Thursday, September 17, 2015

IS Johar and " Harry Black and the Tiger: a Hollywood Opus.

Dec 24th, 2011
IS Johar was the first Indain actor who hit the Hollywood screen. His role as 'Bapu' in 'Harry Black....' was a stand out performance

IS Johar was a film star who had a penchant for doing comedy roles on the Mumbai screen. In  fact he was quite a draw as an actor in the fifties and sixties with his slapstick comedy roles. Bu the same Johar acted in some Hollywood films as well and there he did not play the  role of  the buffoon.  

Many present day stars are longing to act in Hollywood films, but IS Johar outdid them nearly 4 decades back. One of his more memorable roles was in the movie ' Harry Black and the Tiger'. The film which was shot entirely in India starred  Stewart Granger and Barbara Rush  with Anthony Steele in an important role. but our own IS Johar put in a wonderful performance as the valet and tiger tracker of Stewart Granger. images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRHyAdiUu5WIhmFZ45iiCM The film was made in 1959 and IS Johar essayed the role of 'bapu' a valet to the hero. Johar literally lived the role as the film revolved around the plan to kill a man eating tiger. The shikari is played by Stewart Granger who has lost a leg in a German POW camp during the war. By luck he meets the very man who by cowardice  allowed thisto happen. He is married to the woman who Granger loves.    That is the love angle but basically the film concerns  a tale of a man and a jungle beast. the last scene where Johar and the Hunter enter  a dark cave to kill the tiger are spine tingling.  All credit to Johar who turned in a stupendous performance, that is remembered even now.   
 The film runs for 107 minutes and has 4 track stereo recording for excellent sound effects of the Jungle and the tiger. The director is  Hugo Fergenese and he has captured the essence of India on celluloid.  IS Johar was a nomination for the BAFTA award for the best actor in a supporting role. He lost by one vote.  It was rumored that he lost because he was an Indian. In those days the westerners were averse to giving awards to Indians. It's changed now and 'Slum Dog..' could get a number of Oscars.One can sit back and remember that IS Johar did India proud with this role. A bit of trivia aabout the film is worth knowing. Stewart Granger used his personal rifle for all the shoots in the film