Mahal (1949)

Release Date - Oct 13, 1950 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 165 min.  |   Countries - India  |  
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Kamal Amroshi makes his directorial debut with this horror-mystery, widely considered a masterpiece of Indian cinema. The film centers on Shankar (Ashok Kumar), a handsome young lad who buys an old abandoned mansion rumored to have a dark and mysterious past. He quickly notices his resemblance to the portrait of the former owner. Soon afterwards he is approached by the ghost of the former owner's mistress, Kamimi (Madhubala), who orders Shankar to either die or marry her reincarnation, a servant's daughter named Asha. Shankar soon becomes obsessed with the ghost, so much so that his friend, Shrinath (Kanu Roy), worries about his mental health. His friend arranges for Shankar to marry the beautiful Ranjana (Vijayalakshmi). Shankar's obsession only intensifies after the wedding, as he forces his poor bride to live in a vermin-infected shack. She soon commits suicide and Shankar is arrested for her death. Later, it is revealed that Asha made up the entire ghost story.