8 Unknown Facts About Legendary Filmmaker Guru Dutt

July 9 is the 93rd birth anniversary of Guru Dutt, the man behind classics like 'Pyaasa' and 'Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam'
8 Unknown Facts About Legendary Filmmaker Guru Dutt
Guru Dutt

1.  Guru Dutt was a reluctant actor. He never wanted to face the camera. The most famous role in Pyaasa came to Guru Dutt by default. Dilip Kumar had been signed to play the defeatist post-Nehruvian poet. But then Dilip Kumar was already doing  what he thought to  be  similar  role  in Bimal Roy’s Devdas. When the Thespian backed out Guru Dutt stepped in front of the camera  more out of defiance than desire.


2.     In Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Shashi Kapoor was to pay the innocent  Bhootnath. But again the casting backfired.  Again Guru Dutt stepped  into the role reluctantly.


3.     Guru Dutt’s wife Geeta Dutt refused to sing for Waheeda Rehman in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. Hence all of Waheeda’s songs were ghost-voiced  by Asha Bhosle while Geeta Dutt’s pain-lacerated voice went on Meena  Kumari.


4.     Guru Dutt launched India’s first cinemascope  film Gouri with his wife Geeta Dutt in the lead.  Sachin Dev  Burman  recorded  two songs and Guru Dutt shot a  couple of scenes. But he  decided  to shelve the  film probably because he  had imagined his muse Waheeda Rehman in the role. Years later  Waheedaji did a film on the same  theme as Gouri—about the rehabilitation  of  a sex worker—called Darpan.


5.     In 1963 Guru Dutt launched India’s  first  colour film Kaneez with Simi Garewal in the lead.  It was apparently an Arabian Nights  fantasy . This is  one project  that I am glad  Guru Dutt  never made. It would have been  like Satyajit Ray making Amar Akbar Anthony.


6.     After his most ambitious film Kagaz Ke Phool tanked in 1959 Guru Dutt never took official directorial credit ever again although it is believed that  Chaudhvin Ka Chand (which did  for Guru Dutt after Kaagaz Ke Phool what Bobby did for Raj Kapoor after  Mera Naam Joker) was ghost-directed by the Maestro himself.

A still from Kagaz Ke Phool 


7.     For all his sensitive cinema, Guru Dutt was  a ruthless professional in real life. When Sachin Dev Burman fell ill  during the shooting of  Baharen Bhi Ayengi Guru Dutt replaced Sachinda with O P Nayyar  within no time at all. Dev Anand on the other hand  postponed  the shooting of Guide  until Sachinda  recovered.


8.     In  1964, Guru Dutt took his own life. At that time he  was directing and acting in  Baharen Phir Bhi Ayengi.  The film was eventually released with Dharmendra playing Guru Dutt’s role. In another incomplete  Guru Dutt starrer Love  & God, Sanjeev  Kumar replaced  Guru Dutt. They were both born  on the same day, and they both died  young.

Comments