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Thread: REWIND THE GOLDEN ERA !!~*~!! Magic of Madhubala

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    Default REWIND THE GOLDEN ERA !!~*~!! Magic of Madhubala

    In the short time that she graced the silver screen in India, Madhubala achieved the kind of iconic status that many actors can only dream of. Often compared to another ethereal beauty Marilyn Monroe who also died young, hers was a life full of great professional highs but also many personal lows. The magic of Madhubala continues to enthrall cinema lovers all over the world.

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    Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi, later known as Madhubala, was born in New Delhi, on February 14, 1933. She was Muslim, the fifth child of a conservative Pathan family of eleven children

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    After Madhubala's father, Ataullah Khan lost his job at the Imperial Tobacco Company in Peshawer, the family endured many hardships including the deaths of four of Madhubala's sisters and her two brothers. Madhubala and four other sisters remained. In search of a better life for his impoverished family, her father relocated them to Mumbai. There they struggled for over a year and often frequented the Mumbai film studios in search of work. Young Mumtaz entered films at the age of nine.



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    In the next two years she blossomed into a captivating beauty (film media and fans referred to her as the Venus of the Screen). However it was not until she starred in the coveted lead role of Bombay Talkies production, Mahal in 1949, that Madhubala became a fully fledged star and a household name. Audiences enthused over Madhubala's enigmatic screen presence and beauty. Though she was only sixteen at the time, critics widely acknowledged that her subtle and skillful performance upstaged her seasoned co-star, Ashok Kumar. The film became a popular success and the song Aayega Aanewala heralded the arrival of two new superstars both Madhubala and playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.




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    During the 1950s, Madhubala proved herself a versatile performer in starring roles, in almost every genre of film being made at the time. She was the archetypal lady fair in the popular swashbuckler, Badal (1951) and was next seen as an uninhibitted village belle in Tarana (1951). She was convincing as the traditional ideal of Indian womanhood in Sangdil (1952) and was well received in a comic performance as the spoilt heiress, Anita in Guru Dutt's classic satire Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955).



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    She turned her career around in 1958, with a string of hit films: Howrah Bridge opposite Ashok Kumar featured Madhubala in the unusual role of an Anglo-Indian Cabaret singer, embroiled in Calcutta's Chinatown underworld. She made a big impact with a daring (for the time) Westernized image, with her cascading locks, deep cut blouses, fitted Capri pants and tailored Chinese dresses. Madhubala's sensuous torch song from the film, 'Aye Meherebaan', dubbed by Asha Bhosle, was a popular hit with audiences, and is widely quoted and celebrated to this day.



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    In 1960, she consolidated these successes and her super-star status when she went on to appear in the epic mega-budget historical, Mughal-e-Azam. This film is widley perceived to be the crowning glory of her career and perhaps the decade of filmmaking in India. It was Mughal-e-Azam that marked what many consider to be her greatest and definitive characterization as the doomed courtesan Anarkali. Director K. Asif, unaware of the extent of Madhubala's illness, required long and grueling shooting schedules that made heavy physical demands on her

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    From 1951 through to 1959 Madhubala invested her best efforts into Mughal-e-Azam. Post 1956 and her separation from Dilip Kumar, the film's remaining intimate romantic scenes were filmed under much tension and strain between Madhubala and her now estranged co-star. This emotionally and physically taxing experience is widely perceived as a major factor in her subsequent decline in health and premature death.


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    On August 5, 1960, Mughal-e-Azam released and became the biggest grossing film at that time. Despite performing alongside the most respected acting talent of the industry, Prithviraj Kapoor, Durga Khote, and Dilip Kumar, critics recognised and appreciated Madhubala's intelligent and multi layered performance. She received some recognition as a serious actress when she was nominated for a Filmfare Award. However she did not win, losing out to Bina Rai for her performance in the film Ghunghat


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    Madhubala's heart problem was discovered in 1950 after she frequently coughed up blood on the sets. She was born with a ventricular septal defect commonly known as a "hole in the heart". At the time, heart surgery was not widely available. Her illness was kept a secret from the industry for many years, though one incident was widely reported by the film media in 1954. Madhubala was filming in Chennai for S.S. Vassan's film Bahut Din Huwe. She became extremely ill and vomited blood on the set (1954). The incident was hushed up


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    As a result of her illness, Madhubala's family was extremely protective. When filming at the studios, she would only eat home prepared food and drink water that came from a specific well in an attempt to minimize risks of illness or infection. Eventually her condition would take its toll and abbreviate her life and career, but for most of the 1950s, Madhubala performed successfully despite her illness and physical limitations.



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    In 1960, Madhubala sought treatment in London as her condition deteriorated. Complicated heart surgery was in its infancy and offered her some hope of a cure. After an examination the doctors there refused to operate, convinced her chances of surviving the procedure were minimal. Their advice was that she should rest and avoid overexertion, and predicted that she could live for another year. Knowing her death was imminent, Madhubala returned to India, but defied the predictions by living for another 9 years.


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    In the early 1950s as Madhubala became one of the most sought-after actresses in India, she also attracted interest from Hollywood. She appeared in many American magazines such as Theatre Arts. In their August 1952 issue, Madhubala was featured in an extensive article with a full page photo. The piece was entitled: The Biggest Star in the World (And She's Not in Beverly Hills). It presented the actress as a mysterious and ethereal woman of mythical beauty with a legion of fans.



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    Madhubala had a long affair with actor and frequent co-star Dilip Kumar. They first met on the sets of Jwar Bhata (1944), and worked together again in the film Har Singaar (1949) which was never completed or released. It was two years later during the filming of, Tarana (1951), that their off-screen relationship began. They also became a popular romantic screen team appearing in a total of four films together


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    Thumbs up

    great work. Nice to share.

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