Gunga Jumna

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Gunga Jumna
Gunga Jumna 1961.jpg
Gunga Jumna movie poster
Directed by Nitin Bose
Produced by Dilip Kumar
Written by Story & screenplay: Dilip Kumar
Dialogue: Wajahat Mirza
Starring Dilip Kumar
Nasir Khan
Narrated by Dilip Kumar
Music by Naushad
Cinematography V. Babasaheb
Edited by Das Dhaimade
Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Distributed by Citizen Films
Release date
  • December 8, 1961 (1961-12-08) (India)
  • August 25, 1966 (1966-08-25) (Mexico)
Running time
178 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 35 million (US$540,000) (1961)
Box office 70 million (US$1.1 million) (1961)
7.36 billion (US$110 million) (2010)

Gunga Jumna (Hindi: गंगा जमना, Urdu: گنگا جمنا‎ also transliterated as Ganga Jamuna or Ganga Jamna)[1] is a 1961 dacoit drama Bollywood film produced in Technicolor by Dilip Kumar and directed by Nitin Bose. The film stars Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in the lead with Nasir Khan, Azra, Kanhaiyalal, Anwar Hussain, Nazir Hussain, Leela Chitnis in supporting role and Helen appearing in an item number. Notable for its use of Bhojpuri dialect and its rustic setting, the film features real life brothers Dilip Kumar and Nasir Khan in the title roles, tells the story of two brothers, Gunga and Jumna, and their poignancy on the opposite sides of the law.

After six months of delay, the film was finally released in January 1961. Upon release the film was well received by the critics and the audience. It was one of the biggest hits of the 1960s and still considered as one of the most successful Indian film in terms of box office collection and its controversial theme which earned the film the cult status.

Gunga Jumna received critical acclaim and was regarded one of the best films of all time. Critics praised its story, screenplay, direction, cinematography and the music along with the performance of the lead actors, Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala. Upon release it was nominated in seven categories at 9th Filmfare Awards including Best Film, Best Director for Kumar and Bose respectively while winning three; Best Actress for Vyjayanthimala and two other technical award for Wajahat Mirza and V. Balasaheb. It also emerge as the biggest winner at 25th Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards where it won nine awards in the Hindi film category. In addition to that the film also won Certificate of Merit at the 9th National Film Awards.

The film was a trendsetter for movies like Deewaar, Trishul, Amar Akbar Anthony which had similar themes of two brothers on the opposite sides of law. It was influenced to make other Indian languages movies but not credited such title "Lava" in (1980 film) in Malayalam film


The films dealt on issue of sibling rivalry and had a theme of two brothers on the opposite sides of law.


The film is about two brothers, Ganga and Jamuna, growing up in a village controlled by an evil landlord. When Ganga is framed by the landlord for a crime he did not commit, he escapes to the mountains with his girlfriend, Dhanno, and joins a band of bandits. His younger brother, Jamuna, is sent to the city for his education and becomes a police officer. Years later, when Ganga is about to become a father, he decides to return to the village to ask for forgiveness. However, Jamuna wants him to surrender to the police for his crimes and when Ganga refuses and tries to leave, Jamuna shoots him dead. Ganga's death rendered more poignant by the fact that it was his money that paid for Jamuna's education and allowed him to become a policeman.


Widowed Govindi (Leela Chitnis) lives a poor lifestyle in Haripur along with two sons, Gungaram and Jumna. Ganga spends his days working with his mother as a servant in the home of the zamindar's obnoxious family while Jumna, a promising student, focuses on his schoolwork. While Jumna is studious, Gungaram is the opposite, but has a good heart and decides to use his earnings to ensure his brother gets a decent education. After her employer, Hariram, accuses Govindi of theft, their house is searched, evidence is found and she is arrested. The entire village bails her out but the shock kills her. After their mother passes away, Ganga pledges himself to supporting his younger brother as they grow to adulthood.

The adult Ganga (Dilip Kumar) is a spirited and hardworking fellow, unafraid to take on the zamindar when necessary, while his brother Jumna (Nasir Khan) is more measured and cautious. Ganga sends Jumna to the city to study, and supports him with funds that he earns driving an oxcart and making deliveries for the zamindar. But things get complicated when Ganga saves a local girl, Dhanno (Vyjayanthimala), from the zamindar's lecherous assault. The zamindar (Anwar Hussain) gets his revenge by trumping up a robbery charge against Ganga, landing him in prison. Upon his release, Ganga learns that his brother has become destitute and attacks and robs the zamindar in a rage. Soon Ganga finds himself an outlaw, and, with Dhanno at his side, he joins a gang of bandits camping out in the wilderness. In the meantime, Jumna meets a fatherly police officer (Nazir Hussain) and becomes a police officer himself. It isn't long before Jumna's professional wanderings take him back to the village of his birth, where he must square off against his outlaw brother in a showdown between duty and family.


