(1897–1984) was an Indian Parsi
stage and film actor, director and producer. His films include Khoon Ka Khoon
(1935), a version of Shakespeare's Hamlet
, Prithvi Vallabh
, Jhansi ki Rani
, Mirza Ghalib
, and Nausherwan-e-dil
(1957). His films always carried a message of strong commitment to social and national issues. A whole generation's image of history is based on his historical films.
Sohrab Merwanji Modi was born 2 November 1897 in Bombay. Sohrab began as a Parsi stage actor with some experience in silent films. He earned quite a reputation as a Shakespearean actor, travelling throughout India with his brother's theatrical company and enjoying the tremendous sense of fulfillment every time the curtain came down and the audience applauded. However, with the advent of the sound film in 1931, theatre was declining. To rescue this dying art, Modi set up the Stage Film Company in 1935. His first two films were filmed versions of plays. Khoon ka Khoon
(1935) was an adaptation of Hamlet
and marked Naseem Bano's acting debut. The second, Saed-e-Havas
(1936) was based on Shakespeare's King John
. Both films failed.
He then launched Minerva Movietone in 1936. His early films at Minerva dealt with contemporary social issues such as alcoholism in Meetha Zaher
(1938) and the right of Hindu women to divorce in Talaq
(1938). Though the films did well, what attracted Modi was the historic genre. Minerva Movietone became... Read More