Shelly Crider

Written by Shelly Crider

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Big City is a classic film that has captured the hearts of movie lovers around the world. Directed by the renowned filmmaker, the movie boasts an impressive storyline, stellar performances, and a captivating setting. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of The Big City and share 39 interesting facts about the movie that you may not have known. From behind-the-scenes trivia to notable cast members, we will explore everything that makes this film a must-watch for cinephiles. So, get ready to embark on a journey into the glamorous and mesmerizing universe of The Big City, where we will uncover the secrets and hidden gems that have made it a beloved cinematic masterpiece.

Key Takeaways:

  • “The Big City” is a timeless film that explores the challenges of urbanization and women’s empowerment in 1960s Kolkata, captivating audiences with its authentic portrayal and captivating performances.
  • Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece, “The Big City,” continues to inspire and provoke thought with its rich narrative, cultural authenticity, and enduring relevance, making it a must-watch for film enthusiasts worldwide.
Table of Contents

An Introduction to The Big City

The Big City is a critically acclaimed film directed by Satyajit Ray. It was released in 1963 and is set in Kolkata, India.

A Glimpse into the Plot

The movie revolves around the life of Arati Mazumdar, played by Madhabi Mukherjee, who decides to seek employment as a saleswoman to help support her family.

Ray’s Take on Urbanization

The Big City explores the challenges and transformations brought about by urbanization in mid-20th century Kolkata. Ray beautifully depicts the clash between tradition and modernity.

International Recognition

The Big City was widely appreciated worldwide and received numerous awards and nominations, including the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival.

Realistic Portrayal

Rather than relying on elaborate sets, Ray chose to film on location in the bustling streets of Kolkata, giving the movie a raw and authentic feel.

Gender Dynamics

The Big City explores the evolving gender dynamics of the time period. Arati’s decision to work outside the home challenges societal norms and raises questions about women’s independence.

Captivating Performances

Madhabi Mukherjee’s portrayal of Arati earned her critical acclaim and established her as one of Ray’s most memorable leading ladies.

Subtle Social Commentary

The Big City subtly addresses the social and economic inequalities prevalent in 1960s India through Arati’s journey and her interactions with people from different social backgrounds.

Ray’s Artistic Vision

Satyajit Ray’s meticulous attention to detail and artistic sensibilities shine through in every frame, making The Big City a visual delight.

Timeless Themes

Despite being set in the 1960s, The Big City’s themes of self-discovery, societal change, and female empowerment resonate with audiences even today.

The Music of The Big City

The film’s captivating soundtrack, composed by Ray’s regular collaborator, Satyajit Ray, adds depth and emotion to the narrative.

Cinematography Brilliance

Subrata Mitra’s breathtaking cinematography beautifully captures the essence of Kolkata, its people, and the changing cityscape.

The Big City’s Legacy

The Big City is considered one of Satyajit Ray’s finest works and has left an indelible mark on Indian cinema as a testament to his brilliance as a filmmaker.

Exploration of Family Dynamics

The Big City delves into the intricacies of family relationships, portraying the challenges faced by Arati as she balances her role as a wife, mother, and working woman.

Timeless Emotional Resonance

The emotional journey that Arati goes through in The Big City resonates with viewers, making it a relatable and impactful film even after several decades.

A Global Perspective

Although The Big City is deeply rooted in Indian society, its themes and messages transcend cultural boundaries, making it accessible to international audiences.

Critical Acclaim

The Big City received widespread praise from critics for its thought-provoking narrative, impeccable performances, and the skillful direction of Satyajit Ray.

Cultural Significance

The Big City holds cultural significance in India as it provides a snapshot of the social fabric and transformation in mid-20th century urban life.

The Big City’s Influence

The film’s exploration of women’s empowerment and the portrayal of urban life has influenced subsequent Indian filmmakers and shaped the direction of Indian cinema.

Satyajit Ray’s Directorial Genius

Satyajit Ray’s unique storytelling style and expert direction shine through in The Big City, solidifying his reputation as a master filmmaker.

Historical Context

The Big City provides a fascinating glimpse into the socio-cultural landscape of mid-20th century Kolkata, capturing the essence of the time period.

Melting Pot of Cultures

Kolkata’s diverse culture and the influence of the city’s residents from different backgrounds are subtly highlighted in The Big City.

Multi-Dimensional Characters

The characters in The Big City are multi-dimensional, each with their own aspirations, conflicts, and complexities, adding depth to the narrative.

The Influence of Italian Neorealism

Satyajit Ray drew inspiration from Italian Neorealism in his filmmaking style, focusing on realistic settings, flawed characters, and socially relevant themes.

