Film Culture of 60s & 70s – Poster Boys All The Way

I remember when I first saw the classic Samson and Delilah at the spacious Palace cinema, I was as much thrilled by the Victor Mature and Heddy Lamar-starrer as I was excited to see graffiti near its big poster, which said, rather non-challantly on the walls: Shamsuddin Dilliwala! You see, in those days, there was a fad of translating the English titles atrociously, to rope in the common film-goers in a variety of cinemas all over the city. Of course, the translation for Samson and Delilah was graffiti. But, I assure you, the titles coined in Urdu for Alistair MacLean’s The Guns of Navarone, which was Nooruddin kee Bandook, and Gringo, which was Andhi Mohabbat, were specially thought up by the poster painters. One of them, Uqabon ka Nasheman for Where Eagles Dare, starring a lethal combo of Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, had an idiom-like quality to it – calling up Allama Iqbal, no less. With horror movies going great guns in the 70s, we used to bet with each other to watch the last show of The Exorcist, which was captioned Khaufnak Bachchi – uff that was the pits! If only Linda Blair knew what they were doing with her career in Karachi. Later, this trend was repeated in the 90s for some time. For A Nightmare on Elm Street, they thought up Alamnak Sarak par Khwab! Freddy Krueger, the main villain became an Urdu legend as Faridi Karigar, but the street genius of these poster boys didn’t end there. Who can forget Arnold Short-knickers in Terminator 2 – they just adored him!