indian cinema heritage foundation

Beti Bete (1964)

  • Release Date1964
  • GenreComedy, Drama, Family, Romance
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time145 mins
  • Gauge35mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Shooting LocationKardar Studos, Rooptara Studios, Filimistan Studios

Raghu was a mill worker whose meagre salary could not support his family which included three children- twelve year oldLaxmi, eight year old Ramu and two year old Mahesh. He was in debt to the landlord who snatched away his bicycle. Late for his work, he lost his job and in an accident lost his eyes. After staying in the hospital on his way home he heard the landlord cursing him. The landlord said: "Had Raghu died, the children would have been admitted to the orphanage". Jobless, blind Raghu disappeared so that his children may be admitted to the orphanage.

Laxmi and her two brothers stayed in the house as long as the landlord's wife could support them despite her husband's opposition. Ultimately, she left the house and boarded a train. When the ticket checker spotted her, she got down with Mahesh but Ramu was left behind. A proprietor of theatrical company spotted him and was happy to find an ideal boy to play the role of Krishna.

Wandering on  rainy night Laxmi sought refuge in Zamindar's house. And Madhu, Zamindar's son gave Laxmi and Mahesh not only food but shelter. On Madhu's birthday, he put the golden chain with a locket round Mahesh's neck. And  a thief watching the poor child ran away with Mahesh and abandoned him in a jungle when a gypsy Chieftan tried to catch him. The Gypsy Sardar brought up Mahesh as his own son and handed over the golden chain with locket to him at the time of his death.

Laxmi and Madhu grew up together and fell in love with each other. But Madhu's father Narayan did not approve of it. So when Madhu went abroad for medical education, his father accused Laxmi of stealing Madhu's ring, which was presented by him to Laxmi, and drove her out of the house.
Meanwhile Ramu grew up into a fine singer and stage artiste. He ran away from the theatre when the proprietor tried to force him to marry his daughter. Ramu found refuge in the eccentric music-lover millionaire Parmanand's house. First, he was given a job as a cook and later that of Manager. Thanks, the Sheth's daughter Saroj who fell love with him.

And as luck would have it Laxmi got a job in Seth Parmanand's mill. When Munshi of the mill tried to be fresh with her, she was saved by Mahesh who had already fallen in love with Sarala, Madhu's sister and encountered Ramu in a jeweller's shop and enraged Ramu. So when Mahesh went to plead for Laxmi who recognised Mahesh as his brother, Ramu was in no mood to listen to him. Not only that, Ramu's men asked Laxmi to quit the quarters as she had failed to pay the rent. A poor man came to her rescue; and a song that Laxmi used to sing to hear brothers when they were children brought Ramu to her.

But did the two brothers and sister find their father? Did Madhu's and Sarla's father allow his children to marry Laxmi and Mahesh? And did Parmanand bless the union of his daughter Saroj with Ramu? The stirring climax will provide a befitting answer to these questions.

[from the official press booklet]



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