MOVIES PRODUCED/DIRECTED BY K. AMARNATH:

 

In K. Amarnath’s own words: Filmfare – June 11/1954

 

From the Collection of Shivendra Dungarpur Film Heritage Foundation

 

“I Vote for Escapist Entertainment”
by  K. Amarnath

I SUPPOSE I am one of those lowbrow film directors who “stick to a formula and avoid taking risks.”

Perfectly correct. I do answer to this description. But I am quite satisfied to be in this class. My experience induces the belief that I, and people like me, who give the serious, purposeful film the go-by, and stick tenaciously to the escapist theme, have attained a measure of commercial success which has not yet fallen to the lot of the “Progressives”.

Films are a private enterprise in this country and as long as they remain so, the profit motive must govern their making. If I have chosen my metier to be purely escapist entertainment, it is after long consideration and not out of any light-headed whim. If I have finally decided to be aloof from what is known as “the progressive, realistic” story. It is not because my education and cultural background render me unfit to tackle it, but because (using Mr. P. G. Wodehouse’s picturesque phraseology) “there’s no percentage in it”. No profit at all! Statistics prove it.

With the present standard of literacy and general enlightenment among the large majority of Indians, the progressive, “non-escapist” film can, at best, be a bold, courageous experiment, a pioneering movement which must stolidly disregard the profit motive and remain “art for art’s sake”. Many of my contemporaries and colleagues, staunch idealists all, have tried to make films which have a “Message” and a “Purpose” and steer virtuously clear of escapism.

So far as I know, they have all failed, although, to do them justice and to acknowledge their uncompromising, boundless courage, I must say that many of them, rather than change their modus operandi, have preferred to quit films or stay in them on sufferance and in obscurity.

I salute them. I respect their integrity, their honesty and  their “do or die” mental attitude. But with due apologies to these great men, I prefer not to emulate their example. I choose to remain a lowbrow, if (as is evident) being a lowbrow is synonymous with being also comfortably off.

I hold the belief in all sincerity that the average Indian cinemagoer wants no strain on his head when he sees a film. He doesn’t want problems raised which cannot be intelligibly solved. He is so cheek by jowl with slums, penury, disease and vicissitudes every hour of his working day, all his life, that if the film he is seeing does not offer him an escape he will choke.

After a tiresome day with an unkempt, nagging wife he has an overpowering desire to see happy girls, singing and dancing and making love such as has never been his own good fortune to make to anyone. He likes to watch well-dressed men or richly fantastically dressed men cavorting with beautiful be-jewelled women. He does not wish the film to be merely a further two-hour extension of his own miserable, wretched colourless life in which there is no love, no money, no women, no picturesque sights, no nothing.

He wants to escape From the humdrum drudgery of his existence into a world peopled by supermen and superwomen engaged in superdeeds. He is a schizophrenic; a being with a split personality He has two lives: the one he leads (a dreary thing) and the one he WANTS to lead (a gala fiesta of song, dance and music). When seeing a “realistic progressive” film, he can be nauseated by the seeping, miasmic quality of his own squalid life which dogs his steps right into the cinema hall.

It is for this reason that I have chosen escapist entertainment to be the prime quality of all the films I produce or direct. If my stories are laid in outlandish locales, if my characters are gipsies, if they wear rich, fantastic costumes, if they sing and dance and fight and kill, it is merely because those are the things the man in the pit wants, the man on whom my bread depends, the man I can never afford to antagonise. He is the customer. He is right.

On the other hand, I do not consider the “progressive realistic” filmmaker my rival at all. On the contrary, he is not only being a sorely needed visionary (a long-term moulder of public taste) but also creating the contrasts in which my own films can be better appreciated and liked. He is a necessity — both for me (at present) and for the public.

Once again, hats off to the progressive director. When his mission is done and he has pinpricked and slapped the public mind into a more desirable state of receptivity, I shall myself switch without a qualm to producing more ‘intelligent’ films. For the present, however, I want to eat. I have a family to support. I don’t like the footpath as a sleeping place.

I vote — loudly and uncompromisingly — for escapist entertainment.

(Originally published in Filmfare June 11, 1954)

 

In 1959, my dad, K.Amarnath did produce a progressive, ‘intelligent’ movie – “Kal Hamara Hai” (Tomorrow is Ours). It was a very ambitious project of my dad’s. Although it was one of my father’s better movies, it did not do very well at the box-office – it was made before its time. So, since he had to support, not only his immediate family, but also his extended family and the crew that worked with him, he reverted to his tried and tested old proven formula of “Escapist Entertainment”.

 

 

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MOVIE TITLE

YEAR

   ACTORS

1

Matwali Jogan

(a.k.a. A Girl from Lahore)

1936

Gulab, S.Nazir, Ermeline, Putlibai,Rajinder Singh,Vimla, Azurie, Shahani, Miss Pokhraj, Rajkumari

2

Danger Signal (Tamil)

1937

     ?

3

Pucca Rowdy (Tamil)

1937

     ?

