The woman with the wonderful face and a smile to die for – Madhubala enchanted moviegoers and became an icon of Hindi cinema.
From the courtesan who falls for the Mughal prince Salim in Mughal-e-Azam to the ever-smiling journalist in Kala Pani, Madhubala had great acting skills along with her good looks.
She preferred a veiled secrecy around her and rarely attended social events. However, she was extremely popular and crowds thronged the venues where she was shooting. Sadly a hole in the heart ended her great career at the age of 36. Here are five films of Madhubala which are sure to entrance you.
Chalti Ka Naam Gadi (1958)
Cast: Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Madhubala, Anoop Kumar
Director: Satyen Bose
A staunch bachelor Brijmohan Sharma (Ashok Kumar) and his two brothers Manmohan (Kishore Kumar) and Jagmohan (Anoop Kumar) run a garage when a damsel in distress Renu (Madhubala) enters the premises to get her car repaired one rainy night.
She forgets to pay him and Manmohan chases her to her house to get the money. Manmohan sees a body being dumped on his way from Renu’s house.
He gets attracted to her and his creates complications as Jagmohan falls in love with her and he knows he won’t make any headway because of his Brijmohan. But skeletons tumble out of the cupboard and all’s well that ends well.
Mr & Mrs 55 (1955)
Cast: Guru Dutt, Madhubala, Lalita Pawar, Kumkum, Johnny Walker
Director: Guru Dutt
A struggling cartoonist Preetam (Dutt) agrees to act as a sham husband to a wealthy and Westernised heiress Anita (Madhubala). He had met Anita before at a tennis match and was smitten by her.
However, Anita is dominated by her feminist aunt Seeta Devi IPawar) who arranges the marriage with Preetam. Anita can only get the money left behind by her father if she marries within a month of his death.
Preetam is kept away from Anita after the wedlock but he kidnaps her and takes her to his brother’s house. Anita learns to be a typical Indian housewife there but things take an ugly turn.
Barsaat Ki Raat (1960)
Cast: Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Shyama, Mumtaz Begum
Director: P L Santoshi
A poor poet and Qawwali singer Aman (Bharat Bhushan) falls in love with Shabnam (Madhubala), the daughter of a police commissioner. However, the marriage does not work in the face of strong opposition.
The couple flee to Lucknow and Aman changes his names to avoid being recognised. But his voice is a giveaway and a friend-turned-foe Inspector Shekhar is determined to catch him.
This was one of Madhubala’s last films. It was now for some great music by Roshan and the wonderful songs have are still popular.
Cast: Kishore Kumar, Madhubala, Jayant, Lalita Pawar, Anoop Kumar
Director: Shankar Mukherjee
A wealthly woman Anjana (Madhubala) lives with her father Dwarkanath (Jayant) in the hilly regions of the country. When she returns home after a long time she finds things have changed.
Dwarkanath has changed character and become strict and keeps terrorising his employees. Anjana falls in love with a villager Jhumroo (Kishore Kumar) but faces opposition from her father who fixes her marriage elsewhere.
Anjana does not want to upset her father by going against his wishes though she loves Jumbo. But the secret to their happiness lies with Jhumroo’s mother (Pawar).
Cast: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Durga Khote
Director: K Asif
One of India’s grandest films ever made, Mughal-e-Azam deals with the story of an emperor’s son who falls in love with a courtesan.
However, Salim’s (Dilip Kumar) love for Anarkali (Madhubala) leads to a war between him and his father Emperor Akbar (Prithviraj). Salim is a distinguished soldier but loses a war and is sentenced to death.
He will only be spared if he tells where Anarkali is hiding. The film was later converted to colour and its splendour, great acting, and superb songs still attracts audiences.