Dilip Kumar produced, wrote and starred in this story, shot in garish Technicolor, of two brothers on opposite sides of the law, Ganga (D. Kumar) and Jumna (played by D. Kumar’s real-life brother, N. Khan). Having been framed by a zamindar (A. Hussain) for a crime he did not commit, Ganga becomes a criminal living in the mountains with his girlfriend Dhanno (Vyjayanthimala). His brother, educated on Ganga’s money in the city, becomes a policeman. When years later Ganga is to become a father, he decides to return to the village to ask people’s forgiveness, but he has to face his righteous brother Jumna who shoots him dead. Dhanno also dies in the gun battle. This dacoit drama, resembling a cross between 30s Hollywood gangster films and westerns, pioneered a widely copied action film formula (cf. Deewar, 1975). The most significant difference from the Hollywood stories is that the two main protagonists are brothers instead of ‘kids from the same block’ or ‘erstwhile bosom buddies’. Dilip Kumar uses Bhojpuri instead of Hindi to liberate himself from his usual, more restrained persona while at the same time equating naturalism with a distinct class attitude against which, in this film, he rebels. This strategy was later followed by e.g. Bachchan (Ganga Ki Saugandh, Don, both 1978). The songs Nain lad gayi re (sung by Mohammed Rafi), Do hanson ka joda, Dhoondo dhoondo re saajana and Na maanon re (sung by Lata Mangeshkar), were major hits though little can be said for their picturisation.
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The film was a trendsetter in Indian cinema. Dilip Kumar's performance as Ganga is considered one of the finest acting performances in the history of Indian cinema, and inspired future generations of Indian actors, most notably Amitabh Bachchan. Read More