Tuesday, May 20, 2014


PC Barua and Jamuna Devi
PC Barua and Jamuna Devi were well renowned film personalities during 1930's and early 40's who are still remembered for their wonderful contributions to Indian Cinema.
PC Barua was a fantastic film director,actor and screenplay writer who is still acclaimed for his 1935 released film 'Devdas' which was made in Bengali and Hindi.In the Bengali version he was the hero as 'Devdas' and in both the versions his wife 'Jamuna Barua' was the heroine.
PC Barua was born in Gauripur, in Assam as 'Pramathesh Chandra Barua' on 24 October 1903.His father Prabhat Chandra was the King of Gauripur and mother's name was Sarojbala Devi.He completed graduation from  Presidency College,Calcutta in 1924.
He went to Europe and grasped several aspects regarding film making from London and Paris.He returned to India and worked with film maker Dhiren Ganguly for a small period and acted in a few films.He again went back to Europe and learned much more about camera operation and cinematography.He purchased some lighting equipment from Paris and returned to Calcutta.He started a Film Studio of his own and made two films under the banner 'Barua pictures'.His film 'Apradhi(1931) earned critical acclaim.In that film he employed artificial lighting which was not used in Calcutta films till then.It was directed by Dabaki Bose.He played  hero role in Apraradhi and he played villain role in Ganguly's 'Bhagyalakshmi' during that period.
Barua joined New Theatres in 1932 and worked for them till 1939 during which he made several well noted super hits.
Barua's first film at New Theatres was 'Roop Lekha'(1934) in which Jamuna Devi acted in an important role.It was the first film to employ flashback technique.Jamuna Devi married Barua in the same year.
The second film at New Theatres was 'Devdas' which was the adaptation of a Bengali novel written by Sarachandra Chattopadhyay in 1907.Barua wrote the screen play and dialogues and acted  in the title role as 'Devdas' in the Bengali version in 1935.The Hindi version was released in 1936 in which K.L.Saigal was the hero and rest were virtually the same and identical.The film became a sensation all over India and the name of PC Barua reached dizzying heights.That film was remade later in Tamil, Telugu and again made in Hindi by other artistes but the original 1935 Devdas stood as the reference for all of them.The name of K.L.Saigal also reached to the pinnacle of popularity by this film.
Jamuna was born and brought up in Calcutta but her parents were  hailed from U.P.
So she was fluent in both Hindi and Bengali languages.Jamuna Devi was born on October 10.1919.
The portrayal of 'Parvati' by Jamuna in Devdas earned her much name and fame.The role of 'Paro'  was initially meant for Kanan Devi but she could not act in it because she was busy with other films and Jamuna acted for the first time as a heroine which wrote history in Indian Cinema.The film is still a reference source to students of Film Institutes.Devdas was a big box office hit.
Same year 'Manzil' was released in Bengali and Hindi.The name of Bengali version was 'Grihadaha'.PC Barua was the hero in both the versions and he directed Hindi and Bengali versions.
Then came 'Maya' a film  by PC Barua in which Jamuna Barua was the heroine.It was directed by PC Barua but the hero was Pahari Sanyal.It was one of the few films Jamuna acted opposite another hero other than PC Barua.
'Mukti' was also a classic well noted film of PC Barua which was super hit.
Scene from "Devdas'
In 1938 Jamuna did another bilingual film 'Adhikar'(in Bengali and Hindi) starring and directed by PC Barua.The theme was an analysis of the rich and poor relationship.Adhikar received film journalist's association award as Best film of 1938.
'Rajat Jayanti' was a comedy theme film directed by PC Barua in 1939.All the films at New Theatres were successful films at the box Office and for all his films screen play were written by PC Barua himself.
The last film of PC Barua and Jamuna at New Theatres was 'Zindagi' in which K.L.Saigal acted as the hero and Jamuna heroine.The theme was  of an unmarried couple living together.That film contained the evergreen Saigal rendered song 'So ja Rajakumari So ja'.

Jamuna joined M.P.Productions after leaving New Thetres and Barua freelanced there after.
'Uttarayan' was a super hit bilingual  film directed by PC Barua and acted as hero later on.
'Shesh Uttar' was another super duper hit of 1942 made by M.P.Productions  in which Barua acted as hero and directed it.The Hindi version was named as 'Jawab' which was a big success at the box office.
Jamuna Barua's last film was 'Phulwari' (Bengali version 'Malancha') based on a Tagore story and released in 1951.It was directed by Prafulla Raj.
In 1951 PC Barua passed away at the age of 48
Selected Filmography of Jamuna Devi

Shesh Uttar 
Hindusthan Hamara
Subah Shyam

K.L.Saigal amd Jamuna Devi


.Jamuna Barua passed away on 24 November 2005.

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