pratima Aur Payal (1977) and Raghunath Jhalani’s Badalte Rishte (1978).

FILMOGRAPHY: 1938: Street Singer/ Saathi; 1939: Kapal Kundala; 1940: Doctor; 1941: Chambe Di Kali; 1942: Aparadh; Tamanna; 1943: Mohabbat; 1944: Meena; 1945: Devadasi; 1946: Door Chalein; Insaaf; 1948: Hum Bhi Insaan Hain; 1951: Andolan; 1952: Goonj; Tamasha; 1954: Baadbaan; Dhobi Doctor; Two Worlds (Doc); 1955: Faraar; 1955: Hang Tuah; 1956: Anakku Sazali; 1957: Kaseh Sayang; Long House/ Rumah Panjang; 1958: Masyarakat Pincang; Sri Menanti; Doctor; 1959: Circus; Saral Biswas; 1960: Veer Purush; 1961: Bhaiya; Savitri; 1962: Aarti; 1965: Birthday; Akashdeep; Oonche Log; Kanyadaan; Mamata; 1966: Toofan Mein Pyar Kahan; 1968: Apna Ghar Apni Kahani; 1969: Munna; 1975: Shri Aurobindo: Glimpses of His Life (Doc/3 parts); 1989: Babul; 1990: Fire (Sh); Common Accidents (Doc).


Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on Jun 25, 2012, 5:55:04 PM