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Ganga Jamuna

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Title: Ganga Jamuna  
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Subject: Dacoity, Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni, Bihar, Mughal-e-Azam, Sitapur, Colin Pal, Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer, Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue, Bhanu Athaiya
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Ganga Jamuna

Gunga Jumna
DVD Cover
Directed by Nitin Bose
Produced by Dilip Kumar
Written by Story & screenplay: Dilip Kumar
Dialogue: Wajahat Mirza
Narrated by Dilip Kumar
Starring Dilip Kumar
Nasir Khan
Leela Chitnis
Music by Naushad
Cinematography V. Babasaheb
Editing by Das Dhaimade
Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Studio Mehboob Studio
Distributed by Citizen Films
Release date(s)
Running time 178 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR35 million () (1961)
Box office INR70 million () (1961)
INR7.36 billion () (2010)

Gunga Jumna (Hindi: गंगा जमना, Urdu: گنگا جمنا‎ also transliterated as Ganga Jamuna or Ganga Jamna)[1] is a 1961 dacoit drama Bollywood film produced in Technicolor by Dilip Kumar and directed by Nitin Bose. The film stars Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in the lead with Nasir Khan, Azra, Leela Chitnis, Kanhaiyalal, Anwar Hussain, Nasir Hussain and Helen forming an ensemble cast. Notable for its use of Bhojpuri dialect and its rustic setting, the film features real life brothers Dilip Kumar and Nasir Khan in the title role, is on the story of two brothers, Gunga and Jumna, the poignancy of two brothers on opposite sides of the law.

After six months of delay, the film was finally released in January 1961. Upon release the film was well received by the critics and the audience. It was one of the biggest hits of 1960s and still considered as one of the most successful Indian film in terms of box office collection and its controversial theme which earned the film cult status.

The film and the lead actors, Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala won a lot of accolades for their performance. Upon release it was nominated in seven categories at 9th Filmfare Awards including Best Film, Best Director for Kumar and Bose respectively while winning three; Best Actress for Vyjayanthimala and two other technical award for Wajahat Mirza and V. Balasaheb. It also emerge as the biggest winner at 25th Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards where it won nine awards in the Hindi film category. In additional to that the film also won Certificate of Merit at the 9th National Film Awards.

The film was a trendsetter for movies like Deewaar, Trishul, Amar Akbar Anthony which had similar themes of two brothers on the opposite sides of law.


The films dealt on issue of sibling rivalry and had a theme of two brothers on the opposite sides of law.


The film is about two brothers, Gunga and Jumna, growing up in a village controlled by an evil landlord. When Gunga is framed by the landlord for a crime he did not commit, he escapes to the mountains with his girlfiend, Dhanno, and joins a band of bandits. His younger brother, Jumna, is sent to the city for his education and becomes a police officer. Years later, when Gunga is about to become a father, he decides to return to the village to ask for forgiveness. However, Jumna wants him to surrender to the police for his crimes and when Gunga refuses and tries to leave, Jumna shoots him dead. Gunga's death rendered more poignant by the fact that it was his money that paid for Jumna's education and allowed him to become a policeman.


Widowed Govindi (Leela Chitnis) lives a poor lifestyle in Haripur along with two sons, Gungaram and Jumna. Ganga spends his days working with his mother as a servant in the home of the zamindar's obnoxious family. While Jumna, a promising student, focuses on his schoolwork. While Jumna is studious, Gungaram is the opposite, but has a good heart and decides to use his earnings to ensure his brother gets a decent education. After her employer, Hariram, accuses Govindi of theft, their house is searched, evidence is found, she is arrested, the entire village bails her out, but the shock kills her. After their mother passes, Ganga pledges himself to supporting his younger brother as they grow to adulthood.

The adult Ganga (Dilip Kumar) is a spirited and hardworking fellow, unafraid to take on the zamindar when necessary, while his brother Jumna (Nasir Khan) is more measured and cautious. Ganga sends Jumna to the city to study, and supports him with funds that he earns driving an oxcart and making deliveries for the zamindar. But things get complicated when Ganga saves a local girl, Dhanno (Vyjayanthimala), from the zamindar's lecherous assault. The zamindar (Anwar Hussain) gets his revenge by trumping up a robbery charge against Ganga, landing him in prison. Upon his release, Ganga learns that his brother has become destitute, and attacks and robs the zamindar in a rage. Soon Ganga finds himself an outlaw, and, with Dhanno at his side, he joins a gang of bandits camping out in the wilderness. In the meantime, Jumna meets a fatherly police officer (Nasir Hussain) and becomes a police officer himself. It isn't long before Jumna's professional wanderings take him back to the village of his birth, where he must square off against his outlaw brother, in a showdown between duty and family.


  • Dilip Kumar as Gungaram "Gunga"
  • Vyjayantimala as Dhanno
  • Nasir Khan as Jumna
  • Azra as Kamla
  • Leela Chitnis as Govindi
  • Kanhaiyalal as Kallu
  • Anwar Hussain as Hariram
  • Nasir Hussain as Police Superintendent
  • Helen as Courtesan
  • Ram Kumar as Young Gungaram
  • Kumari Naaz as Young Dhanno
  • Akashdeep as Young Jumna
  • Aruna Irani as Young Kamla

Character map Gunga Jumna and its adaptations


Gunga Jumna
Released 1961 (1961)
Recorded Kaushik
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Sa Re Ga Ma
HMV Group
Naushad chronology

Gunga Jumna
Son of India

The soundtrack for the movie was composed by Naushad and the lyrics were penned by Shakeel Badayuni. The soundtrack consists of 9 songs, featuring vocals by Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Hemant Kumar.

