Mahal (1949)

 ●  Hindi ● 2 hrs 45 mins

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Hari Shankar (Ashok Kumar) comes to claim his inheritance - a palatial building known as Shabnam Mahal. He does not see anything out of the normal, until he sees his portrait on the wall. The housekeeper tells him the background of the portrait and the tragic ending of two lovers. Later, Hari Shankar sees a woman singing and swinging in the garden swing, when he approaches, she disappears. Both the housekeeper and his lawyer friend, Shrinath, warn Hari Shankar, and ask him to stay away from this house, he does so, only to be drawn back. No one can help Hari Shankar now as he continues to be drawn deeper and deeper into the dark world of the ghostly apparition. "Ayega.. ayega... aanewala, aayega...." is still popular on radio and tapes/cd.

Cast: Ashok Kumar Ganguly, Madhubala

Crew: Kamal Amrohi (Director), Josef Wirsching (Director of Photography), Khemchand Prakash (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Release Dates: 01 Jan 1949 (India)

Hindi Name: महल

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Did you know? This was Kamal Amrohi's directorial debut. Read More
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Film Type:
Spoken Languages:
Colour Info:
Black & White
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Frame Rate:
24 fps
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During the recording of the film music, a man carelessly said that if the film didn't prove to be a hit it would be because of the music. When the film was released, however, the music was extremely popular, and music director Khemchand Prakash received letters from all over India. Even though he was ill at the time, Prakash went to that man's house and made him read all those letters.

This was the first Hindi ghost film to have a song which works as a leitmotif through out the film. This became a trend and was followed in other suspense/ghost films such as Madhumati, Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saaya.

This was Bombay Talkies' greatest hit movie. Unfortunately, it couldn't save the company, which closed down in 1954.

This was Kamal Amrohi's directorial debut.

The Song "Aayega Aanewala" was the first Hit Song of Lata Mangeshkar. During that period, songs would be attached to the characters of the Movie and people would not get to know the Singer. This song became that when AIR (All India Radio) played it, people called up to know the name of the singer, and AIR subsequently called up the Recording House to know. Today, Lata Mangeshkar is the undisputed female playback singing queen of India.