Tag Archive: Six Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation: from Will Smith to…

Smith 6°

… Bette Davis
Smith co- starred opposite Thandie Newton (1) in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006); a movie based on a real life account, with ‘Happiness’ purposely misspelled on the title; and Newton earlier appeared in Besieged (1998), a film directed by the famed, controversial auteur, Bernardo Bertolucci (2), who made the great bio-pic, The Last Emperor (1987), which starred Peter O’Toole (3), whose most acclaimed performance is his portrayal of T.E. Lawrence (4) in the bio-pic, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), which co-starred Claude Rains (5), who appeared in Now, Voyager (1942), along side Bette Davis (6).

… Giulietta Masina
Smith played a very good hearted, yet suicidal and depressive, character, in the movie, Seven Pounds (2008), which was directed by Gabriele Muccino (1), who also directed the Italian movie Ricordati Di Me (2003), which starred Monica Bellucci (2), who starred in the Oscar nominated, Malèna (2000), a film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (3), who also made Stanno Tutti Bene (1990), which starred Marcello Mastroianni (4), who earlier worked with the maestro of surrealistic Italian cinema, Federico Fellini (5), in La Dolce Vita (1960), and Fellini directed Giulietta Degli Spiriti (1965), in which the lead role was played by Giulietta Masina (6).

… Suchitra Krishnamurthy
Smith played a gay con man in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), which co-starred Stockard Channing (1), who appeared in The Venice Project (1999), which also starred Linus Roache (2), who played an Englishman living in South India towards the end of the British Raj; where he lets a local man take the blame for a crime he committed; in Before The Rains (2007), and the local man was played by actor Rahul Bose (3), who starred in English, August (1994), along with Tanvi Azmi (4), who played sister-in-law to actress Juhi Chawla (5) in Darr (1993), and Chawla did a special appearance in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994), in which the female lead was played by singer Suchitra Krishnamurthy (6).

Smith 6° (Pics)
… Jean Simmons
Smith played a con man who pretends to be Sidney Poitier’s (1) son in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), and Sidney Poitier starred in To Sir, with Love (1967); a movie about a black teacher who ends up teaching a group of unruly white kids in a school situated in the slums of London’s East End; which also starred singer Lulu (2); who also performed the title song in the film; and she performed the song ‘This Time’ for the movie Hot Millions (1968), which starred Peter Ustinov (3) who played the Roman General, Nero (4) in Quo Vadis (1951), which co-starred actress Deborah Kerr (5), who starred in Black Narcissus (1947), in which Jean Simmons (6) played an Indian girl.

… Ali MacGraw
Smith’s son Jaden Smith (1) appeared in The Karate Kid (2010), which was a remake of The Karate Kid (1984), where Ralph Macchio (2) played the original ‘Karate Kid’, and Macchio guest starred as himself in an episode of the television sit-com, How I Met Your Mother (2005- till date); in which the character played by Neil Patrick Harris (3), has his own opinion of who the real ‘Karate Kid’ of the original movie was; and Harris appeared in the television movie, The Man in the Attic (1995), which was based on a true story, opposite Anne Archer (4), who starred in Green Ice (1981) with Ryan O’Neal (5), who starred in heart breaking, tragic, Love Story (1970), along with Ali MacGraw (6).

… Desiree Matthews
Smith played boxer Muhammad Ali (1), in the bio-pic, Ali (2001), previously David Ramsey (2) played the famed boxer in a television bio-pic, Ali: An All American Hero (2000), and Ramsey guest starred in the television crime series, Dexter (2006 – till date), where the lead, titular, character is played by Michael C. Hall (3), who stars in the new biographical film, Kill your Darlings (2013) where Daniel Radcliffe (4) plays the famed poet Allen Ginsberg (5) of the Beat Generation, and in Howl (2010); a movie based on Ginsberg obscenity trial, Desiree Matthews (6) has a guest role.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()


Six Degrees of Separation: from Dev Anand to

Dev Anand 6°

… Joan Crawford  
Dev Anand starred opposite a young Simi Garewal (1) in Teen Devian (1965), a film about a modern day poet who has affairs with three women at the same time; one a sophisticated classy lady, one a low income private secretary at a firm, and another sluttish film star, and the three women are aware of the other two and each wants him to make a commitment, and he finds it difficult to decide which one to spend the rest of his life with; Garewal played the rich classy lady, who refuses to go to bed with him until and unless he assures her he is only committed to her, and Garewal in her recent television talk show, Simi Garewal Selects India’s Most Desirable (2011) interviewed modern day pop sensation, who is famous for gaudy unique attire and independent style, as much as for her singing talent, Lady Gaga (2), who in her video, for the songYou and I, featured, the not so famous actor, Taylor Kinney (3), whom she subsequently started dating, and Kinney starred in Zero Dark Thirty (2012), a film directed by Kathryn Bigelow (4), who was the first female director to win the Best Director Oscar, in 2010, for the movie, The Hurt Locker (2008), about a bomb squad unit situated in war torn Iraq, in which Guy Pearce (5) had a small role, and Pearce starred in the American television mini-series, Mildred Pierce (2011), which was a re-make of the classic, Mildred Pierce (1945), and for this original Hollywood version Joan Crawford (6) bagged the best Actress Oscar in 1946.

