indian cinema heritage foundation

Jighansha (1951)

  • Release Date20 April, 1951
  • GenreThriller
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageBengali
  • Run Time112 minutes
  • Length3321.4 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number156
  • Shooting LocationCalcutta Movietone
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Loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, Jighansa is a mystery thriller about detective Smarajit Sen going to the princely state of Ratnagarh and investigating the mysterious death of the king Chandrakanta Singha Roy. Sen is appointed by Dr. Binoy Palit, a family friend, and is also introduced to Suryakanta the next king in line. Suryakanta goes to Ratnagarh to take over his duties and is accompanied by Sen’s detective assistant Bimal Ganguly. As Suryakanta and Bimal spend days at the gloomy and marshy state they discover many peculiarities such as their servant Lakshman and his sister Shabitri often leaving their rooms at the middle of the night, and also a ghostly figure of a lady appearing in the swamps, which is the spirit accused of killing Chandrakanta. Ignoring the family belief that whichever king follows the lady loses his life mysteriously, Suryakanta follows her and directly hears her order to leave Ratnagarh. Meanwhile he and Bimal are introduced to local characters Sanjeeb Roy, an old friend of Chandrakanta and the inheritor of the property after Suryakanta, and Professor Gupta, an eccentric botanist who roams around the marshes looking for exotic plants and herbs. One night Suryakanta again follows the mysterious woman and learns that her name is Manjushree, and as they show an interest in each other the prince is attacked by some stranger. Hearing a scuffle and gunshots Bimal rushes to the place only to find a dead body vanish within minutes. Next day Bimal realises that Smarajit Sen had been in Ratnagarh as he now directly joins the party to solve the case. What will be the solution of the mystery? What will happen to the people entangled in it? 

This was Ajoy Kar's first film as an independent director. Arguably the first adaptation of The Hound of Baskervilles in Bengali cinema, the film recieved great adulation. It was said to have inspired Biren Naug's (who was a member of the crew here) acclaimed thriller Bees Saal Baad.  

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