Kismet (1943 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gyan Mukherjee
Produced by Bombay Talkies
Written by Gyan Mukherjee
Starring Ashok Kumar
Mumtaz Shanti
Shah Nawaz
Music by Anil Biswas
Kavi Pradeep (lyrics)
Cinematography R.D.Pareenja
Release dates
  • 1943 (1943)
Running time 143 min.
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget Rs 1 crore.
Box office Rs 63.2 crore

Kismet is a 1943 Indian film, written and directed by Gyan Mukherjee and produced by Bombay Talkies during the second world war period,[1] while it was in a succession battle between Devika Rani and Sashadhar Mukherjee after owner Himanshu Rai's death. The film is one of the biggest hits in the history of Hindi cinema.[2]

The film came with some bold themes for the first time in Indian Cinema showing an anti-hero character and an unmarried girl getting pregnant. The movie also has the distinction of first 'double-role' played by any Indian actor.


The lost and found crime drama, had screenplay by Niranjan Pal and the film stars Ashok Kumar, as a pickpocket and trying to be con man who ends up falling in love, with Mumtaz Shanti. He is wrongfully jailed while trying to help his sweetheart but fate (Kismet) comes to his rescue. In between he encounters his enemy's long lost innocent son (also played by Ashok Kumar) who helps him in clearing his name.



The music of the film by Anil Biswas introduced 'full chorus' for the first time in Hindi cinema.[3] The film gave memorable hits like the patriotic, Door Hato O Duniyawalon Hindustan Hamara hay, the sad Ghar Ghar Mein Diwali and a soothing lullaby, Dheere Dheere Aa. The last was a duet between Amirbai Karnataki and Ashok Kumar, which added to the success of the film that is still known as one of his finest works.[4]

  1. Aaj Himalay Ki Choti Se - Door Hato Ai Duniya Walo, Singer: Ameerbai Karnataki, Khan Mastana
  2. Ab Tere Siwa Kaun Mera Krishan Kanhaiya, Singer: Ameerbai Karnataki
  3. Ai Duniya Bata - Ghar Ghar Me Diwali Hai, Singer: Ameerbai Karnataki
  4. Dhire Dhire Aa Re Badal, Mera Bulbul Sau Raha Hai, Singer: Ameerbai Karnataki
  5. Dhire Dhire Aa Re Badal, Mera Bulbul Sau Raha Hai, Singer: Ameerbai Karnataki, Ashok Kumar
  6. Ham Aisi Qisamat Ko, Ek Din Hansaaye, Singer: Ameerbai Karnataki, Arun Kumar
  7. Papihaa Re Mere Piyaa Se Kahiyo Jaay, Singer: Parul Ghosh
  8. Tere Dukh Ke Din Phirenge, Zindagi Ban Ke Jiye Jaa, Singer: Arun Kumar

Door hato O Duniya walon[edit]

In the patriotic song, Door hato O Duniya walon, Hindustan hamara hay ("Step away, People of the World, Hindustan is ours"), penned by Kavi Pradeep, a negative reference to Japan was used - Tum na kisike aage jhunkna, German ho ya Japani ("Don't you bow in front of anyone, be it the Germans or the Japanese") - which allowed it to get past the heavy British censorship of the time.[3][5] But the hidden meaning got through to the people and backed by Anil Biswas's uplifting score, the song became an instant hit amidst the atmosphere of rising nationalistic fervour.[6] The British authorities soon realized their mistake, and wanted to ban the film. An arrest warrant was issued for the film's lyricist Pradeep, who had to go underground to avoid arrest.[7]


The film went on to become a major success, at a theatre in Calcutta it ran for three years, and gave Indian cinema its first title of superstar, Ashok Kumar.[8] According to the numbers, it has been given the status of All-Time Blockbuster. In the decade of the 1940s, this movie made the most money. Its net gross came to Rs.10 million in 1943, which in today's date is equivalent of Rs.632 million. This record was beaten in 1949 by Barsaat.

Box office[edit]

Presenting some bold themes for the first time in Bollywood in the 40s – an anti-hero and a single pregnant girl, for instance – this movie ran for 3 years. One of the earliest superhits of Bollywood, this movie also introduced double-role acting for the first time through its first superstar, Ashok Kumar.[citation needed] Box Office India reported that the film collected a nett gross of INR1 crore (US$160,000) (which amounts to INR65.36 crore (US$11 million) if adjusted for inflation) and declared the film as an "All Time Blockbuster".[9]

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