 … Diane Keaton
Dev Anand played a ‘Musicologist’ in Man Pasand  (1980), which was based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (1), as was the Hollywood musical My Fair Lady (1964), where the fair lady in question was played by Audrey Hepburn (2), who starred alongside Albert Finney (3) in Two for the Road (1967); a film which chronicles the ten year relationship of a couple, from it’s roots to marriage with kids to it’s deterioration; all artistically told with a sandwiched timeline, set along the scenic routes of the French Riviera; and Finney starred in Erin Brockovich (2000), which was based on an actual story, exposing a cover up conspiracy by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, about their illegal toxic waste dumping site, which was poisoning the residents of that area, for which Julia Roberts (4) won her first, and only, Oscar till date, in 2001, and Roberts starred in the rags to riches rom-com, Pretty Woman (1990), which was again like a late 80-isq re-telling of the My Fair Lady story; whereas Hepburn played a slum woman who turned into a Princess, here Roberts played a streetwalker who turned into classy lady; and the suave and sophisticated gentleman responsible for this transformation of thispretty woman, was played by Richard Gere (5), and Gere appeared in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), where Diane Keaton (6), played a school teacher by day, and a violent, sexually craving, bar cruiser, by night.

 … Vidya Balan
Dev Anand starred in Paying Guest (1957), which co-starred Nutan (1), who starred in Anari (1959), with Raj Kapoor (2), and Kapoor starred in Andaz (1949), which co-starred Nargis (3), who played the titular role, in Bollywood’s most famous colourful epic till date, Mother India (1957); Mother India to Indians is like what Gone with the Wind (1939) is to Americans, it’s Bollywood’s bible; and Sunil Dutt (4) played her tyrannical  son; during filming of Mother India, the set caught on fire, and Dutt jumped in to save Nargis, she nursed the severely injured Dutt, and they fell in love and married; their son Sanjay Dutt (5), starred in Parineeta (2005), which co-starred Vidya Balan (6), who was a jury member at the ‘Cannes film Festival 2013’ , two months ago.

… Priyanka Chopra
Dev Anand starred with Vyjayanthimala (1) in Jewel Thief (1967), and Vyjayanthimala, starred alongside Raj Kapoor (2) in Sangam (1964), and Kapoor’s brother Shashi Kapoor (3) appeared in Deewaar (1975), which co-starred his close friend Amitabh Bachchan (4), whose son, Abhishek Bachchan (5) acted with current Bollywood A-list female star, Priyanka Chopra (6) in Bluffmaster! (2005).

 … Olivia Hussey
Dev Anand played a man who works as a guide, falls for a married woman, and later has spiritual awakening, in Guide (1965), which was based on the novel The Guide, by R.K. Narayan (1), and in the Broadway adaptation of which, from late 60’s, Pakistan (British-India) born British actor, Zia Mohyeddin (2), played the lead role in, and Mohyeddin starred in The Assam Garden (1985), which co-starred Deborah Kerr (3), who played a nun in Black Narcissus (1947); yet another colourful film filmed in the Indian Himalayas, in North East India, and released in May 1947, almost three months prior to India’s Independence from the British; in which British actress Jean Simmons (4) played an Indian girl called ‘Kanchi’, and Simmons later starred in a May/December romance alongside Leonard Whiting (5), in Say Hello to Yesterday (1971), who starred in the best adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (1968), with an under aged Olivia Hussey (6) playing ‘Juliet’.

… Denise Richards
Dev Anand starred in Return of the Jewel Thief (1996), which co-starred Anu Aggarwal (1), forty-odd years his junior, who appeared in Aashiqui (1990), now the sequel, Aashiqui 2 (2013) stars Aditya Roy Kapoor (2), who came in the comedy Action Replayy (2010), which, directed by Vipul Shah (3), was a Bollywood remake of the cult-classic, Back to the Future (1985), which happens to be Michael J. Fox’s (4) most popular film till date, who starred in the sit-com Spin City (1996- 2002), and when J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, as his illness intensified and found it difficult to continue working on this series, semi-retired in 2000, he was replaced by Charlie Sheen (5), who was at one time married to Denise Richards (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()


6° with Hema Malini

Six Degrees of Separation: from Hema Malini to

6° avec Hema Malini
… Lee Williams  
Hema Malini played a single parent of an illegitimate child, who falls in love with widower in Andaz (1971), which co-starred Simi Garewal (1) as the anaemic first wife of the widower; who dies after childbirth; and Garewal hosted the television talk show, Simi Selects India’s most Desirable (2011), and in the last episode of which, she interviewed actress Priyanka Chopra (2), who starred in 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), in which; New Delhi born, leading Bengali actress of art cinema, Konkona Sen Sharma (3), had a cameo appearance in; who happens to be the daughter of famed Bengali art film director, writer and actress, Aparna Sen (4), who played an Indian Princess who wants to sell ancient Indian miniature paintings to western art enthusiast, in the Merchant/Ivory productions television movie, Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie’s Pictures (1978), where Victor Banerjee (5), played her brother, the Maharajah, opposing the selling of ancient Indian artefacts, and Banerjee starred in Delhi in a Day (2011), about a British tourist who spends one day in the capital of India, looses all his money, and innocent, financially poor, people get accused for a crime actually done by a spoilt rich student, and the protagonist of this movie, the tourist, was played by Welsh actor, Lee Williams (6).

