indian cinema heritage foundation

A Painful Parting

22 Jan, 2024 | Archival Reproductions by Cinemaazi
Rai Bahadur Chunni Lal

The frivolous quarrel which started over Amiya Chakravarty, director of "Basant", between Rai Bahadur Chuni Lall, the General Manager of the Bombay Talkies, and Mrs. Devika Rani Rai. Controller of Production, seems to have reached its unfortunate climax, as Rai Bahadur Chuni Lall is reported to be resigning from the 2nd of January 1943 and severing his connection with the Bombay Talkies. 
Basant (1942)

With the Rai Bahadur is going Producer S. Mukherjee whose unique success in production has already made new motion picture history. Ashok Kumar, V. H. Desai and some other leading technicians and artistes are also leaving to join Rai Bahadur's new production company. 

Rai Bahadur Chuni Lall, with the help of the most important production unit in the country today, is bound to make his new business as big a success as he did with the Bombay Talkies. 
Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani

Rai Bahadur Chuni Lall was one of the founders of the Bombay Talkies with Mr. & Mrs. Himanshu Rai. For the first four years, the Bombay Talkies struggled for a precarious existence and when Mr. Himanshu Rai died suddenly in May 1940, the company had debts amounting to over three lakhs of rupees. 
Kangan (1939)

Rai Bahadur Chuni Lall inherited these debts along with what little Rai Bahadur Chuni Lal success the company had achieved till then. Taking in hand Producer S. Mukherjee, the Rai Bahadur soon produced "Kangan'' which proved a terrific success. Then came from Producer Mukherjee "Bandhan", "Naya Sansar" and "Jhoola", all great money-makers which helped the Rai Bahadur to turn the financial scales favourably for his company. Very soon the accumulated dividends of seven years on Preference Shares were paid and another 10 per cent was paid, for the first time, on the Ordinary Shares of the Company. 
Today, when Rai Bahadur is leaving the Bombay Talkies Ltd., he is leaving behind a very prosperous company with a huge bank balance and a new picture like ''Kismet" ready in hand, to wish all god-speed to the company. 
Kismet (1943)

In the film circles there are no two opinions about Rai Bahadur Chuni Lall's organizing ability and business acumen and his inimitable services and devotion to Bombay Talkies will never be forgotten. 

We hope, Devika Rani makes good use of her new opportunity by using the present substantial resources of the company and add more in future to the glory and success of the Bombay Talkies Ltd. 

No longer will the genial Rai Bahadur, with his inevitable flowering button-hole, preside over Devika Rani's birthday parties nor will he be there to garland her on the steps of the Roxy Cinema on premiere nights of Bombay Talkies. 

It is a pity.

This article was published under the Bombay Calling section of 'filmindia' January, 1943 issue.

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