Ferry (1954)

Earlier this year, commenting on a post, reader Shalini recommended Ferry to me. I admitted that I’d seen the film—years ago—on Doordarshan, and had liked it, though over the intervening years I’d forgotten what exactly it was all about. I did remember this much: that it featured a child, and that it was very different from the usual (mainly romantic or noir) films of Dev Anand that I’d seen till then. I decided it was time for a rewatch.

Geeta Bali and Babu in Ferry

Ferry (aka Kashti) begins on a riverside, as the ferry arrives. People get off, and the boatman is greeted with eager questions by a little boy (Babu) who’s come to the riverside with his dog, Lassie. Has the ferryman brought Raju’s mother this time? No? Raju’s face falls. When will he bring Raju’s mother? How much longer will Raju have to wait? 

Little Raju goes to the riverbank to await the arrival of his mother

Raju turns away, disappointed, and goes back where he came from. The boatman explains to a curious bystander: little Raju’s widowed father is the local zamindar, as well as a government official. Six-year old Raju is his only child, and is convinced that his mother is not dead, but somewhere far away. And that if he, Raju, tries hard enough, perhaps she will return to him. Not that Raju has any memories of her.

The ferryman explains

Raju lives in a big haveli with his father Vikas (Dev Anand) and Vikas’s old chaachi (?). Vikas, being a government employee, has to spend a good bit of time travelling, and in his absence the lonely and motherless Raju gets little in the way of love. Vikas’s chaachi is constantly raving and ranting at the boy for running off to the riverside to look out for the ferry.

When she can’t take it any more, she ties Raju to the bed (and Raju, undaunted, manages to get Lassie to slip off the knots so that Raju can escape and instead tie up a stray rooster in his place).

Raju gets some canine help

There is another little ray of sunlight in Raju’s life, his best friend, four-year old Minoo (Baby Bula). Minoo lives next door and in her innocence tells Raju what her mother has said: that Raju’s mother is dead and will never come back. Raju simply refuses to believe it. No, his mother is alive and well. All he has to do is find her.

Raju with his little friend, Minoo

Meanwhile, we get a brief glimpse of Vikas: he comes home to hear complaints from his chaachi about Raju’s shenanigans. Vikas loves his son too much to let this bother him. Instead, he spends what little time he has with Raju: they play music (a short but lovely instrumental piece in which Ustad Ali Akbar Khan played the sarod for Dev Anand), and at night, they sing again the lullaby that Raju’s mother used to sing to him, and which Vikas, having learnt it from her, now sings to Raju—who sings along.

And Raju asks: where has Ma gone? To a faraway palace, says Vikas. A pristine white palace. With domes? asks Raju, excitedly. With mounted guards and all? Yes, Vikas agrees. Yes, a grand palace indeed. But nobody can go there unless they’ve been invited. There is sadness in his voice, but little Raju is too small to realize what this means. He’s already making plans to fetch his mother from that palace, wherever it may be.

Vikas and Raju have a little chat

So one day an intrepid Raju, with Minoo in tow, decides to take the ferry across the river into town. Surprisingly, they make it there without anybody realizing, and are soon walking, bewildered, in town. A passing truck driver gives them a lift, and while they’re in the truck, Raju spots a large white mansion with domes and a mounted guard outside. He figures this is where his mother is, so the two children quickly alight and race off. The guard, however, won’t let them in, and all Raju and Minoo can hope for is that sooner or later Raju’s Ma will emerge and call him in.

Raju and Minoo turn up at a 'palace'

The two little tykes are so exhausted and lonely and close to desperation by now (Minoo’s started crying, too) that they go to sleep outside the boundary wall of the mansion…

A useless attempt to find Raju's mother

…where they are spotted, later that night, by Vikas. He’s reported the two missing children to the police, and the police (for once doing their job) have traced the truck driver. The truck driver brings them to the mansion where he’d left the children, and Vikas is very relieved to have Raju back.

