India’s First cinemascope film was KAAGAZ KE PHOOL, produced and directed by Guru Dutt in 1959. The film’s star cast included Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, and Johnny Walker.
The movie is considered as Guru Dutt’s finest film. But the film was a box office disaster and Guru Dutt never directed a movie again. The film is a technical masterpiece. The camerawork with its use of light and shadows is magical. The frames have been beautifully composed keeping in mind the cinemascope format. The film is renowned for its superb song picturisation, particularly Dekhi Zamaane ki Yaari and Waqt ne Kiya Kya Haseen Situm. V.K. Murthy, the movie’s cinematographer after this movie became permanent cinematographer with Guru Dutt’s movies. The movie even fetched V.K. Murthy Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award.
According to historians, Guru Dutt happened to watch 20th Century Fox shooting their movie with unique lens (Cinemascope lens) and requested the company’s manager to try the lens for his forthcoming movie. After watching the initial rushes he was floored by its magnificence and decided to use the technology. Tragically after the movie failed no one dared to utilize the technique. In the early 70’s few filmmakers did use the technology but the trend came into full force with the late 70’s when big banners like Prakash Mehra (MUQADDAR KA SIKANDAR), Manmohan Desai (NASEEB), Feroz Khan (QURBANI) etc. began using the technology in every film.