Sneha Girap (Editor)

Bhabhi (1938 film)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
8/101 Votes Alchetron
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Music director  Saraswati Devi
Country  British India
Director  Franz Osten
Story by  Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay
Language  Hindi

Writer  Saradindu Bandopaddhyay
Release date  1938
Cast  Begum Khurshid Mirza, Paidi Jairaj, V.H. Desai
Similar movies  Devar (1966), Saawan The Love Season (2006), Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan (1961), Dosar (2006), Sins (2005)

Bhabhi (Sister-in-Law) is a 1938 social family drama Hindi film directed by Franz Osten. The film was based on a Bengali short story written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay called "Bisher Dhoan". Bandyopadhyay was a famous Bengali short story writer also known for the fictional detective he created, Byomkesh Bakshi. The cinematographers were Wirsching and Pareenja. Dialogues and lyrics by J. S. Casshyap. V. H. Desai, the comedian, got his "big break" in Bhabhi when he joined Bombay Talkies. He became popular as the nervous father of the heroine Renuka Devi. S. N. Tripathi started his acting with a small role in the film. The film had the new find Renuka Devi in the lead.


The cast included P. Jairaj, Maya Devi as the young widow, with V. H. Desai, Rama Shukal, Meera, M. Nazir, P. F. Pithawala.

The film is family social drama, which deals with the issue of young widows. It put a special focus on the Indian society's attitude towards them, and society's bigoted approach to "man- woman relationships".

Bhabhi 1938


Kishore (P. Jairaj) is a morally respectable man. When his friend is dying, he extracts a promise from Kishore to look after his distraught young wife Bimala (Maya Devi). Bimala is alone in the world and has no family to go to. Considering her to be his sister-in-law (Bhabhi), Kishore brings Bimala to his house. Though their relationship is that of a brother and sister, it is frowned upon by society. Kishore does not allow society's disapproval to affect them. He falls in love with his new neighbour Renu (Renuka Devi). Renu lives with her father, who appears as a shaky and nervy man. Anupam (Rama Shukal) also wants to marry Renu as she's wealthy. Bela (Meera) Anupam's cousin develops a crush on Kishore. Anupam causes problems for Renu and Kishore by starting gossip bout Bimala and Kishore. The story follows that line till all misunderstandings are cleared and Renu and Kishore can marry.


  • P. Jairaj as Kishore, the young man who looks after his dead friend's widow
  • Renuka Devi as Renu, the neighbour, sympathetic to and in love with Kishore
  • Maya Devi as Bimala, the young widow left in Kishore's care.
  • Meera as Bela, the young society girl
  • V. H. Desai as Renu's nervous dithering father
  • Rama Shukul as Anupam, the main villain who puts obstacles in Renu and Kishore's love story
  • P. F. Pithawala as Kishore's Professor from college days
  • Saroj Borkar
  • M. Nazir
  • Pratima
  • Review and Reception

    The film was released on 17 December 1938 at Bombay's Roxy Talkies. Renuka Devi's performance was cited as "commendable". Baburao Patel, editor of the cine-magazine Filmindia, in his review of Bhabhi in the January 1938 issue, called Renuka a "remarkable discovery" with a performance "that has distinctive grace" and that "Bombay Talkies have found another Devika (Rani)". V. H. Desai as the "nervous father" was "superb". Rama Shukal was stated to be a good addition to Indian cinema. Jairaj's acting came in for praise for its expression of "suppressed rage" and "grief". The direction was praised for being "subtle", "clever" and that Osten had "excelled himself".

    The film was claimed to be a "tremendous success" by Patel of Filmindia in his February 1939 issue. Renuka Devi was hailed as a "star" and her success was cited as a "welcome sign of better class ladies taking up the film career".


    One of the memorable monsoon songs "Jhuki Aayi Re Badariya Sawan Ki" is cited as an evergreen classic. The music was composed by Saraswati Devi, for whom the film was a musical hit. The singers were Renuka Devi, Meera, Saroj Borkar, S. N. Tripathi.


    Bhabhi (1938 film) Wikipedia
    Bhabhi (1938 film) IMDb

    Similar Topics
    Begum Khurshid Mirza
    Paidi Jairaj
    Madhur Milan