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The Arabian tale of \"Aladdin & His Magical Lamp\" repeatedly adapted in the 100 years of Hindi Cinema.

06 Mar, 2013 | Articles on Cinema

The famous Arabian tale of “Aladdin and His Magical Lamp” from the book “One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)” can easily be included in one of the most celebrated traditional stories remembered all over the world by all age groups without any doubt. And for that very reason it has been adapted in World Cinema more than once in many languages including Bollywood.
In Hindi Cinema the parable has been used repeatedly at regular intervals beginning from the early fifties till its recent adaptation in 2009 featuring Amitabh Bachchan. However, the reputed IMDB site states two versions of the entertaining tale made in the thirties too namely,

Aladdin Aur Jadui Chiraag (1933)
directed by Jal Ariah featuring Abdul Rehman Kabuli, Rose, Narmada Shankar and
Aladdin Aur Jadui Chiraag (1937) featuring Narhari Narayan Joshi.

Aladdin Movies in BollywoodBut in absence of any detailed information available about the above two ventures, we will begin it with the major film made in 1952.
1. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp or Aladdin Aur Jadui Chiraag (1952)
The magical story was adapted for the first time by the producer, director Homi Wadia in his 1952 Black & White fantasy called “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” or “Aladdin Aur Jadui Chiraag”. The film featured Mahipal, Meena Kumari, Babu Raje, S. N. Tripathi and more in the lead with music by S. N. Tripathi. All the special effects in it were given by the then famous and the master of his craft, Babu Bhai Mistry.
2. Main Hoon Aladdin (1965)
In the mid sixties, the subject was again revived with the famous villain Ajit as Aladdin in the film titled “Main Hoon Aladdin” directed by Mohammed Hussain which also had Davind, Madan Puri, Sayeeda and Shyam Kumar in key roles. Music was composed by Usha Khanna and the film also had few songs sung by Mukesh, picturised on Ajit including the title song.
3. Sindbad, Alibaba and Aladdin (1965)
In the same year, another interesting venture got released amalgamating the three famous stories of Sindbad (the sailor), Alibaba (and forty thieves) and Aladdin (with his magical lamp). Directed by Prem Narayan Arora it was titled “Sindbad, Alibaba and Aladdin” only and it featured Bhagwan as Alibaba, Pradeep Kumar as Sindbad and Agha as Aladdin along with S. N. Banerjee, Helen, Sayeeda, Meenu Mumtaz and more. The film’s music was composed by Ravi.
4. Tarzan Aur Jadui Chiraag or Tarzan and the Wonderful Lamp (1966)
In the next year, though not completely based on the Arabian Tale, this Unique pictures presentation film did have a magical lamp and a ginnie coming out of it along with many other adventures of Tarzan played by Azad. The film was produced & directed by Babubhai Bhanji (along with special effects) and had music by Shafi-Shaukat.
Aladdin Films in Bollywood5. Bundal Baaz (1976)
After a decade in 1976, Shammi Kapoor used the idea and directed a film called “Bundal Baaz” with Rajesh Khanna in the lead playing the role of a middle class jobless struggler who finds this magical lamp all of a sudden. Shammi Kapoor himself played the role of a giant Ginnie (Jin) in it and Johny Walker completed the trio of this unsuccessful film of the mid seventies also featuring Sulakshna Pandit and Ranjeet. The film had music by R. D. Burman and it was one of the only two films directed by the legendary Shammi Kapoor, which was basically made for the kids. The other one directed by him was “Manoranjan” which came in 1974.
6. Johar in Bombay or Aaj Ka Aladdin (1977)
In just a year after “Bundle Baaz”, another film directed by Shantilal Soni got released which was again based on the same concept called “Johar in Bombay” or “Aaj Ka Aladdin”. It had the famous I. S. Johar and Sonica Sahin in the lead along with veterans like Rajender Nath, Madan Puri and K.N. Singh. It had music by Usha Khanna.
7. Adventures of Aladdin (1978)
Producer, director Homi Wadia returned with another version of the classic tale, now in colour as Basant Pictures “Adventures of Aladdin” in the year 1978. The film was released in cinemascope and had Sachin, Nazneen, Jay Shri T, Raza Murad, Sudhir, Paintal and more in the leading roles. The music was composed by Chitragupta.
8. Alavudinum Arbutha Vilakkum or Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp (1979)
This was a Tamil/Malayalam bilingual film directed by I. V. Sasi released in the late seventies. It had Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth in the lead with Sripriya and Jayabharathi as their romantic pair. The film was dubbed into Telugu as “Allauddin Adbutha Deepam” and into Hindi too as “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp”.
9. Aladin (2009)
After a gap of three decades, director Sujoy Ghosh reinvented the classic in a modern form featuring Amitabh Bachhan as the Ginnie or Genius along with Sanjay Dutt, Ritesh Deshmukh, Jacqueline and more. The film was made with a good budget and some great production values too but couldn’t impress the viewers with its fantasy based script and a modern mature adaptation of the children story. It had music by Vishal-Shekhar.
And after this 2009 unsuccessful run at the box office the famous tale went back to its original format of a book and is still being read by kids in India as well as all over the world with great interest.
(Thanks to Chris for informing about the film in 1965 and Prakash Wadhwani for the one released in 1978.)

Tags : The Arabian Tales, Aladin and his Magical Lamp, 100 years of Hindi Films, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Alladin and his Magical Lamp, Aladdin in Bollywood, Alladdin in Bollywood.
06 Mar 2013 / Comments ( 4 )
You missed these
memsaabstory.com/2012/03/13/main-hoon-alladin-1965/ AND
www.imdb.com/title/tt0283850/ (directed by Homi Wadia)

not sure about these
Bobby Sing

Thanks Chris for your valuable contribution and the article has now been re-edited with few new additions including the ones you mentioned.
So keep writing in with your useful inputs always.


One of person I know in indore did his PhD on Adaption of Devdas in hindi cinema, this also seems nice topic :P,

Bobby Sing

Hi Chandan,
Great to know that one of your known friend has done his PhD on Adaption of Devdas in Hindi Cinema in Indore.
And this is a great co-incidnece that the subject is also there in my pending list from long.

However let me work on it and do let me know how you and your friend find my short write up on the same, after it is posted at the site.

Till then Keep visiting and writing in.

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