Pakistani Cinema: A selective retrospective

By Anis Shakur
Friday – October 23, 2020
NEW YORK (United States): Distinguished author, Samuel Johnson, asserted, “What is written without effort is, in general ,read without pleasure.” On the basis of the aforementioned assertion, let us glance on the movies below, whose script were written with tremendous effort.

Hence, the artists read and memorised them with enormous pleasure. What is more, the moviegoers watch them with immense pleasure as well. “Janay walay teray qadmoan kay nishaan baaqi hain hum tau sajday teri rahoan mein kiye jaa ain gey.”

As Pakistani show business enters a new era, we look back at some of the accomplishments that recall our history, our dedication and most of all, our victories in the realm of movies.

On the inauguration get together of film arts ‘Insaan badalta hai, a still image of the luminaries was taken at the Eastern film studio, Karachi in 1960.

Waheed Murad’s first film as producer happened to be ‘Insaan badalta hai,’ Waheed Murad chose Munawwar Rasheed to direct the movie, which was the debut movie for Munawwar Rasheed as well.

Darpan, Shamim Ara, Lehri were included in the cast. Lehri received the Nigar Award for best comedian. Its theatrical release was on May 5, 1961.

The film arts second production was the movie ‘Ek raat,’ a song was recorded around that time at the gramophone company of Pakistan on August 4, 1960. Shaikh Hasan was the director.

Ahmed Rushdi had the pleasure to record a song for the film ‘Shabab,’ in 1961, which was produced under the banner of the film arts. A photo opt took place in H.M.V. Shaikh Hasan directed the movie; theatrical release was on Friday September 18, 1964. The film cast included Shamim Ara, Darpan, Deeba, Nazar and Talish.

Karachi’s Eastern film Studio presented the film ‘Jab say deikha hai tumhain,’ which was the second movie of Waheed Murad as a producer. The theatrical release was on March 29, 1962. Munawwar Rasheed directed the movie.

Waheed Murad introduced music composer Sohail Rana, in this movie. Hence, it was Sohail Rana’s movie debut as well. Cast included Darpan, Zeba, Lehri and Agha Jan. Zeba played the lead role in this movie for the first time.

Producer, director, poet, Fazal Karim Fazli presented the film ‘Chiragh jalta raha.’ Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah was invited for ‘cut the ribbon,’ ceremony. The theatrical release was on March 9, 1962, in Nishat cinema, Karachi. It happened to be the debut film for Mohammed Ali, Zeba, Deeba and Kamal Irani.

The golden jubilee film ‘Aulaad,’ was released on Friday August 10, 1962, at Karachi’s Rivoli cinema. It was Waheed Murad’s debut movie as an actor as well. Starring Waheed Murad, Nayyar Sultana and Habib. The super hit song is ‘Naam lay, lay kay tera hum tau jeeye jaayain gey,’ which was recorded in Naseem Begum’s voice.

The golden jubilee film ‘Heera aur pathar,’ was the first film of Waheed Murad as the lead actor, he won the Nigar Award for best actor. It was released at Naz cinema, Karachi on December 11, 1964, and completed sixty- eight successful weeks.

Further, Waheed Murad introduced director Pervez Malik and script writer M. Aqeel Khan for the first time in this movie. The latter was fortunate to receive the Nigar Award for best script in his debut movie. Waheed Murad and Zeba played the lead roles. Megahit song ‘Mujhay tum say mohabbat hai,’ singers, Ahmed Rushdi – Najma Niazi.

Ye kis ki sada aaye Ye kis nay pukara hai in ajnabi rahoan mein Ye koan hamara hai

Waheed Murad’s memorable still image was taken at the PIA counter prior to his departure for London in 1965, where he participated in movie shoot for director Qamar Zaidi’s film ‘Rishta hai pyar ka.’ Waheed Murad – Zeba played the lead. Super hit song ‘Masoom sa chehra hai,’ Ahmed Rushdi, Runa Laila. Theatrical release was on Friday October 6, 1967.

The film ‘Armaan,’ is the first platinum jubilee film of Pakistan and one of the greatest movies of all times. The theatrical release was on March 18, 1966 and it won six Nigar Awards.

Waheed Murad was the producer, script writer and hero in the film ‘Ehsaan,’ which was released on June 30, 1967. Cast included Waheed Murad, Zeba, Rozina and Nirala. Pervez Malik directed and Sohail Rana composed the music. The super hit song is ‘Ik naye moar pay,’ singer, Mehdi Hasan.

The film ‘Samandar,’ was released on March 8, 1968. It was Shabnam’s first film in the then west Pakistan. Rafiq Rizvi directed and Deebu composed the music. Super hit song, ‘Saathi tera mera saathi hai lehrata samandar,’ singers, Ahmed Rushdi, Masood Rana, Sayein Akhtar and fellow singers.

The golden jubilee film ‘Andaleeb,’ was released on August 29, 1969. Directed by Fareed Ahmed, music composed by Nisar Bazmi. Waheed Murad and Shabnam received the Nigar Award for best acting respectively.

The film ‘Ishara,’ was released on Friday January 17, 1969. Waheed Murad was the producer, director, script writer, hero and singer in ‘Ishara.’

Moreover, ‘Ishara,’ was the first and the last film of Waheed Murad as director and singer. For the sake of record keeping, Waheed Murad recorded songs in his voice for the films Ishara and Samandar. The cast included Waheed Murad, Deeba, and Rozina. Rozina won the Nigar Award for best supporting actress.

