There was always something nice about Sunil Dutt which endeared him to audiences and the general public alike.
Tall and well-built, Sunil Dutt’s real life bravery on the sets of Mother India while saving the heroine Nargis, who subsequently married him, captured the imagination of many.
Starting with radio, he was a popular voice on the Hindi service of Radio Ceylon. He made his film debut with Railway Platform but achieved startdom with Mother India.
He was a top star in the 1950s and the 1960s before he slowed down on work. His film Mujhe Jeene Do was a classic. He died in 2005 but not before appearing with his son Sanjay in Munnabhai MBBS.
Here are some of his earlier works:
Cast: Vyjayanthimala, Sunil Dutt, Leela Chitnis, Manmohan Krishna
Director: B R Chopra
A prostitute Champabai/Rajani pretends as a potential bride to-be for an upright man Professor Mohan (Dutt) so that his ill Mother’s wish to see him married before she dies gets fulfilled. Rajani gets further impressed after the mother gives her key to the family jewels which she hopes to steal.
But there is a dramatic shift when Rajani, given the jewels and the bridal sari for trial, wears them in front of her customers and gets mocked. Meanwhile, the professor has fallen in love with Rajani. Then he comes to know that she is a prostitute, a line of work similar to many to a london escort (though there is a difference).
Cast: Ashok Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Mala Sinha, Nirupa Roy, Shashikala
Director: B R Chopra
The plot revolves a woman whose past catches up with her after she sacrifices her love to help her sister’s children. Kamla (Nirupa Roy) and Meena (Mala Sinha) are daughters of a wealthy family in Nainital. Kamla marries Ashok (Ashok Kumar) and later plans to marry off Meena to a singer Rajendra (Dutt).
But Kamla dies and fearing that her children will be neglected, Meena marries Ashok as a compromise. But Fate deals a strange blow and Rajendra resurfaces in her life and she begins to meet him on the quiet. Complications arise. But will true love finds its course?
Cast: Sunil Dutt, Nutan, Mumtaz, Pran, Om Prakash, Lalita Pawar, Sudesh Kumar
Director: A Bhimsingh
After the death of their father, Jeevandas and Shankar take control of the family farmland. Jeevandas marries Bagwanti and has no children while Shankar marries Parvati and has two sons Govind (Dutt) and Shyam (Sudesh).
Govind is paralysed on the left side in an accident. He later marries Radha (Nutan) and they have a child. Then there is a massive family dispute and sides are taken. Navrangi (Pran) runs a carnival and plans to use an elephant to throw a child from the truck. He kidnaps Govind’s son for the act but timely intervention saves the boy.
Mera Saaya (1966)
Cast: Sunil Dutt, Sadhana, K N Singh, Prem Chopra, Anwar Hussain
Director: Raj Khosla
A man in mourning, Rakesh (Dutt), gets a rude shock when his dead wife Geeta (Sadhana) resurfaces and recounts many details of their lives. Rakesh had gone abroad for further studies and when he returned Geeta dies in his arms. He had buried her and built a memorial for her.
He refuses to believe that Geeta had actually returned. But every proof he asks for gets a satisfactory answer from her. The only problem was the mangalsutra which is missing. Then Geeta reveals that she had a twin sister, Nisha, who was a bandit. Nisha, in a helpless state, had visited Geeta and sought protection. To hide that she had a twin sister, Geeta dresses up Nisha like her, mangalsutra included. Then Nisha’s husband kills her.
Cast: Raaj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Vimi, Balraj Sahni, Mumtaz, Sarika, Manmohan Krishna, Iftekhar
Director: B R Chopra
A stage actor Kumar (Dutt) gets involved in an intricate murder plot after he professes his love for Meena (Vimi) and marries her. Skeletons keep tumbling out of Meena’s cupboard which involves Captain Rajesh (Raaj Kumar), her first husband, who is presumed dead while on service and with whom she has a child Sarika (Sarika).
Inspector Ashok (Sahni) suspects Kumar of the crime and covers all the tracks set by him. Then Captain Rajesh returns safe and sound and the mystery deepens. Only the child Sarika can provide the answer as he must have been present when the murder happened.