The legend is no more.
B R Chopra died Wednesday morning at his residence in Juhu, suburban Mumbai, after a prolonged illness.
Chopra began his career as a journalist in Lahore; after Partition, he moved to Delhi and then Mumbai.
His first film Karwat failed at the box office, but that was no precursor to what would follow; this forward-thinking filmmaker went to make many unforgettable movies, many of which became hits as well.
If he spoke of widow remarriage in his film, Sadhana, which was released in the fifties, he also spoke of divorce and its impact on women in Nikaah (released in the eighties)
rediff.com takes a look at some unforgettable films released under the B R Chopra banner:
Naya Daur (1957)
If our late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru spoke of Fabian socialism in real life, it was B R Chopra who translated it for the silver screen.
When the attraction for Western glamour -- and the Western pattern of development -- became a popular trend, Chopra made Naya Daur, a black and white film that pitted Man against Machine.
The film was perfectly timed; India was a newly free country that was looking to adopt socialism. Naya Daur showcased the plight of the tonga (horse driven carriage) owners as a bus comes into their village. The bus is both cheaper and faster, so the villagers prefer it to the tongas whose owners lose their livelihood.
Finally, the leader of the tonga owners (Dilip Kumar) throws a challenge to the bus owner (Jeevan); a race is held between the tonga and the bus. The tonga wins, and all's well with the world.
The song Saathi haath badana, which spoke of the need for unity, was apt for a new India looking to make her mark. Unfortunately, when the film was released in its coloured version a year ago, it failed to find resonance with the modern Indian movie audience.
Also Read: Goodbye, Mr Chopra