4

Minnalkodi (Tamil)

1937

K.T.Rukmini, B. Srinivasa Rao, Coco, Gogia Pasha

5

Veer Ramani (Tamil)

1937

K.T.Rukmini, B. Srinivasa Rao, S. R. Padma, T. V. Swami, K. Mani

6

Bhagya Leela (Tamil)

1938

K.T.Rukmini, B. Srinivasa Rao, S. R. Padma

7

Midnight Mail

1939

Yasmin, S.Nazir, Nazir, Indurani, Gulab, Master Gulam Kader, Master Shiraz, Chandrakant, P.Varne

8

Bahadur Ramesh

(a.k.a. Volunteer)

(a.k.a. Brave Heart)

1939

Rajkumari,Yasmin (Betty Caroll),Nazir, S. Nazir, Jeevan,Sadiq Nawab,Devaskar,G.Rasool, Haroon

9

Chasmawali

1939

Indurani, Ashik Hussain, S. Nazir, Miss Lobo, S.M.Sadiq, Anwari, A.M.Shirazi, Baby Indira

10

Tatar Ka Chor

(a.k.a. Thief of Tatar)

1940

Yakub, Indurani, Vatsala Kumthekar, Gulab, Mira, K.Hiralal, Nawaz,Virmani,W.M.Khan, Haroon, Sadiq

11

Captain Kishori

1940

S.Nazir, Lalita Pawar, Yasmin, Agha

12

Bulbul E Baghdad

1941

Indurani, Gulab, Jayant, Yakub, W.M.Khan, Sadiq, Anant Marathe, Ghulam Rasool

13

Zevar

1942

Jayant, Indurani, E. Billimoria, Raaj, Veena, Badri Prasad, Jagan, Mirajkar, Rama Shukul

14

Chhed Chhad

(a.k.a. Sweet Lie)

1943

Sitara, Nazir, Gope, Majid, Rajkumari

15

Bandukwali

1944

S.Nazir, Romila, Anil Kumar, Rekha Pawar, Prakash, Mehar Banu

16

Gaon Ki Gori

(a.k.a. Village Girl)

1945

Noor Jehan, Nazir, Durga Khote, Rama Shukul, Anant Marathe, Gita Nizami, Jagdish Sethi

17

Roop Nagar

1947

Jayant, Raj Rani, Amrutlal,  Mumtaz

18

Mirza Sahiban

1947

Noor Jehan, Trilok Kapoor, Gope, Gulab, Amir Bano, Misra, Laxman, Baby Anwari, Cuckoo

19

Bazar

1949

Nigar Sultana, Shyam, Yakub, Gope, Amir Bano, Misra, Cuckoo, Badri Prasad, Mangla

20

Shoharat

1949

Sofiya, Jayant, Padma Banerjee, E.Billimoria, Amir Bano

21

Beqasoor

1950

Madhubala, Ajit, Yakub, Gope, Pramila, Durga Khote, Geeta Nizami, Ramesh, Mangla

22

Meharbani

1950

Ajit, Yakub, Gope, Indu Pal, Begum Para, Shanta Pawar, Rama Shukul, Cuckoo

23

Sarkaar

1951

Veena, Ajit, Usha Kiran, Shashikala, Ulhas, Cuckoo, Hiralal, S. Nazir, Murad

24

Laila Majnu

1953

Nutan, Shammi Kapoor, Wasti, Ulhas, Om Prakash, Cuckoo and guest stars Jayant & Vijay Kumar 

25

Alif-Laila

1953

Nimmi, Asha Mathur, Pran, Vijay Kumar, Gope, Murad, Maya Devi, Amrit Rana, Tikku, Helen

26

Mehbooba

1954

Nalini Jaywant, Shammi Kapoor, Gope, Hiralal, Amar, Achala Sachdev, W.M Khan

27

Bara-Dari

1955

Geeta Bali, Ajit, Pran, Chandra Shekhar, Gope, Murad, Amir Bano, Ramesh Thakur, Cuckoo

28

Naya Andaz

Remake of Bazar-1949

1956

Meena Kumari, Kishore Kumar, Pran, Gope, Johnny Walker, Kum Kum, Murad, Jayant

29

Bada Bhai

1957

Kamini Kaushal, Ajit, Jayant, Ameeta, Kum Kum, Nazir Hussain, Anant K., Amrit Rana, Helen, Tun Tun

30

Kal Hamara Hai

1959

Madhubala, Bharat Bhushan, Jayant, Leela Chitnis, Jagdev, Hari Shivdasani, Murad, Deepak

31

Baraat

1960

Ajit, Shakila, Mukri, Salim, Pratima Devi, Murad, Sajjan

32

Bada Admi

1961

Sheikh Mukhtar, Subi Raj, Vijaya Chowdhary, Jayant, Mukri, Ulhas, Sajjan

33

Kabli Khan

1963

Ajit, Helen, Jayant, Mukri, Samson, Salim, Amrit Rana, Indra Bansal, W.M. Khan, Deepak

34

Ishaara

1964

Vyjayantimala, Joy Mukherjee, Jayant, Pran, Azra, Subi Raj, Sajjan, Pratima Devi

35

Woh Din Yaad Karo

1971

Nanda, Sanjay, Shashikala, Mehmood, Dhumal, Madan Puri, Murad, Ulhas, Wasti

**

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