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Pocket Maar (2), 1956

Pocket Maar (Pocket Thief), 1956

showcard, c. 1956, 54 X 36 cm (17.7 X 22 inches)
tinted gelatin silver print and poster paint on textured board with hand-lettering

set of 2 showcards (what is a showcard?)

Pocket Maar features two of Bollywood’s most celebrated stars of 1950s.  

Dev Anand was one of the most popular performers of his time and won numerous awards throughout his career, including a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992.  He was the epitome of the suave, urban gentleman and was often compared to American movie stars like Cary Grant and Gary Cooper.  

From humble beginnings, Geeta Bali became a star in the 1950s.  In 1955 she married Shammi Kapoor, but unlike other actresses who gave up films after marrying into the Kapoor family, Bali kept acting.  Tragically, in 1965, she was stricken by smallpox and died.

"In this film, a small-time thief, Roshan, steals money from Mohan, who was about to give the money to his widowed mother and unmarried sister. This causes Mohan to commit suicide.  Overcome with guilt,  Roshan goes to Mohan's village to pay Mohan’s family debt only to find out the police suspect him. 

This is a classic tale of a family drama serving as a metaphor for the ills of society. In Cat. no. 5, the artist has juxtaposed Geeta Bali’s expressive face with a dramatic full-body pose. Her accusing finger points to the composed-looking Roshan, played by Dev Anand. Curiously, Western attire appeared only in a scene not central to the plot, but was highlighted here to make the film more exotic to the local audience.

The film Pocket Maar (1956) was produced by Prem Sethi and Black & White Movies and directed by Harnam Singh Rawail.  Music by Madan Mohan.  Black and white, Hindi, starring Dev Anand, Geeta Bali, and Nadira."

--Additional text by Dr. Deepali Dewan and Alexandra McCarter, based on Deepali Dewan, ed. Bollywood Cinema Showcards: Indian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980s. Showcards from The Hartwick Collection. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2011. Copyright of and reproduced here with the generous permission of the Royal Ontario Museum.



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