For several years here at Balladeer’s Blog I have been trying to track down, watch and review all of the film versions of Hunterwali (Whip-wielding Woman), Bollywood Cinema’s butt-kicking masked female heroine. Often glibly dismissed as a female Zorro, there is much more cultural context to the Hunterwali figure – contextual significance that goes beyond the particular time period of each film version.
Thus far I have been able to watch the 1935 original, which starred the actress billed as “Fearless Nadia” in India, and the 1988 Hunterwali. I have had no luck tracking down the 1959, 1972, 1977 and 2017 movie versions. Nor have I been able to buy the 1943 film, Hunterwali Ki Beti (Hunterwali’s Daughter), the very first sequel movie in Indian entertainment history.
The basics of the Hunterwali story involve Princess Madhuri adopting a masked, whip-wielding and stunt-riding identity to combat the many injustices inflicted on the kingdom by her father’s evil Vazier Ranamal. That villain even imprisons the king and lusts after Madhuri, little realizing she is really the swashbuckling “protector of the poor and punisher of evildoers” called Hunterwali.
Like Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro (1920), Fearless Nadia supposedly did her own stunts in Hunterwali as her character defied Vazier Ranamal and defeated overwhelming numbers of his men.
Hunterwali’s Daughter followed in 1943 for Nadia, just as Don Q, Son of Zorro followed in 1925 for Fairbanks.
If I can’t manage to obtain or at least watch copies of the various other film versions of this neglected Indian heroine I will settle for just reviewing the 1935 original and the 1988 movie.
- Hopefully, however, someone who reads this will be able to provide me with leads to the 1940s, 1950s, 1970s and 2017 productions, too.
I would prefer to review all of them in one blog post.
ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED!
10 responses to “HUNTERWALI (1935, 1988) AND A REQUEST FOR HELP”
First time hearing about this series but when I saw the images Zorro was the first thing that came to my mind.
I know what you mean! I’ve been trying to track down all the versions of Hunterwali for so many years I’ve almost lost count.
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Thank you, sir!
Very interesting! I can’t wait for your reviews!
Thank you very much.
Hunterwali needs more attention NOW!
I certainly agree.
What an incredible heroine! Thanks for reviving her memory.
Thank you very much! I was glad to do it!