Mere Apne (Hindi: मेरे अपने) is a 1971 Hindi film produced by Romu, Raj, and N. C. Sippy and written and directed by Gulzar. It was Gulzar's first directorial venture and was almost a frame by frame remake of the National Award winning Bengali film Apanjan, which was directed by Tapan Sinha. The film stars Meena Kumari, Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha in lead roles along with Deven Verma, Paintal, Asit Sen, Asrani, Danny Denzongpa, Keshto Mukherjee, A. K. Hangal, Dinesh Thakur, Mehmood, and Yogeeta Bali. The music is composed by Salil Choudhury.
Mere Apne was declared as "Above Average" on the box office.
Anandi Devi (Meena Kumari) is an old widow who lives in a village. One day she is visited by a distant relative, Arun Gupta (Ramesh Deo), who persuades her to live in town with him, his wife Lata (Sumita Sanyal), and a small child. She later realizes that they were looking for a maid which results in her expulsion from the house and befriending a child beggar who takes her to his dilapidated home. Being good-natured and caring, she slowly earns the title of 'Nani Ma' (maternal grandmother) among groups of youths led by Shyam (Vinod Khanna) and Chhenu(Shatrughan Sinha) who were in constant fight with each other. The movie ends with her death from an accidental gun fire in one such clash.
Meena Kumari as Anandi Devi
Deven Verma as Niranjan
Vinod Khanna as Shyam
Shatrughan Sinha as Chhenu
Asrani as Raghunath
Danny Denzongpa as Sanju
Paintal as Bansi
Dinesh Thakur as Billoo
Sudhir Thakkar as Ranbir
Ramesh Deo as Arun Gupta
Sumita Sanyal as Lata
Mehmood as Sri Anokhelal
Asit Sen as Biloki Prasad
Abhi Bhattacharya as Freedom Fighter
Leela Mishra as Gupta's maidservant
Shashi Kiran as Neelu
Keshto Mukherjee as Jattu
Dev Kishan as Shyam's father
A. K. Hangal as College Principal
Yogeeta Bali as Urmila
Kamaldeep as Urmila's father (as Kamal Deep)
Fatima as Julie
Amina Karim as Young Anandi
After Apanjan directed by Tapan Sinha based on a story of Inder Mitra, was both a commercial and critical success, screenwriter Gulzar was called to Kolkata to translate the script for a Hindi remake. However subsequently Sinha insisted on using the same cast, and dropped out of the film. Then producer N. C. Sippy, who till then was assisting Bimal Roy and Hrishikesh Mukherjee and penned screenplays of Khamoshi (1969) and Anand (1971), to make his directorial debut with the film. Gulzar bought the rights of the story, and rewrote the screenplay removing the portions he felt were too formulaic and commercial.
Meena Kumari was roped in for the lead role of grandmother, she was ailing at the time, and worked through her bad health in the film. The shooting was completed in 40 days, and she died within a few months of its release.
All lyrics written by Gulzar; all music composed by Salil Choudhary.