Filmfare Awards: When Pakeezah and Bobby lost Best Film and Music category, and Mughal-e-Azam lost to Parakh

I was watching the Filmfare Awards nite on Sony yesterday.  Of course these days Filmfare or any other movie awards shows are not just about who won and who didn’t.  They are more about performances and MCing.  Well, in yesterday’s 2013 award show, I would say that Hrithik Roshan’s performance of the Ganpati song was hands down one of the best ever.

As much credence that is given to these movie awards, I wanted to see which movies had really won the awards in yester-years, when the pomp and show wasn’t as much.  When getting the Filmfare meant everything, since that was the ONLY award show in the country.

Some interesting things stood out.

Mughal-e-Azam vs Parakh

Ever heard of Parakh?  It was a movie made by Bimal Roy, arguably one of the greatest Bollywood directors.  Bimal Roy, has won the maximum Filmfares for the Best Director, a total of 7.  Raj Kapoor and Yash Chopra come second with 4 each.

Although Mughal-e-Azam won the Best Film award, but it was Bimal Roy who won the Best Director’s award that year for Parakh and not K. Asif for Mughal-e-Azam!  Which is pretty interesting, since I have always believed that very few movies were as well directed as Mughal-e-Azam was.  In terms of scale, craft, eye for detail, and sheer grandeur.  To have won the Best Director’s award, Bimal Roy would have had to do something pretty special to have taken it away from K. Asif.

Also interestingly,  Shankar Jaikishan won Best Music for Dil Apna Preet Parai, and not Naushad for Mughal-e-Azam!  DAPP’s music was good, but better than Mughal-e-Azam?  Seriously??!

Pakeezah vs Be-Imaan

That something is surely amiss in the way the awards were decided becomes very clear in 1973.  In that year, Be-Imaan won awards in the following categories:

And, this was the year of Pakeezah!  What did this movie win?  Just one obscure award: Filmfare Best Art Direction Award: N.B. Kulkarni

Even the best Actress award was won not by Meena Kumari but by Hema Malini for Seeta Aur Geeta.  I mean comeon!!  Meena Kumari’s sensitive portrayal of Sahibjaan, the tawaif (prostitute-dancer); is certainly one of the best female performances that the Indian cinema has ever seen!

The worst decision in this year was probably reserved for the Music score.  The Best Music Director.  Pakeezah’s music score, by Ghulam Mohammad, again, is the benchmark against which all music scores can be measured.  It is probably one of the top three music scores ever.  If not THE best.

And yet, Shanker Jaikishan won the Best Music Director for Be-Imaan.  Do you remember ANY song from that movie?  The only one that seemed remotely familiar was “Jai Bolo Beimaan ki”.  And I have counted that as one of the least important songs of Mukesh.

In fact, there was someone who didn’t quite like this and had a sense of history pat right.  Pran.  He refused to accept the Best Supporting Actor’s award as a protest for Pakeezah not getting the Best Music award!  Totally Agree.


Bobby in 1974 was the other shocker.  It was Anuraag by Shakti Samanta which won the “Best Film” award.  And the Best Director went to Yash Chopra for Daag!  In the best music category, it had some tough competition and Laxmi-Pyare lost it out to the master Music Director – SD Burman, who won the award for Abhimaan.  Yes, Abhimaan had a great score and unforgettable songs, but it was Bobby that really fired the nation’s imagination.

So, when the new-comers of today feel bad about not winning some award, they need to get their perspective in place!  All you need to know about the “credibility” of such awards is that Mughal-e-Azam, Pakeezah and Bobby didn’t win what they should have!

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