Dastak (1970)

 ●  Hindi ● 2 hrs 25 mins

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Author Bedi uses his own outstanding script for his directorial debut financed by the FFC as part of early New Indian Cinema. Hamid (S. Kumar), a clerk in Bombay, and his bride Salma (Sultan) live next to the red-light district in a small apartment formerly inhabited by the famous prostitute Shamshad (Bhopali). Clients still turn up, to the annoyance of the young couple who strive to achieve respectability. In contrast to the abstract commands of ‘respectable’ morality, the grossly materialist economics of prostitution offering more concrete and immediate benefits acquire liberating overtones for the couple. When Hamid refuses a bribe and finds himself unable to buy his own house or to raise money for his sister-in-law’s marriage, he displaces his anger and frustration into sexual exploitation. He rapes his wife and fantasises her as a whore in order to be able to respond to her sexually. For Salma, it is the association between prostitution and classical music which provides the link to her family inheritance. Eventually the two realise that there is no escape from prostitution (in reality or as a metaphor) in the urban world. Commercially, the theme had obvious voyeuristic attractions exploited fully in its publicity: the notorious scene where Salma lies on the floor, naked, features prominently in the advertising campaign. Unfortunately, the script, published as a book (1971) with considerable literary merit, was greatly marred by the screen adaptation. Songs include Bahian na dharo and Hum hain mataye-kuch-o-bazaar ki tarah, both sung by Lata Mangeshkar.

Cast: Rehana Sultan, Sanjeev Kumar

Crew: Rajinder Singh Bedi (Director), Kamal Bose (Director of Photography), Madan Mohan Kohli (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Drama, Musical

Release Dates: 31 Dec 1970 (India)

Hindi Name: दस्तक

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as Salma Ahmed
as Hamid Ahmed
Supporting Actress
as Akhtar Marativale
as Brijmohan
as Shahid
as Salma's Father


Assistant Director


Production Company
Production Manager


Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography
Still Photographer


Music Director
Playback Singer


Sound Re-recording Mixer
Assistant Sound Re-recording Mixer


Art Director




Assistant Editor

Makeup and Hair

Hair Stylist

Marketing and Public Relations

Public Relations Officer
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Music Director: Madan Mohan Kohli
Playback Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music Director: Madan Mohan Kohli
Playback Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music Director: Madan Mohan Kohli
Playback Singer: Mohammad Rafi