Directed by Raj Kapoor • 1955 • India
Starring Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Nadira
Director-producer-star Raj Kapoor channels Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp in his follow-up to the blockbuster AWAARA, in which he plays a naive young man who travels from the country to Mumbai in search of work—only to be seduced by the temptations of big-city greed and vice. As our hero descends into a life of crime, the love of a poor but idealistic woman (Nargis) may be the only hope of setting him back on a virtuous path. The hit musical number “Mera Joota Hai Japani” went on to become an emblem of national pride for a newly independent India thanks to its patriotic lyrics (“My shoes are Japanese, these trousers are English, the red cap on my head is Russian, but still my heart is Indian”).