Radhika likes watching movies. She admires the beauty of actresses when they deserve it.
The beautiful Bollywood actress Madhubalahad acted in over 70 movies within her short lifetime. Starting as a child actress from a very early age, her fascinating face got featured in several movies from the role of a ghost to an independent-minded modern girl with no family bounds. Whether it was humor or sorrow or gay scene, Madhubala's charmingface had the capability of expressing it in the right sense. I used to watch her performance in the small screen when I was a child and have always loved her amazing dancing and act filled with emotions.
This was the first super hit movie of Madhubala in lead roles at the age of 16 in the year 1949. Under Kamal Amrohi’s direction, Mahal movie of Bombay Talkies Studio paved the way for gothic fiction first time in India. Many female faces were screen tested for the coveted role and finally the fledgling Madhubala got selected backing down Suraiyya, the reigning actress then.
It is said that Madhubala upstaged this classic film’s experienced hero Ashok Kumar with her captivating appearance and act. The main setting of the movie is a haunted mansion where a lovely woman’s wandering soul follows a young man. Madhubala played the gorgeous spirit. The melodic song ‘Aayega aayega’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar and lip-synced by Madhubala also was a major factor behind its success. The film was a key in providing her stardom and popularity and making her a successful and illustrious actress of the1950s.
Under the direction of Abdul Rasheed Kardar, movie Dulari got released in the same year when Madhubala was just 16. Naushad’s music direction was commendable. Madhubala as a gypsy girl named Dulari is the focus of the whole story. Her beauty fascinates two men and finally real love wins. The story discloses one more fact in the end; Dulari was not a gypsy, but the kidnapped child of a royal family. Madhubala enacted her role fabulously that made the movie another blockbuster.
In 1951, Madhubala’s innocent face got starred in the movie Beqasoor, directed by K Amarnath. The movie plot is the cross-fire of a deep-rooted sibling rivalry. Madhubala’s husband Ajith gets trapped in a corruption case falsely by his scheming brother and he again succeeds in making him believe that his wife’s character is bad. The young Madhubala could take the audience in her hands with her naiveté looks and act.
This Hindi movie cast Madhubala and Dilip Kumar in the lead roles that opened the gateway for their love in real life. She acted in this movie in 1951 under the direction of Ram Daryani at the age of 18. It is said that Madhubala sent a note accompanied by a rose with her hairdresser to the room of Dilip Kumar in the film sets. Amused by the love request, Dilip Kumar soon acknowledged her love.
Tarana movie details the love story of a young doctor and a beautiful village girl. The doctor falls in love with her when he gets stranded in a village after his plane crashes. Both of them separate due to the intervention of villagers against this. After her father’s death, the girl sets out to meet her lover. Their romance and love conjured up with humor has been best enacted by the duo as their hearts had united during the film shoot.
Madhubala’s stardom gave her lead roles consecutively. In the same year 1951, movie Badal became a super hit in which she costars the young Premnath who has the role somewhat similar to Robin Hood. During his constant fight against the greedy rulers, he falls in love with her and the movie is a thriller combined with love, sorrow and stunt.
Under the direction of R. C. Talwar, movie Sangdil was shot casting Madhubala and Dileep Kumar in the lead roles in 1952. The movie is a typical adaptation of Charlotte Bronte classic Jane Eyre. Two childhood friends get separated and both get raised on different backgrounds. If Madhubala is brought up as a priestess in a temple, Dileep Kumar becomes a vindictive man who had been dejected from his society. Both meet later and confess their love towards each other. Madhubala’s portrayal of an ideal Indian woman got praise from everywhere as her emotional expressions were simply superb.
7. Bahut Din Huwe
In 1954, under the direction of South Indian director S.S.Vasan, Madhubala had the fortune to present herself for the blockbuster movie Bahut Din Huwe. It is said that she vomited blood during its shooting; an indication of worsening of her heart. The director and his family took care of her, giving the best treatment.
The director spent huge money for the settings and making up of the movie Bahut Din Huwe. Though Madhubala was born as a princess, she is bound to live a life of wretchedness during her childhood. But she grows into a most beautiful woman and is proposed by the Prince of the kingdom. Her marriage takes place with the Prince in a grant manner and then get blessed with a boy child. But her life of misery starts again when she gets trapped by a Satan and falls under his captivation. But his bad intentions and actions stop when her son (who is grown up now) reaches Satan’s kingdom and put an end to his life secret. Madhubala is freed, re-united with her husband and kid and lives a joyous life thereafter.
