Director: Mehboob; Writer: Babubhai A. Mehta, Wajahat Mirza; Cinematographer: Faredoon Irani; Editor: Shamsudin Kadri; Cast: Sardar Akhtar, Surendra, Yakub, Jyoti, Harish, Arun, Vatsala Kumthekar, Brij Rani
Duration: 02:32:06; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Lightness: 0.279; Volume: 0.180; Cuts per Minute: 7.284; Words per Minute: 67.597
Started at Sagar but completed at the National studio, this is the original version of Mehboob's classic Mother India (1957)
. The heroine Radha (Akhtar) works her fingers to the bone to pay off the villainous moneylender Sukhilala. She and husband Shamu (Arun) have three sons, and when she gets pregnant yet again Shamu removes himself from the scene and leaves her to battle against starvation and the advances of the villain. The two eldest sons die, leaving Radha with the diligent Ramu (Surendra) and her favourite, temperamental Birju (Yakub) who goes astray and becomes a bandit chieftain, which causes the family to be ostracised by the village. Birju murders Sukhilala and attempts to abduct his childhood sweetheart, Tulsi (Brij Rani). Radha then kills her son. The film lacks the psychoanalytic dimension and the overtones of socialist realism present in its famous remake, but Akhtar's extraordinary performance endows it with an earthiness rooted in North Indian agrarian feudalism that was later replaced by Mother India's attempt at nationalist allegory.