Director: Amar Kumar; Writer: Rajinder Singh Bedi, N. Gogol; Producer: Rajinder Singh Bedi; Cinematographer: Vaikunth Kunkalekar; Editor: Hrishikesh Mukherjee; Cast: Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy, Vijayalakshmi, Jayant, Rashid Khan, Baij Sharma, Baby Chand, Baby Indira, Raj Rattan
Duration: 02:00:49; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 23.867; Saturation: 0.005; Lightness: 0.289; Volume: 0.383; Cuts per Minute: 13.359
Summary: Story: N. Gogol’s The Overcoat
Seminal realist melodrama written, produced and effectively directed by Rajinder Singh Bedi. The postal clerk Giridhari (Sahni) does not have a proper winter coat and cannot afford the tweed jacket displayed in the window of tailor Mirazuddin’s shop. During the day, he loses a Rs 100 note, recovers it from an erring customer and loses it again. Desperate and paranoid, he starts imagining that his wife Geeta (Roy), who tries to earn extra money doing odd jobs, has become a prostitute. He is about to throw himself under a train when he finds the money in the lining of his old coat. The film relocates Gogol’s story in a post- Partition North India in economic crisis, human goodness crumbling in the face of a growing cynicism about state institutions. Depending mainly on Sahni’s performance, the film has a notable soundtrack (e.g. the sound of trains merged into the voice of a woman singing). Jayant played the major role of the hero’s Pathan friend Sher Khan. An 80’ version entitied The Clerk and the Coat was made for international release.