In 2011, MSN ranked Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe at #1 in their list of Top 10 Patriotic songs in Bollywood for Gandhi Jayanti.[2]

Track # Song Singer(s) Length
1 Dagabaaz Tori Batiyan Lata Mangeshkar 2:47
2 Dhoondo Dhoondo Re Sajna Lata Mangeshkar 3:19
3 Do Hanson Ka Joda Lata Mangeshkar 3:14
4 Jhanan Ghoongar Baje Lata Mangeshkar 3:32
5 Naina Lad Jaihen Mohammed Rafi 4:44
6 O Chhalia Re Chhalia Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle 3:30
7 Tora Man Bada Papi Asha Bhonsle 4:41
8 Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe Hemant Kumar 3:20
9 Naina Lad Jaihen (Revival) Mohammed Rafi 4:46


Critical response

Gunga Jumna has received widespread critical acclaim in India as well as overseas. Karan Bali from, call the film has "Gwell-structured and briskly paced film" adding that "notable of the use of Bhojpuri dialect, which helps make the film refreshingly real and gives it a proper locale and geography".[3] Dinesh Raheja from Rediff called the film "What is also moving about Ganga Jamuna is its tragic irony[...]Of all the conundrums of human relationships that Ganga Jamuna explores, the most affecting is the one between Ganga and Dhanno --- an extraordinary love story between two ordinary people, handled with great thought and charm[...]Director Nitin Bose frames some excellent shots even while keeping a tight rein on the narrative".[4] Deepak Mahan from The Hindu said "Gunga Jumna is a classic entertainer at its best with a powerful story, outstanding performances and riveting music[...]an eye-opener as to why good stories will always be the real “super stars” and why content must dictate the form rather than the other way round".[5] Gaurav Malani from The Times of India gave it 3/5 stars and praised actor Dilip Kumar for his performance as Gunga.[6] K. K. Rai from Stardust called the film "the story of two brothers on opposite sides of law repeated over and over again but never with so much power" and applauded Vyjayanthimala for her portrayal of rustic village girl Dhanno where Rai said "Vyjayanthimala’s Dhanno won her the best actress trophy[..]She played the village woman with such simplicity and grace; you’d forget she was one of the most glamorous stars of her time. She also spoke the Bhojpuri dialect like a native".[7]

Gunga Jumna also gained good response from overseas. Philip Lutgendorf from University of Iowa said that "By focusing its story and its audience’s sympathies on the brother who goes astray, however, the film invites a critical and pessimistic appraisal of the state’s ability to protect the underprivileged, and its tragic central character thus anticipates the “angry” proletarian heroes popularized by Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s[...]Linguistic coding is artfully used, with Gunga and Dhanno’s raucous arguments in colorful Bhojpuri dialect contrasted with Jumna’s carefully-measured pronouncements in Khari Boli or “high” Delhi speech. Rural life is also celebrated in exhuberant songs and dances[...]The sweeping landscape of the Deccan, with its arid mesas and lush green valleys forms a gorgeous backdrop to many scenes".[8]

In 26 November 2008, Rediff ranked the film as one of the best 1960s Bollywood film in their "Landmark Film of 60s" list, adding that "Its massive success, not just in terms of business, but also vivid story-telling, endearing camaraderie, uncompromising technique as well as the concept of ideology at odds, has visibly influenced major motion pictures over the years, rural or contemporary backdrop, notwithstanding.".[9]

Commercial response

At the end of its theatrical run, Gunga Jumna grossed around INR70,000,000 with nett gross of INR35,000,000, thus becomes the Highest grossing film of 1961 with verdict blockbuster.[10] Gunga Jumna also third highest grossing film of the decade with its adjust to inflation gross is about INR843900000 (), behind Mughal-e-Azam and Sangam.[11] In contrary to, the, reported that Ganga Jumna had grossed around INR30,000,000 and its adjust to inflation gross is about INR6042000000 ().[12] While, reported that the film's nett collection about INR35,000,000 and its adjust to inflation by comparing the collection with the price of Gold in 1961 is about INR7363779528 ().[13]

The film completed its Silver Jubilee theatrical run at Minerva Cinema Hall, Bombay and completed Golden Jubilee run at cinema.[14][15] The film was listed at number 2 by behind Mughal-e-Azam in their list of "Top 50 Film of Last 50 Years" which feature all-time highest grossing Bollywood film by using the relative price of gold in different years to arrive at a hypothetical current value of box-office collections of past films.[16]


Award Category Nominee Outcome Note Ref.
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards Best Indian Films Dilip Kumar Won [17]
Best Director Nitin Bose
Best Actor Dilip Kumar
Best Actress Vyjayanthimala
Best Music Director Naushad
Best Dialogue Wajahat Mirza
Best Lyrics Shakeel Badayuni
Best Cinematography V. Babasaheb
Best Audiography M. I. Dharamsey
Boston International Film Festival Paul Revere Silver Bowl Dilip Kumar For clarity and integrity in the presentation of contemporary issues
As producer
Czechoslovak Academy of Arts, Prague Special Honour Diploma As actor
9th Filmfare Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Nitin Bose
Best Actor Dilip Kumar
Best Actress Vyjayanthimala Won
Best Music Director Naushad Nominated
Best Dialogue Writer Wajahat Mirza Won
Best Cinematographer V. Babasaheb
15th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival India's official submission for Crystal Globe Dilip Kumar Not nominated
Special Prize Won As producer and screenplay writer
9th National Film Awards Second Best Feature Film in Hindi Nitin Bose
Dilip Kumar


External links

  • Internet Movie Database

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