 … Michael Douglas
Hema Malini, who held her own as the lead no.1 heroine in two decades (the 70’s & 80’s), a rarity today, starred along side 70’s & 80’s male superstar, Amitabh Bachchan (1), in many a movies; Malini was one of the few actresses he’s worked with so extensively, whom Bachchan was never romantically linked with by gossip mongers; and the ‘Big B’ (Bachchan) worked with Leonardo DiCaprio (2) in the latest adaptation of The Great Gatsby (2013), and DiCaprio starred in the Titanic (1997), where Kathy Bates (3) played the real life Margaret (Molly) Brown (4), activist, philanthropist and socialite, who had actually survived the Titanic disaster of April 1912, who was later famously known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and was portrayed by Debbie Reynolds (5) in, the appropriately titled Hollywood musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964); which was based on a Broadway musical, based on Brown’s life; and Reynolds recently played mother to actor Michael Douglas (6) in Behind the Candelabra (2013).

… Zubeida Begum
Hema Malini’s daughter Esha Deol (1) starred in Yuva (2004), a multi-starrer, which consisted of, besides Deol, many a children of 70’s superstars, including Abhishek Bachchan (2), Vivek Oberoi (3) and Kareena Kapoor (4), and Kapoor’s sister, Karishma Kapoor (5), starred in Zubeidaa (2001), a bio-pic based on the real life, one-film actress and later Princess, the ill fated Zubeida Begum (6).

Hema Malini six degree connections

… Ingrid Bergman
Hema Malini’s husband Dharmendra (1), starred opposite Tanuja (2), in Izzat (1968), who appeared in Masoom (1983), which was directed by Shekhar Kapur (3), and Kapur later directed The Four Feathers (2002), which co-starred Kate Hudson (4), whose mother, actress Goldie Hawn (5) starred alongside the luminary Ingrid Bergman (6) in the comedy Cactus Flower (1969).

… Robert Taylor
Hema Malini, played a teacher in the comedy Do Aur Do Paanch (1980); which literally translated would mean 2 + 2 = 5, which co-starred Shashi Kapoor (1), who starred alongside Felicity Kendal (2) in Shakespeare-Wallah (1965), and Kendal appeared in the movie Valentino (1977), a bio-pic, in which the famed Russian ballet dancer; who defected from the Soviet Union, into the west, via Paris; Rudolf Nureyev (3), played the role of the real life silent film personality, Rudolph Valentino (4), who’s best known for his role of a sheik infatuated with a classy lady, in the silent romantic venture, The Sheik (1921), which co-starred Agnes Ayres (5); as the damsel in distress that gets kidnapped by the sheik, and the object of his desire; and Ayres had a bit role in the talkie, Small Town Girl (1936), which co-starred Robert Taylor (6).

… Kevin Spacey  
Hema Malini’s directorial debut in cinema, came with Dil Aashna Hai (1992), which was based on the novel, Lace by Shirley Conran (1), and the American television adaptation of which, Lace (1984), directed by William Hale (2), starred Phoebe Cats (3), who starred alongside Michael J. Fox (4) in Bright Lights, Big City (1988), and J. Fox starred in The American President (1995), which also saw Annette Bening (5) falling for a United States fictional President, and Bening appeared in American Beauty (1999), which co-starred Kevin Spacey (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()


Six Degrees of Separation: from Marlon Brando to

Marlon Brando 6°

Diablo Cody  
Marlon Brando played one of the most famously/notoriously loved fictional underworld mafia heads of the big screen, Don Vito Corleone, in The Godfather (1972), where Al Pacino (1) played his youngest son who carries on the family legacy, in the latter two sequels of the Godfather films, and Pacino later played a cocky blind man in Scent of a Woman (1992), where Chris O’Donnell (2) played a paid companion to Pacino, and O’Donnell appeared in School Ties (1992), which saw Matt Damon (3) in a villainous mode, who along with best friend Ben Affleck (4) created Good Will Hunting (1997), by working on the screenplay together, for which they won an Oscar in the ‘Best Original Screenplay’ category; and Affleck is married to actress Jennifer Garner (5), whom we saw in a sophisticated motherly mould, keen on adopting a child, in Juno (2007), which was a farcical entertainment with a fresh take on teen-pregnancy, written by a stripper Diablo Cody (6), who just wrote a brilliant script/screenplay after she completed her memoir on being a stripper, the result being a great movie and well deserved Oscar win for Cody.

