wiki:Vijay Jagneshwar Bhatt

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Vijay Jagneshwar Bhatt (1907-93)

Hindi and Marathi director born in Palitana, Saurashtra, best known for classic Ramayana extravaganzas with Shobhana Samarth. Educated in Gujarat and Bombay. Studied electrical engineering. Started as playwright (e.g. successful Gujarati play Lakho Phulani) and writer in silent era. Provided stories for silent films, e.g. Nagendra Majumdar’s Panima Aag, Fearless Phantom and K.P. Bhave’s Vanthel Veshya (all 1926), R.S. Choudhury’s Heer Ranjha (1929) and Moti Gidwani’s Gulam (1931). Partner with his elder brother Shankarbhai J. Bhatt in Royal Films (1928), later also distributor (Royal Pictures Corp). Founded Prakash Pics, later Prakash Studio (1933-71), also with his brother Shankarbhai as producer. Their younger brother Harsukh Jagneshwar Bhatt assisted Vijay for a while (1947-52) before co-directing three films with Bhalchandra Shukla and eventually going solo in 1957. Vijay started in stunt films (e.g. State Express and Leatherface) and in socials (notably Samaj Ko Badal Dalo). Launched his Ramayana series with the Samarth hit Bharat Milap, consolidated with Ramrajya, attempting a Hindu version of the costumed Urdu historical, rather than the more conventional special- effects mythological, although Ramrajya’s climax uses special effects in plenty. Followed this with Rambaan and a second Ramrajya. Made melodramas incorporating the legend of classical Indian music, e.g. the major hit Baiju Bawra and Goonj Uthi Shehnai. Sometimes claimed that his interest in Hindu fantasy movies was a logical extension of his Gandhian sympathies. His autobiography was serialised in the journal Janmabhoomi (1968).

FILMOGRAPHY: 1937: Khwab Ki Duniya; 1938: State Express; 1939: Leatherface; 1940: Ek Hi Bhool; Narsi Bhagat; 1942: Bharat Milap/Bharat? Bhet; 1943: Ramrajya; 1945: Vikramaditya; 1947: Samaj Ko Badal Dalo; 1948: Rambaan; 1952: Baiju Bawra; 1953: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; 1956: Patrani; 1959: Goonj Uthi Shehnai; 1960: Angulimal; 1962: Bapu Ne Kaha Tha (Doc); Hariyali Aur Raasta; 1965: Himalay Ki God Mein; 1967: Ramrajya; 1971: Banphool; 1977: Heera Aur Patthar.