Prabhat Film Company
This is a collection of newspaper articles selected for the excellence of their content.
Prabhat Film Company: 1932-1944
Ayodhyecha Raja (Marathi) & Ayodhyaka Raja(Hindi)/ 1932
This was the first talkie film produced by Prabhat.
It was based on mythological story of Raja Harishchandra of Ayodhya who was true to his words even in his dreams. He handed over the kingdom to Vishwamitra and left with his wife and son and went to Kashinagari to earn by his labour, an amount to pay to Vishwamitra a "Dakshina". The King suffered a lot of hardship,but in the end he fulfilled his promise.
Durga Khote,Baburao Pendharkar and Master Vinayak who acted in this film, became well known personalities in the film world.
This film is the oldest available talkie film produced in India.
Cast-Govindrao Tembe,Durga Khote, Nimbalkar, Master Vinayak & Baburao Pendharkar
Sairandhri (Marathi & Hindi)/ 1933
This film is based on an incident from Mahabharat.
Pandavas are to undergo 13 years in exile and out of it, the last year in incognito, which they spent in service of King Virat. Kichak, brother-in-law of King Virat, who being a great warrior,asserts that the kingdom exists because of him.
Draupadi under the name Sairandhri is a maid-in-waiting to Queen Sudeshna. Kichak attracted by the beauty of Sairandhri,orders his sister Queen Sudeshna to send the maid to his mahal,failing which there will be to dire consequences.Sairandhri is forced to go to Kichak,but Bhima enters the scene and kills Kichak.
This was the first colour film produced in India [things went wrong during the colour processing] and that too using reflected lights. The first film to have Gramophone Records,that too pressed in Germany from original sound-track.
Cast-Miss Leela, Nimbalkar & Mane Pahelwan
Amrit Manthan (Marathi & Hindi)/ 1934
The first film produced in the new well equipped studio of Prabhat at Pune. The story was based on abolishing the practice of human as well as animal sacrifice to any Goddess. Huge sets and costumes were notable in this film.
Chandramohan got a break in the Hindi version of this film and became a famous actor.
Hindi version of this film was the first Hindi film to celebrate 'Silver Jubilee'.
The film was shown at International Film Festival,Venice.Some newspapers in London gave the coverage with the photographs from the film and the studio.
Art- S. Fatehlal
Cast-Nalini Tarkhad, Shanta Apte,Keshavrao Date and Sureshbabu Mane
Dharmatma (Marathi & Hindi)/ 1935
Eknath, a saint from Maharashtra, opposed the practice of untouchability. He treated every human being equally. Balgandharva, an illustratous stage actor was in a leading role.
Master Krishnarao, music director from Gandharva's drama company made his entry in the film industry as music director. ]
Melodious tunes and enchanting voice of Balgandharva are the highlights of the film
Cast-Balgandharva, Ratnaprabha, Vasanti, K. Narayan Kale, Vasant Desai, Kelkar, Master Chotu. Chandramohan acted in Hindi version.
Amarjyoti (Hindi)/ 1936
Saudamini is separated from her husband. The queen orders the custody of their son to Saudamini's husband. Feeling hurt, Saudamini organised a band of pirates to fight injustice.
The drapery is very distinct.
The first Prabhat film to have play-back system.T he song 'Suno Suno Banke Prani' became hit and thousands of its records were sold.
Back projection was used for the first time in India.
Cast- Durga Khote, Shanta Apte, Vasanti, B. Nandrekar and Chandramohan.
Sant Tukaram/ 1936
The film is based on the life of the of 17th century saint from Maharashtra.A poet whose work UNESCO had selected for translation. This pious,simple man was so much immersed in the worship of Lord Panduranga that his wife Awali,was eternally irritated and attempts to draw him to his mundane duties.Tukaram's faith triumphed in the end,winning over orthodoxy.Legend says that he was bodily transported to Heaven.
The film received plaudits at the Venice Film Festival in 1937 and was adjudged as one of the three best films of the world. This film is often selected for screening in various International Film Festivals.
Director-V. Damle & S. Fatelal
Cast- V. Pagnis,Gauri, Pandit Damle, Kusum Bhagwat and Bhagwat
Kunku (Marathi) / Duniya Na Mane (Hindi)/ 1937
One of the finest social films of India of all times. Kunku explores the tragics of a May-December marriage. In this case, the bridegroom is a widower and the bride an intrapid and aspiring young woman.