James Dean
Marlon Brando starred opposite Vivien Leigh (1), in a movie based on a Tennessee Williams’ (2) play, A Streetcar named Desire (1951), as did the violet eyed Hollywood starlet, Elizabeth Taylor (3), in another film based on another Williams’ play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Taylor, alongside Rock Hudson (4) starred in Giant (1956), which was loosely based on the real-life Texan oil-giant, Glenn McCarthy (5), who struck oil 38 times, between 1931 & 1942, and it was young actor James Dean (6) who portrayed this oil-tycoon, in this movie; and Dean died soon after he completed this film from a car crash, aged 23.

… Halle Berry
Marlon Brando played famed Roman General, Mark Antony (1), in the movie Julius Caesar (1953), and Antony was the lover of Queen Cleopatra (2), who was portrayed by Claudette Colbert (3), in Cleopatra (1934), and Colbert appeared alongside Clark Gable (4), in the light hearted romantic comedy, It Happened One Night (1934), and Gable starred in the one of the greatest Hollywood epics ever, Gone With the Wind (1939), for which Hattie McDaniel (5), won an Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 1940, for her portrayal of the likable, strong willed house servant/slave ‘Mammy’, being the first black/Afro-American actress to win a trophy, and the first (and only till date) Afro-American actress to bag the ‘Best Actress’ trophy, at the Oscars, was Halle Berry (6), in 2002, for Monsters Ball (2001).

MB 6°

Oscar Wilde
Marlon Brando acted in one of the most controversial films to come out in the 70’s, Bernardo Bertolucci’s (1) Ultimo tango a Parigi – Last Tango in Paris (1972), which brought about a fifteen year rift between Brando and Bertolucci, and three decades later Bertolucci, directed The Dreamers (2003), one of best films made about film buffs, where one of the film buffs was played by French actor Louis Garrel (2), who appeared in the controversial, Ma Mère (2004), about incestuous relationship between a mother and a son, and the mother was played by Isabelle Huppert (3), who starred in the existentialist comedy, I Heart Huckabees (2004), which also starred British actor Jude Law (4), and Law played Sir Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas (5), in the Bio-pic Wilde (1997), and Bosie was the lover of playwright/novelist/poet Oscar Wilde (6), on whose love story and subsequent trial, this movie is based on.

Michelle Monaghan
Marlon Brando appeared in the Charles Chaplin (1) directed comedy A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), an entire film set in the confines of a cruise ship, which co-starred Sophia Loren (2), who appeared in Get Rita (1975), a story about an Italian mafia leader obsessed with Hollywood starlet Rita Hayworth (3), and Hayworth was featured in, and was relevant to the plot of, The Shawshank Redemption (1994), which starred Tim Robbins (4), who appeared in Mystic River (2003), which was based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (5), as was Gone Baby Gone (2007), in which the female lead was played by Michelle Monaghan (6).

… Imran Khan
Marlon Brando starred in the first instalment of the epic Godfather trilogy, The Godfather (1972), directed by the renowned film director, Francis Ford Coppola (1), who directed actress Bridget Fonda (2), in a miniscule role as a newspaper reporter, in the last instalment of the series of films based on this fictional mafia family, The Godfather III (1990), and Fonda starred in Camilla (1994), which was directed by Deepa Mehta (3), who also directed the ‘elemental’ trilogy, of whose the second instalment, 1947-Earth (1998), was based on a novel by Bapsi Sidhwa (4), entitled The Ice Candy Man, and the ‘Ice Candy Man’ was portrayed by Aamir Khan (5) in the film, whose nephew happens to be Bollywoods young blood, Imran Khan (6), whose not much of an actor yet, and whose popularity is solely for his good looks; but considering the fact that he’s been in the film Industry for only six years or so, there’s still scope for improvement.

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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.

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Madhubala Films


Six Degrees of Separation:  from Shashi Kapoor to

Shashi Kapoor in the 60's

Shashi Kapoor in the 60’s

… Meryl Streep  
Kapoor produced and starred in the art film, Junoon (1979), which was based on Ruskin Bond’s (1) novella, A Flight of Pigeons, and his short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands, was turned into a Bollywood Blockbuster called 7 Khoon Maaf (2011) which also starred John Abraham (2), who appeared in Water (2005) which was directed by Deepa Mehta (3), who also directed Camilla (1994) which starred Bridget Fonda (4), who happens to be the niece of Jane Fonda (5), who appeared in Julia (1977), which also saw Meryl Streep (6) in her debut performance; though she had very little screen time, her role was crucial to the plot.