Character map Gunga Jumna and its adaptations[edit]

Characters in Gunga Jumna and its adaptations
Gunga Jumna (1961) Iru Thuruvam (1971)
Hindi Tamil
(Dilip Kumar)
(Sivaji Ganesan)
(Nasir Khan)
(R. Muthuraman)
(Leela Chitnis)

(Pandhari Bai)


Gunga Jumna
Gungajumna sound.jpg
Soundtrack album by Naushad
Released 1961 (1961)
Recorded Kaushik
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Sa Re Ga Ma
HMV Group
Naushad chronology
Gunga Jumna
Son of India

The soundtrack for the movie was composed by Naushad and the lyrics were penned by Shakeel Badayuni. The soundtrack consists of 9 songs, featuring vocals by Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Hemant Kumar.

In 2011, MSN ranked Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe at #1 in their list of Top 10 Patriotic songs in Bollywood for Gandhi Jayanti.[2]

Track # Song Singer(s) Length
1 Dagabaaz Tori Batiyan Lata Mangeshkar 2:47
2 Dhoondo Dhoondo Re Sajna Lata Mangeshkar 3:19
3 Do Hanson Ka Joda Lata Mangeshkar 3:14
4 Jhanan Ghoongar Baje Lata Mangeshkar 3:32
5 Naina Lad Jaihen Mohammed Rafi 4:44
6 O Chhalia Re Chhalia Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle 3:30
7 Tora Man Bada Papi Asha Bhonsle 4:41
8 Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe Hemant Kumar 3:20
9 Naina Lad Jaihen (Revival) Mohammed Rafi 4:46


Critical response[edit]

Critics particularly praised the performances by its lead cast; Vyjayanthimala (left) and Dilip Kumar (right).

Gunga Jumna has received widespread critical acclaim in India as well as overseas. Karan Bali from, call the film has "Gwell-structured and briskly paced film" adding that "notable of the use of Bhojpuri dialect, which helps make the film refreshingly real and gives it a proper locale and geography".[3] Dinesh Raheja from Rediff called the film "What is also moving about Ganga Jamuna is its tragic irony[...]Of all the conundrums of human relationships that Ganga Jamuna explores, the most affecting is the one between Ganga and Dhanno --- an extraordinary love story between two ordinary people, handled with great thought and charm[...]Director Nitin Bose frames some excellent shots even while keeping a tight rein on the narrative".[4] Deepak Mahan from The Hindu said "Gunga Jumna is a classic entertainer at its best with a powerful story, outstanding performances and riveting music[...]an eye-opener as to why good stories will always be the real “super stars” and why content must dictate the form rather than the other way round".[5] Gaurav Malani from The Times of India gave it 3/5 stars and praised actor Dilip Kumar for his performance as Gunga.[6] K. K. Rai from Stardust called the film "the story of two brothers on opposite sides of law repeated over and over again but never with so much power" and applauded Vyjayanthimala for her portrayal of rustic village girl Dhanno where Rai said "Vyjayanthimala’s Dhanno won her the best actress trophy[..]She played the village woman with such simplicity and grace; you’d forget she was one of the most glamorous stars of her time. She also spoke the Bhojpuri dialect like a native".[7]

Gunga Jumna also gained good response from overseas. Philip Lutgendorf from University of Iowa said that "By focusing its story and its audience’s sympathies on the brother who goes astray, however, the film invites a critical and pessimistic appraisal of the state’s ability to protect the underprivileged, and its tragic central character thus anticipates the “angry” proletarian heroes popularized by Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s[...]Linguistic coding is artfully used, with Gunga and Dhanno’s raucous arguments in colorful Bhojpuri dialect contrasted with Jumna’s carefully-measured pronouncements in Khari Boli or “high” Delhi speech. Rural life is also celebrated in exhuberant [sic] songs and dances[...]The sweeping landscape of the Deccan, with its arid mesas and lush green valleys forms a gorgeous backdrop to many scenes".[8]

On 26 November 2008, Rediff ranked the film as one of the best 1960s Bollywood film in their "Landmark Film of 60s" list, adding that "Its massive success, not just in terms of business, but also vivid story-telling, endearing camaraderie, uncompromising technique as well as the concept of ideology at odds, has visibly influenced major motion pictures over the years, rural or contemporary backdrop, notwithstanding.".[9]

