Screen Legends

  • Screen Legends - Sunil Dutt Part 1
  • Episode 059
  • 23m : 34s

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We usually refer to Amitabh Bachchan as ‘The Angry Young Man’ but the original ‘Angry Young Man’ of Indian cinema was Sunil Dutt who immortalized the character of the fiery Birju in ‘Mother India’. Sunil Dutt, who was born in Jhelum in pre-independence India came to Mumbai in the early 1950s and was hired as a host by Radio Ceylon. During his stint with Radio, he interviewed several Hindi film personalities including his future wife Nargis. He made his film debut with ‘Railway Platform’ in 1955 but his big breakthrough came in 1957 with ‘Mother India’ wherein he played Birju, the short-tempered, angry son of Nargis. During the making of ‘Mother India’, a fire accident happened on the sets. Nargis was trapped amidst lit haystacks and Sunil Dutt ran through the fire to resuce her. This incident culminated in both falling in love and both married in 1958. Filmmakers like Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh Mukherji and B R Chopra dared to defy Sunil Dutt's established rebellious ‘Birju’ image and cast him as a sensitive lover. While Nargis quit films after marriage, Sunil Dutt moved from strong supporting roles in female centric films to becoming an A-Grade hero in the 1960s. SCREEN LEGENDS Part 1 covers the interesting journey of Sunil Dutt from his early days to his carving a niche for himself in the early 60s against stalwarts like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand on the one hand and youth icons Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar on the other.