Savitri (1937 film)

Savitri is a 1937 mythology legend Hindi film directed by Franz Osten.[1][2] Adapted from a story in the Mahabharata the writers were Niranjan Pal with dialogues by J. S. Casshyap. The cinematographer was Joseph Wirsching. Saraswati Devi composed the music.[3] According to Garga, Savitri was the "only mythological" produced by Himanshu Rai for Bombay Talkies, who were known for making "rurlist reform dramas".[4][5]Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani played the lead roles supported by Maya Devi, Saroj Borkar, Mumtaz Ali, and Sunita Devi.[6]

Savitri 1937 film.jpg
Directed byFranz Osten
Written by
Produced byBombay Talkies
CinematographyJoseph Wirsching
Music bySaraswati Devi
Bombay Talkies
Distributed byRamniklal Mohanlal and Co., Bombay
Release date
Running time
136 minutes
CountryBritish India

The film is based on an incident from the epic Mahabharata and tells the story of Savitri and Satyavan, played by Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar. Savitri persists in getting the god of death, Yama, to revoke her husband Satyavan's death.


Savitri is born as a boon from the Sun God and thus shares a blood-relation with Karna as a sister, to Ashwapati, the King of Madra and his wife Malawi. Savitri meets and falls in love with Satyavan, the son of the blind King Dumatasena. Dumtasena's Minister has taken over his kingdom and exiled the king, who now lives in the forest. When Savitri decides to marry Satyavan, the sage Narada advises against it, as according to the planetary charts, Satyavan will die a year following their marriage. However, Savitri insists on going ahead, ready to take on Yama the God of death. A year later when Savitri sees Yama carrying Satyavan's soul she follows and discourses with him, while continuing her pursuit. Finally, Yama tells her she can ask three boons of him except for Satyavan's life. The boons Savitri asks for are: sight for her father-in-law and restoration of his kingdom, her father should be granted a hundred sons, and last, she be granted a hundred sons. Yama gives in to her request, thereby restoring Satyavan's life. Her father-in-law's sight is restored and he learns of the death of his usurper.


Savitri In Indian CinemaEdit

There were about thirty-four versions of the Savitri Satyavan films made. One of the earliest was the film Savitri produced in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke.[7] The 1923 version, Savitri also called Satyavan Savitri, was an Italian co-production directed by Giorgio Mannini and J. J. Madan produced by Madan Theatres Ltd. and Cines.[8] Savitri (1933) was the first film produced by East India Film Company. Directed by C. Pullaiah, it received an Honorary Certificate at the Venice Film Festival.[9]


Music was composed by Saraswati Devi with lyrics by J. S. Casshyap. The singers were Devika Rani, Ashok Kumar, Sushila Bhiwandkar, Chandraprabha, and P. F. Pithawala.[10]


# Title Singer
1 Uttho Uttho Begi Uttho Sajanwa Devika Rani
2 Surya Wahi Chandra Wahi Ashok Kumar
3 Koi Aandhi Ko Rok Sake Rok Le Sushila Bhiwandkar
4 Surya Kiran Navjivan Laayi Chandraprabha
5 Saath Saath Jaayenge Chandraprabha
6 Wahan Der Sahi Andher Nahin P. F. Pithawala
7 Yo Suno Geet Sangeet Manohar Ashok Kumar
8 Devi Devi Sur Nar Muni
9 Dhanya Hua Dhany Hua Tav Kaaran Aaj
10 Jab Koyal Ku Ku Karti Kya Veena Bhi Sur Bharti Sushila Bhiwandkar
11 Jal Bharan Aayi Gujariya Ashok Kumar
12 Hari Jab Jab Bhagat Par Bheer Padi P. F. Pithawala


  1. ^ Karanjia, B. K. (1989). Genres of Indian Cinema. The Author. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  2. ^ Shoma A. Chatterji (10 June 2014). 100 Years of Jump-Cuts and Fade-Outs. Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd 2014. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-81-291-3430-1. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Savitri (1937)". Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  4. ^ Bhagwan Das Garga (1996). So many cinemas: the motion picture in India. Eminence Designs. ISBN 978-81-900602-1-9. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Savitri 1937". Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Savitri". Alan Goble. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Savitri Films List". Alan Goble. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Savitri 1923". Alan Goble. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  9. ^ Ponram P (1 December 2014). Life in India: Culture. Ponram P. pp. 153–. GGKEY:43NZKK4BRBF. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Savitri (1937)". Muvyz, Ltd. Retrieved 18 April 2015.

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