UAB's Department of Art and Art History Film Screening: Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam

Film screening: Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (Guru Dutt, 1962, 155 min)

Presented by UAB’s Department of Art and Art History


Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (Hindi: साहिब बीबी और ग़ुलाम; English: The Master, The Wife and the Slave) is a 1962 Indian Hindi film produced by Guru Dutt and directed by Abrar Alvi. It is based on a Bengali novel, Shaheb Bibi Golam by Bimal Mitra, and is a look into the tragic fall of the haveli-dom and feudalism in Bengal during the British Raj. The title of the movie and the story is a reference to the plot simultaneously exploring a platonic friendship between a beautiful, lonely wife (Bibi) of an aristocrat (Sahib) and a career-driven low-income part-time servant (Ghulam). The film’s music is by Hemant Kumar and lyrics were by Shakeel Badayuni. The film is also noted for its brilliant cinematography by V. K. Murthy. The film stars Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari, Rehman, Waheeda Rehman and Nazir Hussain.

The film was a major critical and commercial success, with critics attributing it to Meena Kumari’s performance as Chhoti Bahu, which is regarded as one of the best performances of Hindi cinema. It won four Filmfare Awards, including Best Movie award, was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival, and was chosen as India’s official entry to the Oscars. However it was not accepted as a nominee. The academy wrote a letter to Guru Dutt saying a woman who drinks was not a permissible taboo in their culture. Indiatimes Movies ranks it amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.

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