Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pradeep Kumar Songs from 1963 to 1967

This is the last installment of my posts on Pradeep Kumar songs. Here and Here are the first and second posts. Pradeep Kumar was an average actor. He bordered on overweight pretty early in his career. Maybe for a few years after his debut he looked slim and handsome. He looked very very handsome in Adl-e-Jahangir (1955), which was one of his earliest pairing with Meena Kumari. They look gorgeous in this movie. But he soon ran to fat and became a little jowly as well. Yet he had amassed a reputation as an actor who played Royalty with a flair. To be fair, he spoke well. There was hardly any trace of Bengali accent in his declamations. What I find particularly engaging is the way he fitted right in with excellent actors in movies. Here I am looking at some of his famous movies with Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari. Now Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari were formidable actors. I am glad that Pradeep Kumar never let that rattle him and soldiered on, doing what he could.

He worked in movies for a long long time, up until 1998 he was appearing in movies in short roles. He died three years later in 2001. I believe firmly that his longevity was due to adapting seamlessly to changing times. In 1967 he appeared in Bahu Begam with Meena Kumari and Ashok Kumar as the lead actor. In 1969 we saw him in Sambandh as a down-on-his-luck landlord, father of the lead actor Deb Mukherjee.  This started the second innings of his career, playing various character roles. He did not rest on his laurels or fade away.

I covered songs sung onscreen by Pradeep Kumar up to the year 1963 but missed listing a song from the movie Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai. This was the last movie Geeta Bali ever acted in and it would be criminal not to list a song from this film.

1. Chand tale jhoom jhoom (Jab se tumhe dekha hai - 1963)

 I have noticed that Pradeep Kumar acted alongside many different leading actresses. Here he was paired with Geeta Bali. It has some melodious songs like Ham aapki mehfil me sanam bhule se chale aaye and Yeh din din hain khushi ke. They were often played on the radio during the 1960s and 1970s.

This song, less heard, is no less catchy. It seems to be a stage performance with a couple of watchers acting creepy. Pradeep Kumar jumps on the stage in disguise and sings with Geeta Bali. He takes care not to be seen by the girl he is dancing with.

 I picked this song as it was sung by Subir Sen.

2. Chha gaye badal neel gagan par (Chitralekha - 1964)

This was one of the weakest films in the few that the trio - Meena, Ashok and Pradeep acted in. The story was good but it wasn't properly translated into cinema. The face off between the lead actors was weak.

The music was sublime, thanks to the deadly combination of Roshan and Sahir. The lyrics are in pure Hindi as opposed to Urdu that Sahir usually wrote in. Yet he comes up trumps. I could have chosen any of the wonderful songs but this one is a particular favorite of mine, it is so romantic.

You can see that Pradeep and Meena were beginning to show their age, yet Meena Kumari is able to emote with grace while our Pradeep Kumar carries on bravely.

3. Kya jawan raat hai baharon ki (Sindbad, Sindbad and Aladin - 1965)

You can see how un-choosy Pradeep Kumar was. Chitralekha was a period film made by Kidar Sharma, here he happily stars in a fantasy action with Meenu Mumtaz as his heroine.

He dons harem pants with ease and sings and dances with Meenu Mumtaz. Luckily for us, he leaves the twirling to Meenu Mumtaz and contents himself with looking deeply into the girl's eyes and looking romantic.

The music of this movie was a far cry from the classy music of the 50s Pradeep Kumar's early period. Yet it was catchy and hummable.


4. Dil laga kar ham ye samjhe  (Zindagi aur Maut - 1965)

Fans of B-grade cinema know the name of N.A. Ansari well enough.  Pradeep Kumar worked in two films of his. This one and Wahan Ke Log.

In this movie he co-starred with a newcomer, Faryal. Beautiful, statuesque Faryal would soon be relegated to being a dancer in film. But here she got to sing and dance with our own Pradeep Kumar in this lovely number.


5. Itna to keh do hamse (Saheli - 1965)

Right in the middle of the 1960s, under the baton of newbies Kalyanji Anandji comes this gorgeous romantic number in the dulcet voices of Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar.

This beautiful song took me back to the lovely songs Pradeep Kumar lip synched to early on in his career. He is paired here with the beautiful Kalpana.

6. Jaane wo kaun hai (Bheegi Raat - 1965)

1965 was a good year for Pradeep Kumar, going by the number of films that released that year. Bheegi Raat raat was another triangular contest between Ashok Kumar, Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari. Music by Roshan lifts the movie several notches above average. The story was not too bad and well executed. Too bad that the actors were rather long in the tooth and did not look at their best.

I was hard pressed to choose a song among the beauties on offer. There are some lovely duets, the memorable Dil jo na keh saka. I chose this for the beautiful lyrics, with a bow to the maestro Majrooh.


