Nitin Bose

26 Apr 1897
14 Apr 1986
Film Industry
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Nitin Bose (Bengali: নীতিন বোস) (26 April 1897 – 14 April 1986) was an Indian film director, cinematographer and screenwriter of the nation’s film industry. He was born in Calcutta and died in the same city. In the 1930s and early 1940s, he worked with New Theatres, who made bilingual movies: in both Bengali and Hindi. Later, he moved to Bombay and directed under the banners of Bombay Talkies and Filmistan.

The first use of playback singing in Indian films occurred in films directed by Bose in 1935: first in Bhagya Chakra, a Bengali film, and later the same year in its Hindi remake, Dhoop Chhaon. His most well-known work is Ganga Jamuna.

Nitin Bose was son of Bengali entrepreneur Hemendra Mohan Bose and Mrinalini. Mrinalini was sister of writer Upendrakishore Raychowdhury, who was father of poet Sukumar Ray and grandfather of film director Satyajit Ray.

Bose had a great interest in photography from his childhood. His father, who was a keen photographer himself, nourished his son’s interest in the same

Bose’s first venture in film direction was a documentary film on Belgian Emperor’s visit to India (1921).

Bose started his film career as a cinematographer in 1926 in the movie Punarjanma.His debut as cinematographer under New Theatres banner was in the movie Devdas (1928). He was cinematographer of the only film directed by Rabindranath Tagore, Natir Puja (1932), which was based on a dance-drama composed by Tagore.

Bose worked closely with director Debaki Bose, but then Debaki Bose temporarily left New Theatres to Madan Theatres for making Seeta(1934). At this time, producer of New Theatres, B. N. Sircar asked Nitin Bose to venture into film direction. Bose started with remaking of Debaki Bose’s Chandidas (1932) in Bengali to Chandidas in Hindi (1934).

His 1935 film Bhagya Chakra was the first Indian film to use playback singing. The singers were K C Dey, Parul Ghosh and Suprabha Sarkar.The movie was remade in Hindi with the title Dhoop Chhaon, which was the first Hindi film to use playback singing. It was Bose who came up with the idea of playback singing. He discussed with music director Raichand Boral and Bose’s brother Mukul Bose, who was the sound recordist in New Theatres, implemented the idea.

During the making of Kashinath (1943), Bose had a misunderstanding with B N Sircar. After completion of the film, he did not go back to New Theatres, with which he was associated since it was established in 1931. Eventually, Bose moved to Bombay and Sircar closed New Theatres.

Bose’s first movie under Bombay Talkies banner was Naukadubi (1947), based on Tagore’s novel of the same name. Hindi version of this film was named Milan, in which Dilip Kumar acted in the lead role., and the Bengali version had Abhi Bhattacharya in the lead.His next film Drishtidan (1948) introduced Uttam Kumar, who later became superstar of Bengali Cinema.

In 1960s, Bose directed a number of movies under the banner of Filmistan. Ganga Jamuna (1961), directed by Bose, is considered one of the all-time blockbusters of Indian Cinema

Satyajit Ray was a nephew of Bose and worked under him in the movie Mashaal(1950), which was produced by Bombay Talkies.

Among thirteen siblings of Bose, there were one singer, one painter, one sound recordist (Mukul Bose) and four cricketers.

Bose’s brother Mukul Bose was a pioneering and highly respected sound recordist who introduced many techniques in playback singing and voice dubbing. He leaves behind his wife Santi Bose, daughters Rina and Neeta and 6 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

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