This escapade unnerves Vikas. When he brings back the children, a group of local men come to discuss the situation with Vikas. Several of them (and Vikas’s aunt and Minoo’s mother) are of the opinion that it would be best for Vikas to remarry. Raju needs a mother. Vikas is noncommittal; he will have to think over this.

Vikas talks to his friends and well-wishers

Even before the gathered guests have gone, a telegram arrives from Vikas’s office: the leave Vikas had applied for hasn’t been granted. Instead, he has to leave on tour straightaway. His guests, to the annoyance of Chaachi, reassure Vikas: they’ll look after Raju. But no sooner has Vikas gone and Raju been pretty much left to his own devices, than the boy takes off for the hillside overlooking the river. He goes up there, looking out over the river and calling plaintively for the mother who will not come—and eventually falling ill and collapsing right there, by the riverside.

He’s soon discovered and brought home by the local people; the doctor is summoned, and Raju is given injections and whatnot. Minoo’s mother and Vikas’s chaachi stand by Raju’s bedside and quarrel over prospective brides they have in mind for Vikas.

Two women have a chat

Then, just as it seems this desperation of Raju’s is going to get progressively worse, there’s a sudden unexpected development. A beautiful young woman (Geeta Bali) dressed in a sharaara (the sure sign of someone not quite respectable!) is washed up, unconscious, on the riverbank. Since Vikas’s haveli is the nearest, her rescuers bring the woman there. The doctor arrives, and little Raju, come to see what’s happening, immediately jumps to the happy conclusion: Ma!

Juhi washes up on the riverbank, and meets Raju

The woman’s name is Juhi. She does not say who she is or how she happened to be in the river, but two things happen while Vikas is still away:

First, Raju, and along with him Minoo, grows very close to Juhi. Raju is convinced that this is the mother he’s been longing for all these years, and Juhi returns his affection in full measure.

The love between Raju and Juhi

Secondly, Vikas’s chaachi decides that this woman—from her clothing, and her general appearance—is certainly not a good woman. The local gentry (having noticed Raju’s attachment to Juhi) have advised Chaachi to let Juhi remain in the house, at least until Vikas returns. After all, if Chaachi boots Juhi out, Raju will be inconsolable. Chaachi has had to grudgingly accept that that is the best course of action. But, she triumphantly says, she will not lend one saree to that woman so that she may look respectable. No, she can go about dressed in whatever she’s wearing.

When Vikas finally gets home, therefore, it’s to find his household suddenly turned upside-down. He sees the bond between this strange young woman and Raju; he notices how attached Raju is to her, and how much she, too, adores Raju. Chaachi tries her best to get Vikas to throw Juhi out, but Vikas—an intelligent man, and not one to be swayed by a prejudiced old lady, even if she is his aunt—decides to first find out the truth.

But before that, he makes one small gesture of sympathy. He hands Juhi the keys to his late wife’s cupboard, and tells her to change her clothes.

When, her sharaara discarded and exchanged for a cotton saree worn in the traditional Bengali way, Juhi comes back, Vikas listens to her story.

Vikas has a conversation with Juhi

It turns out (not unexpectedly) that Juhi was the daughter of a tawaif named Munni Bai. Lonely and unloved except by her maternal grandmother, Juhi was a sad little girl who would watch her mother dance for ‘guests’ while Juhi called for her. When Munni Bai (Chand Burke) would end her mujra, she would come to Juhi—not to shower affection on her: only to scold her for interrupting.

Juhi remembers her neglectful mother

Juhi didn’t have any choice, either. Her childhood went in learning music and dance, with Munni Bai supervising her lessons with an eagle eye, determined to make Juhi a dancer worth every paisa her mother spent on her.

Early days and instruction

Sure enough, says Juhi: she did turn out a good dancer. Men would come from far and wide to see her sing and dance, and though she hated it, Juhi danced on—until one night Munni Bai brought two men to Juhi’s room.

