Most of us,who love Hindi films and are now in their sixties and seventies,will agree that black and white movies had,and still have their own old world charm. You will also agree with me that there are some excellent black and white movies of bygone era which we all simply love.Some of them that I ,and I think, most of you must have always enjoyed seeing, are: Do Bigha Zameen, Garam Coat,Dosti,Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi,Half Ticket, Aawara,Shree 420, Jagtey Raho, Teesri Kasam, Anuradha,Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Kagaz Ke Phool and Anupama.Of course there are many more such classic Hindi films of that era. Now with reports that the original Dev Anand starrer “Hum Dono”(1961) has been colourised and is being released shortly on 4th February 2011, a sort of controversy has been raised in several media reports.The main question being asked is :should such old classics,termed as heritage films,be fiddled with for merely economic reasons,by converting them into colour and re-releasing them now ?

I still remember seeing “Hum Dono” several times on the terraces of University hostels in Baroda ( 1967-1973) late on Saturday nights at a nominal rate of 50 paise or Re.1.The old type of movie projector with its sparkling lights and the bright screen (or a big white wall) ahead,made a startling atmosphere at night under the dark starry sky overhead.We hummed the songs with the actors on screen,we knew most of the dialogues by heart.We whistled,we cheered when Dev Anand romanced Sadhna.

I distinctly recall till this date, a lovely song sequence of this movie,directed by Amarjeet,where a dashing and handsome Dev Anand in a grey shirt,buttoned right up to the neck, and a cute childlike and innocent looking Sadhana, in a white sari, singing to Sahir Ludhianvi’s immortal words, ‘Abhi Naa Jaao Chhod Kar…’ . The duet is in (late) Mohammad Rafi’s and Asha Bhosle’s melodious voices,set to an enchanting musical score by Jaidev.It is a beautifully picturised and lyrical love song, reflecting that era of our Hindi films,when these films were simple and yet magical. I have very often re-lived those memories by going to YouTube and have watched the afore-mentioned song along with other famous songs from the movie.For example: ‘Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya…’ and the soulful but heartbreaking number ‘Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Haalat Pe…’ Those delightful black-and-white images of these songs,are still imbedded in and are alive in my mind,after decades and that is how I would love to remember them.

A few years ago, a fully coloured version of Mughal-e-Azam was released.I still recall that this original black and white movie was partly shot in colour and the song sequence :” Pyar Kiya Tau Darna Kya” was one of the very stunning highlights of the film in those times.When I saw the fully-coloured version some time back,it was easy to see the difference between the original coloured portions and the remaining parts of the film,where colour was now added.

Besides the economic reasons for colouring these B&W golden oldies now,another very common argument being made by the producers/directors, is that today’s young generation,does not like watching black and white movies.The thinking is that with colourised versions of old movies,such old heritage and classicals will become more accessible to this category of the audience. I beg to differ and am of the view that this argument does not hold much water.What do you say ? I think the right approach should be to re-release these old B&W classics,as they are,with a view to educate the Gen Next about our rich heritage of our classical cinema from all parts of our country and to make efforts to help them appreciate it and recognise its real and true worth-today.I feel they are as worth as Gold !

As a bonus for my readers,here are the You Tube links to two songs from “Hum Dono” :



Here is the link to Mughal-e-Azam (1960) song as well :



        Mughal-e-Azam scenes in B&W and colourised versions.
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15 Responses to B&W v/s COLOUR

  1. Dude this blog rules i cant believe i finally found what i was looking for, thanks bro.

  2. raja ramachandran says:

    The success of a film depends upon the story value, music and direction by a competent director.. Indian film goers do not discriminate between B/W and Color films but attach more importance to their valuable contents. Even today we enjoy B/W films shown in some of the TV Channels. You have scored one more point in your juicy article on B/W films.

    Rajaram Ramachandran, Juhu, Mumbai
    Jan 31, 2011

  3. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Brocaji, truly the B&W oldies had a mistique beauty of their own. Movies like Mahal recreated in colourised version will lose half its charm. I am all for not messing with the yester year classics.

  4. Awesome informative post. Thanks for helpful article.

  5. J S Broca says:

    Dear Rajaram ji,thanks a lot for your valuable and appreciative response.

    J S Broca
    New Delhi
    1st Feb 2011

  6. jyoti says:

    Dear Broca Sir, I just loved your thoughts on Black and White movies. I agree with your views that they should not be converted to colour just to get new audiences. I still feel a B&W movie on TV on a late Saturday night is my best bet to entertainment-acting,music, visuals, songs. None to compare with noisy potboilers in colour today!

    Jyoti Sabharwal, Faridabad
    Feb 01, 2011

  7. mamta agarwal says:

    the classsics should be left untouched. today, even black and white photography is making a come back.
    Hum dono is my all time fav. movie. I just love the songs.

  8. manmeet chaddha says:

    Dear Broca Sir, sorry for not commenting earlier as I was busy with my exams.Read your latest posting and I totally agree with you that old b&w movies are our national treasure sort of and they should never be allowed to be plundered by money minded people.I too have enjoyed some old movies like Shri 420,Chalti Ka Naam Gadi..etc which my father also loves seeing ! Thanks for ur thoughtful views.

    Manmeet Chaddha, Gurgaon
    Feb 01, 2011

  9. J S Broca says:

    Dear Jyoti and Manmeet,many thanks for going through my posting and sending me your valuable responses.I am happy to note that the young generation of today also loves old black and white movies of the past.Keep sending me your responses from time to time.GBU !

    2ND FEB 2011

  10. J S Broca says:

    Dear Readers,
    HUM DONO RANGEEN has been released today and initial reviews are encoraging.Listen to Dev Anand on this link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR5CYslnPTk

    4th Feb 2011

  11. J S Broca says:

    Dear Readers


    4TH Feb 2011

  12. J S Broca says:

    Dear READERS,
    I had also sent my comments to SCREEN and they have now been displayed on their website under the article on HUM DONO !
    To read my views and comments,please go to ;



  13. J S Broca says:

    Dear Readers,
    Here is an interesting news item on HUM DONO :

    Mail Today
    It rained coins at Hum Dono premiere
    February 08, 2011

    THE whole of Bollywood joined Dev Anand for the premiere of the colour version of his film Hum Dono held recently.

    While everyone was enjoying the show, a khabri tells us that Shatrughan Sinha and Jackie Shroff were clapping and complementing Dev saab ‘s performance. ” Surprisingly, Jackie carried coins amounting to about ` 1,000 in a bag to shower on the screen as a token of appreciation,” said the source.

    ” Dev saab is my icon and also my favourite actor.I could not control my excitement watching him on screen.I did carry a few coins and showered it on him for his exuberant performances.

    ” But at the same time, I was also cautious enough that these coins fell on the screen and not on the audience sitting ahead,” said Jackie when confronted.

    Salman Khan and Govinda paid a short visit, congratulated Dev Anand and left soon after. The response from the stars only goes to prove that some classics and stars are always popular.

    Dev Anand’s favourite heroines Sadhana and Nanda could not appear due to their bad health.But, Dev saab mentioned that he missed them.


  14. Nothing to beat the classics. It is the black and white that adds ‘colour’ to it all.

  15. J S BROCA says:


    DEV ANAND PASSED AWAY ON 5TH DEC 2011 AT LONDON.Read a message and responses to it on YS of MUSE INDIA.Link:(see my resonse too)
    RIP Dev…

    7TH DEC 2011

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