indian cinema heritage foundation

Subodh Mukherjee

  • Born: 14 April 1921 (Jhansi)
  • Died: 21 May 2005 (Bombay)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi

Born into a family of Bengali lawyers in Jhansi in 1921, Subodh Mukherjee took a keen interest in sports during his growing years. He went to Lucknow to be trained in tennis, and completed most of his education in the city. After his Bachelors, keeping with family tradition, he did an LLB. Following this, he joined the freedom struggle and participated in the Quit India movement and was even jailed for a few months.


After this, he moved to Bombay and joined his brother Sashadhar Mukherjee at Filmistan, beginning his career in films as a continuity assistant and writer, and eventually becoming a director. At the time, Nasir Hussain was also associated with Filmistan, and the two collaborated on various movies like Munimji (1955) and Paying Guest (1957). Nasir Hussain and Subodh Mukherjee soon formed a close friendship. It is said that Subodh would often defeat Nasir Hussain in their friendly games of tennis, prompting the former to name one of the characters in his films after his friend.


The success of these films encouraged Subodh to take on his own independent projects. Unsurprisingly, the theme of this film, Love Marriage (1959), was sport: the lead, Dev Anand played a cricketer in the film. A huge hit, it was followed by the blockbuster film Junglee (1961). Subodh Mukherjee was also thus credited for having discovered Saira Banu, and bringing the beautiful landscape of Kashmir to colour cinema. Some of his other movies included April Fool (1964), Saaz Aur Awaz (1966), Shagird (1967) and Abhinetri (1970).


Subodh Mukherjee died in Bombay on May 21 2005.