Juhi overheard the conversation, her mother obviously selling her off to the highest bidder—and put her foot down. She slammed the door on the men, and later told her mother that she would give her body only to the man she married, after she was married. At which Munni Bai burst out laughing. A tawaif? Married? Which tawaif ever got married? Which man married a tawaif? Juhi was thrashed and berated, but—thankfully—not sold off.

Then, tragedy struck. Juhi’s grandmother, the only person who loved Juhi, died. And, on her deathbed, revealed a startling secret: Juhi wasn’t Munni Bai’s daughter. Years ago, when Juhi was a baby, she was being pushed in a pram in a public park by her nurse, who was overpowered by some ruffians. They kidnapped the baby and brought her to Munni Bai. The dying woman didn’t know who Juhi’s real parents were, except that she obviously was from a wealthy family.

Juhi's 'grandmother' dies

With the old woman dead and Juhi realizing she had no reason to be tied to Munni Bai any longer, Juhi decided to try and find her real parents. But escaping from Munni Bai was no easy task, and Juhi had to use subterfuge. She pretended to agree to go with the men Munni Bai had earlier brought to her. ‘We’ll go on a river cruise,’ Munni Bai said, excitedly, and that was how Juhi ended up on a boat on this particular river. And, when she tried to reason with the men (‘Marry me, please, if you will not let me go,’—rather naïve), she got laughed at, and in the ensuing bid to escape from their pawing, she went over the side of the boat and into the water…

Juhi tries to appeal to the non-existent goodness of two lechers

That is how Juhi has landed up here. Vikas, while he says very little, does believe her. And realizes how much she loves Raju, how much she wants to be the mother Raju believes her to be.

But her wanting to be Raju’s mother isn’t so simple. Because Vikas himself, though he may not be inimical to Juhi, shows no inclination to fall in love with her (and Juhi is not the scheming type, to try to lure him, either). Because Chaachi is hell-bent on having Juhi thrown out. Because people around—like Minoo’s shrewish mother—say, ‘By simply wearing Raju’s mother’s clothes and her jewellery, you do not become his mother for real!’ And because there is, after all, her lurid past lurking behind, even if Juhi herself is, in reality, untainted.

What I liked about this film:

The unusual angle to it. While there is a leading man and a leading lady, the main story is not about their love, but about the deep love that quickly develops between a little boy who yearns for his mother and a lonely woman who yearns for someone to give her love. It is Juhi’s and Raju’s love that is the focal point of Ferry. The chemistry between Geeta Bali and little Babu is wonderful, too: her eyes sparkle, and there’s so much affection, mixed with playfulness and joy, in her interactions with him that it hardly seems like acting.

The treatment, too, of the relationship between Juhi and Vikas. It’s understated, subtle: at no point does either of them make it obvious that they have fallen in love with the other. These two people—a lonely man who loves his son but tries to find solace in his work after the death of his wife, and a woman craving affection—are brought together by their shared love for the same child, but it doesn’t instantly throw them into each other’s arms. The changing of an initial awkwardness into something deeper is gradual, and most of it unsaid. And the way it is expressed—in a metaphorical conversation one night as they look out over the river—is memorable. This bank of the river and that are separated, says Vikas. So close, yet so far apart. Yes, agrees Juhi. But they are joined, are they not, below the waves? Vikas asks, ruefully: Where? Where it’s so dark, that none can see?

To which Juhi, looking at the boat, its sail billowing in the wind as it crosses the river, says, ‘But there is another that can brings the banks together, isn’t there?’

The ferry, is the implied meaning. Is Raju then the ferry that will bring Vikas and Juhi together?

Vikas and Juhi

There is, too, the character of Raju. While Babu’s acting is all right, not exceptional, the character is unusual in that Raju isn’t a terribly pathetic little figure. Yes, he misses his mother sorely and that daily ritual of going down to the ferry is heartbreaking, but there’s much, too, that shows him to be a normal child: mischievous, adventurous, and ready to stand up for himself against his father’s tyrannical aunt.

