Saudagar (1973 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sudhendu Roy|
|Produced by||Tarachand Barjatya
|Written by||Sudhendu Roy (screenplay)
P.L. Santoshi (dialogues)
by Narendranath Mitra
|Music by||Ravindra Jain|
|Cinematography||Dilip Ranjan Mukhopadhyay|
|Edited by||Mukhtar Ahmed|
|26 Oct 1973|
Saudagar is a 1973 Bollywood drama film, directed by Sudhendu Roy, and based on Bengali story, Ras by Narendranath Mitra. It stars Nutan Behl as Mijuben and Amitabh Bachchan as Moti, in the leading roles. It also featured Trilok Kapoor, Padma Khanna as Phoolbanu. Murad, Leela Mishra as (Badi Bhi), Dev Kishan, Jugnu; V. Gopal are also featured in the film. Though the film didn't do well commercially, it was selected as the Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 46th Academy Awards, but didn't receive a nomination.
Moti (Amitabh Bachchan) is a "gur" (unrefined concentrated cane sugar) trader who trades in the seasonal Gur made of "Khajur" (date-nectar). During the off season, he meets a girl Phoolbanu, and falls in love with her. Moti approaches Phool Banu's father, who asks for mehar (Dowry) which he does not have.
Majubee (Nutan) a widow who is Moti's business associate prepares the Gur for him to sell. Her Gur (and consequently Moti's) is very famous and people always prefer to buy from Moti. Moti decides to get married to Mejuben so that he does not have to pay her, and hence can save more and sooner. Mejuben, unaware of Moti's ulterior motive, is first surprised by the proposal but later accepts it. At the end of the season, Moti saves enough for the meher, and divorces Majubee.
This incident shocks Mejuben and people of the community. Moti meets Phoolbanu's father and asks again for his daughter's hand. Satisfied with the meher,he marries off his daughter(Phoolbanu) to Moti. All is fine till the Gur season arrives. Phulbanu is terrible at making Gur, and Moti's customers stop buying from his shop. Meanwhile a fish trader(Majhi) asked Majubee to marry him. He is honest with her to say that he has small children and wants Majubee look after them. He always treats her with courtesy.
It is almost the end of the Gur season, and Moti does not make good profit that year. He finally is left with no other option than to request Majubee to make a few vats of Gur for him to sell. He takes two cans of date-nectar and approaches Majubee at her husband's house to request her to make him some Gur to sell. He is followed by Phulbanu. At first Mejuben is very angry on seeing Moti but understands that he is in a pitiful condition. She also sees Phulbanu listening to everything from behind a fence. As the eyes of the two ladies meet they start weeping and hug each other. The movie ends with this scene leaving it unclear whether Majubee prepared gur for Moti or whether she teaches Phulbanu how to prepare tasty gur. The second proposition seems plausible as in the end of the film Phulbanu had called Majubee as "Apa" (sister) which was accepted by Majubee and it is very possible that the whole issue got resolved and relations between Moti and Mejuben became better .
The music for the film was composed by the versatile composer Ravindra Jain. He composed several memorable songs for the movie, notably:
- Sajana hai Mujhe Sajna Ke liye - Asha Bhosle
- Kyon Laayo Sainya Paan - Asha Bhosle
- Har hansi cheej ka - Kishore Kumar
- Door hai kinara - Manna Dey
- Tera Mera Saath Rahe - Lata Mangeshakar. 
- Nutan ... Mahjubhi
- Amitabh Bachchan ... Moti
- Trilok Kapoor
- Padma Khanna ... Phoolbanu
- Leela Mishra ... Badi Bhi
- Dev Kishan
- V. Gopal
- C.S. Dubey
- List of submissions to the 46th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Indian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film