8. Mr. & Mrs. 55
In 1955, this social, romantic, comedy movie got released in which Guru Dutt was the hero cum director. Madhubala appeared as a westernized heiress who was controlled by her feminist aunt. But her father’s decree that she should marry after 21 years of age exposes her to the traditional life of an Indian wife that transforms her attitudes towards men. Guru Dutt has the role of her husband whose romance with Madhubala is conjured up with comedy.
The songs of this movie Mr.&Mrs. 55 now too air the minds of music loving people. O.P. Nayyar has done the best music direction for the lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri.
9. Howrah Bridge
Directed by Shakti Samanta in 1958, Madhubala got featured in a very different role from her usual ones as a hotel dancer. This musically hit film’s songs are evergreen and still create waves when played. One of its songs ‘Mera naam chin chin choo’ danced by Helen was reused in the film Salaam Bombay and was welcomed with great applause. The sensuous song ‘Aayiye Mehrbaan’ picturized on Madhubala was also a super hit.
The movie Howrah Bridge focuses on two brothers and the love between one of them, Ashok Kumar and a hotel dancer Madhubala. Madan and Rakesh were living with their dad in Rangoon. Madan becomes a spoilt guy who steals his family heirloom together with some cash and runs away to India. After some days, his dead body is found under the Howrah Bridge of Calcutta. His brother Rakesh (Ashok Kumar) arrives on the scene to investigate his brother’s death. Meanwhile he meets the hotel dancer Edna and falls in love with her. The movie then deals with all the mystery involved in the murder and his wooing of Edna.
Madhubala is compared to the American actress Marilyn Monroe for the beauty and life they had in common in the movie field.
The same year 1958 hosted another super hit film of Madhubala cast against Bharat Bhushan under the direction of Bibhuti Mitra. The music direction of O.P.Nayyar again became commendable that also contributed to its success. Madhubala’s another face of acting as a tactic, disguised lady of much vigor can be perceived in this movie Phagun from her usual roles. Also, her beauty is doubled with the portrayal as a gypsy girl of folk blended costumes of great fit and style.
The new owners of Deepak Mahal meet with its caretaker, Mattu, who narrates the story of its' former owners: Bijondra - the only child of a wealthy Hindu Brahmin Zamindar; and Banani - the only child of a gypsy single father, Banjara Sardar Tinkari who is really the daughter of a rich man. The properties of the Brahmin Zamindar were inhabited by some gypsies whose head was Sardar Tinkari. Bijondra’s move to evict them results in a long deep love affair with Banani. The romance with the flute playing of Bijondra and the highly enthusiastic and emotional folk dance by Banani is the core of this movie Phagun. Amidst strong obstacles, they continue courting in disguised dress and unite themselves in the end.
Ek pardesi mera dil le gaya
11. Kala Pani
Madhubala’s co-stars list included Dev Anand too, when she was starred in Kala Pani in the same year 1958. He was the producer of this movie for Navketan films directed by Raj Khosla. The movie’s script was based on A.J. Cronin’s novel, Beyond This Place.
Kala Pani movie focuses on the investigation of Dev Anand for the reasons his father had been imprisoned. He comes to know that his father was not at all guilty and was trapped by his enemies. On his mission to free him from jail, Dev Anand meets Madhubala, a journalist who supports him and ultimately he falls in love with her. Also, he woos actress Nalini Jaywant for some documents that can prove to claim his father’s innocence in that case.
12. Chalti ka naam gaadi
Madhubala’s life had another turning point during this film sets. She met with Kishor Kumar who became her husband until death. Chalti ka naam gaadi is a comedy film in which all the three brothers Kishore Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar acted together. Kishore Kumar’s songs also became super hit that established him as a singer too. The music was composed by S D Burman and the lyrics were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
Chalti ka naam gaadi, as the name implies, is mostly set up on a garage and a moving car. The three brothers run a garage where Madhubala comes one night seeking a repair for her car. Kishore Kumar who was on duty sees her and refuses to help her. But after making fun with her, he finally works on it and gets it repaired. Their romance is filled with comedy in which Kishore Kumar’s jokes attract her towards him. The three brothers then get involved to fight with some crooks who were well-known for their misconduct. Finally all of them marry their ladies of love with glee.