Lastly, the music, by Hemant, which features some lovely tunes. What I find interesting here is that except for one song—Na ro ae ronewaale—none of the others are ever played all at once; they appear in snatches, a little bit sung here and a little there. There’s the boatman’s haunting refrain, O maajhi naav badhaa le; there’s the lullaby, Rangeeli-rangeeli chhabeeli raani nindiya; the song celebrating Juhi’s love for Raju, Yehi hai mere sapnon ka sansaar; and even the mujra song, Kaisi laagi karajwa kataar. All appear chopped up, one verse here sung in one mood, another there, in a different mood, which lends the songs a more real feel (how many people in real life, after all, break off everything to sing four verses of a song at one go?)

What I didn’t like:

The sudden speeding up of things at the end, and what seemed to me a somewhat contrived solution to a certain problem. It’s not that the end is totally unsatisfactory, but there are elements to it that could have been better dealt with.

But, despite all of that, a sweet little film. And an unusual one for Dev Anand, a far cry from the films most people associate him with.

Note: Ferry is available on several channels on Youtube. Most of these seem to have taken the T-Series VCD (which has terrible synching of audio and visual, with dialogues coming a good five seconds or more before the accompanying action; also—though this might be a problem with the original film—there are several scenes where the top of the frame is lopped off, so you see only the lower halves of actors’ faces, and so on). Of all the channels I checked, the version on Narjis is the best quality. Their watermark is the least intrusive (and, as you can see from the screen caps here, that’s saying a lot!), and the aspect ratio is much better than the others’.


41 thoughts on “Ferry (1954)

    • I hope you enjoy it! And if you do, I have another recommendation for you (provided you haven’t already seen it): Majhli Didi, an absolutely lovely little film that I really like and which has a similar motif, of a motherless child finding love in an unexpected place.


  1. Don’t you ever get tired of readers saying ‘What a lovely review, Madhu’? Never mind, I am going to say just that. One reason I find following your blog so rewarding is that the quality of your writing is so consistent. As usual, kudos and keep up the good work.

    Trivia: The Sitar sequences were played back (for once literally) by Ali Akbar Khan’s younger Gurubhai (and also protege) Nikhil Banerjee.


    • Thank you so much, Abhik! For the appreciation, and for that bit of trivia, which really interested me.

      Why, you will ask (or not). But let me share some of the excitement caused when I was struck by the coincidence. Because, two years back, Nikhil Banerjee would have been just another name for me. Yes, sadly. But then, in May last year, when my parents were moving house from Meerut to Delhi, they disposed of a lot of things they’d collected over the years. They were going to hand over their collection of LPs to the kabaadi, but I managed to stop them in time, and appropriated the LPs for myself. Not that I have a turntable, but someday I will buy one…

      So the LPs stand on a bookshelf in my home. And the outermost one, the only one of which the front of the cover is on view, is a showcase of Nikhil Banerjee.


        • :-D

          Do you know, the only time our home was ever burgled was back in the very early 1980s – it must have been 1980, in fact – when my father was posted in Bhopal. My sister, my mother, and I used to go off to our respective (Mummy was a teacher back then) early, so the last person to leave the house was my father, and it was his duty to lock up everything. One afternoon, my mother got back from school to find the front door left open. And somebody had come in, of course, and stolen some stuff. What stuff? Seven LPs. Our very best LPs, many of which had been gifted to us by my grandfather, who used to work for HMV. My father harboured strong suspicions against a certain acquaintance of ours who had expressed a deep appreciation for our collection of music. :-)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you. As usual, a comprehensive and balanced review. You’ve decided my weekend viewing for me. As Mr. Abhik Majumdar says, “Don’t you ever get tired of readers saying ‘What a lovely review, Madhu’?”

    I’m afraid I must hang my head in shame and confess that I’d never even heard of this film. A sorry admission indeed for someone who considers himself a lover of old Hindi films but there it is.