… Sushmita Sen
Kapoor, who comes from a great line of Bollywood royalty (he is from the second generation of Kapoor’s, today the forth generation of Kapoor’s is taking the film industry by storm), starred in many a movies with the most popular Bollywood superstar from the 70’s till date, Amitabh Bachchan (1), and they share a great friendship, and  Bachchan is married to actress Jaya Bhaduri (2), and their son Abhishek Bachchan (3), is married to Bollywood’s most famous import into the international market, superstar Aishwarya Rai (4), making the Bachchan’s a modern day Bollywood Royalty, second only to the Kapoor’s, and Aishwarya Rai was the second Miss India to win the Miss World title in 1994, the first being Reita Faria (5) in 1966 (she wasn‘t only first Indian to win the crown, but also the first Asian to do so), and socialite/actress Sushmita Sen (6) was the first Indian beauty queen to win the Miss Universe crown, for her beauty and brains, a rare trait among contestants today, she became Miss Universe in 1994, the same year as Rai.

… Emily Mortimer
Kapoor’s daughter Sanjana Kapoor (1) had a glimpse of a role in the superb Indian art film which ended up being the second Indian movie ever to be nominated for the ‘Best Foreign Film’ category at the Oscars, Salaam Bombay! (1988) which was directed by Mira Nair (2), who later directed the not so great Vanity Fair (2004) in which Tom Sturridge (3) had a small role, who happens to be the son of British actress Phoebe Nicholls (4) who starred in the television mini-series, Brideshed Revisited (1981), which was based on a novel by renowned author, Evelyn Waugh (5), who also wrote the novel Vile Bodies, which was the basis for the film Bright Young Things (2003) which starred Emily Mortimer (6).

Shashi K 6°

… Anouk Aimée  
Kapoor acted in A Matter of Innocence (1967) which co-starred Hayley Mills (1), who happens to be the daughter of actor John Mills (2), who played the ‘village idiot’ taunted by the bullying villagers of an Irish coastline, in Ryan’s Daughter (1970), which was directed by David Lean (3), who also directed Lawrence of Arabia (1962), with Peter O’Toole (4) and Omar Sharif (5), and Sharif starred alongside French actress, Anouk Aimée (6) in The Appointment (1969).

… Natalie Portman
Kapoor’s first English language venture The Householder (1963), was Merchant Ivory productions very first feature film (an Indian English language venture); Merchant Ivory productions was founded by a trio of friends with aesthetically superior taste, the trio comprised of a Producer, Ismail Merchant (1), a Director, James Ivory (2) and a Writer, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (3); and Merchant Ivory productions later were responsible for the British movie, Howards End (1992), which starred Emma Thompson (4), who appeared in the television movie Wit (2001), a unique superbly farcical film which completely focuses on the character, played by Thomson, who is dying of ovarian cancer; beautifully made by director Mike Nichols (5), who also directed the very modernistic British Art Film, one of the best to come out in the noughties, Closer (2004), which also starred Natalie Portman (6), who turned 32 on Sunday (day before yesterday).

… Aparna Sen
Kapoor and actress Hema Malini (1), both looking smart as ever, dressed in very elegantly tailored bellbottom trouser suits et al, are seen playing golf, tennis, romancing and even doing actual yoga, in Trishul (1978), set amongst New Delhi’s elite; for a change set in the capital (New Delhi), unlike most Bollywood films, which are normally set in the streets of Bombay (now known as Mumbai); and Malini did a double role in Sita aur Geeta (1972), which co-starred Sanjeev Kumar (2), who acted with Suchitra Sen (3) in Aandhi (1975), and Sen’s granddaughter, Raima Sen (4) appeared in the Bengali English Language art film, The Japanese Wife (2010), which was based on a short story by Kunal Basu (5), and was directed by Aparna Sen (6), who is unrelated to any other Sen mentioned here.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()


Six Degrees of Separation: From Priyanka Chopra to

Priyanka Chopra 6°

… Gregory Peck
Chopra starred in one of the best Bollywood commercial films to come out in recent years, 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), which was based on the short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands, written by Ruskin Bond (1), who also wrote the novella, A Flight of Pigeons, which was the basis for the Indian Art house film, Junoon (1979), which was produced, and starred, 70’s superstar, Shashi Kapoor (2), who starred with Claire Bloom (3) in the comedy, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), and Bloom played the titular character in the television movie Anna Karenina (1961) and Jacqueline Bisset (4) reprised the role in another television adaptation, Anna Karenina (1985), who played a friend to Audrey Hepburn (5) in Two For the Road (1967), and Hepburn appeared in Roman Holiday (1951) which co-starred Gregory Peck (6).

… Uttam Kumar
Chopra appeared as a guest in the television show, Rendezvous with Simi Garewal (1998- 2010), anchored by ‘the lady in white’; so called for her famed unique trade mark elegant white trouser-suits; Simi Garewal (1), who acted alongside the legendary Dev Anand (2) in Teen Devian (1965), who appeared with Bollywood star Hema Malini (3); the only Bollywood actress to hold the reins on the top spot as no.1 heroine for two decades (70’s & 80’s); in Johny Mera Naam (1970), and Hema Malini is married to actor Dharmendra (4), who appeared with Sharmila Tagore in Yakeen (1969), who played a feminist journalist in the Bengali art house movie Nayak (1966), which also starred Uttam Kumar (6).

