Saturday Bollywood: Starring Ashok Kumar-Nalini Jaywant Naaz (1954) created a landmark in the history of Indian cinema. Director SK Ojha’s big vision happened long before Raj Kapoor turned Sangam (1964) in Switzerland and Paris. Many who are interested in the classics of the past consider Sangam to be the first Hindi film to be shot abroad. The same has been reported by many entertainment portals. But actually it was Naaz directed by Ojha shot in Cairo, Egypt. The director wanted to create a visual spectacle for the audience and hence, chose Cairo as one of the filming locations. A certain part of it Naaz also filmed in London, UK. One of its posters featured Nalini Jaywant as an Egyptian goddess as part of the film’s marketing strategy.Also Read – Bollywood Saturday: Did you know this song from Mughal-E-Azam was completed after 105 songs were rejected?
Ashok Kumar in a Machismo Avatar
Naaz it is neither available on YouTube, nor is there any information about the film’s history or making on Wikipedia. It is a known fact that in India film history is one of the most neglected subjects. While in the West even silent era classics are preserved as archives for film students. Ashok Kumar, otherwise famous for playing character roles, showed his combativeness long before Dharmendra, Salman Khan, Hirthik Roshan and Ranveer Singh. A naked, shirtless, clean-shaven Ashok Kumar is seen in some of the pictures and scenes from the film posted on social media. Also Read – Bollywood Saturday: Did you know that Raj Kapoor’s RK logo has a connection with Leo Tolstoy?
Check out this lobby card from Naaz:
Naaz was commercialized using Egyptian paintings
The only reference to the film is the lobby cards, the pre-poster promotional material used to attract audiences to theaters during the 1950s. Naaz had many Egyptian paintings and drawings in the background to promote the film as a unique and contemporary narrative. Naaz it was independent India’s first film to be shot abroad. However, some historians claim that a 1939 Indian film during the British period was the first film shot in Africa. But there is no evidence or document related to the movie. The film had Hindi and English titles respectively as Africa Me Hind and India Me Africa. Also Read – Bollywood Saturday: Did you know Bimal Roy offered Bandini to Dharmendra for a ‘Maach’ meal
SK Ojha had also directed the Dileep Kumar starrer Hulchul (1951) before Naaz.
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