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Unanimously considered as one of the key representative films among the 100-year history of Indian cinema, ‘Guide’ is widely considered as a textbook material on various aspects of film-making and has an outstanding soundtrack included among the best musical scores till date with cult fan-following among Indians living all over the world. However, very few among the younger generation are aware of the fact that ‘Guide’ was first actually made as a 120-minute English film for the western audiences in collaboration with writer Pearl S. Buck (of The Good Earth (1937) fame) and director Tad Danielewski.
It was not a dubbed film as many might be thinking but was shot as a complete English movie with all the dialogues delivered in English impressively by the entire Indian cast. Unfortunately, the English version flopped badly and didn’t work despite being a big collaboration with many renowned names. So taking some important lessons from the failure, many substantial changes were made in its storyline suiting the Indian temperament and traditions, and then the much appreciated Hindi version was directed by Vijay Anand in place of his elder brother Chetan, since Chetan was then quite involved in his epic war film ‘Haqeeqat’.
Interestingly R.K. Narayan, the original writer of the famous award winning novel ‘The Guide’ (on which the film was based), was not really satisfied with any of the attempts made in the two languages. But the Indian audience simply loved the Hindi version with all the thoughtful changes made and the film majorly worked at the box office having a different ending.
Sadly, at present, the English version is not available either in the home video market or on any of the movies portals on the web. Yet a small clip can still be found posted at YouTube uploaded by a true fan giving you an idea of the path-breaking attempt made by the team. And it’s indeed a great nostalgic experience watching both Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman delivering their given dialogues in English. Hoping that the English version might get released on the net or DVD soon in the near future, here is the clip for our readers remembering the one and only Dev Anand on his birth anniversary.