… Cary Grant
Chopra appeared in Bluffmaster! (2005) opposite Abhishek Bachchan (1), who happens to be the son of the Bollywood legend that refuses to retire and is still no.1 and in top of his game as ever, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan (2), who has a cameo in the new Hollywood glam sham, The Great Gatsby (2013), starring Leonardo Di Caprio (3), who appeared in The Aviator (2004), where Cate Blanchett (4) played Katharine Hepburn (5), and Hepburn starred alongside Cary Grant (6) in The Philadelphia Story (1940).

… Dominic Cooper
Chopra played twelve characters, each portraying personalities attributed to the twelve varied star signs, in What’s Your Raashee? (2009), similarly, three decades before, actor Sanjeev Kumar (1) played nine roles, representing nine different qualities of man, burrowed from Hindu Mythology of ‘Navras’, in Sanskrit referring to the nine aesthetics of man, in Naya Din Nai Raat (1974), and Kumar acted in Aandhi (1975), which also starred West-Bengal actress Suchitra Sen (2), who appeared in the Bengali Art-Film Saptapadi (1961), where she played a charcter that played the role of ‘Desdemona’ in a staging of William Shakespeare’s (3) famed play Othello in the movie itself, and in the 1965 British Film adaptation, Sir Laurence Olivier (4) played the character of ‘Othello’, and Kenneth Branagh (5), played Olivier in My week with Marilyn (2011), which also co-starred young British actor, Dominic Cooper (6).

… Théo Frilet
Chopra starred in Dostana (2008), where Abhishek Bachchan (1) played a straight man pretending to be gay, and contrasting to this, he played a hit man in Yuva (2004), which also starred Esha Deol (2), whose mother Hema Malini (3) starred in the Bollywood adapatation of the well known Arabian tale of ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ titled, Alibaba aur 40 chor (1980), and the more recent French television version, titled, Ali Baba et les 40 Voleurs (2007), starred Leïla Bekhti (4), who appeared in Paris, Je t’aime (2007), which also starred Hippolyte Girardot (5), who came in the television movie Des Gens qui Passent (2009), alongside young French actor Théo Frilet (6).

… Amol Palekar
Chopra played an autistic girl who goes missing in Darjeeling in the 1970’s, in Barfi! (2012), where Ranbir Kapoor (1) plays a deaf-mute; who along with the character of Chopra learns to survive in the streets of Calcutta of the 70’s, on their own; and Kapoor happens to be the grandson of the renowned artiste Raj Kapoor (2), who starred alongside Nutan (3) in Anari (1959), and Nutan co-starred opposite Dev Anand (4) in Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), who came in Man Pasand (1980), which also starred Tina Munim (5), who came in Baton Baton Mein (1979), which co-starred Amol Palekar (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()


Six Degrees of Separation: from Cary Grant to

Six Degrees avec Cary Grant

… Elizabeth Taylor
Grant played an ex-husband who comes and causes havoc on the eve of his ex-wife’s wedding to her new beau, in the hilarious comedy, The Philadelphia Story (1940), and the wife was played by the ballsy Katharine Hepburn (1), and Hepburn was portrayed by Cate Blanchett (2) in The Aviator (2004), who played Queen Elizabeth – I (3) in Elizabeth (1998), and the teenage years of Queen Elizabeth – I, was portrayed by Jean Simmons (4) in Young Bess (1953), who appeared in The Robe (1953), the first film released in the widescreen format known as ‘Cinemascope’, opposite Richard Burton (5), who was ‘famously’ married to Elizabeth Taylor (6), and married her, not once, but twice, and they happen to be one of the most talked about couples in Hollywood history till date.

… Princess Margaret  
Grant worked with Alfred Hitchcock (1) in many a movies, and Hitchcock directed Jamaica Inn (1939) based on a novel by Daphne Du Maurier (2), and the television remake, Jamaica Inn (1983), starred Jane Seymour (3), who played a Bond girl in Live and Let Die (1973), and the first Bond girl of the Big screen happens to be Ursula Andress (4), from Dr. No (1962), and Andress also acted in the most famous non-Bond Bond flick, Casino Royale (1967), which also starred Peter Sellers (5), who at one time had an affair with Princess Margaret (6), and they might have even got married, but if she did she so she would have had to renounce her royal privileges.

… Brigitte Bardot
Grant acted in Blonde Venus (1932), with Marlene Dietrich (1), whose famous ‘Gorilla Suit’ dance number was recreated by Bernardo Bertolucci (2), sans the ‘Gorilla Suit’, in the one of best films made on film buffs, The Dreamers (2003), which also starred French actor Louis Garrel (3), who acted in Beloved (2011), which also starred Catherine Deneuve (4), who at one time was the lover of Roger Vadim (5), who was previously married to the 1950’s French sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot (6) who took Europe by storm back in the foxy 50’s, with her nonchalant display of her sexuality.

