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K.Amarnath in 1978
|Born||1 December 1914|
Mianwali, Punjab, British India
|Died||14 May 1983|
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
|Occupation||Indian Film Producer/Director|
K. Amarnath (1 Dec 1914 – 14 May 1983) was one of the earliest film makers of Indian Cinema. His career as a movie producer and director spanned over four decades in the film industry.
Amarnath Gelaram Khetarpal was born in Mianwali, Punjab, British India. He spent his childhood in Mianwali and college years in Lahore. Inspired by Hollywood and British movies, Amarnath left home at a young age of 17 to join the film industry to become an actor.
Initially, K.Amarnath struggled for 4 years, first in Calcutta and then in Bombay acting in minor roles only. While working as a junior artiste, he realized that the director played a very important role in the making of a movie. So, his interest in acting in movies transferred to directing movies.
After assisting various directors such as B.R.Patel and Dhirubhai Desai, he finally got his first break as a director in 1936 by Mr.Lakhia of Metro Movietone for the film titled "Matwali Jogan" aka "A Girl from Lahore". He was only 21 years old when he directed his first movie.
However, his major break came in 1937 when Ramaniklal & Mohanlal Shah, founders of Mohan Studios, Mumbai, offered him the opportunity to direct "Danger Signal" in Tamil.
At first, he directed 5 Tamil movies for Mohan Studios; two of them, "Minnalkodi"  and "Veer Ramani" - both released in 1937 and both starring K.T.Rukmini and B.Srinivas Rao became super hits.
From 1937 to 1951, he directed 14 movies for Mohan Studios and its sister concern, Ramnik Productions.
Excepting for "Village Girl", mostly all of them were action movies.
During the same time span, being an independent director, he also directed 6 movies for different production houses.
In 1952, K.Amarnath created his own production company, "K.Amarnath Productions" and in 1953 released "Alif-Laila" - the first movie under his banner, followed by 11 more movies made under his production company.
From 1936 to 1971, K.Amarnath produced/directed 35 movies.
His office was located at Ranjit Studios, Dadar, Mumbai.
K.Amarnath was a very versatile man. He not only produced and directed movies but also wrote the story & screenplay for many of his movies. Over the course of his career, the genres of the movies he directed ranged from action/suspense thrillers to family/social drama, legendary romantic tragedies, semi-musicals, costume drama to magical/fantasy movies. (See Filmography below).
Many well-known actors and music directors, worked in his movies. Some of them were - Ajit, Jayant (father of Amjad Khan), Murad, Pran (actor), Yakub, Gope, Mukri, Sajjan, Kishore Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee, Sanjay Khan, Bharat Bhushan, Salim Khan, Mehmood, Madhubala, Geeta Bali, Meena Kumari, Vyjayantimala, Nutan, Nimmi, Nalini Jaywant, Nanda, Nigar Sultana, Noor Jehan, Kum Kum, Kamini Kaushal, Shakila, Shashikala, Helen, Cuckoo, Indurani and also K.T.Rukmini & B.Shrinavasa Rao in the Tamil movies directed by him. Some of the music directors who gave their most memorable music in his movies were Nashad, Chitragupta (composer), O.P.Nayyar, Shyam Sundar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Ghulam Mohammed, Sardar Malik, and the brothers, Pt.Amarnath, Husnlal & Bhagatram.
Ajit (Ajit Khan) acted as a hero in 7 of the movies directed by K.Amarnath – Beqasoor, Meharbani, Sarkaar, Bara-Dari, Bada Bhai, Baraat and Kabli Khan. In fact, it was K.Amarnath who had suggested that he change his long name of "Hamid Ali Khan" to a shorter name. The first movie with his name changed to "Ajit" was "Beqasoor" -1950.
Shyam Sundar composed many unforgettable melodious songs in 3 of the hit movies directed by K.Amarnath – "Gaon ki Gori"- 1945, "Bazaar" - 1949 and "Alif-Laila" 1953.
Mohammed Rafi always "considered" the song "aji dil ho kaaboo mein to dildaar ki aisi taisi" with G. M. Durrani and chorus - music by Shyam Sundar from "Gaon ki Gori" 1945 - to be his first Hindi Film Song.
