Wednesday marks the 89th birth anniversary of director-writer-actor-film visionary Guru Dutt (9 July 1925 - 10 October 1964). In his short life span of 39 years, the maestro wrote four films, produced seven and directed another eight. He made his debut as an actor with Chand in 1944, and two years later assisted director Vishram Bedekar in Lakhrani in Pune. It is said that Guru Dutt wrote his classic film, Pyaasa, around this time when he was switching between jobs. In his short life span of 39 years, he has written 4 films, produced 7 and directed 8.
We pay our tribute to the maestro by revisiting 5 cult classics that no film buff can ever miss.
1. Pyaasa (1957)
Soon Guru Dutt made Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959). It is said that Dutt was heart-broken when Kaagaz Ke Phool did not make money. In fact, Guru Dutt never directed a movie after that and restricted himself to acting.
Pyaasa continues to be one of the cult romances Bollywood has ever produced. The Waheeda Rehman-Guru Dutt starrer is a tale of the thirst for love and recognition. Interestingly, the film has been listed among Time Magazine's top 10 romantic films ever made. The music of the film (Lyrics by Saahir Ludhianavi and music by SD Burman) is a must-have album in the playlists of most romantics even 40 years after it was written and composed. 2. Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam (1962)
A box office flop, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam was directed by Guru Dutt's protege, writer Abrar Alvi, which won him the Filmfare Best Director's award. The film also went to the Berlin Film Festival and was India's official entry for the Oscars. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam is still regarded as one of Guru Dutt's most artistic films. This Meena Kumari-Waheeda Rehman-Guru Dutt-starrer won the Filmfare Best Director's award that year.Read: Waheeda mum about her alleged relationship with Guru Dutt3. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Kaagaz Ke Phool was the tale of a director who fell in love with his heroine and the havoc it created in his married life. Another Waheeda Rehman-starrer, this one too failed at the box office. Shattered by the film's fate at the ticket windows, Guru Dutt apparently vowed never to direct another film and restricted himself to production. Ironically, it is considered one of his best!4. Choudhavin Ka Chaand (1961)
Guru Dutt acted in Chaudhvin Ka Chand, produced by him and directed by Mohammed Sadiq. It is the story of three friends who fall in love with the same woman. The film, that featured Wheeda Rehman in lead role, did really well at the box office.5. Aar Paar (1954)
One of the two light-hearted movies of Guru Dutt (the other being Mr and Mrs 55), Aar Paar is the story of a driver (Dutt) and two women who want to marry him. Shyama played the lead role opposite Dutt in the movie.
In 1964 Guru Dutt acted in his last film Sanjh Aur Savera opposite Meena Kumari.
On 10 October 1964, the maestro was found dead in his bed in his rented apartment at Pedder Road in Mumbai. He was reportedly mixing alcohol and sleeping pills. His death may have been suicide, or just an accidental overdose, but Indian cinema lost a young visionary.