We know Premendra Mitra as a great author and poet. His science fiction books make him the Isaac Asimov of the Bengalis. But very few know that he also directed films.
Premendra Mitra was a master of the pen. He has been called the pioneer of the prose poem in Bengali. He captured the imagination of his readers such that Ghanada and Mejokorta (the first Bengali ghostbuster) have become life size characters to us.
Let us see another aspect of this versatile man. Here are the films that he directed in his lifetime. Some are so old films that those are historical assets of Bengal’s culture.
Released in 1943. One of old Bengali movies that it has become difficult to trace. Chhabi Biswas acted in this film under the direction of Premendra Mitra. Chhabi Biswas had actually acted in multiple films of Premendra Mitra.
Released in 1944. As was the state of the political affairs, it was a love story based in the war affected Kolkata. The actors were Nripati Chattyopadhyay, Kanu Bandyopadhyay, Chhaya Debi and Kanan Devi among others.
Path Bendhe Dilo
Released in 1945. The film was based on a story by Premendra Mitra himself. It had a strong cast of Chhabi Biswas, Jiben Bose and Kanan Devi.
Released in 1945. This was Premendra Mitra’s first Hindi film as a director. Jahar, Kanan Devi, Chhabi Biswas, Iftekhar, Avtar and Talat Mahmood acted in this film. Kanan Devi was a master singer and she also sang for this film.
Released in 1947. Very less is known about this film. Premendra Mitra did the direction, story and screenplay himself. Dhiraj Bhattacharya played the lead role.
Released in 1948. This was a suspense movie based on a murder of a zamindar. The detective was called by the zamindar to protect him but by the time he arrives, the zamindar is already dead. Gurudas Bannerjee, Dhiraj Bhattacharya and Sipra Mitra acted in this film. Dhiraj Bhattacharya along with Nabadwip Haldar, Banibabu, Gurudas Bandyopadhyay, Shyam Laha and Nani Majumdar acted in this film.
Released in 1949. The film is based on the story of Premendra Mitra himself. Nripati Chattopadhyay, Gurudas Banerjee and Chhaya Devi acted in the film.
Kankantala Light Railway
Released in 1950. The cast was Gurudas Bannerjee, Dhiraj Bhattacharya, Menaka Devi, Jahar Ganguli, Nabadwip Halder, Madhabi Mukherjee and Bikash Roy. This was probably Madhabi’s first film and she was still a child artist when she acted in this film.
Released in 1951. Under the direction of Premendra Mitra we get to see for the first time Bhanu Bandyopadhyay and Pahari Sanyal with Dhiraj Bhattacharya, Kanu Bandyopadhyay and Nitish Mukhopadhyay.
Released in 1952, this was a thriller film based on a story of his own. The story is about a house haunted by a terrible creature. The hero is a detective, disguised as a beggar to solve the case. Dhiraj Bhattacharya, Bipin Mukherjee, Pranoti Ghosh, Gautam Mukherjee acted in this film.
Dui Biye (1953), Moyla Kagaj (1954) and Dakinir Char (1955) are three other films by Premendra Mitra that are very rare to find nowadays.
Chupi Chupi Aashey
Released in 1960. This was a detective film was based on Agatha Christie’s story Three Blind Mice. Chhabi Biswas, Jahar Ganguly, Rabin Majumdar and Asha Debi acted in this film.
Image credits: kanandevi.com, welcomenri.com, eap.bl.uk