Set in the typically middle class family of the country.The film develops its psychological tensions boldly, equally revolutionary solutions for the couples marital impasse.
Photographed and acted with admirable realism. The film remains a reflection of Indian family worth studying. It was shown in Venice International Film Festival.
Natural and environmental sounds were used as background music.
Cast-Shanta Apte, Keshavrao Date,Vasanti & Vimalabai Vashitha.
Gopalkrishna (Marathi & Hindi)/ 1938
The film portrays youthful life of Lord Krishna,the God, whose appeal and popularity touched the American shores. Leading a community of cowherds,the adolescent Krishna subtly typifies some of problems, still familiar to Indians.
Typically of Prabhat, the stress is on human approach to these rather than conventional 'miracles'.
As one sees the film, one literally breaths the atmosphere of the Krishna's rural environment centuries ago in the midst of his mischievous cowherd companions.
Technically Gopalkrishna is distinguished by the use of stylish sets, costumes and classically-oriented but lively music.
Director- V.Damle & S.Fatelal
Cast-Ram Marathe,Shanta Apte, Ganpatirao, Master Parshuram, S.Kulkarni & Haribhau.
Manoos (Marathi) / Aadmi (Hindi)/ 1939
Yet another brilliant "problem" film. This brings together a simple-minded policeman and an innocent prostitute. The former tries to restore to the later , a life of decency by marrying her but the woman is still haunted by moral legacy of her past.
A chain of highly dramatic incidents ensues, culminating in the prostitute committing a murder, unwittingly.The final separation of the two protogonists is marked by both subtly and poignancy.
In its recreation of the red light district and its portrayal of a policaman's life , the film reaches the height of realism.The film is famous for a multi-lingual song "Kashala Udyachi Baat".
Music- Master Krishnarao
Cast-Shahu Modak,Shanta Hublikar, Bai Sundrabai, Ram Marathe, Master Chotu, Buasaheb & Gauri.
Sant Dnyaneshwar (Marathi & Hindi)/ 1940
It was the period of Second World War.The entire world was against with inhuman massacre ordered by Hitler.In such times,Prabhat felt the need of making the film on Sant Dnyaneshwar, who despite so many sufferings and hurdles, preached the cause of humanity.
The first Marathi film to be telecast by Bombay Doordarshan in 1972. It was the first Indian film screened in USA. "American Cinematograph" carried a review in its October,1941 issue and praised trick photography of the film
Director-V.Damle & S. Fatelal
Cast-Shahu Modak, Yashwant, Tamhankar, Shanta Mujumdar, Manju,Sumati Gupte, Bhagwat, Shankar Kulkarni, Ganpatrao & Vasant Desai
Shejari (Marathi) / Padosi (Hindi)/ 1941
Another distinguished social film to be directed by Internationally known genius V. Shantaram. The film highlights the problem, crucial to Indian Society that of Hindu-Muslim unity.
The film narrates the unfortunate scism that separates a Hindu from Muslim neighbour and a lifelong friend.
Much of the film's background related to dam and the photographic exploitation of the subject ending in the tragic dam-burst is marked by unique technical skill.The romantic interludes in the film are made all the more colourful by a climatic torch dance.
Cast-Gajanan Jagirdar,K. Date, Chandrakant, Jayashree & Master Chotu.
In Hindi- G. Jagirdar, MazharKhan, Balwant Singh, Anis Khatoon & Radhakishan.
Ramshastri (Marathi & Hindi)/ 1944
The biographical film traces the career of an intrepid judge during the Peshwa regime of the Maratha Empire. The incorruptible Judge ,Ramshastri, boldly sentences the ruling Peshwa with punishment by death for murdering his nephew.
The reconstruction of history is marked by dramatic thrills, the use of respledent costumes and breath taking opulent decor and sets.
Shown at a number of National and International Film Festivals. The film received "The Best Film Award" by Bengal Film Journalist Association.
Music-K. Bhole & G. Damle
Cast-Gajanan Jagirdar,Baby Shakuntala, Anant Marathe,Lalita Pawar, Ganapatrao, Hansa Wadkar, Master Vitthal & Master Chotu.