7. Milti hai agar nazron se nazar (Do dilon ki dastaan - 1966)

Back to Vyjayantimala. The movie seems pretty obscure as there is no information about it anywhere, there are no videos of the songs or the movie on YouTube.

The music is by O.P. Nayyar and refreshingly lovely. Too bad I cannot see Pradeep Kumar in a sweater (paunch hiding tactics?) walking behind Vyjayantimala with love lorn eyes.






8. Chand kitni door tha  (Afsana - 1966)

An Ashok Kumar pairing with Pradeep Kumar, sans Meena Kumari. But here Ashok Kumar has bowed out of the courting game and is content to support Pradeep Kumar.

In this nice number, Pradeep Kumar serenades his new bride Padmini. He is in his romantic element, sherwani and wig in place while Padmini poses around decked to the gills.

The song suffers a bit in comparison to the other greats in the list, yet it is not too bad on the ears.


9. Phool sa chehra (Raat aur Din - 1967)

This was the last movie Nargis ever made. Again Pradeep Kumar is pitted against an awesome talent. He plays the husband of Nargis who is surprised to find that his wife has a life he is completely unaware of.

How good this song is, no less than the lovely Awara e mere dil and raat aur din diya jale.


10. Aap jab se qareeb aaye hain (Noorjehan - 1967)

This movie has Pradeep Kumar with Meena Kumari sans Ashok Kumar. Sheikh Mukhtar played Sher Khan. It did have Roshan bringing in his trademark lovely music with lyrics by Shakeel. There are gorgeous solos by Suman Kalyanpur and Lata, Sharabi Sharabi ye sawan ka mausam and Raat ki mehfil sooni sooni (which I think was not used in the movie, such a waste!)

This duet filmed on Pradeep Kumar and Meena is lovely, a soulful ghazal.




11. Arz e shauq ankhon me hai (Bahu Begum - 1967)

The grand finale of the Ashok - Pradeep - Meena films was the last one where (as far as I know) Ashok Kumar also played a lead role, that is, a contender to the affections of the female lead. I could write reams about this movie and probably will do soon. Here we are primarily discussing songs that featured Pradeep Kumar. This was his last male lead role too. After this he took on only character roles.

The scintillating music was composed by Roshan, with lyrics by Sahir. Together they turned out a gem of twin qawwalis. This was the first installment and more romantic than the second one. It was addressed to Allah and sung in a dargah. The lyrics also apply to the feelings of a young couple deeply in love. Meena and Pradeep Kumar look soulfully at each other, promising undying love through the eyes.

This brings my post on Pradeep Kumar to an end. Many of the movies he worked in were indifferent and would have passed into anonymity if not for the gorgeous songs. Quite a few of his films were flops. I feel he was a genial person which is why so many different heroines agreed to work for him and so many filmmakers took him into their projects.  And of course, these gorgeous songs of that era keep bringing him back to us.

16 comments:

  1. Lovely collection of songs, Ava! Nothing I can add here, because I think you've covered all the major films he did in this period. I will mention one of my favourite songs from Chitralekha, though: Mann re tu kaahe na dheer dhare, which is one of those songs that I love all round: its lyrics, its music, and Rafi's rendition!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Madhu. I love this song as well, it's just that I was looking for romantic numbers 'sung' by Pradeep Kumar. I have a feeling I had such a good time going through songs of his films on YouTube. But I must say the songs of 1950's are way superior, especially those sung by Hemant Kumar. I am enchanted how the gorgeous music of 50s and 60s has kept so many obscure actors alive, not that Pradeep Kumar was completely obscure, but you know the ones I mean. Prashant and suchlike.

      Delete
  2. It is nice to see a die-hard fan of Pradeep Kumar like you making these period posts. And we, lucky readers not only get to read your posts but also discover new songs.

    Chand tale jhoom jhoom was totally new for me, featuring my favourite actress Geeta Bali. Jab Se Tumhe Dekha hai did have good songs. When I listened to this song, I thought, “Wow! Music by Salil Choudhary sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh”. Then I realized, I was false on all three accounts. Music is by Dattaram and sung by Suman Kalyanpur and Subir Sen.

    Chitralekha (1964) had such wonderful songs. Every song is a gem. This was one of the two films done with combination of Meena Kumari-Ashok Kumar-Pradeep Kumar-Roshan-Sahir. The quartett of Meena Kumari-Ashok Kumar-Pradeep Kumar-Roshan also made Aarti (1962) and Bheegi Raat (1965), there the lyricist was Majrooh Sultanpuri.

