Shree 420 [translation: Mr. 420, also transliterated as Shri 420] is a 1955 Bollywood film directed, produced by and starring Raj Kapoor.
The film centers on Raj, a poor, but educated orphan who comes to Bombay with dreams of success. Kapoors character is heavily influenced by Charlie Chaplins "little tramp", much like Kapoors character in his 1951 Awaara.
The film is a collaboration between director/producer Kapoor and writer Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, with music composed by the team of Shankar Jaikishan. The song "Mera Joota Hai Japani" [My shoes are Japanese], became hugely popular and a patriotic symbol of the newly independent India.
Shree 420 is the tale of a country boy, Raj [Raj Kapoor], from Allahabad, who travels to the big city, Mumbai, by walking, to earn a living. He falls in love with the poor but virtuous Vidya [Nargis], but is soon seduced by the riches of a freewheeling and unethical lifestyle presented to him by an unscrupulous and dishonest businessman, Seth Sonachand Dharmaanand [Nemo] and the sultry temptress Maya [Nadira]. He eventually becomes a confidence trickster, or "420," who even cheats in card gambling. Vidya tried hard to make Raj a good man but fails. Ultimately, Raj forsakes his greedy and dishonest ways, realizes his mistakes, and changes his ways to become a good and hardworking person for the rest of his life. This is a classic Raj Kapoor movie.
| # || Title || Singer[s] || Time
| 1 || "Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwaala" || Manna Dey || 5:36
| 2 || "Eechak Dana Beechak Dana" || Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar || 5:08
| 3 || "Mera Juta Hai Japani" || Mukesh || 4:33
| 4 || "Mudh Mudh Ke Na Dekh" || Asha Bhosle || 6:34
| 5 || "O Janewale" || Lata Mangeshkar || 2:20
| 6 || "Pyaar Huwa Ikraar Huwa" || Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey || 4:22
| 7 || "Ramaiya Vastavaiya" || Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh || 6:10
| 8 || "Sham Gayi Raat Aayi"|| Lata Mangeshkar || 4:00
* 1956: Filmfare Awards
** Best Cinematographer: Radhoo Karmakar
** Best Editing: G.G. Mayekar
The movie proved to be popular in the Soviet Union and Romania. It was also said that Raj Kapoor was as popular as Nehru in Russia due to the success of the film.
The film grossed over Rs.20 million. This record was beaten 2 years later by Mother India in 1957.
The song "Mera Joota Hai Japani" has become a patriotic favourite among many Indians and is often referenced, including in a recent acceptance speech at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2006 by renown Bengali author Mahasweta Devi.
The title refers to section 420 of the Indian penal code, where crimes of theft and deception are punished, which relates to the troubles of the main character.
In Vedic philosophy, the name of the main character, "Vidya", means knowledge and Maya means illusion.
The words "Ramaiya Vastavaiya" in the song by the same name are from Telugu, while the rest of the song and the film are in Hindi.
Source : Shree 420 Wiki Page