Director: Chetan Anand
Starring: Dev Anand, Kalpana Kartik, Sheila Ramani
133mins / IN / PG / Hindi (with English subtitles)
Dev Anand stars as taxi driver Mangal (known as Hero) in this unique entry in the classic Hindi film noir canon.
Mangal’s cab is our opportunity to tour post-Independence Mumbai, with the film’s extensive location footage earning the city a starring credit in the opening titles. Recalling and reworking international traditions of cinematic realism, Taxi Driver offers an unusually gritty glimpse of lives at the margins of Indian society. It’s also one of several films noirs to present Dev Anand with two distinct heroines: Kalpana Karthik as Mala, the innocent newcomer seeking stardom in the big city, and Sheila Ramani as the vampish Anglo-Indian cabaret performer Sylvie.
Like other Hindi films noirs, crime genre elements sit alongside comedy, romance, melodrama, and popular musical numbers that earned S. D. Burman the 1955 Filmfare award for best music director.
Taxi Driver was a significant hit for Navketan Films, the family production company started by Dev and elder brother Chetan whose 1946 debut Neecha Nagar was amongst the award winners at the first Cannes film festival.
Special Intro by Dr. Kulraj Phullar. This screening is presented by Film Noir UK (https://www.southwestsilents.com/filmnoiruk) and is part of a special look at Indian Noir and particularly the noir related films starring Dev Anand. With thanks to the BFI Audience Network.
Arnolfini Gallery, Bush House, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA
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