The Big City’s Impact on Ray’s Career

The Big City marked a significant milestone in Satyajit Ray’s career, gaining him wider recognition and solidifying his status as a visionary filmmaker.

The Big City’s Place in Indian Cinema

The Big City is regarded as a cinematic masterpiece, contributing to the rich tapestry of Indian cinema and paving the way for realistic storytelling.

Cultural Authenticity

Satyajit Ray meticulously captures the cultural nuances and mannerisms of the characters, creating an authentic portrayal of Kolkata’s society.

Conversations on Social Change

The Big City sparks conversations on social change, gender roles, and the constant evolution of urban environments in developing countries.

The Big City’s Timeless Relevance

Despite being set in the 1960s, The Big City remains relevant today, as it offers insights into the challenges faced by individuals in urban areas.

The Big City’s Worldwide Impact

The film’s success and acclaim open doors for Indian cinema to reach a wider international audience, breaking stereotypes and showcasing the country’s talent.

National Award Recognition

The Big City received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali, solidifying its position as a significant contribution to Indian cinema.

Arati Mazumdar’s Iconic Character

Arati Mazumdar’s character in The Big City has become an iconic representation of women’s empowerment and breaking societal barriers.

The Big City’s Timeless Appeal

The themes explored in The Big City, such as the pursuit of dreams, overcoming societal biases, and the complexities of human relationships, resonate with audiences across generations.

The Big City’s Message of Hope

Amidst the challenges faced by the characters, The Big City emphasizes the power of resilience, hope, and the pursuit of one’s aspirations.

Ray’s Attention to Detail

Satyajit Ray’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in every aspect of The Big City, making it a visually captivating and emotionally engaging experience.

The Big City’s Narrative Depth

The film delves into the complexities of human emotions, societal pressures, and the role of women in a changing world, creating a rich and layered narrative.

The Big City’s Impact on Feminism

The Big City challenged traditional gender roles and paved the way for feminist discourse in Indian cinema, making it a significant contribution to feminist narratives.

The Legacy of Satyajit Ray

The Big City stands as a testament to Satyajit Ray’s artistic genius and his lasting impact on Indian and world cinema.

The Big City’s Enduring Popularity

Decades after its release, The Big City continues to captivate audiences with its timeless themes, exceptional performances, and enduring relevance.

As we conclude our exploration of the 39 facts about the movie The Big City, it becomes evident that this iconic film holds a special place in the hearts of film enthusiasts and stands as a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and provoke thought. The Big City’s compelling narrative, authentic portrayal of characters, and thoughtful exploration of societal changes make it a must-watch for cinephiles around the globe.


The Big City is undoubtedly a cinematic masterpiece, captivating audiences with its compelling storyline, stellar performances, and breathtaking visuals. From its depiction of urban life to its exploration of complex human emotions, this film offers an insightful and thought-provoking experience.With its rich and nuanced characters, The Big City delves into the struggles and aspirations of individuals living in a bustling metropolis. The movie’s ability to seamlessly blend drama, romance, and social commentary sets it apart from other films in its genre.Whether you’re a fan of classic cinema or simply someone in search of a captivating narrative, The Big City is a must-watch. Its enduring charm and timeless themes make it a true gem in the world of cinema.So sit back, grab some popcorn, and immerse yourself in the magic of The Big City.


Q: Who directed The Big City?
A: The Big City was directed by acclaimed filmmaker, John Doe.Q: When was The Big City released?
A: The film was released on [release date].Q: What is The Big City’s genre?
A: The Big City is a drama film that explores the lives of individuals living in a bustling metropolis.Q: Who are the main actors in The Big City?
A: The Big City features a talented cast, including Actor A, Actor B, and Actor C in lead roles.Q: What is the plot of The Big City?
A: The Big City follows the story of [briefly summarize the plot].Q: Is The Big City based on a true story?
A: No, The Big City is a work of fiction and not based on true events.Q: Can I watch The Big City online?
A: The availability of The Big City for online streaming depends on the platform and region you are in. It is advisable to check popular streaming services or online rental platforms for its availability.Q: Has The Big City won any awards?
A: Yes, The Big City has received critical acclaim and has won several awards, including [mention specific awards].Q: What is the runtime of The Big City?
A: The Big City has a runtime of approximately [runtime] minutes.Q: Is The Big City available with subtitles?
A: Subtitle availability may vary depending on the version of the film you watch. It is recommended to check the release or DVD details for specific subtitle information.Q: Can you recommend similar movies to The Big City?
A: If you enjoyed The Big City, you might also like [recommend similar movies].

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