Noor Jehan was the heroine of 2 of the movies directed by K.Amarnath – “Gaon ki Gori “– 1945 and “Mirza Sahiban” – 1947. Both of them were super hits. Mirza Sahiban was her last movie in India before she moved to Pakistan.
K.Amarnath was well known for promoting aspiring young individuals. He introduced Salim Khan to the movies. (Salim of Salim-Javed fame and father of Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan). The first movie Salim acted in was K.Amarnath’s " Baraat" – 1960.
Sanjay Khan's first movie signed as a hero in 1965 was for "Woh Din Yaad Karo".
Four of the Hindi movies directed by K.Amarnath: Village Girl-Gaon Ki Gori - 1945  Mirza Sahibaan - 1947 - Beqasoor - 1950 (List of Bollywood films of 1950) and Bara-Dari - 1955 (List of Bollywood films of 1955) were among the top-grossing films of those years.
K.Amarnath lived in Shivaji Park, Mumbai. He and his wife, Soumitra Batra had 4 children – 2 sons and 2 daughters - Satish, Mohan, Manju & Madhu.
|1936||Matwali Jogan||Director/Story||Gulab, S.Nazir, Ermeline, Putlibai, Rajinder Singh, Vimla, Azurie, Shahani, Miss Pokhraj, Rajkumari|
|1937||Danger Signal (Tamil)||Action/Stunt Thriller||Director||N/A|
|1937||Pucca Rowdy (Tamil)||Action/Stunt Thriller||Director||N/A|
|1937||Minnalkodi (Tamil)||Action/Stunt/Suspense Thriller||Director/Story||K.T.Rukmini, B. Srinivasa Rao, Coco, Gogia Pasha|
|1937||Veer Ramani - (Tamil) (Veera Ramani)||Action/Stunt Thriller||Director/Story & Scenario||K.T.Rukmini, B. Srinivasa Rao, S. R. Padma, T. V. Swami, K. Mani|
|1938||Bhagya Leela (Tamil)||Director||K.T.Rukmini, B. Srinivasa Rao, S. R. Padma|
|1939||Midnight Mail||Action||Director/Story & Scenario||Yasmin, S.Nazir, Nazir, Indurani, Gulab, Master Gulam Kader, Master Shiraz, Chandrakant, P.Varne|
|1939||Bahadur Ramesh (a.k.a. Volunteer)||Action||Director||Rajkumari,Yasmin (Betty Caroll),Nazir, S. Nazir, Jeevan, Sadiq Nawab, Devaskar, G.Rasool, Haroon|
|1939||Chasmawali||Action||Director||Indurani, Ashik Hussain, S. Nazir, Miss Lobo, S.M.Sadiq, Anwari, A.M.Shirazi, Baby Indira|
|1940||Tatar Ka Chor (a.k.a. Thief of Tatar)||Fantasy/Action/Stunt Thriller||Director/Story||Yakub, Indurani, Vatsala Kumthekar, Gulab, Mira, K.Hiralal|
|1940||Captain Kishori||Action||Director||S.Nazir, Lalita Pawar, Yasmin, Agha|
|1941||Bulbule Baghdad||Action/Stunt Thriller||Director/Story & Scenario||Indurani, Gulab, Jayant, Yakub, W.M.Khan, Sadiq, Anant Marathe|
|1942||Zevar||Action||Director||Jayant, Indurani, E. Billimoria, Raaj, Veena, Badri Prasad, Jagan, Mirajkar, Rama Shukul|
|1943||Chhed Chhad||Social||Director||Sitara, Nazir, Gope, Majid, Rajkumari|
|1944||Bandukwali||Action/Stunt Thriller||Director||S.Nazir, Romila, Anil Kumar, Rekha Pawar, Prakash, Mehar Banu|
|1945||Gaon Ki Gori (a.k.a. Village Girl)||Romantic/Family-Social Drama||Director/Story & Scenario||Noor Jehan, Nazir, Durga Khote, Rama Shukul, Anant Marathe, Gita Nizami, Jagdish Sethi|
|1947||Roop Nagar||Costume Drama||Director||Jayant, Raj Rani, Amrutlal, Mumtaz|
|1947||Mirza Sahiban - (Mirza Sahibaan)||Legendary Romantic Tragedy||Director/Story & Scenario||Noor Jehan, Trilok Kapoor, Gope, Gulab, Amir Bano, Misra, Laxman, Baby Anwari, Cuckoo|
