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B. R. Chopra
Chopra on a 2013 stamp of India
Born
Baldev Raj Chopra

(1914-04-22)22 April 1914
Died5 November 2008(2008-11-05) (aged 94)
Occupations
  • Film producer
  • director
Years active1944–2006
SpousePrakash Chopra
Children3, including Ravi Chopra
RelativesSee Chopra-Johar family
Honours

Baldev Raj Chopra (22 April 1914 – 5 November 2008)[1] was a prolific Indian director and producer noted for pioneering the Bollywood industry and television series. He's known for directing notable films, such as Afsana, Ek Hi Raasta, Naya Daur, Sadhna, Kanoon, Gumrah, Hamraaz, Dhund, Pati Patni Aur Woh, Insaf Ka Tarazu and Nikaah.[2][3][4] He also produced hit films, including Dhool Ka Phool, Waqt, Ittefaq, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Chhoti Si Baat, The Burning Train, Aaj Ki Awaaz, Baghban and the TV series, Mahabharat.[5][6] He was awarded Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in cinema, for the year 1998, and Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, in 2001.

His younger brother Yash Chopra, son Ravi Chopra and nephews Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar are also directors in the Bollywood industry. His nephew Uday Chopra is an actor and producer.

Biography

Chopra was born on 22 April 1914 in Rahon, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district (formerly Nawanshahr district) to Vilayati Raj Chopra, an employee of the PWD. He later shifted to Lahore. He was the second of several siblings; his youngest brother was filmmaker Yash Chopra.[7]

Chopra received an M.A. in English literature from University of the Punjab in Lahore. He started his career in 1944 as a film journalist with Cine Herald, a film-monthly published in Lahore, he later took over the magazine and ran it until 1947.[8] In the same year, he launched a film with a story by I. S. Johar, Chandni Chowk. Naeem Hashmi was hero of this movie and Erika Rukhshi was the heroine. Just as the production of film was to start, riots broke out in Lahore and he and his family had to flee from the city. After the partition of India into India and Pakistan in 1947, he moved to Delhi. He later moved to Mumbai, where his first production, Karwat, began in 1948, though it turned out to be a flop. His first film as a director, Afsana, was released in 1951 and featured Ashok Kumar in a double role – the film was a hit and established his name in Bollywood. Chopra made Chandni Chowk, with Meena Kumari as a lead, in 1954. In 1955, Chopra formed his own production house, B.R Films. His first movie for this production house was Ek Hi Raasta (1956) which was highly successful. He followed it up with Naya Daur (1957) starring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala Bali, the film became a golden jubilee hit.[9][10] His subsequent releases like Kanoon, Gumrah, Hamraaz were major hits in the sixties. In 1963, he was a member of the jury at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival.[11] His second film with actor Dilip Kumar was Dastaan which became a flop in 1972.

He directed successful film across genres after 1972, with films like suspense thriller Dhund (1973), drama Karm (1977), comedy film Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978), crime film in Insaf Ka Tarazu (1980), Muslim social in Nikaah (1982) and the political thriller Awam (1987).

He was the producer for the films Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Waqt (1965), Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969) and Ittefaq (1969) directed by his younger brother Yash Chopra, and he also produced The Burning Train (1980), Mazdoor (1983), Aaj Ki Awaaz (1984), Baghbhan (2003), Baabul (2006), Bhoothnath (2008) which were directed by Ravi Chopra.

Chopra forayed into television with Mahabharat, whose become the most successful TV serials with 92% viewers record in Indian television history, where Nitish Bharadwaj played the role of Krishna and Mukesh khanna portrayed the role of Bhism pitamah and this was co-directed by him with his son. He also produced TV Series on Bahadur Shah Zafar, Kanoon, Vishnu Puran, Aap Beeti and Maa Shakti.

