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Guru Dutt & Geeta Dutt

Guru Dutt was rediscovered by the world long after he had committed suicide in despair, and got more fame and adulation as a filmmaker posthumously than he did when he was alive.

Guru Dutt Padukone was born in Mysore in South India on July 9, 1925. He trained in dance with maestro Uday Shankar after which he joined Prabhat Studios as an assistant choreographer. It was here he met Dev Anand who was making his acting debut with Hum Ek Hain. Movielore has it that the two became friends and promised that whoever made it big first would offer the other a break.

After a spell at Prabhat, Guru Dutt assisted directors like A Banerjee, Gyan Mukherjee and Amiya Chakrabarty. When Dev Anand launched his own banner, Navketan, he kept his promise and invited Guru Dutt to direct a film for him. Thus he made a sensational debut with Baazi, a crime thriller starring Dev Anand, Geeta Bali and Kalpana Kartik. Guru Dutt and singer Geeta Roy met during the song recording of Baazi, fell in love and got married a short while later.

After Baazi, he made the highly appreciated but not-too-successful Jaal and Baaz, followed by Aar Paar, in which he also acted. This film made him a director to reckon with. It wasn"t a great film in terms of content, but the director had the ability to lend his own unique point of view to the most mundane situations.

Guru Dutt"s song picturisations, his innovative use of light and shade, his intense close-ups, fresh use of colloquial language and refreshing view of Mumbai, all made him a master of his craft.

After the frothy Mr and Mrs 55, Guru Dutt"s work took on a dark, brooding tone. Pyaasa, which is now considered his greatest work was about the disillusionment of a poet with the material world. This and the next Kaagaz Ke Phool had autobiographical notes. Kaagaz Ke Phool, was about the rise and fall of a film director and was a flop at the box office. It was criticised for being too pessimistic and self-indulgent, though it is now considered a masterpiece.

The failure of this film disappointed Guru Dutt so much that he did not direct a film again. He continued to produce and act in films (like Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand).

Guru Dutt"s personal life also took a turn for the worse. His romance with Waheeda Rehman had wrecked his marriage. He was said to be depressed when on Oct. 10, 1964 he took an overdose of sleeping pills.

He wasn"t a prolific actor and director, but the films he made have left a mark, and are textbooks in style and technique.

His brothers Atmaram and Devi Dutt were also filmmakers, his son Arun made an unsuccessful attempt at direction, Shyam Benegal is his cousin and Kalpana Lajmi his niece.

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This article was published in MSN, India. I love Guru Dutt! Yes.. I donno how many times I saw his Mr.&Mrs.55, Aar Par, Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulam, Pyasa, Kagaj ke Phool. His round, sparkling eyes when he smiles.. wow.. he is the most sexy man lived in those days I feel. Thanks to my dad who is a great fan of Guru Dutt. Like me, he too never gets tired watching Guru Dutt's movies. His acting + Direction, great music, Geeta Dutt's songs and if Madhu Bala is the lead lady.. for sure.. it is a treat for your senses!!