|1949||Bazar - (Bazaar (1949 film))||Semi-Musical/Social||Director/Story & Scenario||Nigar Sultana, Shyam, Yakub, Gope, Amir Bano, Misra, Cuckoo, Badri Prasad, Mangla|
|1949||Shoharat||Social||Director/Story||Sofiya, Jayant, Padma Banerjee, E.Billimoria, Amir Bano|
|1950||Beqasoor||Family-Social Drama||Director/Story||Madhubala, Ajit, Yakub, Gope, Pramila, Durga Khote, Geeta Nizami, Ramesh, Mangla|
|1950||Meharbani||Social Drama||Director||Ajit, Yakub, Gope, Indu Pal, Begum Para, Shanta Pawar, Rama Shukul, Cuckoo|
|1951||Sarkar||Costume/Action Drama||Director/Story & Screenplay||Ajit, Usha Kiron, Veena, Shashikala, Ulhas, Cuckoo, Hiralal, S.Nazir, Murad|
|1953||Laila Majnu||Legendary Romantic Tragedy||Director||Nutan, Shammi Kapoor, Wasti, Ulhas, Om Prakash,Cuckoo and guest stars Jayant & Vijay Kumar|
|1953||Alif-Laila||Magical/Fantasy Adventure||Producer/Director||Nimmi, Asha Mathur, Pran, Vijay Kumar, Gope, Murad, Maya Devi, Amrit Rana, Tikku|
|1954||Mehbooba||Costume Drama||Producer/Director/Story||Nalini Jaywant, Shammi Kapoor, Gope, Hiralal, Amar, Achala Sachdev, W.M Khan|
|1955||Bara-Dari||Romantic-Costume Drama||Producer/Director||Geeta Bali, Ajit, Pran, Chandra Shekhar, Gope, Murad, Amir Bano, Ramesh Thakur, Cuckoo|
|1956||Naya Andaz||Semi-Musical/Social||Producer/Director/Story & Screenplay||Meena Kumari, Kishore Kumar, Pran, Gope, Johnny Walker, Kum Kum, Murad, Jayant|
|1957||Bada Bhai||Family-Social Drama||Producer/Director||Kamini Kaushal, Ajit, Jayant, Ameeta, Kum Kum, Nazir Hussain, Anant K., Amrit Rana, Helen, Tun Tun|
|1959||Kal Hamara Hai||Social Drama||Producer||Madhubala, Bharat Bhushan, Jayant, Leela Chitnis, Jagdev, Hari Shivdasani, Murad, Deepak|
|1960||Baraat||Romantic/Family-Social Drama||Producer/Director/Story & Screenplay||Ajit, Shakila, Mukri, Salim, Pratima Devi, Murad, Sajjan|
|1961||Bada Admi||Social Drama||Producer||Sheikh Mukhtar, Subi Raj, Vijaya Chowdhary, Jayant, Mukri, Ulhas, Sajjan|
|1963||Kabli Khan||Costume Drama||Producer/Director||Ajit, Helen, Jayant, Mukri, Samson, Salim, Amrit Rana, Indra Bansal, W.M. Khan, Deepak|
|1964||Ishaara||Romantic/Family-Social Drama||Producer/Director||Vyjayantimala, Joy Mukherjee, Jayant, Pran, Azra, Subi Raj, Sajjan, Pratima Devi|
|1971||Woh Din Yaad Karo||Romantic/Family-Social Drama||Producer/Director/Story & Screenplay||Nanda, Sanjay, Shashikala, Mehmood, Dhumal, Madan Puri, Murad, Ulhas, Wasti|
- Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen; Professor of Critical Studies Paul Willemen (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Routledge. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-1-135-94318-9.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 May 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
- Anupama Chopra (2000). Sholay, the Making of a Classic. Penguin Books India. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-0-14-029970-0.
- Jerry Pinto (2006). Helen: The Life and Times of an H-bomb. Penguin Books India. pp. 223–. ISBN 978-0-14-303124-6.
- Tilak Rishi (5 June 2012). Bless You Bollywood!: A tribute to Hindi Cinema on completing 100 years. Trafford Publishing. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-1-4669-3962-2.