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July 13, 2018

A tribute to the fifties


July 13, 2018

Mandwa Film Club of Lok Virsa brings film ‘Gumnam’ from 1954 for screening on July 14 at 5 p.m. to pay tribute to the fifties.

The early-fifties when everything was young here in an independent country(even though film making had started at Lahore in the thirties), film world was ready to accept the challenges in the field .The three film studios damaged during partition riots were being renovated and refurbished. Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi and his then wife Noorjehan had given finishing touches to Shahnoor, as first complete renovated studios after independence. Producer Agha G A Gul and screenwriter-director Anwar Kamal Pasha filmed Gumnam at Shahnoor Studios.

With a story by Hakim Ahmad Shujah woven around crime, lust and betrayal, Sudhir plays the innocent mysterious man who has been planted and trapped n a criminal case by club owner vicious villain Himalyawala. Sabiha is the crazy village girl who keeps waiting for letters from her fiancée gone on the-battlefront. Ragni in a brief role, is the ageing golden heart club dancer.

New find, Seema, was seen here as the second heroine in her only first and last film. Without revealing more spicy details about the plot, ‘Gumnam’ really belongs to Sabiha and it played a significant role in advancing her career into making her as one of the top heroines from the fifties with films like ‘Qatil’, ‘Dulla Bhatti’, ‘Hameeda’,’Choti Begum’,’Sarfrosh’,’Ishq-e-Laila’, ‘Saat Lakh’,’Wadah’ and ‘Mukhra’.

With lyrics by Qateel Shifai and Saifuddin Saif, composer Master Inayat Hussain's melodies rendered by Iqbal Bano, Kausar Parveen, Munawar Sultana and Fazal Hussain, songs were one of the major highlights of Gumnam: "Pyal me geet hain cham cham key"; "Ankheen mila key pyar sey"; "Bhag yahaan sey bhaag" and "Chandi ki eik jhankar per.”

Going down-the-memory lane, ‘Gumnam’ would be remembered for its strong direction, acting (Read:Sabiha) and musical score. The film brings out both the simple life in a village as well as the betrayal, lust, greed and enormous wealth of the city folks with clubs and urban luxuries. The characters portrayed in the film are close to us and therefor believable and near to life. Their needs are real. Technically, the film is A-rated with good camera work, editing and art direction. ‘Gumnam’ has no huge sets, false looks, precious jewellery, wardrobe or make-believe formula ingredients which are pre-requisite today. That was yesterday and this of course is today.

Screenwriter-Director: Anwar Kamal Pasha

Producer: G A Gul

Music: Master Inayat Hussain

Cast: Sabiha, Sudhir, Ragni, Seema, Himalyawala

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