Sashadhar Mukherjee

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Sashadhar Mukherjee
Born29 September 1909
Died3 November 1990 (aged 81)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India (present-day Mumbai)
OccupationFilmmaker
Spouse(s)Sati Devi
Children6 (inc. Joy, Deb, and Shomu)
RelativesAshok, Anup and Kishore Kumar (brothers-in-law)
FamilyMukherjee-Samarth family

Sashadhar Mukherjee (29 September 1909 – 3 November 1990) was an Indian film producer in Hindi cinema. He started his career with Bombay Talkies in the 1930s, and later established Filmistan Studio with Rai Bahadur Chunilalis (father of music director Madan Mohan), Ashok Kumar and Gyan Mukherjee in 1943. In the 1950s, he went on to start his independent studio, Filmalaya. He is noted for films like Dil Deke Dekho (1959), Love in Simla (1960), Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962) and Leader (1964). He is part of the distinguished Mukherjee clan of Bollywood.

He won the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1956 for Jagriti. In 1967, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour by the Government of India.[1]

Family[edit]

Mukherjee was born on 29 September 1909 in Jhansi into an educated, middle-class Bengali Hindu family, the second of four brothers. His father, who belonged to minor gentry, had received an English education and was in government service. The family, at that time, had nothing to do with the entertainment business or any other trade; however, not only Sasadhar but also two of his three brothers were to make a name for themselves in the film industry. Mukherjee's younger brothers were film director Subodh Mukherjee and film producer Prabodh Mukherjee. His elder brother was Ravindramohan Mukherjee, who had little contact with the film industry, but whose grand-daughter is the successful actress Rani Mukerji.

Mukherjee was married when he was a teenager to Sati Devi Mukherjee (nee Ganguli), a teenage girl of his own Bengali Hindu community and similar family background, in a match arranged by their parents in the usual Indian way. Sati Devi's father was also in government service, and that family was also settled in the Hindi-speaking provinces; resultantly, both families spoke Hindi with native-level fluency. This proved important because, mostly due to Mukherjee's influence, all three of Sati Devi's brothers were to become actors and big names in the Hindi film industry. Her brothers were the venerable actor Ashok Kumar, Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar, who was an actor, but more famously a playback singer. Sasadhar Mukherjee was instrumental in helping his own brothers and his wife's brothers to establish themselves in the film industry, and this is perhaps his most important and enduring contribution to Indian films.

Sasadhar and Sati Devi were blessed with six children, four sons and two daughters, namely Rono (nee) Mukherjee, Joy Mukherjee, Deb Mukherjee, Shomu Mukherjee, Shibani Maulik and Subir Mukherjee. Three of their sons were active in the film industry, including the superstar Joy Mukherjee, and some of their grand-children are likewise involved. Deb Mukherjee's son is film director Ayan Mukherjee, who directed Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani (2013).[2] Shomu married the actress Tanuja (daughter of Shobhana Samarth and sister of Nutan) and became the father of two daughters, Kajol and Tanisha, and these grand-daughters of Sasadhar have also become actresses.

Career[edit]

He was a producer for Bombay Talkies, and after the death of Himanshu Rai in 1940, was involved in a tussle for control of Bombay Talkies with Devika Rani, actress and widow of Himanshu.[3][4]

In 1943, Sashadhar Mukherjee formed a partnership with Rai Bahadur Chunilal, Ashok Kumar and Gyan Mukherjee, and they started the studio Filmistan in Goregaon.[5] The first film they planned at Filmistan was Chal Chal Re Naujawan with Naseem Bano and Ashok Kumar who had by then become a star. Sadat Hassan Manto, Ismat Chughtai, Pt. Pradeep and so many other intelligent, talented, and creative people were associated with Filmistan. Filmistan gave breaks and made stars out of Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand and many more. Mukherjee made unforgettable and classic films there like Anarkali, Nagin, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Munim ji, and Paying Guest. He groomed Nasir Hussain as a Director.

In the 1950s, Sashadhar formed his own production house called Filmalaya in Andheri, near Amboli. He also ran an acting school and was instrumental in giving actresses like Asha Parekh and Sadhana a break in films. Sanjeev Kumar was also a product of Filmalaya Acting school. Nasir Hussain was a director involved with his productions as were R. K. Nayyar and Gyan Mukherjee; music director O. P. Nayyar was also associated with his solo productions. He launched his son Joy with the film Love in Simla (1960); he also produced films like Ek Musafir Ek Hasina to further his son's career. When Dilip Kumar wanted to make a film on corrupt politicians he came to Mukherjee and made Leader. Sambandh was his last production, though it was produced by his cousin Ram Mukherjee.[6][circular reference] Sashadhar Mukherjee died on 3 November 1990.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Director Notes
1939 Kangan
1940 Bandhan N.R. Acharya Banner: Bombay Talkies
1941 Jhoola Gyan Mukherjee
1954 Jagriti Satyen Bose Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1956
1955 Munimji Subodh Mukherjee Filmistan
1957 Tumsa Nahin Dekha Nasir Hussain Filmistan
Paying Guest Subodh Mukherjee Filmistan
1959 Dil Deke Dekho Nasir Hussain Filmalaya
1960 Love in Simla R. K. Nayyar Filmalaya
1962 Ek Musafir Ek Hasina Raj Khosla
1964 Leader Ram Mukherjee
Aao Pyar Karen R. K. Nayyar
1965 Tu Hi Meri Zindagi Rono Mukherjee

Dedication in Memory[edit]

As founder of Filmalaya Studio,[7] the film Pathar Ke Insan, was dedicated to the memory of Sashadhar Mukherjee.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Ayan Mukherjee wants to remake grandpa's 'Love in Simla'". The Times of India. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  3. ^ The inimitable Dadamoni. The Tribune. 15 December 2001.
  4. ^ Roshmila Bhattacharya. Kismet: The crook and the cripple. Screen magazine.
  5. ^ Gulzar, p. 593
  6. ^ Sambandh (film)
  7. ^ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Filmalaya-Studio/515055895186717
  8. ^ Mukherjee-Samarth family[1]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]