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Gyan Mukherjee (30 September 1909 – 13 November 1956) was a Bengali Indian film director and screenwriter, who worked in Hindi cinema, best known for the hits Jhoola (1941) and Kismet (1943).

Gyan Mukherjee
Photo of Gyan Mukerjee.jpg
Born(1909-09-30)30 September 1909
Died13 November 1956(1956-11-13) (aged 47)
Occupationfilm director and screenwriter
Years active1930s–1956


Early lifeEdit

Mukherjee was born on 30 September 1909 in Benares (now Varanasi), United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), British India. He graduated with a degree in science.[1]


Early careerEdit

Mukherjee started his career with New Theatres in Calcutta (now Kolkata), Bengal Presidency (now West Bengal), and subsequently joined Bombay Talkies as a supervising technician. Soon became a trendsetter of "formula film" starting with first directorial venture Geeta (1940) based on the theme, "Crime-doesn't-pay", "Boy meets girl" was used in Jhoola (1941).[2]


In 1943, he reused the formula of Geeta to direct the biggest hit of his career, Kismet (1943), which also add another formula of "lost-and-found", which remained popular for several decades in Hindi films.[2] The film had Ashok Kumar, the leading star of the era, playing an anti-hero and also appearing in a double role. The film had a strong-anti British sentiment and also featured the noted patriotic song, "Door hato O Duniya walon, Hindustan Hamara Hai" (Leave People of World, India is Ours) by Kavi Pradeep,[3][4] and went on to run at Roxy Cinema in Calcutta for 3 years and 8 months.[5][6][7] Subhash K. Jha has called Kismet as one of the most influential films of all times" in Indian cinema.[8]

After death of Himanshu Rai, founder of Bombay Talkies Studio in 1940, a group led by producer Sashadhar Mukherjee along with production controller Rai Bahadur Chunilal,[9] actor Ashok Kumar and Mukherjee, broke away to establish the Filmistan studio in March 1943 at the premises of old Sharada Movietone studios in Goregaon, Mumbai.[10][11] He retouched the concept of anti-hero in Sangram (1950), today his works are seen as early depictions of the underworld and the anti-hero in Indian cinema.[2]

While working at Bombay Talkies, auteur Guru Dutt trained under him, though he also assisted Amiya Chakravarty, Dutt emulated Mukherjee's formula-based film style in his early films and eventually dedicated his classic, Pyaasa (1957) to Mukherjee,[2][7] Another noted director, who assisted him at Bombay Talkies, was Shakti Samanta, who later made Aradhana (1969) and Amar Prem (1972).[12]


Mujherjee died on 13 November 1956 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), at the age of 47. Guru Dutt's Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) is considered to be an homage to Mukherjee.[13]


Year Film Work
Direction Screenplay
1940 Geeta Yes
Bandhan Yes
1941 Jhoola Yes
Naya Sansar Yes
Jhoola Yes
1943 Kismet Yes
1944 Chal Chal Re Naujawan Yes
1950 Sangram Yes Yes
1953 Shamsheer Yes
1955 Sardar Yes
1956 Shatranj Yes


  1. ^ "Gyan Mukherjee early life". India Cine. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Ashoka Da Ranade (1 January 2006). Hindi Film Song: Music Beyond Boundaries. Bibliophile South Asia. pp. 95–. ISBN 978-81-85002-64-4. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  3. ^ Priya Jaikumar (3 May 2006). Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India. Duke University Press. pp. 236–. ISBN 978-0-8223-3793-5. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Blast From The Past: Kismet (1943)". The Hindu. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  5. ^ S. B. Bhattacherje (1 May 2009). Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-81-207-4074-7. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  6. ^ Gulzar, p. 5
  7. ^ a b Santhya Saran; Abrar Alvi (2008). Ten Years With Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi's Journey. Penguin Books India. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-670-08221-6. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  8. ^ Subhash K. Jha (20 April 2005). "The ones who dared"., Movies. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  9. ^ Father of music composer Madan Mohan.
  10. ^ Gulzar, p. 593
  11. ^ Kabir, p. 29
  12. ^ "Veteran film-maker S Samanta passes away". The Times of India. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  13. ^ Helio San Miguel (2012). World Film Locations: Mumbai. Intellect Books. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-84150-632-6.


External linksEdit