Pakistan Film Industry – 1976 – Dawn Report.
Broadly speaking the Pakistan film industry maintained the status quo during the year 1976. For reasons best known to film producers no courageous step was taken by them to improve the aesthetic qualities of the films. They continued to take shelter behind the same old lame excuses. Nevertheless, there are signs that the industry will improve qualitatively this year.
Certain restrictions imposed by the State Film Authority will probably help improve conditions. Production-wise the number of films may, however be reduced. Quantitatively there was no perceptible improvement last year. As against 113 films in 1975 only 106 pictures were released in 1976. Punjabi films outnumbered the Urdu films but they were box office success. More than 75 per cent of these films were coloured.
Talash, a hit film was one of the two pictures which celebrated their combined Diamond Jubilee in Karachi. Talash was directed by Parvez Malik whose Pehchan was a record success at the box office in 1975.
Judging from the point of view of box office success, the year 1976 certainly fared better. A score of Urdu films were an unqualified success. Over half a dozen pictures including Sachai, Andaata, Mujhe Galey Laga Lo, Do Ansoo, Dekha Jaye Ga, Mohabat aur Mehngai and Koshish celebrated their Golden Jubilee.
Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, a 1975 release ran for over 100 combined weeks. Incidentally both the first and the last releases of the year were in Punjabi.
Of the 52 Punjabi films that were released in Karachi, hardly a coupe of them fared well at the box office. Nevertheless, a good number of them were well received in Punjab and fared well at box office. Jat Kurion Toon Darda was probably the only Punjabi film which was equally appreciated by viewers throughout the country.
Mehboob Mera Mastana and Naag Aur Nagin were the biggest flops of the year. The following are other pictures’ which, despite big cast, could not earn enough to cover the cost of production even:
Mom Ki Gudiya, Raste Ka Patthar, Deewar, Jang-e-Azadi, Aag aur Ansoo, Daag, Daman ki Aag, Aulad, Anokhi, Zaibunnisa, Saiyan Anari, Insniyat, Mohabbat Aur Dosti, Jio Aur Jeenay Do, Dharkan, Saazish, Nasheman, Musafir, Surayya Bhopali etc.
Experimental film Musafir and Saazish didn’t prove hits at the box office. About 90 per cent of the 48 Urdu films and a good number of Punjabi films too released during the last twelve months were in colour.
Certain films calculated to capitalize on the emotions generated by incidents were well received, especially by the woman-folks.
The star system continued to remain as important as eve in film production. Senior Artists demand for higher remuneration persisted. Actress Aasia Proved herself to be the busiest star this year. She worked in over 20 films last year.
A few new faces were introduced last year but barring Rahat Kazmi and Usman Pirzada, none could make his mark. Babra Sharif and Kavita, with barely 3-year standing fared better than many of their senior colleagues. Senior artists, including Mohammad Ali, Nadeem, Waheed Murad, Shabnam, Zeba etc. worked in a number of films, but did not achieve anything spectacular.