Upkaar (1967)

 ●  Hindi ● 2 hrs 55 mins

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Stridently nationalistic melodrama with which Manoj Kumar launched a series casting himself as good hero Bharat, contrasting his son-of-the- soil simplicity with Westernised decadence (cf. Purab Aur Paschim, 1970). He tends to the family fields to pay for bad younger brother Puran’s (Chopra) education, but Puran spends it all in a dissolute life in the city. When the villain (Puri), who had killed their father, encourages enmity between the brothers, Bharat surrenders all his property and joins the Indian Army. The villain follows him into the war and tries to kill him, but he is rescued by the crippled soldier Malang Baba (Pran, attampting a change of screen image). Meanwhile Puran, who heads a nationwide network of smugglers and black marketeers, recants and helps the government to crack the gang. Bharat is saved in a medical operation performed by his girlfriend (Asha Parekh). Much of the strident rhetoric along with the peasant-and-soldier iconography (illustrating the Jai jawan jai kisan slogan) is in the context of India’s war with Pakistan the previous year. The film’s nationalism is encapsulated in its theme song Mere desh ki dharti (sung by Mahendra Kapoor), and the other hit is Lata Mangeshkar’s Har khushi ho wahan.

Cast: Asha Parekh, Manoj Kumar

Crew: Manoj Kumar (Director), VN Reddy (Director of Photography), Anandji Virji Shah (Music Director), Kalyanji Virji Shah (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 01 Jan 1967 (India)

Hindi Name: उपकार

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Did you know? Manoj Kumar put a stop to Asha Parekh's habit of crinkling her forehead during emotional scenes. Read More
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as Kavita
as Bharat
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actress
as Lala Dhaniram
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
as Kishan




Associate Producer



Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Art Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
Leading lady Asha Parekh had an image as a dancing heroine. Star and filmmaker Manoj Kumar wanted to change her image, since she was playing a doctor promoting planned parenthood, so he gave her only two dance moves in the entire film.

Manoj Kumar put a stop to Asha Parekh's habit of crinkling her forehead during emotional scenes.

Manoj Kumar shushed Asha Parekh when she complained about the number of takes for an early morning shot. She got upset and stopped talking to him, but she completed her work on the film. However, she didn't attend the film's premiere, even though its success raised her box-office stature. Two years later, Manoj and Asha started talking to each other again on the set of their next film "Sajan" (1969). In 2009, Asha referred to Manoj as a "very intelligent person."

Manoj Kumar said that a "half-lit Asha Parekh" is one of the most beautiful images that he has ever seen on film.