Mughal-e-Azam meaning the Emperor of the Mughals is an epic film directed by K Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. The movie is based on the rule of Mughals in India on how the Emperors took justice in matters of honor focused mainly on the love affair between Salim and Anarkali. This big budgeted film searched for some top notch actors of that period to render in lead roles. Madhubala’s beautiful face got selected in the screen test for the role of Anarkali from a number of actresses who had applied for that role. Production of the movie was disrupted by communal interventions and bankruptcy. It took 10 years for the movie to complete and got released in 1960 because even a single sequence was more expensive than the entire budget of a typical film.
Indian classical and folk music also played an important role in delivering Mughal-e-Azam into a musically inspired movie. It contains 12 songs, voiced by playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
Mohe panghat pe nandlal
14. Barsaat ki raat
Released in the same year 1960, this movie is regarded as the last movie dispensing celebrated stardom for Madhubala. Under the direction of P. L. Santoshi, Madhubala is cast against Bharat Bhushan. Shyama plays the role of the main character. Roshan’s music including many ‘qawwalis’ is one of his best that also adds charm to this movie.
Barsaat ki raat glorifies the lives of the singing girls often not regarded to be decent in Indian society. A love story cast parallel to the lives of strong female characters who are independent and choose their own loves and destiny is the core part of this movie.
15. Half Ticket
Directed by Kalidas, movie Half Ticket is another classic film of Madhubala with her co-star Kishore Kumar who acts like a comedian. The music direction by Salil Choudhari is praiseworthy and Kishore Kumar’s songs were super hit. Released in 1962, this movie is the comic story of a ‘good-for-nothing’ boy who is born to a rich industrialist. He is being thrown out of his home by his father in an attempt to mend and to get him settled in life.
He leaves for Mumbai and plans to live a fresh life in the big city. But he doesn’t have enough money to travel, so he disguises as a child and buys a half ticket!! The movie is a mix of Kishore’s love with Madhubala, his escape from a diamond smuggler and reunion with his father.
Madhubala was a gift of God to Bollywood who had dedicated her life for it. Her movies would reverberate in the minds and hearts of those who may witness her stunning performance in top movies. She speaks to us through her expressive eyes sometimes joyously or sometimes sadly.
Madhubala ~ the rejoice for a depressed soul through extravagant beauty and live emotional expressions.
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© 2013 Radhika Sreekanth
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 19, 2019:
Interesting article. Thanks.
Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on June 28, 2015:
Thank you Padmaja for your nice comment..Madhubala is so beautiful that anyone would love her..
Padmajah Badri from India on June 27, 2015:
Wow ...My favorite actress.I feel so happy to read your hub.It really rejuvenates the atmosphere around us.Your Hub is definitely a tribute to yester year actress madhubala.Thank you.Happy Writing!
Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on November 18, 2013:
Thank you prasadjain for commenting again. Old movies had great narrations and songs that reverberate in our minds ever.
Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on November 18, 2013:
A very beautiful hub, really. WE remembe how much we were after Madhubala, Vyjayanthimala, Geetha Dutt, Saira Banu and such others in our school days,( and also Meena kumari) ,both for their enchanting beauty and artistic epressions. Those films were good for their story and songs. Now everything is lost. Thanks for this glorious hub!
Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on October 29, 2013:
Thanks Vinaya Ghimire for commenting. Mughal-e-Azam is evergreen and it can strike our minds with its melodious Classical and folk music.
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on October 26, 2013:
I love Bollywood classics. Sadly I don't remember watching these Madhubala movies except Mughal-e-Azam.
Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on October 26, 2013:
Thank you srsddn for that wonderful comment. These songs are evergreen and would never fade away upon aging. Glad to hear that you're also a Madhubala fan and happy Diwali! Thanks for the votes too.
Sukhdev Shukla from Dehra Dun, India on October 25, 2013:
radhikasree, your videos in movie hubs are quite refreshing. 'Ek pardesi mera dil le gaya' was the one I used to listen to in childhood. It seems such songs become a part of life and one gets thrilled to enjoy at any time of one's life. Thanks for sharing another Hub about Madhubala which I always cherish to watch. Have a nice weekend! Interesting and voted up.