What would Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi had looked like if Guru Dutt had lived? Here is a sample.
Dutt died during the movie’s production in 1964, forcing a reshoot. These rare photographs, courtesy Guru Dutt’s late son Arun Dutt, give us glimpses into what the film might have originally looked like if it had been completed with its original leading man.
Sometime in 1963 or 1964, production began at Guru Dutt Films on what was tentatively titled Production No 9. The film’s cast included Dutt, Mala Sinha, Tanuja, Rehman, Johnny Walker and Deven Verma. Dutt was heavily influenced by the films of New Theatres when he was growing up in Kolkata in the 1930s. Thus, it is only natural that he decided to adapt one of their classics, the Hindi-Bengali bilingual President/Didi (1937).
The adaptation’s director was to be Shahid Lateef, the husband of Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai. The original film was set in a cotton mill, while the movie that was eventually titled Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi had a newspaper office as its backdrop.
The plot combines social commentary with a love triangle. Newspaper editor Amita (Mala Sinha) fires her reporter Jiten (Guru Dutt) after an expose on corrupt builders, only to realise later that he had been right along. She hires him back and promotes him to news editor while secretly falling in love with him.
However, Jiten is in love with Amita’s younger sister, Sunita (Tanuja). Meanwhile, Jiten runs afoul of the newspaper’s promoters with his continuing exposes of corruption.
Eleven unedited reels of Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi were completed, including sequences at Amita’s office and the song Aapke Haseen Rukh Pe, when Dutt died on October 10, 1964. The movie was re-shot with Dharmendra taking over Dutt’s role. Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi was released in 1966. It was advertised as Guru Dutt’s last offering but it flopped miserably.
Although Lateef’s name was listed as the official director, it is said by insiders that the movie was actually completed by its writer, Abrar Alvi, and Dutt’s brother, Atmaram.
Although nobody associated with the film we spoke to would confirm it, there is a possibility that Guru Dutt also had a hand in shooting the song Woh Hanske Mile Humse, featuring Mala Sinha. The play of light and shade, the sweeping crane and delicate tracking shots, and the judicious use of close-ups all indicate of Dutt’s signature filmmaking style.