The film ‘Naseeb apna, apna,’ was released on April 3, 1970. Qamar Zaidi was the director and Lal Mohammed Iqbal was the music composer. The cast included Waheed Murad, Shabnam, Saaqi and Zamarrud. The super hit song is ‘Aye abr-e-karam,’ singer Ahmed Rushdi won the Nigar Award on ‘Abr-e-karam.’

The film ‘Mastana mahi,’ was Waheed Murad’s first Punjabi film which was released on September 24, 1971. Iftikhar Khan directed and Nazeer Ali composed music. Waheed Murad played double roles in this movie. The cast included Waheed Murad, Aaliya and Naghma. Waheed Murad and Aaliya won the best acting awards and Nazeer Ali received the best music award. Super hit song ‘Sayoni mera mahi,’ was recorded in Noor Jehan’s voice.

The film ‘Jaal,’ which was the first color film of Waheed Murad as producer was released on August 31, 1973. Director Iftikhar Khan, music composer Nazeer Ali. The cast included Waheed Murad, Nisho, Husna, Nazim, and Shaista Qaiser.

“Sar rakh kay meray shanay pay bhi ik geet kisi nay gaya tha, wo geet meray jeewan bhar ki umedoan ka sarmaya tha.”

Waheed Murad who was the hero in the film ‘Hero,’ crossed over in the wee hours of Wednesday morning of November 23, 1983, in his self-professed sister’s residence in defense housing authority, Karachi, leaving the incomplete movie. Director Iqbal Yusuf later completed the movie and it was released on Friday January 18, 1985 in Lyric cinema, Karachi and Firdous cinema, Hyderabad. The cast included Waheed Murad, Barbara Sharif, and Mumtaz. The song ‘Bunkay misra ghazal ka chali Aao na,’ was recorded in Ahmed Rushid’s voice.

Ahmed Rushdi’s first song ‘Bunder Road say Keamari,’ which was recorded in 1954, was not meant for the movie. Nadeem’s first film was ‘Chakori,’ in 1966. Shamim Ara’s first film was ‘Kunwari baywa,’ in 1956. Mehdi Hasan recorded his first film song in 1962 for the film ‘Shikar.’ Pakistan’s first movie ‘Teri yaad,’ was released in 1948. Karachi’s first film was ‘Hamari zaban,’ which was followed by ‘Inqilab, ‘Bara Aadmi,’ and ‘Maska palish.’

Ahmed Rushid’s number one song was ‘Akele na jana.’ Waheed Murad’s number one film was ‘Armaan.’ Sohail Rana’s number one music composition was for the film ‘Armaan.’ Masroor Anwar’s number one song lyrics were ‘Akele na jana.’ Zeba’s number one movie was ‘Armaan.’ Mehdi Hasan’s number one song was ‘Elahi Aansu bhari zindigi kisi ko na day.’ S.B. John’s number one song was ‘Tu jo naheen hai tau kuchh bhi naheen hai,’ for the film ‘Sawera.’

Munir Husain’s number one song was ‘Qarar lutenay walay,’ for the film ‘Saat lakh. M. Kaleem’s number one Na’at was ‘Saba Madinay agar ho jana,’ Alamgir’s number one song was ‘Shaam say pehlay Aana.’ Pakistan’s number one film Qawwali was ‘Meri tauba ya Rab,’ singers Saleem Raza, Munir Husain in the film ‘Tauba.’ Surraiya Hyderabadi’s number one song was ‘Chanda kay hindolay mein,’ for the film’Lori, Zubaida Khanum’s number one song was ‘Laila, Laila, Laila.”

“Janab Fatima jigar-e-Rasool kay Aagey Shaheed ho kay kiya maa ko surkhuru tum nay, janab Hazrat-e-Zainab gawahe dayti hain Shaheed rakhi hai behno ki Aabru tum nay, Watan ki baytiyaan maayain Salaam kehti hain.”

Surraiya Multanikar’s number one song was ‘Baray bay murawwat hain ye husn walay,’ Mehdi Zaheer’s number one national song was ‘Allah o Akbar,’ Runa Laila’s number one ghazal was ‘Aziz itna he rakho,’ Iqbal Banu’s number one film song was ‘Ulfat ki nai manzil ko chala,’ Naseem Begum’s number one national song was ‘Aye rahay haq kay shaheedo.,’ Naseem Begum’s number one tragic song was ‘Hum nay jo phool chunay.’

Nahid Niazi’s number one song was ‘Raat saloni Aaye. Saleem Shehzad’s number one song was ‘Mohabbat kay diye jala lo,’Akhlaq Ahmed’s number one song was ‘Sona na chandi na koi mehel janay mun,’ Saleem Raza’s number one romantic song was ‘Janay baharaan,’ Saleem Raza’s number one tragic song was ‘Zindigi mein aik pal bhi chayn Aaye na,’ Saleem Raza’s number one national song was ‘Aao baccho sair karayein.’

Nigar Awards were first announced in Pakistan for female singers in 1958 and for male singers in 1960. This explains why prominent singers like Saleem Raza, Muneer Husain, Sharafat Ali and the likes of them could not earn the Nigar Awards for their superb songs prior to 1960.

Above are merely a few instances of many, but they all have one main theme: Devotion. In fact, we are in the midst of a stupendous journey that had its beginnings in 1948.

‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.’ Is a statement made by Helen Keller. That said it is our sanguine hope that our entertainment performers will continue to deliver on their promise to work diligently to elevate Pakistan’s stature the world over.

Next in TDR’s Classics, “Irene Sahiba”

Info: Eminent storyteller, Anis Shakur, is a Pakistani born United States (US) citizen. He works for the US federal and State government. He resides at a stone-throw distance from the darting shores of the Atlantic ocean in New York, for the past three decades.