Story: Aga Hashr Kashmiri's play Misarkumari
Costume epic and the most faithful adaptation of Kashmiri's Parsee theatre classic also filmed by Bimal Roy (Yahudi
, 1958). The play was written by Kashmiri in 1915, but the movie's immediateformal ancestor was the Bengali stage version of Kashmiri's play, Baradaprasanna Dasgupta's Misarkumari
(1919). The familiar story features the rivalry between the Roman priest Brutus and the oppressed Jewish merchant, Prince Ezra. Brutus sentences Ezra's son to death and Ezra in turn kidnaps and raises Brutus' only daughter, Decia. When the daughter, renamed Hannah (Rattan Bai) grows up, the Roman Prince Marcus (Saigal) falls in love with her. To court her, he disguises his Roman identity. When his religion is discovered, he is ejected from Ezra's house. Marcus then agrees to marry Princess Octavia (Tara) as arranged, but Hannah denounes him in open court and he is sentenced to death by his own father, the emperor. When Hannah and Ezra respond to Octavia's pleas and retract their accusations, they in turn are sentenced to death by Brutus. Ezra reveals to Brutus that Hannah, who is about to be killed, is in fact Brutus' own daughter. The costumed spectacular was one of the early New Theatres' most elaborate productions, with 19 songs including Saigal's Ghalib number Nuktanchi hai gham-e-dil usko sunaye na bane.