A commemorative postage stamp on Mehboob Khan, an Indian cinema personality, known for directing Mother India (1957), which won Filmfare Awards for Best Film and Best Director :
Issued by India
Issued on Mar 30, 2007
Issued for : The Department of Posts is privileged to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Mehboob Khan, legendary film-maker, and one of the greatest masters of cinema that India has seen.
Stamp & FDC : Bharati Mirchandani
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Printing Process : Wet–offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Mehboob Khan Ramzan Khan
Born on Sep 9, 1907 at Bilimora, Baroda, Gujarat, India
Died on May 28, 1964 at Bombay, Maharashtra, India
- A pioneering figure of the Indian motion picture industry, the late Mehboob Khan built up a formidable reputation as a director and producer in course of a career spanning nearly three decades. Many of his films were truly path breaking in terms of their wide-ranging and thought provoking themes, and the gamut of human emotions covered. Exploring subjects as varied and complex as religious crusades in ‘Judgement of Allah’, concepts of crime and punishment and social mores in ‘Ek hi Raasta’, the travails of an Indian peasant woman in ‘Aurat’, the tragic complications of a love triangle in ‘Andaz’ or a swashbuckling fantasy like ‘Aan’, his magnum opus was of course, the great ‘Mother India’. Lavish and spectacular, many of his films were on a grand epic scale, starting with his very first directorial venture, the ‘Judgement of Allah’.
- Born in Bilimora in Gujarat, Mehboob Khan ran away from home to pursue his dreams in the film studios of Bombay. He started his career as a bit player with the Imperial Film Company, hidden inside a wooden vat for a scene in Alibaba and Forty Thieves (1927). A man of humble beginning and little formal education, the very first film directed by him, produced by Sagar Movietone, catapulted him to success. ‘Manmohan’, ‘Watan’, ‘We Three’, ‘The Only Way’ and ‘Ek hi Raasta’, under the same banner, consolidated his position as one of the leading directors of the day. Sagar Movietone gave way to National Studios under whose banner he made some remarkably significant films like ‘Aurat’, ‘Bahen’, and ‘Roti’. ‘Roti’ was a blistering attack on capitalism and the lust for money, while ‘Aurat’ (1940) was the story of a resolute young woman who starts life full of hopes and dreams but ends up old and careworn, surviving flood, famine, starvation, and a wayward son whom she shoots to protect the honour of the village. A precursor to the more famous ‘Mother India’, many critics are of the opinion that this stark epic was much more authentic and true to life.
- Moving on to set to set up his own production unit, Mehboob Productions, his first film was ‘Najma’, Anmol Ghadi (1946) created a stir because of its casting coup, starring three singing stars together, namely Surendra, Noorjehan and Suraiya, along with a great musical track by Naushad. His next masterpiece was ‘Andaz’ which dazzled with its glamour and gloss and high drama. The lavishly spectacular ‘Aan’, his first film in colour, even had a release in London.
- Mehboob Khan’s crowning glory came with ‘Mother India’, a remake of ‘Aurat’ and the ultimate tribute to Indian womanhood. This epic saga of the sufferings of an Indian peasant woman, whose life is rooted in the soil, struck an instant chord in the hearts of millions. So tremendous was its success that the film has become a reference point, whose influence continues to be seen in Hindi movies even today. ‘Mother India’ also became the first Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar, in the Best Foreign Film category, losing out by a solitary vote at the 1958 Academy Awards.
- Mehboob Khan combined a rare creative imagination and cinematic sensibility with a talent for casting. Among those who attained stardom with him were Nargis, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Sheikh Muktar, Surendra, Yakub, Suraiya, Nadira, Raj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt, a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of Bombay film stars. Awarded the Padmashree for his significant contribution to the Hindi cinema, Mehboob Khan passed away on 28th May 1964, but continues to live on the the memory of cinema lovers through his extraordinary body of work.
- Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.