    “You can see how un-choosy Pradeep Kumar was.”
    Papi pet ka sawal hai, maybe. The song, kya jawan raath hai bahaaron ki is indeed a very nice song and Minoo Mumtaz is good at twirling around and the pseudo-Arabic music is very catchy. Wonder who the music director was. How original to combine the stories of Sindbaad, Alibaba and Alladin. I don’t think it was a sequel to their better-known adventures. It would be great to make a story of what they did after retirement.

    “Dil laga kar ham ye samjhe”! Thank God, another song, which I know. When I used to hear this song on radio as a kid, I always picturised Meena Kumari singing this song. In the age of youtube, I was very much surprised to see Faryal moving her lips to it.
    Even Mahendra Kapoor sounds good in this.

    Saheli (1965). I haven’t even heard of this film, but I am familiar with the film. I love the pairing of Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar voices. K-A weren’t big fans of Rafi, they used quite often Hemant Kumar, their mentor, for their songs. Who would have thought that 10-12 years later K-A would compose songs like they did for Don or Muqaddar ka Sikandar! Pradeep Kumar looks quite good in this song. I would have loved the song to be a little longer
    BTW, does Kalpana abandon her dog to frolic around with PK?

    I know you are a big fan of ‘jaane vo kaun hai’, but it leaves me cold totally. What totally livens up the song is PK’s red-beige shirt-jacket combo. I prefer dil jo na keh saka.

    Milti har agar nazron se nazar is quite the usual O. P. Nayyar fare.
    He didn’t have that much of a paunch like Raj Kapoor na? Compared with Dilip Kumar he still looked good in the 1960s.

    I know Afsana (1965) only from Greta’s review. The song is nice and hummable.

    Raat aur Din (1967) was the only film, where Nargis and Pradeep Kumar came together, wasn’t it? The song is okay.

    Noorjehan (1967) must have been long time in making, since both Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar look much younger on some parts than in the other. The song, aap jab se qareeb aaye hain sounds very good.

    Bahu-Begum (1967) was a nice movie. I wonder how it did at the box-office. The music is totally sublime. The qawaalis are to die for. I don’t like to listen to songs repeatedly but I would make an exception for the two qawaalis of this film and na to caravan ki talash.

    BTw, he did get to play a main role again and again a royal of Raja Harischandra in Harishchandra Taramati (1970). Here is a scene from this movie.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw1gfovZ_mA
    Wahan ke Log (196) had nice songs too. Here PK gets to mouth a song in praise of the heroine. I don’t like it much but you’d like it I think
    https://youtu.be/2QMKLNcGFMQ
    I like this Asha Bhosle song from it. https://youtu.be/hQ4s5xql0y4
    The cabaret songs are also great. You can listen to all the songs from it here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0N5Xw9ii8-_WDUu7IPmyamp7JTy6Hwt-

    Thanks for the Pradeep Kumar series and now I am eagerly looking forward to your write-up on Bahu Begum (1967).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Music of Sinbad, Alibaba and Aladin was by Ravi and the lyricist was SH Bihari.

      That dog in Saheli is used to steer Kalpana towards Pradeep Kumar. You may find it hard to believe, but I saw the film post discovering this song. I watched until things were good, as soon as the melodrama started, I skipped and went straight to the end to see which Saheli gets Pradeep.In this story there are two girls totally smitten by Pradeep. He loves Kalpana but is betrothed to Vijaya Chaudhry. When the girls find out they love the same man, they fall over each other to 'sacrifice'. I loved this song so much, I listened to it on repeat. KA do have a Rafi song in the movie.

      Nargis paired with Pradeep Kumar twice, once in Adalat, how can you forget? MM-Daddy.

      I like the songs of Wahan Ke Log- the club numbers, but not the solo on Pradeep, that is why I left it out. I was tempted to include Woh Pyara pyara pyara chanda.. but Pradeep was just sitting on the side. The Bahu Begam song was also not 'sung' by Pradeep and Meena but the subject was so emphatically the pair that I used it instead of Ham Intezar karenge.

      I like Jaane wo kaun hai from Bheegi Raat, I like all the songs, in fact. I had rewatched the movie recently and this song lingered more in my memory.

      I overlooked Raja Harishchandra totally. Did you discover any songs? I will check.

      I need a mouse to be able to edit the screenshots from Bahu Begam, so that project is on the shelf for a few more days till the mouse arrives.

      Thank you for the detailed comment. I am sorry I did not notice that my previous comment vanished somewhere.

