The decade of the 50's and early 60's saw him as a director as well
as an actor and producer for a number of films. After the success of
Baazi, he directed 'Jaal' (1952) another success especially in the picturization
of its songs, then 'Sailab' (1956) which was a flop, and also acted,
directed and produced; 'Baaz' (1953) which was his first film as an
actor but a great flop except for its songs which became popular; then
'Aaar Par' (1954) and 'Mr and Mrs 55' (1955) categorized as his comedies
which had a slick pace and intelligent banter especially the latter
where the heroine (Madhubala) is a woman struggling for independence
and her rights; and then came 'Pyaasa' (1957) a real masterpiece which
elevated him to the height of his career in which he played the introverted
poet Vijay. Technically the black and white shots in the film depicting
the dark moods were perfect. His next and the last movie as a director
was 'Kaagaz ke Phool' (1959). Technically, the film was perhaps his
best draw, with some remarkable visuals which was lyrical and poetic
but it failed miserably at the box office. He also lost heavily financially
and a dejected Dutt never directed a film again.
But soon after he produced and acted in 'Chaudhvin Ka
Chand' (1960) based on Muslim culture of Lucknow and got it directed
by Saddiq Sahib which was a huge success. Then the impressive ' Sahib
Biwi Aur Ghulam' (1962) which won the Presidents silver medal as well
as the Film of the year award from the Bengal Film journalists Association
besides going to the Berlin Film Festival and being India's official
entry for the Oscars. He passed away during the making of the film 'Baharein
Phir Aayengi' which was completed by his brother Atmaram with Dharmendra
in the lead.
Along with his own productions, Guru Dutt acted in outside
productions like Twelve o'clock(1958), Sautela Bhai (1962), Bahurani
(1963), Bharosa (1963), Suhagan( 1964), Sanjh Aur Savera etc. with almost
all the famous heroines of the times.
In 1952, days before 'Jaal' was released Guru Dutt had started a production
company in partnership with Haridasrshan Kaur, actress Gita Bali's elder
sister but they separated soon after, due to heavy financial loss after
Baaz (1953). With Aar Par he started his own production company and
a studio later and produced many successful films, one was CID (1956)
in which he introduced Waheeda Rehman and then in many movies thereafter.
He was incidental in making her a big star.
Even though he had his share of success and failure in
his work, his personal life was in a mess. By early 1964, he was separated
from his wife and was living alone and had also started drowning himself
in alcohol. On October 10, 1964 Hindi film world suffered a great loss...Guru
Dutt at the young age of 39, succumbed to an overdose of sleeping pills
although doubts still linger as to whether his death was accidental.
The prevailing magic of his films even now decades after his tragic
end, testifies the skill of this genius who lived much ahead of his