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KITNA BADAL GAYA INSAAN (1957) – The earlier unofficial Hindi remake of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS more than two decades before SATTE PE SATTA. (Exclusive by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com)

05 Apr, 2020 | ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / K

Two recent unrelated news reports about two distinctive films encouraged me to pen this write-up with some exclusive information on inspired Hindi movies that might be new for many.
The first news was about The National Film Archive of India getting hold of a rare reel of a 1957 banned film featuring Kishore Kumar in the lead titled BEGUNAH. The reel was found after six decades of a court case against the film, when the charge of plagiarism made by Paramount Pictures was proved and the Mumbai High Court ordered complete destruction of all the prints of the film in existence. Its story revolved around a ventriloquist and his unintentional entangle with police and spies. It had music by Shankar Jaikishan and also had a rare insertion of Jaikishan’s cameo appearance playing the piano in the song "Ae Pyaase Dil Bezubaan" sung by Mukesh.
However, written by I. S. Johar and directed by Narendra Suri, BEGUNAH was majorly lifted from KNOCK ON WOOD (1954) that got easily proved in the court and similar inspiration angle related with more English films was later seen in a few other projects too, Johar wrote/directed or featured in. Incidentally the English film stated above featured Danny Kaye playing the lead role, who was also one of those few creative personalities Kishore Kumar was highly inspired from (even having a portrait in his home) that could be evidently seen in his performance as an actor, singer and dancer on screen. 
The second news was related with the announcement of a remake of director Raj N. Sippy and Amitabh Bachchan’s SATTE PE SATTA (1982) that had Amitabh in an unusual double role. The film was written by the talented team of Jyoti Swaroop (story-screenplay), Satish Bhatnagar (screenplay) and Kader Khan (dialogue). Plus, it had a fabulous soundtrack composed by R. D. Burman with lyrics by Gulshan Bawra, including musical gems that are famous even in the present decade of the new millennium.
Moving ahead to the main subject, these two news clips guided me to write about a 1957 film related with both I. S. Johar and SATTE PE SATTA together, which has been rarely mentioned or talked about.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Written & Directed by I. S. Johar it is titled KITNA BADAL GAYA INSAAN, which was the first unofficial adaptation of American musical SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954) released in the last quarter of 1957, around 25 years before SATTE PE SATTA. 
It had dialogues by I. S. Johar, music by Hemant Kumar, lyrics by Bihari and featured Nalini Jaywant and Ajit in the lead roles along with others as the six brothers searching for their six girls. The film even had its opening credits music composed quite close to the famous Barn Raising Dance music of the original film. 
The American film/musical, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS was directed by Stanley Donen, with music by Saul Chaplin/Gene de Paul and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was based on the short story by Stephen Vincent Benet titled ‘The Sobbin’ Women’ that had its origin in an ancient Roman legend. The film won the Academy Award for Best Musical Score for a film and was nominated in four more major nominations showcasing its impact made on the viewers as well as the academy. 
Interestingly, the English musical had all those sequences we later saw in both KITNA BADAL GAYA INSAAN and SATTE PE SATTA.

For instance, the elder brother marrying and coming back from the town with his wife, who gets shocked to see the big family of brothers, a dirty house with all untidy men having no etiquettes of eating or living in a decent way. She then decides to teach them giving lessons of cleanliness and good manners getting them properly dressed. The unmarried brothers have rarely met and conversed with girls but they get to meet six girls together in a musical competition and try talking them as per the lesson learned. They participate in the competition, resist a fight with other group of boys and then finally decide to bring the girls home kidnapping them by force. The lady of the house doesn’t like it. She takes the girls in and sends them all to sleep outside giving strict instructions. And then families of the girls looking for them lead to further complications ending on a positive note.
Satte Pe Satta - Original PosterI. S. Johar used almost the same story progression and sequences intelligently converting and re-writing them as per the Indian settings of a village, presenting it as a musical including the dance competition as a Swayamvar (a wedding contest). But Raj N. Sippy presented the same content in a much more entertaining manner heavily relying on comedy, his leading man Amitabh Bachchan, dialogues penned by Kader Khan and a hit soundtrack by R.D. Burman. In addition, he along his writers - also converted the comic-family drama into a crime thriller by introducing the twist of a double role after 90 minutes into the film that worked perfectly enhancing the end-product. And it was this well-conceived mix of an inspired comedy and a crime thriller that later resulted in more than two remakes of SATTE PE SATTA in different Indian regional languages.
Another worth sharing fact related with these films is about the names given to the seven brothers in them all. In the American original, the seven names have been mostly taken from references in Bible as Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank and Gideon (in alphabetical order).
In I. S. Johar’s KITNA BADAL GAYA INSAAN, the elder brother (Ajeet) is named Ranjeet but the other brothers are selectively given the names of Pandavas from Mahabharata. On the other hand, SATTE PE SATTA has all the brothers’ named after the seven days of week beginning from Amitabh as Ravi.
KITNA BADAL GAYA INSAAN (1957) also begins with an idea that was much later adapted by both Mehmood and Raj Kapoor in their respective films. The very first scene introduces the viewers with three characters of a young son, his father and the old grandfather narrating the film’s storyline. All three played by I. S. Johar himself in different get-ups. The same idea was later seen in the early 70s in HUMJOLI (1970) and KAL AAJ AUR KAL (1971).
Concluding the write-up, though SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS is widely considered as a cult film in the west, more famous for its musical score and dance sequences in particular, KITNA BADAL GAYA INSAAN remains a fine Indianized adaptation of the same. But it’s actually SATTE PE SATTA, that happens to be the most entertaining film among them all due to a superfine mix of comedy, family drama, thriller and melodious music all together. However the tag of unofficial remakes will still remain with these Hindi films as they never disclosed their original source in the credits.
Adding to the list, there was another Punjabi film titled SAT SALIYAN released seven years after Johar’s film in 1964. But since I couldn’t see the film till the time of writing this article, it more seems to be an inspired project with the idea used in reverse gender wherein the hero is looking for seven boys for his seven sister-in-laws (sat saliyan). Would surely update, once I get to see the film knowing its actual theme.

Till then, do try to catch SATTE PE SATTA yet again as it certainly hasn’t aged even after almost four decades. And thankfully Johar’s film is also available at Youtube if you are willing to see it too (though its available in Black & White and not in Gevacolour as mentioned in its posters).
(5th April 2020)

All Rights Reserved – Bobby Sing (Hapreet) / BobbyTalksCinema.com 

(Note : A big thanks to dear friend Vivek Kumar and S. Talwar for their valuable inputs for the article)

(The chapter is a part of my upcoming book DID YOU KNOW Vol.2. It has been shared here on the website for all reader friends as an early promotion of the book most probably coming before the year end.  


 Did You Know By Bobby SingFor more interesting articles on lesser known facts on Hindi Cinema, do try DID YOU KNOW Series by Bobby Sing available in both Book and E-book form.

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Tags : KITNA BADAL GAYA INSAAN unofficial Hindi remake of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS before SATTE PE SATTA, Exclusive by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Rare Facts of Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing, Did You Know by Bobby Sing
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