Taxi Driver (1954)

 ●  Hindi ● Running Time: TBA

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Dev Anand’s best-known ‘proletarian’ performance as a taxi driver in a story inspired by film noir. Mangal, alias Hero (Anand), rescues Mala (Kartik) from some hoodlums. This act of chivalry leads to a series of encounters with a violent criminal gang who, later in the film, steal Mangal’s cab to commit a bank robbery. Mala, who has ambitions of becoming a singer in the movies, finds shelter in Mangal’s room, which also forces her, in the most dramatic part of the film involving a mysterious sister-in-law who appears and equally suddenly exits from the story, to cut her hair and to masquerade as a man. Mangal teaches her the foul-mouthed habits of the city’s proletariat, their swaggering gait and their way of lighting a cigarette. Much of the film’s action takes place in a nightclub where an Anglo-Indian cabaret dancer, Sylvie (Ramani), works and who is in love with Mangal. The film climaxes with a shoot-out in the club between the gang, aided by a bunch of film-industry types, and Mangal’s friends. The film’s explicit invocation of Hollywood is particularly well realised in the character of the flaxen-haired Anglo-Indian drummer in Sylvia’s band, Tony (Corke). He also washes cabs, helps to save Mangal’s life and, in a remarkable shot, lies resplendent on the roof of Mangal’s taxi in the background during a drunken chat between Mangal and his comic sidekick (Walker). Most of the songs were Ramani’s cabaret numbers with a few additions: the upbeat ‘socialist- realist’ taxi drivers’ number Chahe koi khush ho chahe galiyan hazaar de sung by Kishore Kumar and the tragic Jaye to jaye kahan sung by Talat Mahmood.

Cast: Dev Anand, Kalpana Kartik

Crew: Chetan Anand (Director), V Ratra (Director of Photography), Sachin Dev Burman (Music Director)

Genres: Musical, Romance

Release Dates: 01 Jan 1954 (India)

Hindi Name: टैक्सी ड्राइवर

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as Mangal
as Mala
as Mastana
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Black & White
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24 fps
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