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Baburao Patel and his famous wicked pen, featuring in the FILM INDIA magazine of the early era. (Nostalgia Series - 3)
12 May, 2013 | Articles on Cinema / NOSTALGIA, BOOK REVIEWS, VINTAGE MAGAZINES & MORE

Babu Rao Patel For friends well familiar with the film journalism in India from the early era of 1930s-50s, the name Baburao Patel needs no introduction as he was one of the pioneer film journalists who started it all in the mid thirties of the last century. Also a producer-director of few films made in the 40s, Baburao Patel was the Editor and Publisher of India's first film magazine called FILM INDIA. The magazine enjoyed a clear monopoly in the trade for a long period of time (decades), due to which its published content was considered to be quite important as well as influential among the film industry. Hugely famous for its bold, witty and acidic reviews on the new Hindi films & its performances, the reviewer Baburao Patel was the most detested as well as the most popular, in demand journalist of that initial era. Though his writings were said to be based on his own personal likes and dislikes, yet his views were feared to be decisive for a film or a star eventually and enjoyed a ‘say’ of their own. Apart from this controversial image in the trade, Baburao Patel’s pen was loved & appreciated by the readers due to its entertaining characteristic of using simple & straight words without any hesitation, fear or regret. He used to openly criticize and make spoofs of many reputed film-makers in his reviews and there are several stories famous about this distinctive feature of his art in the trade circles. But along with this, his articles also had an intellectual value, well supported by some valid logical deductions about the medium. Later as more magazines came in to share the same space, Baburao Patel decided to launch a national magazine in place of FILM INDIA in the 60s titled MOTHER INDIA, which was more inclined towards politics and the national issues of those times instead of cinema. And many readers of that era still miss the wicked pen of Baburao Patel since then. As an example of his famous wit just sample what Late Shammi Kapoor himself wrote in his official site, about Baburao Patel’s views on Prithviraj Kapoor………..and he wrote,

"There is no place in the films for uncouth brawny Pathans who think they can make it as actors". This is an observation made by Baburao Patel, Editor and Publisher of the top Cinema magazine of the 30's, 40's and 50's, Film India, about Prithviraj Kapoor.
Prithviraj in his reply to Film India, said, "Baburao, do not provoke this Pathan. If there is no place for me in the Indian films I shall swim across the seven seas to Hollywood and make it there as an actor".
Prithviraj did not need to go to Hollywood. That is History! Source :http://www.junglee.org.in/pk.html Now coming to the basic purpose of this write up, the interested readers can find many articles on the celebrated personality of Baburao Patel on several websites by easily searching the net. But here, I personally wished to share those precious reviews of his, as it is, in their original format, in the shape of scanned images giving the reader that nostalgic feel of the gone era. So this is probably the beginning of a series in my “Vintage Magazines, Books and Print Material” section at Bobbytalkscinema, where I would try to share those scanned pages of Baburao Patel’s reviews published in his FILM INDIA magazine in the era of 1940s & 50s. Baazi Review FilmIndia 1951 Scan - Bobby Talks Cinema.comAnd as the first share of the series, here is ‘A Baburao Patel Review’ of the famous hit film BAAZI released in 1951. It was a Navketan films release, directed by Guru Dutt, which was also written by Balraj Sahni and Guru dutt together (which is in fact another lesser known fact related to the film). BAAZI featured Dev Anand, Geeta Bali, Kalpana Kartik, Roopa Verman, Johny Walker and many other known artists. But here particularly study the kind of words used by Baburao for both Kalpana Kartik and Roop Verman together.
To read it clearly just click at the picture given to open it in its original size and have an enjoyable journey back in time to the 1950s.        (The article scan is from FILM INDIA magazine's August 1951 issue.)
Cheers!


Tags : Baburao Patel and his reviews, Reviews by Baburao Patel in Filmindia Magazine, Reviews in Filmindia, Film India Magazine, Baazi Review by Baburao Patel, Vintage Magazines at Bobbytalkscinema.com, Nostalgic Articles on Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing, Nostalgia by Bobby Sing, Rare Bollywood Articles, Bollywood in 1950s, Rare Vintage Articles.
12 May 2013 / Comments ( 17 )
Sultan Ali
In The Forties, We Grew Up Reading 'Film India' And Looked Forward To Reading The 'Questions & Answers' Section, Which Took Up Almost Half The Magazine.

He Had A Powerful Pen And Producers Dreaded His Scathing Remarks And Reviews. They Resorted To Buying Expensive Advertising Space In His Magazine, Just To Keep Him Off Their Backs.

Sad To Say That He Was Particularly Harsh On All The Muslim Stars And Had The Cheek To Perpetually Refer To Nargis As ' Papaya Faced'.

He Was A Powerful Man, In His Heydays.
Bobby Sing

Hi Sultan Ali,
Thanks a lot for sharing those precious memories of the forties. 
In fact I have already planned to write about the 'Questions & Answers' Section in the magazine by Baburao Patel which I myself was amazed to see being featured in so more than 12-15 pages.

