Year – 1954
Language – Hindi
Country – India
Producer – Sheikh Mukhtar Production
Director – M. A. Ansari
Music Director – O. P. Nayyar, Mohd Shafi
Box-Office Status –
Cast – Sheikh Mukhtar, Nigar Sultana, Aroon, Mukri, Ansari, Sheila Ramani
Miscellaneous Information –
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Sheikh Mukhtar Productions’ action-packed, sentimental human drama “Mangu,” whichwas premiered at the Super and other cinemas in Bombay on February 11, is one of those films loaded with mass appeal. Deftly written and cleverly directed, the picture is a singular success for N. A. Ansari, the veteran character-actor, who makes a promising debut as a full-fledged director in, this film.
The story centres round the exploits and innate humanity of a giant-sized tramp called Mangu. His rugged exterior and enormous physical strength lend poignancy to the pleasing qualities of his heart. Never given to working for a living, he becomes a changed man when an innocent child, an heiress chased by assassins hired by her uncle, suddenly comes into his life and he takes upon himself the responsibility of sheltering her.
In this task he is aided by another tramp, a dwarf who justifies his name, Kamchor, by his abhorrence for work. For the sake of the child Mangu begins to work as a railway coolie and, in the colony where he lives, meets and falls in love with the daughter of a fellow-worker. On the other hand the hunt for the child continues unabated and Dr. Shorey, the wicked uncle of the child, tries every trick to deprive her of her inheritance.
The big, bluff Sheikh Mukhtar dominates the picture with his powerful personality and fine, sympathetic performance in the role of Mangu, the kind-hearted tramp. Mukri, the pint-sized comedian, lends able support to Sheikh Mukhtar as Kamchor and brings the house down with his mirthful sequences.
Niger Sultana as Mukhtar’s sweetheart, Purvi, looks utterly charming and is superb. She puts over the song sequences with gay abandon and alluring ease. Ansari as Dr. Shorey, the villain of the piece, lives up to his reputation as one of the most hated badmen of the Indian screen. Baby Shashi as the child heiress who is the victim of all the intrigue in the film endears herself to audiences in her delightful, impish and enchanting role.
Sankatha Prasad as Purvi’s kind and sympathetic father, Mumtaz as the child’s long- suffering mother and Aroon as her rich relation are others who do well in their roles.
A complete misfit in the cast, however, is Sheila Ramani in a role which demanded dramatic talent and dancing ability. Stiff and stilted, with more pose than poise, she reduces what could have been an entertaining characterization to a dull, artificial portrayal.
The songs are melodious, and are pleasingly sung, scored and written. Anna Nevada, the Spanish danseuse, contributes an exotic dance number.
Production values in matters of decor, sets, photography and sound are good.