Siddhartha (1972 film)

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Siddhartha 1972 poster.jpg
Directed byConrad Rooks
Written byConrad Rooks
Paul Mayersberg
StarringShashi Kapoor
Simi Garewal
Romesh Sharma
CinematographySven Nykvist
Edited byWilly Kemplen
Music byHemant Kumar
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 18, 1973 (1973-07-18)
Running time
89 minutes
CountriesUnited States

Siddhartha is a 1972 Indo-American drama mystery film based on the 1922 novel of the same name by Hermann Hesse, directed by Conrad Rooks. It was shot on location in Northern India, and features work by noted cinematographer Sven Nykvist. The locations used for the film were the holy city of Rishikesh and the private estates and palaces of the Maharajah of Bharatpur.


The film tells the story of the young Siddhartha (played by Shashi Kapoor), born in a rich family, and his search for a meaningful way of life. This search takes him through periods of harsh asceticism, sensual pleasures, material wealth, then self-revulsion and eventually to the oneness and harmony with himself that he has been seeking. Siddhartha learns that the secret of life cannot be passed on from one person to another, but must be achieved through inner experience.



Simi Garewal's nude scene caused controversy in India. The Indian Censor Board, at that time, did not even permit on-screen kissing in Indian films.[1]


All the Indian music was composed and sung by Hemant Kumar, with lyrics to the songs by Gouriprasanna: Mother's song was by Shanti Hiranand.

Kumar's Bengali songs, adapted for Siddhartha, "Pather Klanti Bhule" is from the 1956 movie Maru Tirtha Hinglaj and "O Nodire Ekti Kotha Shudhai" is from the 1959 movie Neel Akasher Neechey.

No soundtrack album for the film was issued.

Premiere and revival[edit]

The film premiered in the West and the U.S. to positive reviews. Then during the 1970s and 1980s, it disappeared from distribution and runs in theaters. In 1996 it came back after much work and restoration, followed by release to TV and video. Those who saw the film applauded it as a tale of self-discovery and praised the restoration work. A region 1 DVD was released in 2002.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aseem Chhabra, Siddhartha, a lost tale
  2. ^ Siddhartha (DVD (region 1)). Milestone. 2002. OCLC 51445306.

External links[edit]