    • Thank you, Milind! :-)

      And, you can’t be faulted for never having heard of Ferry. It’s a fairly obscure film; the only reason I knew of it was because I’d watched it all those years ago on Doordarshan. And Doordarshan did show some very obscure films back then…


      • i watched namkeen on doordarshan. i don’t think any other channel has rights for it as it was released on doordarshan . it didn’t get any distributors. i am more than happy to know that dev saheb has done this kind of movie. i enjoy his urban hero image till tere ghar k saamney. after guide he just lost it. too much mannerism. he became hero than actor. i liked him in asli naqli. i love dev saheb in serious role like in patita. i think i have same approach towards raj kapoor, dev anand and manoj kumar. i don’t like Raj kapoor in tramp avtaar. i liked him in second half of sangam. when his character begins negative. when ever watch teesri ksam same tramp avtaar comes in mind. dev anand became hero from jewel thief. more variety could have been added to his career. even in guide i feel there is dominance of stylish dev anand and not raju guide.


        • Yes, both Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor let their mannerisms begin to rule them. RK much sooner than Dev Anand. The tramp avatar of RK – which is only suppressed in a very few of his films, mainly those he did for other directors – irritates me, too. And I cannot bring myself to see Dev Anand after, say, Jewel Thief or so. Especially not in those horrible mid-70s films he did, often with Zeenat Aman. Like Warrant.


          • if we compare three of them raj,manoj,dev being very close friends. they were pretty close . manoj was one of the last one from the industry who talked to dev before death.he said he talked to him 1 n half months before dev saheb passing away. if i remember correctly. and added without dev there is no anand. Raj kapoor was a great actor, could dance pretty well and very able director,editor and producer. manoj was never an actor he should have solely concentrate on writing and directing. Harey Rama Harey Krishna was the only movie appreciated of dev as a director. he was never a director. I watched a song from late 70s and was pained to see zeenat and dev dancing and singing weird lyrics. I strongly feel when highest award was given to him they ignored his horrible movies of mid 70s.


  3. I’ve heard of this film from Ira, Madhu, but do not recall having watched it, even on DD. I never did get around to viewing it because, as you pointed out, the prints on YouTube were so awful. Now I need to look for the Narjis print you mentioned.

    What a lovely little film this appears to be. Your review made me want to watch it just now. (But work gets in the way…) Thank you for a delightful review – as always.


    • There is obviously a better print available, with only the T series logo in one corner (not perfect, but at least less intrusive than all these other channels). I suppose it’ll be available on Induna or something, but if you can bear having the Narjis logo there, it’s a decent enough print. Considering it’s an old and really rather obscure film…


  4. Yes, I can add to the chorus :) a lovely review. I had seen this one gosh over 30 years ago on VCR. I wanted to watch everything Geeta Bali and I had a couple of songs ( tu hi to mere sapno ka ) is one, on another song compilation video. All I remembered was the horrible way the little kid was treated and Dev Anand in Dhoti and playing Sarod. ( funny I was reminded of it while discussion of heroes playing instruments on Anu’s recent blog.) now that I read your review, most of it has come back. The movie did have some realistic touches, like Babu singing the Lori in his own voice sounding just like a kid. Meenu and Raju sing also in their own voices ( another entry for Anu’s childrens songs post ). Geeta Bali asking for the lyrics and tune of the Lori so she could sing it as opposed to just know it. Dev’s character really caring for his son and torn between the samaj and his feelings for Geeta Bali and admitting his shortcomings. Lucky you have the LPs. I have a record player but most of my collection got left in India never to be seen again :(.. This definitely will be re watched, now that youtube has a decent copy. Thanks for the review.


    • Thank you, Neeru.

      Interestingly, even though I watched the film on DD and not on VCR, it’s been about 30 years for me, too. Back then, I remember seeing a whole bunch of Dev Anand-Geeta Bali films on TV: not just Jaal and Baazi (not that she’s really opposite him in that), but also stuff like Pocketmaar, Milaap and Faraar. I saw those, and when Ferry was shown, I was expecting something more typically Dev Anand-Geeta Bali: romance, a crime angle, frothiness. And it turned out so different. So nicely different, too.