… Simonetta Stefanelli
Grant co-starred with Sophia Loren (1), in The Pride and the Passion (1957), and Loren appeared in Nine (2009), which also starred Penélope Cruz (2), who came in All the Pretty Horses (2000), with Matt Damon (3), who acted in School Ties (1992), which also saw Chris O’Donnell (4) doing his first (and most probably only) nude scene with great discomfort, as O’Donnell had mentioned later, in a boys shower fight sequence, who starred with Al Pacino (5) in Scent of a Woman (1992), and Pacino starred in The Godfather (1972), in which Italian actress Simonetta Stefanelli (6) played Pacino’s first wife, who gets killed in a car bomb.

… Sharmila Tagore
Grant starred opposite Ingrid Bergman (1) in Notorious (1946), whose daughter Isabella Rossellini (2), appeared in Death Becomes Her (1992), which was directed by Robert Zemeckis (3), and Zemeckis directed Tom Hanks (4) in Forrest Gump (1994), for which Hanks, who played the titular character, won an Oscar in 1995, as he did the previous year as well, for playing a man suffering from AIDS, who sues his employer, for firing him on unethical grounds in Philadelphia (1993), in which Denzel Washington (5) played his lawyer, who appeared in Mississippi Masala (1991), which also starred 60’s Bollywood Bombshell, who was famous for being the first mainstream Bollywood actress to don a skimpy bikini way back in the 60’s, as much as for her acting talent, Sharmila Tagore (6).

… Helena Boehm Carter
Grant appeared in Charade (1963) with Audrey Hepburn (1), in the re-make of which, The Truth about Charlie (2002), starred Thandie Newton (2), who came in the racial drama Crash (2004), which co-starred Sandra Bullock (3), who appeared in the romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice (2002) opposite Hugh Grant (4), and Grant came in Maurice (1987), set in Edwardian period, where Grant played a supporting role of a man that denounces his sexuality and marries a woman, questioning his deceit unto himself; and this movie was based on a controversial novel by E.M. Forster (5), another one of whose novels was the basis for the movie Room with a view (1985), which starred British actress Helena Bonham Carter (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()


Six Degrees of Separation : from novelist Daphne Du Maurier to
(Last week was Du Maurier’s 106th Birth Anniversary, on the 13th of May)

Daphne Du Maurier 6°

… Mark Zuckerberg
Maurier’s short story was the basis for the movie Don’t Look Now (1973) which starred Julie Christie (1), who played ‘Gertrude’ in the modern adaptation of Hamlet (1996), in which the character of the tragic ‘Ophelia’ was played by Kate Winslet (2), who starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio (3) in Titanic (1997), and DiCaprio appeared in the bio-pic J.Edgar (2011), which also starred Armie Hammer (4), who came in The Social Network (2010), based on the invention of the most popular social network, ‘Facebook’, in which Jesse Eisenberg (5) played the real life inventor of ‘Facebook’, the genius Mark Zuckerberg (6).

… Max Minghella
Maurier’s most notable novel was adapted into the movie Rebecca (1940), by Alfred Hitchcock (1), who also directed Strangers on a Train (1951), with Farley Granger (2), based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith (3), and another one of Highsmith’s novels was adapted into the movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), with Jude Law (4), which was directed by Anthony Minghella (5), whose son happens to be actor Max Minghella (6), who too starred in The Social Network (2010).

… Jaclyn Smith
Maurier was responsible for the haunting piece of literature that was Jamaica Inn, which was adapted into a television movie in 1983 starring Jane Seymour (1), who played  the famed soprano Maria Callas (2), in the, made for TV, bio-pic of the richest man in the world from the previous century, Aristotle Onassis (3), in Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988), with Raul Julia (4) playing Onassis, and Onassis later married former American First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy (5), who was portrayed by Jaclyn Smith (6) in the television bio-pic Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981).

… Antonio Banderas
Maurier’s novel My Cousin Rachel was made into a movie starring Olivia De Havilland (1) and Richard Burton (2) in 1952, and Burton appeared on the stage version (Broadway/West End) of the musical Camelot in the early 60’s, and Vanessa Redgrave (3) starred in the movie version of Camelot (1967), and Redgrave later appeared in Letters to Juliet (2010), which also had a guest appearance by Gael García Bernal (4), who starred in La Mala Educación (2004), which was directed by Pedro Almodóvar (5), who also directed Antonio Banderas (6) in La Piel que habito (2011).

… Madonna
Maurier’s famed novel Rebecca was the basis of the BBC adaptation of Rebecca (1979), and this television mini-series starred Jeremy Brett (1), whose most famous role was that of playing ‘Sherlock Holmes’ in many a television movies and series’ from the 1980’s and 90’s, and today the Hollywood revival of Holmes, from 2009 & 2011, sees Robert Downey Jr. (2), playing a more comical homoerotic version of the famed fiction detective, and Downey Jr. starred in Restoration (1995), which also starred Meg Ryan (3) as a blind woman, who came in the comedy Serious Moonlight (2009) with Timothy Hutton (4), and Hutton played a real life notorious disillusioned American who was imprisoned for spying for the enemy, the Soviet Union, in The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), which also starred Sean Penn (5), who was briefly married to pop diva Madonna (6), and they appeared in Shanghai Surprise (1986) together.

