Widowed Govindi (Leela Chitnis) lives a poor lifestyle in Haripur along with two sons, Gungaram and Jumna. Ganga spends his days working with his mother as a servant in the home of the zamindar's obnoxious family. While Jumna, a promising student, focuses on his schoolwork. While Jumna is studious, Gungaram is the opposite, but has a good heart and decides to use his earnings to ensure his brother gets a decent education. After her employer, Hariram, accuses Govindi of theft, their house is searched, evidence is found, she is arrested, the entire village bails her out, but the shock kills her. After their mother passes, Ganga pledges himself to supporting his younger brother as they grow to adulthood.
The adult Ganga (Dilip Kumar) is a spirited and hardworking fellow, unafraid to take on the zamindar when necessary, while his brother Jumna (Nasir Khan) is more measured and cautious. Ganga sends Jumna to the city to study, and supports him with funds that he earns driving an oxcart and making deliveries for the zamindar. But things get complicated when Ganga saves a local girl, Dhanno (Vyjayanthimala), from the zamindar's lecherous assault. The zamindar (Anwar Hussain) gets his revenge by trumping up a robbery charge against Ganga, landing him in prison. Upon his release, Ganga learns that his brother has become destitute, and attacks and robs the zamindar in a rage. Soon Ganga finds himself an outlaw, and, with Dhanno at his side, he joins a gang of bandits camping out in the wilderness. In the meantime, Jumna meets a fatherly police officer (Nazir Hussain) and becomes a police officer himself. It isn't long before Jumna's professional wanderings take him back to the village of his birth, where he must square off against his outlaw brother, in a showdown between duty and family.This film has the best performance of Dilip Kumar.
- Genre: Action
- Runtime: 178 Minutes
- Awards: National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Boston International Film Festival
Gunga Jumna (Hindi: गंगा जमना, Urdu: گنگا جمنا also transliterated as Ganga Jamuna or Ganga Jamna) is a 1961 dacoit drama Bollywood film produced in Technicolor by Dilip Kumar and directed by Nitin Bose. The film stars Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in the lead with Nasir Khan, Azra, Leela Chitnis, Kanhaiyalal, Anwar Hussain, Nazir Hussain and Helen forming an ensemble cast. Notable for its use of Bhojpuri dialect and its rustic setting, the film features real life brothers Dilip Kumar and Nasir Khan in the title role, is on the story of two brothers, Gunga and Jumna, the poignancy of two brothers on opposite sides of the law.
After six months of delay, the film was finally released in January 1961. Upon release the film was well received by the critics and the audience. It was one of the biggest hits of 1960s and still considered as one of the most successful Indian film in terms of box office collection and its controversial theme which earned the film cult status.
The film and the lead actors, Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala won a lot of accolades for their performance. Upon release it was nominated in seven categories at 9th Filmfare Awards including Best Film, Best Director for Kumar and Bose respectively while winning three; Best Actress for Vyjayanthimala and two other technical award for Wajahat Mirza and V. Balasaheb. It also emerge as the biggest winner at 25th Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards where it won nine awards in the Hindi film category. In additional to that the film also won Certificate of Merit at the 9th National Film Awards.
The film was a trendsetter for movies like Deewaar, Trishul, Amar Akbar Anthony which had similar themes of two brothers on the opposite sides of law.