indian cinema heritage foundation

Master Bachu

  • Primary Cinema: Hindi

Active mainly in the early silent era of Indian cinema, Master Bachu (also credited as Bachu Master) is known for films such as Rup Basant (1928), Bharari the Bandit (1931), and Taj Ke Talwar (1931). He appeared primarily in supporting actor roles in around 20 films, many of which were produced by the Surya Film Company, which had been founded in 1928 in a charming location in Bangalore by Haribhai and Boilala C Dave. With a superior technical team, the studio made approximately 40 films of good quality in four years, before ceasing activities with the arrival of the talkie in 1932. He would also act in talkie films like the Hindi language fantasy film Jahazi Lutera (1957).

Among the earliest films Bachu acted in is Sharda Film Company’s Ratan Manjari in 1926, directed by Manilal Joshi. The film, written by Nanubhai B Desai and Kidcaid Justice, starred Master Vithal in his debut film as lead actor, along with Mary and Jani Babu

His 1928 release Rup Basant was produced by Suvarna Pictures, Pune. Directed by Chauhan P V and written by Nanubhai B Desai, it starred Bachu alongside Gade Baburao, and Wamanrao Kulkarni

The drama genre Sherdil, his release of 1931, was directed by Haribhai Raghunathji Desai and written by R Nanubhai Desai. This Surya Film Company production starred Baby Garbo, Jena, and Jamadagni, as well as Jamu Patel, Zunjrao Pawar, and Roshan Ali.

The cast of Khabardar, the V M Gunjal-directed drama film that he acted in, also included Murad Ali, Ramkumar, and Ganpat G Shinde

Surya Film Company’s Taj Ke Talwar/ The Jaw Breakers (1931), a costume genre film, saw him act alongside Jamu Patel, Jena, Zunjrao Pawar, and the comedian Gade Baburao. Directed by Baburao and Sunderrao Nadkarni, the film was scripted by Nanubhai Desai. It was released at West-End cinema, Lamington road, Bombay on 9 May 1931.

Red Archer/ Teer-e-Qatil (1931), directed by Sunderrao Nadkarni and written by R Nanubhai Desai, saw Bachu as part of the cast comprising Jena, Gade Baburao, Jamu Patel and Zunjrao Pawar. This costume genre film produced by Surya Films, Bangalore, was released on 18 July 1931 at West-End cinema, Lamington road, Bombay.

The same year, he also acted in Vishwesh Film Company’s Bharari The Bandit (1931), a stunt genre film scripted and directed by Dada Gunjal. The cast of this action adventure film included Ramkuver, Murad Khan, Bhosle, Sushila, and others.

The Baburao Painter-directed The Fiats of Steel/ Poladi Farman (1931) saw him star alongside Jena, Wamanrao Kulkarni, and Gade Baburao in this Surya Film Company production that was written by Nanubhai Desai.

Surya Film Company’s The Hawk/ Baj Bahadur (1931), directed by Sundarrao Nadkarni and written by R Nanubhai Desai, featured Bachu along with Laxmi, Zunjrao Pawar, Wamanrao Kulkarni, Jamu Patel, Holms, Ata Mohammed, and Gade Baburao. The film was based on Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

In 1932, he was seen in Three Daggers/ Bhedi Khanjar, directed by Dada Gunjal and written by Dilawar and Gunjal. This stunt genre film made under the banner of Vishwesh Films Company, starred Gulnar, Gulzar, Ganpat Shinde and Murad Ali. 

Surya Film Company’s The Star of Asia/ Asia Sitara (1932) directed by Haribhai Raghunathji Desai and written by R Nanubhai Desai, saw him cast alongside Jamu Patel, Jena, Wamanrao Kulkarni, Doss, and Baby Garbo

In 1933, he acted in Jayant Pictures, Bombay’s silent feature Pearl of Egypt (Misar Nu Moti). Directed by Homi Master, scripted by Mohanlal G Dave, and cinematographed by V M Vyas, the film’s cast included R N Vaidya, Miss Vijaya and Powar.

Among the last films Bachu featured in, is Jahazi Lutera (1957), a Hindi language fantasy genre film made under the banner of Akku Productions, Bombay. Produced and financed by Ramkumar Navin Bhansali, and directed by Akkoo, the film’s cast comprised Shashikala, Jairaj, Habib, Anwar, and others.