Commercial response[edit]

At the end of its theatrical run, Gunga Jumna grossed around 70,000,000 with nett gross of 35,000,000, thus becomes the Highest grossing film of 1961.[10] Gunga Jumna also third highest grossing film of the decade with its adjust to inflation gross is about 843,900,000 (US$13 million), behind Mughal-e-Azam and Sangam.[11] In contrary to, the, reported that Ganga Jumna had grossed around 30,000,000 and its adjust to inflation gross is about 6,042,000,000 (US$94 million).[12] While, reported that the film's nett collection about 35,000,000 and its adjust to inflation by comparing the collection with the price of Gold in 1961 is about 7,363,779,528 (US$110 million).[13]

The film completed its Silver Jubilee theatrical run at Minerva Cinema Hall, Bombay and completed Golden Jubilee run at cinema.[14][15] The film was listed at number 2 by behind Mughal-e-Azam in their list of "Top 50 Film of Last 50 Years" which feature all-time highest grossing Bollywood film by using the relative price of gold in different years to arrive at a hypothetical current value of box-office collections of past films.[16]


Award Category Nominee Outcome Note Ref.
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards Best Indian Films Dilip Kumar Won [17]
Best Director Nitin Bose
Best Actor Dilip Kumar
Best Actress Vyjayanthimala
Best Music Director Naushad
Best Dialogue Wajahat Mirza
Best Lyrics Shakeel Badayuni
Best Cinematography V. Babasaheb
Best Audiography M. I. Dharamsey
Boston International Film Festival Paul Revere Silver Bowl Dilip Kumar For clarity and integrity in the presentation of contemporary issues
As producer
Czechoslovak Academy of Arts, Prague Special Honour Diploma As actor
9th Filmfare Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Nitin Bose
Best Actor Dilip Kumar
Best Actress Vyjayanthimala Won
Best Music Director Naushad Nominated
Best Dialogue Writer Wajahat Mirza Won
Best Cinematographer V. Babasaheb
15th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival India's official submission for Crystal Globe Dilip Kumar Not nominated
Special Prize Won As producer and screenplay writer
9th National Film Awards Second Best Feature Film in Hindi Nitin Bose
Dilip Kumar


  1. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (1999). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. pp. 658–14. ISBN 978-0-85170-455-5. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "India@64: Top 10 Patriotic songs of Bollywood". MSN. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  3. ^ "Ganga Jamuna". Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  4. ^ Dinesh Raheja (7 May 2002). "The Tragic Irony of Ganga Jumna". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  5. ^ Deepak Mahan (4 March 2010). "Gunga Jamuna (1961)". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  6. ^ Gaurav Malani (17 April 2008). "Flashback review: Gunga Jamna (1961)". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  7. ^ Gaurav Malani (17 April 2008). "Stardust Classic: Ganga Jumna (1961)". Stardust. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  8. ^ Philip Lutgendorf. "Gunga Jumna Review". University of Iowa. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  9. ^ Sukanya Verma (26 November 2008). "Landmark films of the 60s". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  10. ^ "Box Office 1961". Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  11. ^ "Top Earners 1960-1969 (Figures in Ind Rs)". Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  12. ^ "Ganga Jamuna". Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  13. ^ Nitin Tej Ahuja; Vajir Singh; Saurabh Sinha (1 November 2011). "Worth Their Weight In Gold!". Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  14. ^ Ziya Us Salam (5 September 2011). "Roxy to Minerva to curtains". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  15. ^ Lanba, Urmila (30 November 2007). Life and films of Dilip Kumar, the thespian. Vision Books. pp. 160–158. ISBN 978-81-7094-496-6. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  16. ^ Nitin Tej Ahuja; Vajir Singh; Saurabh Sinha (3 November 2011). "Top 50 Film of Last 50 Years". Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  17. ^ "BFJA Awards (1962)". Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  18. ^ "The Nominations - 1968". Indiatimes. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  19. ^ "The Winners - 1960". Indiatimes. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  20. ^ "25th Annual BFJA Awards". BFJA. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  21. ^ India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Research and Reference Division, India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Research, Reference, and Training Division, India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Publications Division (1964). India, a reference annual. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 134. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  22. ^ Stanley Reed (1963). The Times of India directory and year book including who's who. Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. p. 134. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  23. ^ Indian Council for Cultural Relations (1962). Cultural news from India, Volumes 3-4. Indian Council for Public Relations. p. 10. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 

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