indian cinema heritage foundation

Bimal Dutta

  • Born: 1924
  • Died: 4 March, 1996 (Bombay)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi

Writer-director Bimal Dutta, born in 1924, is credited with writing the screenplay of several films, including commercial and critical successes over the decades. Among the films he penned screenplays for are Anupama (1966), Majhli Didi (1967), Satyakam (1969), Anand (1971), Buddha Mil Gaya (1971), Phir Kab Milogi (1974), Hawas (1974), Mili (1975), Chaitali (1975), Kotwal Saab (1977), Naukri (1978), Hum Do Hamare Do (1984), Jhoothi (1985), Tara (1992), and Pratimurti (1993). He wrote the screenplay of several Hrishikesh Mukherjee directorials including Mili, Anand, Satyakam, Buddha Mil Gaya, and Naukri. While Dutta directed Pratimurti and Kasturi (1980), he also produced the latter. 

Filmgoers will especially remember the sensitively penned Mili, a romantic drama directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Ashok Kumar, which centred around a girl who is suffering from a fatal disease, and her love story. In similar vein, was Anand, which has been hailed as one of the greatest films ever made, revolving around a man with a terminal illness who remains cheerful and helpful towards all, thus positively influencing his doctor friend. Dutta’s Anupama was critically acclaimed and was nominated for four Filmfare Awards. An unusual love story starring Dharmendra and Sharmila Tagore, it won the Filmfare Award for Best Cinematography, B&W. Majhli Didi, based on the Bengali language story, Mejdidi (Middle Sister) by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, starred Meena Kumari and Dharmendra. Though the film didn't perform well at the Indian box office, it won Best Screenplay Awards for Nabendu Ghosh and Best Art Direction, B&W for Ajit Banerjee at the 16th Filmfare Awards. It was India's entry to the 41st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Satyakam, based on a Bengali novel of the same name by Narayan Sanyal, starred Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, and Ashok Kumar. The name of the film is synonymous with that of the ancient Hindu saint, Satyakama Jabala. While Dharmendra’s performance is considered one of his best in Hindi cinema, the film also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. 

Buddha Mil Gaya was a comedy thriller, while Phir Kab Milogi was a romance starring Mala Sinha and Biswajeet. The thriller Hawas had a star cast comprising Anil Dhawan, Neetu Singh, Bindu, Vinod Mehra and Rekha in a special appearance in the song Aao yaro gao. Kotwal Saab was a drama actioner starring Shatrughan Sinha and Aparna Sen. Naukri was critically acclaimed and became an unexpected flop at the box office; however, it gained a cult following over the years. Set in 1944–1947, it starred Rajesh Khanna and Raj Kapoor. Hum Do Hamare Do revolved around a hard-working young man who has to marry off his six stepsisters before he can think about getting married… and the lengths his mother goes to, to hasten the proceedings. Jhoothi was a comedy starring Rekha, Raj Babbar, Amol Palekar, Supriya Pathak and Deven Verma; while the Dutta-penned Tara marked Bijaya Jena's debut as a director. It is a National award-winning Odia film about a woman whose journey starts from a loss of innocence to finding a new identity and spiritual growth. Dutta’s directorial Pratimurti starred Rakhee Gulzar, Rajendra Gupta, and Sadhu Meher

Bimal Dutta passed away on 4 March in 1996.