Aurat (1940)

Run Time - 154 min.  |   Countries - India  |  
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Mehboob Khan directs this domestic saga that started production in Sagar studios only to be finished at National. Radha (Sardar Akhtar) is an indomitable woman, toiling away to feed her three sons and to pay off Sukhilala, the village's rapacious moneylender. When she learns that she is pregnant again, her husband, Shamu (Arun), runs far away, leaving her to fend for herself against poverty and the lecherous advances of Sukhilala. Later, the two eldest children die, leaving her with only two sons: the straight-laced Ramu (Surendra) and the wild Birju (Yakub). The latter of the two becomes a bandit, who kills Sukhilala and kidnaps his childhood sweetheart. As a result, Radha and Ramu are cast out of the village. Eventually, Radha kills Birju for dishonoring her. Khan remade this film for his 1957 masterpiece Mother India.