      I really must get myself a turn table and listen to those LPs sometime. Many of them are absolute classics.


  5. Hadn’t heard of this film ever. I have to still get used to watching films on YouTube, but am beginning to realise some old films are only available there.


    • I’m not terribly keen on watching films on Youtube, either. But some of the most obscure films are only to be found there. Sometimes, too, there may be a film that I know next to nothing about (except possibly one song that I like!), in which case I think it’s far too much of a gamble to actually go and search out the VCD and buy it. I’ve had bad experiences with VCDs like Shama Parwana, Rail ka Dibba and Laal Qila – all bought for one reason or the other, but eventually just not worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw this film (Narjis/T-Series print) yesterday on YouTube as planned. While it is a melodrama, it’s certainly different from the usual films of the period especially, as Madhulikaji mentions, in terms of the (lack of) romantic interaction between the lead pair. However, the bit about the girl raised in a ‘kotha’ yet remaining ‘pure’ is certainly a hackneyed trope, even for that period. Further, perhaps keeping audience sensibilities of that period in mind, the leading lady isn’t even allowed to be the tawaif’s biological daughter. She has to be kidnapped, a child from a ‘normal’ household, born to chaste and honourable parents. What was the point of dragging in this bit if the parents were never to be traced and brought into the plot?

    Geeta Bali delivers a decent performance, and for the most part, manages to avoid her usual nakhras and coquettishness. (Here I must admit that she has few, if any rivals for her trademark combination of tomboyishness and coquetry.) The surprise was Dev Anand’s restrained acting. No wonder his fans turned their collective backs on the film!

    I’m not sure whether it was poor direction or Narjis/T-Series wielding a savage pair of scissors, but the film, especially the earlier part is extremely jerky and disjointed. I was quite disoriented for the first half an hour or so. The audio-video mismatch didn’t help either but we can’t blame the director for that. :)


    • “Further… a child from a ‘normal’ household, born to chaste and honourable parents. What was the point of dragging in this bit if the parents were never to be traced and brought into the plot?

      Yes. That did seem too forced to me, too. Both for the fact that, keeping in mind the planned marriage between them, she had to be ‘of pure blood’, plus the fact that nothing came of that thread about who her real parents were. I’d liked to have at least known what happened, who they were. A McGuffin, I think, simply to have her leave the kotha and set out, so that she could end up finding true love.


      • I agree with you, I did think about it, that was probably put in there just for the audience’ sympathy and Dev can at least marry her knowing she is not really the tawaif’s offspring. They did go to length to show how she remained chaste. Other than Chetna, Mandi, Hanste Zakhm or Mausam ( there might be others but few ) where they show a realistic view of the call girls life, most movies show them pretty chaste so the hero can rescue them and give them respectability.


        • Probably a reflection, too, of Hindi cinema’s emphasis on chastity, at least for women. There are, as you mention, just a handful of films that indicate even a woman who’s a ‘professional’ actually being ‘soiled’. More often than not, the tawaif remains chaste through it all – look at films like Pakeezah or Adalat, for instance.


            • And I am yet to watch Manoranjan, even though I know what it’s all about. But then there’s Pyaasa and Sadhana too, both of which – while not explicitly showing the woman in bed with a customer, make it obvious that she’s not merely dancing and singing for a living.


              • Surprising that as it was directed by Shammi Kapoor !
                I was too young to watch it when it released.Watched it later in one of the night time movies in the early days of cable channels. Zeenat did push the envelope in the film.
                It was fun too and Sanjeev Kumar could always be charming.
                Sadhana doesn’t end happily ever after does it?


