September 2011

The Tragic ending of Cuckoo Moore – Helen remembers Cuckoo

By |September 17th, 2011|

Cuckoo Moore, the legendary cabaret queen of the Bollywood was one of those film stars who lived ostentatiously, spent extravagantly and died broke and penniless. Her three cars (one for her use, one for taking her dogs for a drive, and the other often […]

August 2011

Inter-changing playback singers on same person in the same song

By |August 4th, 2011|

Using multiple playback singers for same person in the same film was a common practice in Hindi films. For example, in Tamasha (1952) Meena Kumari got playback from Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar. I can understand the reasons behind that practice.  Perhaps […]

December 2010

Awaara (1951)

By |December 11th, 2010|

Awaara was the film that established Raj Kapoor as a major international film star; it also became one of the most popular Hindi films overseas (mainly in Asia and the former USSR) and was remade in many other national cinemas. It was also the […]

November 2010

Shabnam (1949)

By |November 20th, 2010|

This latest Filmistan picture running to crowded houses at Roxy for many weeks now is a picture which does credit to S. Mukerji the producer, who gave us in the past pictures like Kangan, Bandhan, Naya Sansar etc. There are no less than ten […]

May 2010

Cuckoo, Shamshad Begum and Shanker Jaikishen

By |May 16th, 2010|

This is the only SOLO song sung by Shamshad Begum for Shanker-Jaikishan. Shanker Jaikishan used Shamshad’s voice only 3 times during their long careers. The reason for using her voice sparingly in their compositions is provided by Shamshad and her daughter Usha below…

“Shamshad Begum […]

December 2009

Andaz (1949)

By |December 26th, 2009|

Mehboob Khan’s Andaz opened the prestigious new Liberty cinema in Bombay. Nargis plays the role of Neeta, a modern woman who mixes freely with men, rides horses and wears western clothes. She seems to be falling in love with her father’s manager, Dilip Kumar, […]

November 2009

Cuckoo – Profile

By |November 27th, 2009|

Cuckoo was perhaps the first of the most well known dancing queens of Indian Cinema. Her predecessors were many, including a dancer called Azurie, who it is said Cuckoo modeled herself on. But in terms of the sheer body of work and its impact, […]

September 2009

Cuckoo in Aan (1952)

By |September 12th, 2009|

Bollywood Dancer Cuckoo in Aan (1952) – perhaps her only dance sequence picturized in color