Subodh Mukerji

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Subodh Mukerji

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    Lopita Majumdar
    Lopita Majumdarwrote on 11 Aug 2008

    Subodh Mukherjee was born on 14th April 1921 in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. He is the brother of the famous producer director Shashadhar Mukherjee, who set up Filmistan Studios in Mumbai. The family has produced some great stars over the years, like Joy Mukherjee, Kajol and Rani Mukherji.

    Subodh Mukherjee started his career with Munimji in 1955. This trend-setting drama pitched Dev Anand against Pran in a blockbuster about good and evil. Known for his light breezy comedy musicals, Mukherjee made Paying Guest in 1957, featuring Dev Anand and Nutan. The film, especially its music score by Sachin Dev Burman, broke many records. But it was the 1961 mega musical blockbuster Junglee for which Mukherjee is best remembered. Junglee spearheaded the era of family dramas within the music format and also the era of the male superstar. It also catapulted Shammi Kapoor to stardom. The tradition of outstanding music scores was one of the mainstays of Mukherjee's cinema. If Munimji contained the all-time Kishore Kumar hit Jeevan ke safar mein rahi, Paying Guest contained evergreen songs like Lata Mangeshkar's Chand phir nikla magar tum na aaye and Mana janaab ne pukara nahin. After Junglee, Subodh Mukherjee made two other musicals - April Fool and Saaz Aur Awaaz - both featuring Joy Mukherjee and Saira Banu. He entered the 1970s with the big ambitious musical Abhinetri with Shashi Kapoor and Hema Malini, but the film flopped. Mukherjee never recovered from the setback and made no film for the next 12 years. In 1982, he returned with the multi-starrer Teesri Aankh, the film didn’t receive a good response. In 1985 he made the comedy Ulta Seedha with Raj Babbar and Rati Agnihotri. This was his last film.

    Subodh Mukherjee died on 21st May 2005 at the age of 84 after a long struggle with blood cancer.