The story revolves around the life of a foster relationship. Set in the era of the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, it centres around the point of persecution of Jews at the time in the empires centre - Rome.
Ezra (Sohrab Modi) is a jeweller who has a son called Elijah. He also has a friendly butler/child minder called Emmanuel. In the beginning, Ezra is due to leave. As he does, Elijah becomes upset and stands at the balcony. In the roads of the Jewish area, Brutus (Nazir Hussain), Governor of Rome, is passing, making an announcement. Watching over the balcony, is Elijah. A stone slips from his hand and hits Brutus on the head. Brutus immediately gets Elijah arrested, and as Elijah is a Jew, sentences him to death. Hearing this, Ezra rapidly returns from his trip and arrives at the doorstep of Brutus. He begs Brutus to free Elijah but Brutus feeds Elijah to hungry lions. Ezra sadly returns to his house. In revenge, Emmanuel kidnaps Lydia, motherless daughter of Brutus, and takes her to Ezra. Ezra declines to kill Lydia and adopts the child.
Brutus' anger brews. He orders the guards to find his daughter, and calles a punishment onto all Jews. Ezra remains hidden and raises Lydia, who grows up thinking she is Ezra's daughter and that her name is Hannah.
Years pass and Ezra grows to become a successful jeweler, well known to be so good and a Jew. Hannah (Meena Kumari) grows into a beautiful young lady and attracts attention from many. The emperor of Rome arrives in Rome for the marriage of his son Prince Marcus (Dilip Kumar) to Brutus' niece Princess Octivia (Nigar Sultana).
However, Prince Marcus avoids talking about his marriage and opposes it. One day, when returning from a hunting trip, he gets hurt and is cared for by Hannah. He then disguises as a Jew and goes back into the Jewish area. He saves Hannah from a Roman soldier and meets her father, Ezra, not as Prince Marcus but as Monshija, a successful Jew from Alexandria. Ezra is happy to meet him and 'Monshija' and Hannah fall in love.
Here Ezra is begging for Hannah's life, and Hannah is trying to reason with Ezra that she'd rather die than live a life of hate. But Brutus will stop at nothing, the two will die! Immediately Ezra tells Brutus that he knows where the governor's lost daughter is. Brutus is confused and says that this is Ezra's revenge and accuses the Jew of lying. Ezra sarcastically agrees. But Brutus begs Ezra and Ezra will only tell on one condition. That Hannah be thrown into the cauldron as soon as Brutus finds out who his daughter is. Now Hannah is confused. Ezra tells Brutus that Hannah is Brutus' daughter and the Jew tells the guards to throw Hannah into the boiling oil. Brutus orders them to stop. Ezra looks at Hannah and dies. Hannah cries over her foster fathers dead body. Brutus tells Hannah not to cry, but Hannah does not listen. She runs away from Brutus and finds the Prince. Shocked to find him blind, Hannah lends him support and helps him as the two disappear into the distance.
- Genre: Action
- Runtime: 170 Minutes
Yahudi (Hindi: यहूदी; Urdu: یہودی; Jew) is a 1958 Bollywood film directed by Bimal Roy. It starred Dilip Kumar, Meena Kumari, Sohrab Modi, Nazir Hussain, Nigar Sultana and others. It was based play Yahudi Ki Ladki by Agha Hashar Kashmiri, a classic in Parsi-Urdu theatre, about persecution of Jews in the Roman Empire.
Film's lyricist, Shailendra won the Filmfare Awards award for best lyricist in 6th Filmfare Awards, for the song, "Yeh Mera Diwanapan Hai" sung by Mukesh.
The plot bears similarities to Jacques Fromental Halévy's opera La Juive.