      Delete
    2. I checked out the Harishchandra Taramati scene and songs that I found on Hindigeetmala.net. The songs don't have a video, so it is hard to tell who they were picturised on. I like this one.. Rimimjhimimva, suno sajanva. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIdklAq3W_4

      Delete
  3. PKK really had an interesting career. Somewhat like Ashok Kumar one could say. Even he acted opposite all kinds of heroines and there was never a gap.
    Chitralekha is one of my favourite films. Must have watched it half a dozen times. And of course so also Bahu Begum.
    Both with excellent songs.
    Hadnt heard of Afsana.
    Thanks Ava. Enjoyed all 3 episodes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greta has written an entertaining review of the film, if you'd like to read it, here is the link:
      https://memsaabstory.com/2009/08/08/afsana-1966/

      Delete
    2. I remember that review. Ha Ha. It was fun.

      Delete
    3. The one by Bollyviewer is amusing too.
      http://bollyviewer-oldisgold.blogspot.com/2009/09/afsana-1951-spiced-up-vendetta.html

      Delete
  4. Thank you so much, Pacifist. We spoke so often about PPk that I began viewing him with affection. You like Chitralekha? I should try re-watching it. When I watched it the internet was slow and I found the movie very choppy. But they do have some interesting POV's to make.

    It is interesting what you say about the careers of Ashok Kumar and Pradeep Kumar being similar, I was thinking along with same lines. Even Bharat Bhushan worked as a hero and then branched out as a character actor later. A lot of lead actors did then. Now not so much....

    Afsana stars PPK with Padmini with Ashok Kumar playing a sort of a refugee at PPK's place who helps him out with his affairs. I have sent you a link of a blogpost on the movie elsewhere.

    Thank you dear, for reading and commenting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So, Saheli has a sismance instead of a bromance. Well, the times were so, the distributors insisted on a Rafi-song, but K-A, Salil Choudhary avoided Rafi, when it was possible. Just like Manoj preffered Mukesh to Rafi. L-P were big Rafi-bhakts and his staunch supporters.

    Of course, how could I forget Adalat with its wonderful songs!

    You are right, the Wahan Ke Log songs filmed on Pradeep Kumar are not that good. Just about okay. C. Ramchandra wasn’t at this peak of creativity then.

    If you want any help with the screenshots, just let me know. I can help you. You just send me the time from the video on youtube and I’ll do it for you. No sweat.

    I only found the scene from Harishchandra Taramati. Good to see that you found the song, but I also didn’t find any videos for the song. One can never be sure, that they are filmed on the lead pair. It is quite possible, that the director thinks, that the Raja is too dignified to sing such a trivial song and lets some commoner sing it to convey the lead pair’s emotions.

    I also found this film Mangetar (1972), where he also plays a leading role. It is quite possible, that he has a song in it. But it is equally possible that the songs are mainly on the young lead. It looks like a totally patched up film.
    https://youtu.be/Y6GHcYU8Q6s

    BTW, did you know that he even produced Do Dilon Ki Dastaan (1966)? IMDB also credits him with the direction of that film, but the poster clearly says Pramod Chakravorty as the director.. No wonder he was signing films left, right and center to pay away his debts incurred by the films flopping at the box-office.

    Interesting is also the movie Na Bhoole Hain Na Bhoolenge (1988). IMDB writes that Pradeep Kumar directed it. It stars Jamuna and Chandramohan as his co-stars! That must have been some late release. Google and youtube searches don’t yield much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your offer of help on the Screen shots. I will send you raw material soon. I stopped watching the film when I realised I wasn't able to edit the Scshots.

      All the films featuring him in the 70s seem like old releases. Maybe they were stalled for want of finance and somehow released later. He does not look old in that little clip of Harishchandra. The same might be the case with Mangetar. I stopped looking through his filmography after 1967 because the idea was to post good songs that Pradeep Kumar featured in. These films probably did not have music up to the standard of his previous films, so I stopped looking.

      Saheli also had that famous Mukesh number - jis dil me basa tha pyar tera. But the one I chose far surpasses that one in beauty.Sismance is a good word. There were movies like Badi Behan which specialised in that.

      Many actors dabbled in Direction and Production, and still do. Not all are successful. Poor PK, for losing his money on a venture.

      Delete
  6. Bollyviewer's review is of the 1951 Afsana and the one you've mentioned above is the 15 year later from the year 1966. It has Ashok Kumar in double role and Veena as his heroine and no traces of Pradeep Kumar at all, but to compensate this loss, there is Pran AND Kuldeep Kaur.

    The link to Greta's review of Afsana (1966):
    https://memsaabstory.com/2009/08/08/afsana-1966/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, sorry. Bollyviewer reviewed both the 1951 movie and the 1966 one, here is the link to the later one.

      http://bollyviewer-oldisgold.blogspot.com/2009/04/afsana-1966.html

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the review.
      I like bollyviewer's reviews. They are quite funny.

      Delete
  7. Nice post.Keep sharing. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete