RealnameRamjan Khan
1907 *
Place of BirthBilimoria (Gujarat)
28.05.1964 †

Mehboob Khan was born in Gujarat to a poor family and as a youngster went to Bombay to make a career in movies. Though he had started to direct his own movies in the mid 1930s, the films he made after India became independent are regarded as his masterpieces. His social concern and political views soon became the foundation of his attempt to create realistic films for the masses.

Mehboob's Aurat shows his strong developement, but certainly Roti in 1942 was his best film before independence. Bringing Brecht's ideas on Theatre to the Indian screen Mehboob made Roti a study of capitalism. The film takes place in a fictitious country, where the difference between the urban and the rural population are even bigger than they were in India at that time. Mehboob's support of the farmers and the rural population as well a his strong criticism of western influences on Indian society remain the major topic of his films.

In 1949 Mehboob released his famous Andaaz starring three of India's finest actors: Nargis, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. In Andaaz Mehboob shows how western influence on personal relationships destroys a woman and her marriage.

Together with his cameraman Faredoon Irani Mehboob constantly tried to work out new styles and possibilities in his movies. He invested all his money to make a film in colour - Aan in 1952. Though strictly speaking Aan was not the first Indian film in colour, it certainly was the movie, that forced other producers to switch to colour. Aan was shot in 16mm and its copies where then blown up to 35mm for cinema release. In 1957 Mehboob released his most remembered film Mother India a remake of his earlier Aurat. This film earned Indian cinema a lot of recognition worldwide and was the first Indian movie to be nominated for an oscar. It remains among India's top classics.

Mehboob last film Son Of India was a commercial failure. His next project could not be finished. Mehboob died in 1964. Together with Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt he is among those who defined Indian post independent cinema and who were able to combine commercial cinema with political views and social concern.


As Director

  1. Son Of India, 1962
  2. Mother India, 1957
  3. Amar, 1954
  4. Aan, 1952
  5. Andaaz, 1949
  6. Anokhi Ada, 1948
  7. Elaan, 1947
  8. Anmol Ghadi, 1946
  9. Humayun, 1945
  10. Najma, 1943
  11. Taqdeer, 1943
  12. Roti, 1942
  13. Bahen, 1941
  14. Alibaba, 1940
  15. Aurat, 1940
  16. Ek Hi Rasta, 1939
  17. Hum Tum Aur Woh, 1938
  18. Watan, 1938
  19. Jagirdar, 1937
  20. Deccan Queen, 1936
  21. Manmohan, 1936
  22. Judgement of Allah, 1935

As Producer

  1. Son Of India, 1962
  2. Mother India, 1957
  3. Amar, 1954
  4. Aan, 1952
  5. Andaaz, 1949

As Script Writer

  1. Judgement of Allah, 1935