Madhumati (1958)

 ●  Hindi ● 2 hrs 59 mins

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A reincarnation story with the lead actors in multiple roles. Devendra (D. Kumar) shelters from a storm in a deserted house and believes he hears a woman crying. Exploring the house, he finds a painting of its former owner Raja Ugranarayan. Devendra feels he must have painted the portrait in a previous life when he was called Anand. This cues a flashback to Anand’s life when he worked as a foreman on a plantation and loved a woman from the village, Madhumati (Vyjayanthimala), who died escaping from the libidinous Raja Ugranarayan (Pran). Then a trap is set for the Raja by means of another woman, Madhavi (Vyjayanthimala again), who looks like the dead Madhumati and could be her reincarnation. The happy ending arrives when the original Madhumati returns from the dead to take her revenge. The film deploys an eerily romantic atmosphere, enhanced by Choudhury’s background score and Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s editing. Its songs have remained enduringly popular. The film includes the famous Aja re pardesi sung by Lata Mangeshkar. It was Bimal Roy’s biggest commercial success, scripted by Ghatak. Many of the people involved in this film had worked together on Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Musafir (1957), also based on a Ghatak story. The imagery at times evokes Ghatak’s Ajantrik (1957), linking the beautiful Madhumati with nature and tribal cultures beyond the grasp of capitalist appropriation.

Cast: Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala Bali

Crew: Bimal Roy (Director), Dilip Gupta (Director of Photography), Salil Choudhury (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Musical, Mystery, Romance

Release Dates: 01 Jan 1958 (India)

Hindi Name: मधुमती

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Did you know? The film was the highest-grossing Indian film of the year. Read More
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as Anand
as Madhumati
as Charandas
as Raja Ugra Narayan
as Bir Singh
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor




Production Company


Story Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Art Director
Set Decorator



Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Assistant Editor

Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist
Film Type:
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
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Bimal Roy ran out of money during the filming of the movie. When Dilip Kumar heard about this, he arranged a special screening for the films distributors before its release. This was something entirely new at that time. After watching the film, the distributors agreed to invest more money in it.

Unlike other films which were generally shot indoors, Bimal Roy decided to shoot this film outdoors and at a hill station.

The movie held the record for the most awards (nine) received by a film at the Filmfare Awards for 37 years, until the release of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which won ten awards.

The film was the highest-grossing Indian film of the year.