… Michael Ealy
Maurier’s favourite movie version of her celebrated novel Rebecca, was the 1940 version, starring Joan Fontaine (1), who starred with Cary Grant (2) in Suspicion (1941), and Grant co-starred with Audrey Hepburn (3) in Charade (1963), the re-make of which, The Truth about Charlie (2002), starred Thandie Newton (4), who appeared in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), alongside Will Smith (5), who starred in Seven Pounds (2008), which also starred Michael Ealy (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

Six Degrees of Separation: from Ingrid Bergman to...

Ingrid Bergman 6°

… Ryan Reynolds
Bergman gained international stardom in 1942, when this beautiful Swedish actress went beyond borders, to Hollywood, to appear in one of the most loved classic love stories ever, that almost never got made, Casablanca (1942), which also saw the very comical Peter Lorre (1) in small role, who starred in the episode called ‘The Diplomatic Corpse’ (1957), from the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962), and this episode also starred actor George Peppard (2), who later came in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), which was based on a novella written by Truman Capote (3), who shared a great friendship with author Harper Lee (4), who was portrayed by Sandra Bullock (5) in Infamous (2006), who appeared in the romantic comedy The Proposal (2009) opposite Ryan Reynolds (6).

… Marion Cotillard
Bergman’s daughter, Isabella Rossellini (1), appeared in the television adaptation of The Odyssey (1997), which also starred Armand Assante (2), who played brother to Antonio Banderas (3) in The Mambo Kings (1992), and Banderas also starred in La Ley Del Deseo (1987), which was directed by Pedro Almodóvar (4), who directed Penélope Cruz (5) in Broken Embraces (2009), and Cruz appeared in the musical Nine (2009), which co-starred Marion Cotillard (6).

… Anthony Burgess
Bergman co-starred with Gregory Peck (1) in Spellbound (1945), who starred in The Paradine Case (1947), which also starred Louis Jourdan (2), who appeared in Gigi (1958) along with Leslie Caron (3) who appeared in An American in Paris (1951), with Gene Kelly (4), who starred in Singin’ in the Rain (1952), whose performance of the titular song is one of the most loved rain dances ever, and this titular song is seen sung by Malcolm McDowell (5) in A Clockwork Orange (1971), in two crucial scenes in the movie, which was based on a very controversial novella written by the great Anthony Burgess (6).

… Heath Ledger
Bergman starred in the hilarious comedy, Cactus Flower (1969), which saw Goldie Hawn (1) in her debut performance as a ‘dumb blonde’, which ended up being her strong suit in future comedies, and for which Hawn won her very first Oscar, for supporting actress, and Hawn later appeared in Death Becomes Her (1992), with Meryl Streep (2), who came in the television miniseries Angels of America (2003), which also starred Al Pacino (3), who came in Scarface (1983), a remake of a 1930’s classic, which also starred Michelle Pfeiffer (4) in one of her greatest roles, who played ‘Catwoman’ in Batman Returns (1992), a sequel to Batman (1989), in which Jack Nicholson (5) played the notorious villain ‘The Joker’, a charcter which was re-enacted by Heath Ledger (6) in The Dark Knight (2008), his last performance before his sudden demise, for which he was  posthumously awarded an Oscar.

… Rahul Bose
Bergman starred in the Swedish film, Autumn Sonata (1978), directed by Ingmar Bergman (1), of which, the Bollywood movie Tehzeeb (2003), was a remake of, which starred Shabana Azmi (2), who appeared in Ankur – The Seedling (1974), the first Bollywood art-house film, though not the first Indian art movie, directed by Shyam Benegal (3), whose first out and out commercial flick Zubeidaa (2001), was based on a true story about a 1950’s one-film actress, and later Princess, whose death, due to a plane crash, was shrouded by mystery, as it was never concluded whether, the crash was an accident, sabotage, or suicide on part of the Princess, and Karishma Kapoor (4) starred as the doomed Zubeidaa, and Karishma Kapoor’s sister, Kareena Kapoor (5), played a prostitute, in one of her best roles till date, i.e. Chameli (2003), which also starred Rahul Bose (6).
… Marine Vacth
Bergman  came in the multi-starrer, Murder in the Orient Express (1974), based on the crime-fiction by famed author Agatha Christie (1), which also starred Jacqueline Bisset (2), who acted in La Nuit Américaine (1974), which was directed by François Truffaut (3), who directed Catherine Deneuve (4) in The Last Metro (1980), who acted in 8 Femmes (2002), which was directed by François Ozon (5), whose latest film is being screened at the Cannes Film Festival that’s going on at the moment in the Cote d’Azur, Jeune & Jolie (2013), with newcomer Marine Vacth (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()