As most readers of this blog probably know, a lot of conversation related to old posts can be found via the links in the Recent Comments section in the right sidebar. I hope that people look at these at least sometimes, because I think that much of the most interesting material in the seven-and-a-half year history of this blog has been posted in its comments sections. But there also are occasional times when I feel inspired to bring an old conversation to people’s attention through a new post. And this is definitely one of them…
Within the past ten days, in comments to a Cuckoo birthday post that first appeared in this blog almost four years ago, our friend Mel posted a whole lot of information and speculation regarding the early films of Cuckoo, as well as some great Cuckoo pics from mid-1940s editions of Filmindia. I was going to simply post the links to those comments (basically repeating what you can find in the sidebar right now), but I have decided to post excerpts from Mel’s post here, too, because some of this stuff is great!
Mel began the conversation by pointing out a Filmindia still from Zeenat (1945). It is from the song “Dulhan Ban Jao,” which I had also put up as the last of eight clips in the body of the post. But no still that I could have taken from that video would have matched this clear pic of Cuckoo holding Noor Jehan’s hand at a filmi bridal shower. And that’s the pic that you see at the top of this post. Isn’t it beautiful?
Then Mel went on to link to Filmindia pics of Cuckoo from a couple of other movies:
In addition, the young girl in Zeenat looks exacty the same as Cuckoo in an ad for the movie Sona Chandi in 1946 (Filmindia June 1946, page 6 link: https://archive.org/stream/filmindia194814unse#page/n405/mode/2up). Later that year, she briefly changed her name for Kishori (link: https://archive.org/stream/filmindia194814unse#page/n485/mode/2up) and appeared in what is probably her first magazine cover in August 1946 (link: https://archive.org/stream/filmindia194814unse#page/n551/mode/2up)
And it got even more interesting when Mel offered some words about the film Man Ki Jeet:
Cuckoo is so mysterious that this is a never-ending thread :) Filmindia does not give much direct information on her. She is mentioned as early as in November 1945 for a movie called Mun-Ki-Jeet (Man Ki Jeet on Wikipedia). She was probably not credited in the film, but her performance must have been so impressive that the reviewer wrote: “The most reprehensible item in the picture is the vulgar dance of Cuckoo in the presence of Prakash. The words of this song are rather unhappy and the actual pictorial portrayal of the the dance becomes vulgar and repulsive owing to the pointed gestures of the artiste. It is surprising that a man of Ahmed’s fine culture and education should have permitted this dance to go in.” I’m dying to see that dance!
And now for the best part, coming from a message a few days later:
I was watching Prithvi Vallabh the other night, and at the end of the movie, during the “elephant scene,” in the middle of a group of girls, I saw a familiar face! Here are the pictures, enlarged and slightly enhanced, taken from Tom’s version (superb job BTW !):
http://ahp.li/1040bb64bec89c044860.jpg at 1:44:38
http://ahp.li/7399873733917776a974.jpg at 1:49:58
http://ahp.li/9e0e461b68d49b98ce1a.jpg at 1:49:59
http://ahp.li/a9f579c0a983e3a2e5ec.jpg at 1:50:45
http://ahp.li/2249e3650ae6d920232a.jpg at 1:50:46
I’ve copied one of those screen caps, and I would love it if anyone else could confirm that this actress in the 1943 film Prithvi Vallabh actually is a young teenage Cuckoo:
Meanwhile, I might take a look again at the link that Mel supplied for a very comprehensive post that he wrote about Cuckoo in French. I can’t read French too well (I actually failed it in college more than 30 years ago), but this post is worth a look just for the pics, clips, and extremely extensive filmography.
Thank you, Mel!
P.S. The conversation that I’ve excerpted from for this post starts here.