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This large scale Indian technicolor film was one of the big successes of 1962, and was highly praised by Indian critics for its production, mounting, sweep and imagination. It has, at its central theme, a story of crime and punishment set in the last stages of feudalism, India's long established system.

The story takes place in Haripur, a peaceful village in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a tale of two brothers, Gunga, impetuous but likeable, jailed on a false charge, who becomes the leader of a gang of dacoits; Jumna, soft-spoken and quiet, who becomes a member of the police force. Inevitably, they meet.

The drama is not without humour and, as with most Indian films, songs and dances are interwoven in the plot. The dance sequences often highlight the film; they are typically Indian and executed with flawless technique, the effect being aided by colourful costumes.

Gunga Jumna received 8 Awards instituted by the Bengal Film Journalists' Association, three Indian 'Oscars', and the Best Photography Award from the Andhra Pradesh Film Critics.