Six Degrees of Separation: from Madhubala to

Madhubala, posing for a photo-shoot for LIFE magazine, in 1951

Madhubala, posing for a photo-shoot for LIFE magazine, in 1951

… Vivien Leigh  
Madhubala starred in Kalapani (1958) alongside Dev Anand (1), who acted as a ‘Musicologist’  in Man Pasand (1980), which was credited as being inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s (2) play Pygmalion (the movie was dedicated to Shaw), but was, according to Dev Anand, based more on the Hollywood musical My Fair Lady (1964), which was based on the Broadway stage musical from 1956, based on Shaw’s play, rather than the play itself; and in the 1964 Hollywood movie, the eloquently well spoken Brit, Rex Harrison (3) starred as Professor Higgins, a ‘Professor of Phonetics’; who also appeared in the bio-pic Cleopatra (1963), where Elizabeth Taylor (4) played the historical feminist of a bygone era, known for her beauty as much as for her strength to rule the kingdom of the Nile, the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra (5), who was previously portrayed by Vivien Leigh (6) in Caesar and Cleopatra (1945).

… Kumar Gaurav
Madhubala acted in one of the best Bollywood comedies ever, Chalti ka Naam Gaadi (1958), released on New Years Day (1st January 1958), which co-starred her real life husband Kishore Kumar (1), along with Kumar’s real life brothers, Anoop Kumar (2) and Ashok Kumar (3), and Ashok Kumar appeared in Shaukeen (1982), a story about three aging men, in their 60’s (one still married, one divorced and one a widower), who travel to Goa to have some fun, where the trio find themselves in awkward situation whilst trying to impress a naïve friendly young girl, who innocently adores these old men as if they were her Grandfathers, the young girl was played by Rati Agnihotri (4), who came in Star (1982), based on the life of a fictional disco star, alongside Raj Kiran (5) and Kumar Gaurav (6).

… Sridevi
Madhubala played a woman on the run from a bunch of killers in Gateway of India (1957); a movie set in one long night in the streets of Bombay (now known as ‘Mumbai’), where she runs into various shady characters, and she arranges a rendezvous with each person she comes across to meet her early next morning at the ‘Gateway of India’, a historic arch located on marine drive, Bombay; and amongst the strangers she comes across we see the legendary Om Prakash (1) playing a streetwise cool dude, and Prakash appeared in the comedy Chupke Chupke (1975), where Sharmila Tagore (2) played his sister-in-law, and Tagore’s daughter Soha Ali Khan (3) acted in Midnight’s Children (2012), which also starred Seema Biswas (4), who came in Bandit Queen (1994), which was directed by Shekhar Kapur (5), who also directed the children’s superhero film, about an invisible man who saves day, Mr. India (1987) which starred Bollywood sensation of the 80’s, Sridevi (6).

Madhubala 6° connections

… Tahar Rahim
Madhubala was married to yodelling genius, Kishore Kumar (1), who acted with Nutan (2) in Dilli Ka Thug (1958), and Nutan played a very chic and fashionable mother to actress Rekha (3) in Saajan Ki Saheli (1980), and Rekha played a distressed mother in Koi Mil Gaya (2003), which was a Bollywood copy of Steven Spielberg’s (4) B-movie cult classic, E.T. (1982), and more recently Spielberg directed War Horse (2011), in which French actor Niels Arestrup (5) had a small role, who starred in À Perdre la Raison (2011), where he played an adoptive father to French actor of Algerian roots, Tahar Rahim (6), in this movie inspired by actual events.

… Tony Curtis
Madhubala’s debut lead role, in her pre-teens, in the movie Neel Kamal (1945) was alongside a young Raj Kapoor (1), who starred alongside Zeenat Aman (2) in Gopichand Jasoos (1982) and Aman appeared in Shalimar (1978), which also starred Rex Harrison (3), who appeared in the original Dr. Doolittle (1967), and Eddie Murphy (4) reprised Harrison’s role in the re-make from 1998, and Murphy acted in the hilarious comedy Trading Places (1983), which co-starred Jamie Lee Curtis (5), who happens to be the daughter of Hollywood bad boy of the 50’s & 60’s, Tony Curtis (6).

… Roger Moore
Madhubala was photographed by renowned photographer James Burke (1), for one of the most prestigious photojournalism magazines in the United Sates, LIFE magazine (pictured above), in 1951, and the following year, in the ‘August 1952’ edition of the American magazine, Theatre Arts, Madhubala was featured with a full page picture accompanied by an article, under the title, ‘‘The Biggest Star in the World – and she’s not in Beverly Hills.’’; and at the time, the Italian born, all American, film director Frank Capra (2), had a desire to showcase Madhubala on Hollywood’s silver screen, and went to Bombay to discuss her Hollywood career, but her father intervened and this Hollywood venture never saw the light of day (mainly due to the fact that Madhubala’s life was short lived, as from an early stage in her life, she had discovered that she was suffering from a ‘Ventricular Septal’ defect (i.e. ‘a hole in the heart’), and she died in 1969, just days after she turned 36), Capra previously had directed Cary Grant (3) in one of best comedies to come out towards the end of the second world war, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), a dark comedy, where two old ladies help depressed people by poisoning them, thus putting an end to their misery; and Cary Grant worked with Alfred Hitchcock (4), in North by Northwest (1959), and Hitchcock later directed Sean Connery (5) in the psychological thriller, Marnie (1964), and Connery was the first actor to star in the Bond franchise in the 60’s, playing the famed 007 spy, starting with Dr. No (1962), and the suave and sophisticated Roger Moore (6) took over the reins as the face of Bond, in the suave and sophisticated 70’s; though Connery still did a few Bond ventures in the 70’s & early 80’s, Moore, the best looking ‘James Bond’ till date, starred in majority of the Bond flicks of the 70’s, and continued to do so in the early 80’s.

Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()


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