indian cinema heritage foundation

S C Bhambri

Sound Recording/ Audiography
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi

A sound recordist, social worker and building contractor, S C Bhambri wore many hats during his illustrious career. Enjoying a long and illustrious career of over half a century, he is the winner of two Filmfare Awards for Best Sound Design for Talash (1969) and Pathar Ke Insan (1990). Born in Lahore in 1928, he shifted to Bombay after getting a B.Sc. from Panjab University. He finished three diploma courses in Bombay – in Sound Engineering, Radio Technology and Electrical Wiring, and Electrical Technology. His first stint in the film industry was as an assistant recordist for Filmistan Studios. He worked as a solo sound recordist for the first time in musical hit Nagin (1954). 

He worked at Filmistan till 1962 during which he also worked as an assistant in Nastik (1954). He was also the audiographer for the 1957 Kishore Sahu film Bade Sarkar. The other films he worked in during this interval were Hum Bhi Kuchh Kam Nahi (1958), Bhai Bahen (1959) and Do Dost (1960). He departed to start a new innings as a freelancer, a phase which brought him great success and a series of memorable films. This phase of his career began with the O P Ralhan superhit Phool Aur Patthar (1966). The film kicked off a partnership between the two. Following this success, he worked in two of Lekh Tandon’s films – the historical epic Amrapali (1966) and the comedy Jhuk Gaya Asmaan(1968).  His next collaboration with O P Ralhan brought him considerable success. His work in the romantic thriller Talash (incidentally the first Hindi film to be publicized as having a budget of 1 crore) fetched him his first Filmfare Award for Best Sound Design. He worked with Ralhan again in the thriller Hulchul (1971). He continued working through the 70s and 80s in films like Anhonee (1973), Bandhe Hath (1973),Pocket Maar (1974), Chhaila Babu (1977), Paapi (1977), Lal Kothi(1978), Fiffty Fiffty (1981) and Lover Boy(1985). The next significant achievement of his career was the Shomu Mukherjee directed Pathar Ke Insan which made him one of a handful of artists to win the Filmfare Award for Best Sound Design twice. Following this, he worked in films like Ek Ladka Ek Ladki (1992), Sangdil Sanam (1994) and Achanak (1998). The last film credited to him was Khauff (2000). 

As a building contractor, he was in charge of the construction of several factories in Bombay. He also built two cinema halls of Bombay – Topiwala and Hanjer and briefly managed both.