indian cinema heritage foundation

Doctor (1940)

  • GenreSocial
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageBengali
  • Run Time137 minutes
  • Length3877.05 meters
  • Censor Certificate Number20845
  • Certificate Date28/09/2020

The film begins with the arrival of a young doctor Amarnath in his native village called Raidham. Under the threat of cholera, he stops the distribution of holy offerings at the temple. He also stops the local priest from insulting Maya, a Brahmin girl whose father Beni Kaka is severely ill. Maya's family is excommunicated from the village for her broken marriage. Amarnath's action does not go down well with the priest who complains to Amarnath's father, a revered figure in the village. On his deathbed, Beni Kaka requests Amarnath to take care of Maya. Being progressive and kind, Amarnath takes in Maya as his wife. Amarnath's father reminds Amarnath of his family's tradition and exhorts him to leave Maya in order to keep the family's reputation intact. Amarnath does not concede to his father and promises never to use his family name nor return again. He leaves Raidham and settles with Maya in a remote village where they run a dispensary together. They live a happy conjugal life. Maya informs Amarnath of her pregnancy and her dream of seeing her child becoming a doctor. In a tragic turn of events, Maya dies during childbirth leaving the baby to Amarnath's care. After many years, Amarnath's caretaker from Raidham, Dayal is able to find him. He requests Amarnath to return to his ancestral home so that his boy could have a good life. Amarnath does not leave his place but allows Dayal to take his son to Raidham to raise him up. Dayal introduces the child to Amarnath's father as a Brahmin orphan instead of being his own grandson. Initially Amarnath's father is cold towards the kid. Later, he grows fond of the child and vows to bring him up. The child Somnath grows up to be a doctor and returns from abroad to work for a chemical firm. Amarnath comes to know of this and advises Somnath to serve the poor as a doctor instead of being a regular employee working for money. Amarnath's real identity is still unknown to Somnath. Somnath is visibly impressed by Amarnath and his ideals. Meanwhile, Somnath falls in love with Shibani who is the daughter of a friend of Amarnath. Both Shibani and Somnath visit Amarnath's dispensary in his village. They get closer to each other and Amarnath notices that. Somnath returns to his grandfather (Amarnath's father) and declares his wish of marrying Shibani. Somnath comes to know that in spite of being an orphan he has been raised as a member of the family. Being embarrassed and still oblivious of his identity, Somnath leaves the house. Dayal, under Amarnath's oath, keeps the truth from Amarnath's father but asks him to call Somnath back. It is only after Amarnath's permission that Dayal reveals the truth about Somnath to Amarnath's father. However, Amarnath's identity is still kept from his father and his son. Somnath and Shibani get married. The film ends with Amarnath keeping his promise of staying away from his father forever.

The film tackled the issues of superstition and caste discrimination, and its long-rooted effects. It was later dubbed in Hindi and released in 1941. It fostered another remake in 1977 under the charge of Shakti Samanta



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