Philological Studies

at Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce

ISSN 2300-5459 e-ISSN 2450-0380



Author Sharaf Rehman
Title Indian Cinema’s Original Rebel Hero – Dev Anand
Keywords Heroes in literature, film noir, rebel hero, Indian cinema, John Garfield, Dev Anand
Pages 401-415
Full text
Volume 33


In literature, and to a certain extent, in films, a hero is larger than life human with extraordinary powers and a kind heart. An anti-hero too has supernatural powers, but his motives can be suspect. The noir films in the late 1930s and early 1940s introduced a hero that was trying to make good, however, his past was less than perfect, and his actions to justify the results were less than heroic. This kind of hero–a rebel hero – was self-centered and often driven by worldly gains, revenge, or lust. James Cagney, John Garfield, and Humphrey Bogart exemplified the rebel hero in American cinema. Among the three Indian screen legends of the 1950s and the 1960s – Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, and Dev Anand – Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were always the all-good heroes. Dev Anand was more daring in his choice of roles and often portrayed characters involved with crime, gambling, and gangsters. Using contextual analysis, this paper traces the development of the rebel hero phenomenon and Dev Anand as one of the early rebel heroes of Indian cinema.