B. R. Chopra

Baldev Raj Chopra (22 April 1914 – 5 November 2008)[1] was an Indian director and producer of Bollywood movies and television serials. Best known for directing Hindi films like Naya Daur (1957), Sadhna (1958), Kanoon (1961), Gumrah (1963), Humraaz (1967), Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980), Nikaah (1982), Awam (1987), and the producer of TV series, Mahabharat in 1988,[2] he was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1998.[3]

B. R. Chopra
Baldev Raj Chopra

(1914-04-22)22 April 1914
Died5 November 2008(2008-11-05) (aged 94)
OccupationFilm producer, director.
Years active1944–2006
Spouse(s)Prakash Chopra
ChildrenRavi Chopra, Shashi Chopra, Bina Chopra
RelativesSee Chopra-Johar family
HonoursDadasaheb Phalke Award (1998)
Padma Bhushan (2001)

His younger brother Yash Chopra, son Ravi Chopra and nephew Aditya Chopra are also directors in the Bollywood industry. His nephew Uday Chopra is an actor and producer.


Chopra was born on 22 April 1914 in Rahon, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district (formerly Nawanshahr district) to Vilayati Raj Chopra, an employee of the PWD. He later shifted to Lahore. He was the second of several siblings; his youngest brother was filmmaker Yash Chopra.[4]

Chopra received an M.A. in English literature from University of the Punjab in Lahore. He started his career in 1944 as a film journalist with Cine Herald, a film-monthly published in Lahore, he later took over the magazine and ran it until 1947.[5] In the same year, he launched a film with a story by I. S. Johar, Chandni Chowk. Naeem Hashmi was hero of this movie and Erika Rukhshi was the heroine. Just as the production of film was to start, riots broke out in Lahore and he and his family had to flee from the city. After the partition of India into India and Pakistan in 1947, he moved to Delhi. He later moved to Mumbai, where his first production, Karwat, began in 1948, though it turned out to be a flop. His first film as a director, Afsana, was released in 1951 and featured Ashok Kumar in a double role – the film was a hit and established his name in Bollywood. Chopra made Chandni Chowk, with Meena Kumari as a lead, in 1954. In 1955, Chopra formed his own production house, B.R Films. His first movie for this production house was Ek hi Raasta which was highly successfulhe followed it up with Naya Daur (1957) starring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala Bali, the film became a golden jubilee hit. His subsequent releases like Kanoon, Gumrah, Humraaz were major hits in the sixties. In 1963, he was a member of the jury at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival.[6] His second film with actor Dilip Kumar was Dastaan which became a flop in 1972.

He directed successful film across genres after 1972, with films like suspense thriller Dhund, drama Karma (1977), comedy film Pati Patni Aur Woh, crime film in Insaaf Ka Tarazu, Muslim social in Nikaah and the political thriller Awam.

He was the producer for the films Dhool Ka Phool, Waqt, Aadmi Aur Insaan and Ittefaq directed by his younger brother Yash Chopra, and he also produced The Burning Train, Aaj Ki Awaaz, Mazdoor, Baghban, Baabul, Bhootnath which were directed by Ravi Chopra.

Chopra was instrumental in developing the career of singer Mahendra Kapoor, whom he employed in most of his movies. (Director-producer Yash Chopra cast Mahendra Kapoor's son in Faasle.) One prominent thing about B. R. Chopra is the relatively low number of songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi in his films, with Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor being his preferred singers. The reason behind this was never revealed by him or the singers. Incidentally, both Chopra and Kapoor died within a gap of little longer than a month in 2008, with the latter dying first.

Chopra forayed into television with Mahabharat, one of the most successful TV serials in Indian television history, where Nitish Bharadwaj played the role of Krishna and this was co-directed by him with his son. He also produced TV Series on Bahadur Shah Zafar, Kanoon (1993), Aap Beeti, Vishnu Puran (2000) and Maa Shakti. He produced films like Baghbhan, Babul and Bhootnath, after 2000.

He died in Mumbai at the age of 94 on 5 November 2008,[7] survived by his son, Ravi Chopra, and two daughters Shashi and Bina.[8]


Chopra on a 2013 stamp of India
Civilian awards
National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards
Other Awards
  • 1998: Kalakar Awards for Lifetime Achievement[citation needed]
  • 2008: Phalke Ratna Award by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy[12]


Year Film Role(s) Notes
1951 Afsana Director, Producer Directorial debut
1953 Sholey Director
1954 Chandni Chowk Director
1956 Ek Hi Raasta Director, Producer First film under B.R. Films
1957 Naya Daur Director, Producer
1958 Sadhna Director, Producer Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Film
1959 Dhool Ka Phool Producer
1960 Kanoon Director, Producer Won- National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
Filmfare Award for Best Director
1961 Dharmputra Producer National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
1963 Gumrah Director, Producer National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
1965 Waqt Producer Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Film
1967 Hamraaz Director, Producer
1969 Ittefaq Producer
1970 Aadmi Aur Insaan Producer
1972 Dastaan Director, Producer
1973 Dhund Director, Producer
1975 Zameer Producer Directorial debut of Ravi Chopra
1976 Chhoti Si Baat Producer Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Film
1977 Karm Director, Producer
1978 Pati Patni Aur Woh Director, Producer
1980 The Burning Train Producer
1980 Insaf Ka Tarazu Director, Producer Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Film
1981 Agni Pareeksha Producer
1982 Beta Producer
1982 Nikaah Director, Producer Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Film, Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Director
1982 Teri Meri Kahani Producer Telefilm
1983 Mazdoor Producer
1983 Dharti Aakash Producer Telefilm
1984 Aaj Ki Awaaz Producer
1985 Ghazal Producer
1985 Tawaif Director
1986 Kirayadar Producer
1986 Dahleez Producer
1987 Awam Director, Producer
1988 Mahabharat Producer TV Series
1991 Pratigyabadh Producer
1992 Kal Ki Awaz Director, Producer
1992 Sauda Director, Producer TV Series
1993 Kanoon Director TV Series
2000 Vishnu Puran Producer TV Series
2001–2002 Ramayan Producer TV Series
2001–2004 Aap Beeti Producer TV Series
2002–2003 Ma Shakti Director, Producer TV Series
2003 Baghban Producer Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Film
2004 Kamini Damini Producer TV Series
2006–2007 Viraasat Producer TV Series
2006 Baabul Producer
2008 Bhoothnath Producer


  1. ^ Filmmaker B R Chopra passes away. Press Trust of India via NDTV. 5 November 2008
  2. ^ B.R.Chopra made socially relevant films The Hindu, 6 November 2008.
  3. ^ B.R. CHOPRA – Purposeful Film Maker – 30th Recipient – 1998 Archived 1 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
  4. ^ Taliculam, Sharmila (4 April 1997). "And miles to go..." Rediff.com. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ Films transformed Chopra's destiny and vice-versa The Times of India, 6 November 2008.
  6. ^ "Berlinale: Juries". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  7. ^ Filmmaker B.R. Chopra dead. Thaindian.com (5 November 2008). Retrieved on 2018-11-09.
  8. ^ Bollywood producer BR Chopra dies. BBC News, 5 November 2008.
  9. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  10. ^ "8th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  11. ^ "9th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  12. ^ Apunkachoice Archived 1 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine

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