Remembering 'Subah-O-Sham', the First Hindi Film Shot in Iran
The film is one of those lesser known and discussed films of Hindi Cinema despite being the first Indo-Iranian project to be shot in the particular country featuring its famous star.
The news of our Prime Minister’s two day visit to Iran reminded me of 'Subah-O- Sham', the first Hindi film shot in Iran. The film released way back in 1972 as an Indo-Iranian project featuring Mohammad Ali Fardeen (or Fardin), the matinee idol of Iran as one of its lead actors (as mentioned in its titles) accompanied by Simin Gaffari, Loretta, Irin, Azar and more in the supporting cast.
Among the Indian actors it had Sanjeev Kumar and Waheeda Rehman playing the key roles under the direction of Chanakya (of Ram Aur Shyam fame). Written and produced by B. Radhakrishna, the film’s music was given by Laxmikant Pyarelal, lyrics by Anand Bakshi and DOP by Khani, an Iranian cinematographer along with many other technicians from Iran.
Interestingly Sanjeev Kumar played the younger brother of the Iranian star in the film that actually revolved around an affair between Fardeen and Waheeda, who played an Indian- origin dancer by profession, not acceptable on any terms by Fardeen-Sanjeev’s royal family.
Including a long comic sequence presenting Waheeda as a princess in front of their dominating mother, the film had all predictable twists in the script ending on a positive note wherein both Waheeda and the illegitimate child of the couple is finally accepted into the family after a tragic incident.
Its soundtrack had Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Mohd. Rafi giving voices to songs 'Chhorh Mujhe Peene De', 'Saaqi Ki Zaroorat Hai, Na Jaam Ki Zaroorat Hai', 'Teri Meri, Meri Teri Nazar Lad Gayi', 'Tumko Mubarak Ho Yeh Shaadi Khaana- aabadi', 'Meri Biwi Jahan Se Niraali Hai' and 'Mere Laal Aaj Tera Janamdin Hai'.
Released with the title of 'Homaye Saadat' (Bird of Happiness) in Iran, it had many known Indian actors dubbing for the Iranian cast in the Hindi version and it was Satyen Kappu who became the voice of the lead star Fardeen.
Mostly shot in indoors instead of sets or outdoors in Iran, the film is one of those lesser known and discussed films of Hindi Cinema despite being the first Indo-Iranian project to be shot in the particular country featuring its famous star.