He died in Mumbai at the age of 94 on 5 November 2008,[12] survived by his son, Ravi Chopra, and two daughters Shashi and Bina.[13]

Awards

B. R. Chopra (sitting left) and Yash Chopra attending audio release of Naya Daur
Civilian awards
National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards

Filmography

Year Title Director Producer Notes
1949 Karwat Yes Yes
1951 Afsana Yes Yes
1953 Shole Yes No
1954 Chandni Chowk Yes No
1956 Ek Hi Raasta Yes Yes
1957 Naya Daur Yes Yes
1958 Sadhna Yes Yes
1959 Dhool Ka Phool No Yes
1960 Kanoon Yes Yes
1961 Dharmputra No Yes
1963 Gumrah Yes Yes
1965 Waqt No Yes
1967 Hamraaz Yes Yes
1969 Ittefaq No Yes
1970 Aadmi Aur Insaan No Yes
1972 Dastaan Yes Yes
1973 Dhund[18] Yes Yes
1975 Zameer No Yes
1976 Chhoti Si Baat No Yes
1977 Karm Yes Yes
1978 Pati Patni Aur Woh Yes Yes
1980 The Burning Train No Yes
1980 Insaf Ka Tarazu Yes Yes
1981 Agni Pareeksha No Yes
1982 Beta No Yes
1982 Nikaah Yes Yes
1982 Teri Meri Kahani No Yes TV Film
1983 Mazdoor No Yes
1983 Dharti Aakash No Yes TV Film
1984 Aaj Ki Awaaz No Yes
1985 Ghazal No Yes
1985 Tawaif Yes No
1986 Kirayadar No Yes
1986 Dahleez No Yes
1987 Awam Yes Yes
1988 Mahabharat[19] Yes Yes TV Series
1991 Mahabharat Katha Yes Yes TV Series
1991 Pratigyabadh No Yes
1992 Kal Ki Awaz Yes Yes
1992 Sauda Yes Yes TV Series
1993 Kanoon Yes No TV Series
2000 Vishnu Puran No Yes TV Series
2002–2004 Ramayan No Yes TV Series
2001–2004 Aap Beeti No Yes TV Series
2002–2003 Ma Shakti Yes Yes TV Series
2003 Baghban No Yes
2004 Kamini Damini No Yes TV Series
2006–2007 Viraasat No Yes TV Series
2006 Baabul No Yes
2008 Bhoothnath No Yes

References

  1. ^ Filmmaker B R Chopra passes away. Press Trust of India via NDTV. 5 November 2008
  2. ^ "Legend Dilip Kumar Passes Away At 98". Box Office India. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  3. ^ "Worth Their Weight in Gold! - Box Office India : India's premier film trade magazine". Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Blockbusters Of Twenty-Five Years (1973-1997)". 13 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Baghban – Movie". Box Office India.
  6. ^ B.R.Chopra made socially relevant films The Hindu, 6 November 2008.
  7. ^ Taliculam, Sharmila (4 April 1997). "And miles to go..." Rediff.com. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  8. ^ Films transformed Chopra's destiny and vice-versa The Times of India, 6 November 2008.
  9. ^ Thombare, Suparna (23 July 2019). "Which is the Highest Grossing Indian Film of All Time?". TheQuint. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  10. ^ Srivastava, Himani (9 March 2018). "Highest Grossing Films of Indian Cinema, Ever". IndianFilmInstitute. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Berlinale: Juries". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  12. ^ Filmmaker B.R. Chopra dead. Thaindian.com (5 November 2008). Retrieved on 2018-11-09.
  13. ^ Bollywood producer BR Chopra dies. BBC News, 5 November 2008.
  14. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  15. ^ "8th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  16. ^ "9th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Rediff On The NeT: B R Chopra chosen for Dadasaheb Phalke Award". Rediff.com. 21 October 1999. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Aboard the mystery train | Cinemaexpress". Cinema Express. 22 November 2017. Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. This BR Chopra directorial was based on the Christie play, The Unexpected Guest, and featured Sanjay Khan, Zeenat Aman, Danny Denzongpa, and Ashok Kumar, among others. The story is about a car-wrecked stranger knocking on the door of a damsel-in-distress who has just shot her husband. On hearing her sad tale of woe, the stranger decides to help her escape punishment.
  19. ^ Mohan, Lavanya (16 October 2015). "Epic television". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 October 2018.