|Directed by||Mehboob Khan|
|Produced by||Mehboob Khan|
|Written by||R. S. Choudhury (story)
S. Ali Raza (dialogue)
|Cinematography||Faredoon A. Irani|
|Editing by||Shamsudin Kadri|
|Running time||161 min.|
Aan (Hindi: आन, Urdu: آن, translation: pride), also known as The Savage Princess in the U.S.A, is a 1952 Hindi film produced and directed by Mehboob Khan, which was India's first technicolour film, as it was shot in 16mm Gevacolour and was blown up in Technicolor. It stars Dilip Kumar, Premnath, Nimmi and marked the debut of Nadira who replaced the original choice which was actress Nargis. It was the highest grosser of 1952  and was the first to gross over Rs.15 million. This record was beaten 3 years later by Shree 420 in 1955.
A Royal Indian family consists of the Emperor Maharaj (Murad), his brother Shamsher Singh (Premnath) and sister Rajshree (Nadira). A local village leader named Jai Tilak (Dilip Kumar) enters a contest to tame Princess Rajshree's horse and after he is successful Shamsher challenges him to a game of fencing. Jai is declared the winner of the fight after much dispute and Shamsher is enraged at losing to a poor villager. Jai then falls in love with Rajshree and tries numerous times to woo her but the princess's arrogance prevents her from revealing her true feelings.
Shamsher becomes even more enraged when the Emperor Maharaj reveals that Shamsher is not the heir to his throne after his death and that he plans to free India from monarchy and turn to democracy.
Shamsher then plans to gain control of the kingdom by killing the Maharajah on the night before he is due to travel to England for a medical procedure. However he is unsuccessful after the Maharajah escapes an attempt on his life by Shamsher's henchmen and disguises himself as a servant in his own palace.
Shamsher then sets his eyes on Mangala (Nimmi) who is a village girl and childhood friend of Jai but her love is not reciprocated as he is only in love with princess Rajshree. After Mangala is kidnapped by Shamsher Singh who plans to keep her prisoner in his palace and molest her, Mangala takes a bottle of poison and dies. Jai kills Shamsher in revenge and provokes Princess Rajshree to launch an attack on his village to avenge her brother's death. Jai manages to kidnap Rajshree and sets out to gain her love by taking her into his village and forcing her to live as a peasant girl. Just when Rajshree begins to realise her feelings for Jai, Shamsher Singh who was presumed dead returns to get his revenge against Jai.
This prestigious production was to be India's first full feature in Technicolor. The film was made with an extremely large budget. Dilip Kumar, Premnath & Nimmi, then at the height of their popularity and success, were quickly signed on for starring roles, but the second female lead proved more troublesome to cast. Initially, Nargis was cast but left the film to concentrate on her association with RK studios. For a time Madhubala was considered, with considerable lobbying from Dilip Kumar who was romantically involved with her at the time, but for reasons unknown she was never cast. Finally Mehboob decided to launch a newcomer and selected the then unknown, Nadira and promoted her as his new star discovery.
When a first edit of the film was shown to the film's financiers and distributors, they objected that Nimmi's character died too early. This was due to Nimmi's vast popularity as an actress. Therefore a lavish and extended dream sequence was filmed and edited in to give Nimmi more prominence and screen time in the film.
Premiere and international release
Aan was one of the first Indian movies to have a world wide release. The film had an extremely lavish London premiere attended by Mehboob Khan, his wife Sadar Akhter and Nimmi. The English version was entitled Savage Princess. On the London trip, they met many western film personalities including Errol Flynn. When Flynn attempted to kiss Nimmi's hand she pulled it away, exclaiming, "I am an Indian girl, you cannot do that!" The incident made the headlines and the press raved about Nimmi as the "...unkissed girl of India".
Although Nimmi was not the romantic lead, she made a huge impact on audiences and her character, Mangala, emerged as the most popular in the film. This was to such an extent that, when the film was released dubbed in French in 1954, it was retitled Mangala, fille des Indes (Mangala, girl of India) and Nimmi was promoted as main star of the movie in the theatrical posters and trailers for the French language release. Nimmi further revealed in a 2013 interview, that at the London premiere of Aan, she received four serious offers from Hollywood, including Cecil B. DeMille who greatly admired the production design and Mehboob's vision as a director. He was in fact, so impressed by the film, he personally wrote a letter of commendation to Mehboob Khan praising the film and the performances of Nimmi and Nadira in particular.
- Dilip Kumar as Jai Tilak
- Premnath as Shamsher Singh
- Nadira as Princess Rajshree
- Nimmi as Mangala
- Murad as Maharajah
- Mukri as Chandan (Jai's friend)
- Cukoo as Cameo appearance as dancer
|Soundtrack album by Naushad|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
- "Maan Mera Ehsan" — Mohammed Rafi (2:48)
- "Dil Mein Chhupake Pyar Ka" — Mohammed Rafi (2:55)
- "Tujhe Kho Diya Hamne" — Lata Mangeshkar (3:14)
- "Aaj Mere Man Mein" — Lata Mangeshkar, Chorus (3:55)
- "Mohabbat Choome Jinke Haath" — Mohammed Rafi (3:36)
- "Gao Tarane Man Ke" — Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad Begum (4:41)
- "Takra Gaya Tumse" — Mohammed Rafi (3:44)
- "Khelo Raang Hamare Sang" — Shamshad Begum, Lata Mangeshkar (4:18)
- "Aag Lagi Tan Man Mein" — Shamshad Begum (3:32)
- "Mein Raani Hoon Raja Ki" — Shamshad Begum (3:10)