Pyaasa (1957)

 ●  Hindi ● 2 hrs 32 mins

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Vijay (Dutt) is an unsuccessful poet whose work is sold by his brothers as waste paper. Unable to bear the reigning philistinism, he elects to live on the streets where a young prostitute, Gulab (W. Rehman), falls in love with him and his poetry while Vijay’s former girlfriend Meena (Sinha) marries an arrogant publisher, Mr Ghosh (Rehman), for comfort and security. When a dead beggar to whom Vijay gave his coat is mistaken for Vijay, Gulab has his poetry published in a book which becomes a best seller. Everyone who previously rejected Vijay now gathers to pay tribute to the dead poet. Vijay disrupts the celebration with a passionate song denouncing hypocrisy and calling for the violent destruction of a corrupt world.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman

Crew: Guru Dutt (Director), VK Murthy (Director of Photography), Sachin Dev Burman (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Drama, Musical, Romance

Release Dates: 19 Feb 1957 (India)

Hindi Name: प्यासा

Movie Rating
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Did you know? This was Waheeda Rehman's first major leading role in Hindi cinema, and it was a bold choice because she had to play the character of Gulab, a sex-worker. Read More
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as Vijay
as Meena
as Gulabo
as Abdul Sattar
as Juhi
as Vijay's Mother
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
as Pushplata




Production Company



Story Writer
Screenplay Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director
Playback Singer


Art Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer



Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist


Special Thanks
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
This was Waheeda Rehman's first major leading role in Hindi cinema, and it was a bold choice because she had to play the character of Gulab, a sex-worker.

The film was originally titled 'Pyaas' (thirst), but Guru Dutt later changed it to 'Pyaasa' to better describe the film.

In the original ending Guru Dutt wanted to show that Vijay left all alone but on the distributors' insistence the ending was changed.

The role of Shyam was originally to be played by Guru Dutt's real life friend, Johny Walker but was then assigned to one of Guru Dutt's assistant directors.

Guru Dutt wanted to film red light area scenes on locations in Kolkata (then Calcutta) but the crew was attacked by a group of pimps. Guru Dutt however recreated sets on the basis of photos taken at Kolkata.

It is also surmised that the story is based on the life of film's lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi who had failed affair with poet and writer Amrita Pritam .

On the occasion of Valentine's Day 2011 Time magazine has declared this movie as one of the top 10 romantic movies of all time.

This movie by Guru Dutt is a classic melodrama inspired by Saratchandra’s novel 'Srikanta', was the first in a series made by him, addressing the state of the nation and the displaced romantic artist

The film was to be made with Nargis and Madhubala in the roles Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman played eventually. However the two actresses were unable to decide which role they wanted to play and Guru Dutt eventually opted for two then new actresses, Mala and Waheeda.

The movie was rated one of the best 100 films of all time by the Time Magazine in 2005.

This movie has been rated as the number-one all-time favorite movie by the Bollywood actor Aamir Khan