  7. First, apologies, for this ‘comment’ has nothing to do with “Ferry”. But as the OP & commenters here are knowledgeable about old films, and I’m looking for some information, I have taken the liberty of posting it as a comment. I’m looking for a film called “Yatrik” (1952), a religio-philosophical film starring Abhi Bhattacharya, Vasant Chaudhary etc. The songs are on YouTube but not the film. None of the music & DVD stores I’ve asked have even heard of of it. I’m trying to get it as a gift for my father, a man who despite not being too fond of films, had proudly and repeatedly told me how he & his friends, as young men, watched three shows of this film (3,6,9 pm) continuously, so deeply did it impress them. I’ve seen the songs, and shown them to him but he’s hankering for the full movie. (The songs are good, but I don’t think the film will be great.)

    If any of you have any information, please let me know. Thanks in advance.


    • I’ve never heard of this film. If your father and his friends liked it so much, it certainly must be worth watching. Have you tried looking on Induna? They often have some very obscure films in their catalogue.


        • Oh. :-( After posting that comment, I did go to Induna and look for it, but no luck. It’s sad, you know, how many films seem to have simply disappeared… this of course, but landmarks like Alam Ara – one would have expected a greater effort to have been made to preserve something like that.


          • True. Archiving, preserving, curating…somehow we Indians don’t seem to care much about such things.

            As far as this particular film is concerned, my hopes were buoyed by the fact that the songs are available on YouTube, and in decent quality. That must mean that someone, somewhere has the video.


            • Yes, the curating angle is another one I have a grouse with. Especially when it comes to curating for audiences that do not speak the language. Over the years, lots of readers have recommended non-Hindi Indian films to me, and more often than not, despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to find subtitled versions. I mean, even for National Award-winning films. So disheartening. :-( Bengali cinema seems to be one the few that has made an attempt to subtitle a lot of old films, but the others are mostly terribly ignored.


  8. This is a good film, which ain’t surprising considering that director Hemen Gupta made some really nice films like Kabuliwallah (Balraj Sahni one), Anandmath, 42 (in bangla) etc. Hemen Gupto himself had quite a colorful life as he was private secretary to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and had been in jail from 1932-38 for revolutionary activities. He was allegedly sentenced to death (!!) but later his sentence was reduced to imprisonment.

    Ferry though good, is not well known unfortunately, though it garnered critical acclaim during the time of its release. Infact in 1955, when six indian films were selected to be screened in USSR as representative of Indian cinema, this film was included. The other five films were Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420, Nitin Bose’s Talat Mehmood starrer Waaris, Satyen bose’s Jagriti, Sohrab Modi’s Mirza Ghalib and Bimal Roy’s Biraj Bahu.

    Ferry is also noteworthy because it was noted screenwriter Dhruv Chatterjee (Woh Kaun Thi, Shikar, Inteqaam) bollywood debut. Also Ferry is one of the very few hindi films that had cinematography done by the legendary director-cinematographer Ajoy Kar. Ferry is also memorable for the sarod played by Dev saab in the film which was actually played by Ali Akbar Khan saab. And last but not the least, the child actor in the film is apparently Hemantda’s son !!


    • “The other five films were Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420, Nitin Bose’s Talat Mehmood starrer Waaris, Satyen bose’s Jagriti, Sohrab Modi’s Mirza Ghalib and Bimal Roy’s Biraj Bahu.

      I find the inclusion of Waaris a bit baffling; it’s quite a forgettable film.

      Thank you for that little tidbit about Hemen Gupto’s life – wow! That’s really interesting. :-) And I hadn’t known that Babu was Hemant’s son. Another wow!


      • I agree, Waaris is definitely a forgettable film, especially by Nitin Bose’s own lofty standards. I guess the reputation that Nitin Bose enjoyed among the classes and the technical and musical finesse of the film helped it to get selected.

        Coming back to Hemen Gupta, indeed he lived an adventurous life of a rebel. And thank God for that, because otherwise we wouldn’t have got films like 42 and Bhuli Nai, which are arguably the best patriotic films ever made in India.


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