So tha article will be there soon and I am sure you would love reading many other articles at the site too.
Cheers!

SULTAN ALI

In one of your write-ups you have said that ' Film India ' was the only film magazine in the early forties.

However, I have vague memories of another film magazine that was printed from Lahore. 'Caravan' was another popular English magazine printed from Lahore, but it contained only short stories.

Until partition Lahore and Pancholi Arts in particular, produced some very popular movies such as Khazanchi and Khandan. I strongly feel you should devote a chapter to Lahore. Pancholi introduced some fine stars like Ramola, Ragini, Noor Jehan, Manorama, Pran and many others.

Bobby Sing

Hi Sultan Ali,
Thanks for your informative comment. Though I am not that familiar with the pre historic period of LAHORE but still I would surely keep this in mind and try to come up with a write up as I get hold of some collective facts about that period.

Cheers!

SULTAN ALI

JUST REMEMBERED THAT THE FILM MAGAZINE FROM LAHORE IN THE FORTIES WAS CALLED ' CHITRA '.

ANOTHER FINE FILM FROM PANCHOLI ARTS AFTER ' KHAZANCHI ' WAS 'POONJI' WHICH INTRODUCED RAGINI. SHE WENT ON TO BECOME A BIG STAR.

WILL EAGERLY LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR FEATURE ON LAHORE AND THE FINE FILMS THAT CAME FROM THERE.

FINALLY, A REQUEST TO DO A FEATURE ON CALCUTTA AND NEW THEATRES.

BEST WISHES.

Bobby Sing

Hi Sultan ALi,
This is really great as you have come up with the name of Magazine called 'CHITRA ' published from Lahore in the 40s.
But once again I would like to admit that since I dont have a thorough knowledge about that particular era of Lahore and Calcutta, still I would try to explore it more in the coming months for sure.

Till then Keep Visiting and Writing in with more of such precious information.
Cheers!

prakash bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
Manto has given a very interesting portrayal in his memoires Meena Bazaar of Babu Rao Patel.It reveals not only his scathing pen but also his cheap personal traits. Infact Manto wrote a series for a Lahore newspaper titled Ganje Farishtey in which he wrote about many film personalities with whom he had worked in Bombay. A few of these sketches are collected and published in hindi by Radhakrishan and Sons Delhi and titled Meena Bazaar. English version is also available titled Stars from Another Sky. I do not remember publishers name. Thanks

 

Bobby Sing

Hi Prakash Bhatia Ji,
Thanks for your valuable comment and yes I have read this precious book from the one and only MANTO.
However I would love to read it again in Hindi as mentioned in your comment since I earlier read it in english version which is published by PENGUIN Books as I can remember.

Keep Visiting and Writing in.
Cheers!
HIS BLESSINGS

prakash bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
Sorry I made a mistake in my comments. Pls read Rajkamal for Radhakrishan. Thanks

Bobby Sing

Its fine Prakash Bhatia Ji, cause actually both Rajkamal and Radhakrishan Prakashan are under the same publication umbrela as given in their official site at the following link.

http://www.rajkamalprakashan.com/

Cheers!
HIS BLESSINGS

Brajesh Bhatia

I want to write an article on baburao patel and looking for his date of birth. If any of your readers know his date of birth, please let me know. Thanks.

Bobby Sing

Dear Brajesh Bhatia Ji,
Please see as our friend Prakash Bhatia Ji as answered your query in his valuable comment.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,
Cheers!

Prakash Bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
The first exclusive film magazine of sub continent was in gujarati called Mauj Majah in 1924 from Bombay and Rangbhoomi in hindi in 1931 from Delhi.Calcutta had a slightly sophisticated weekly called Varities during those days.Varities was not exclusive film magazine but dealt prominently with Indian and Holywood films. Cheers

Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot Prakash Ji for the valuable information about Babu Rao Patel's birth date and about the early film magazines.
I do have few pages of Varities magazine from the 30s and it really makes you feel nostalgic.

Cheers!

Prakash Bhatia
Hi Bobbyji,
Babu Rao Patel's DOB is 4th March 1904. CHEERS.
E K S Gopalakrishnan
I was fond of reading Babu Rao Patel's views in Mother India Magazine in the 60s and 70s (Question & Answers). Every celebrity was very much afraid of his stunning remarks. This man was the Legend of Critics I have ever seen for the past 50 years. His pen used to create magic words against the host of problems faced in the filmdome with a good degree of flair in English Film Journalism. Sometimes, he used to open the eyes of the PUBLIC. May his soul rest in Peace.

Gopal
Bobby Sing

Hi E K S Gopalakrishnan,
Yes Baburao Patel was indeed one of those (probably the only one) brilliant critics who wrote without any fear of business relationships or any other point in mind and his pen was often referred to as poisonous enough to hurt anyone.

Recently a big coffee table book has been released too talking about that era of his FILMINDIA mainly so do go for it if interested in a journey back in time.

Thanks for sharing your views,
Keep Visiting and Writing in.
HIS  BLESSINGS

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