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V. K. Murthy

v murthy surgeon general, v k murthy
Venkatarama Pandit Krishnamurthy 26 November 1923 – 7 April 2014 known professionally as V K Murthy, was an Indian cinematographer Murthy, a one-time violinist and jailed freedom fighter, was Guru Dutt's regular cameraman on his movies He provided some of Indian cinema's most notable images in starkly contrasted black and white He also shot India's first cinemascope film, Kaagaz Ke Phool For his contribution to film industry, particularly Indian film industry he was awarded the IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 In 2010, he was honoured with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for his contributions to Indian cinema


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Trivia
  • 4 Awards
  • 5 Retirement and death
  • 6 Selected filmography
  • 7 Notes
  • 8 External links

Early life

Murthy was born on 26 November 1923 in Mysore He studied at the Lakshmipuram school, where he chose music as his elective subject and learned to play the violin He obtained his Diploma in Cinematography from Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic the present Government Film and Television Institute in Bangalore in 1946 As a student, he took part in the Indian freedom struggle and was jailed in 1943 Feeling strongly attracted to the visual medium and wishing to pursue a career in the field, he quit his studies and left for Bombay now Mumbai


Murthy began his career in films with Maharana Prathap He worked as an assistant to cinematographer V Ratra in the 1951 film Baazi which was Guru Dutt's first as a director Dutt, impressed by Murthy's smooth and fluid captures with the camera, took him on for his next film Jaal 1952, which was Murthy's first film as a chief cinematographer Murthy, then became a part of the Guru Dutt team, till the latter's death in 1964

In 1959 came Guru Dutt's Kaagaz Ke Phool, a film critically acclaimed as one of the director's best More than anything else, it won many accolades for its cinematography and created unparalleled history in the field V K Murthy, as the cinematographer won widespread praise and received the Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer He repeated the feat with Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam winning the award again in 1962 He worked exclusively with Dutt until the director's death Some of Murthy's best work came in Guru Dutt's movies like Pyaasa, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Aar Paar Following Dutt's death, Murthy worked with Kamal Amrohi on his masterpiece, Pakeezah and Razia Sultan Post Guru Dutt, he like many of the director's team was not able to give any pinnacle work In later years, he worked with directors like Pramod Chakravarthy Naya Zamana, Jugnu, Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani Tamas

Murthy was also the cinematographer for one of the most acclaimed Kannada film Hoovu Hannu, a directorial production of Rajendra Singh Babu and also appeared in that film in a role Murthy was also the principal cinematographer of the widely acclaimed television series produced by Doordarshan and directed by Shyam Benegal, Bharat Ek Khoj


  • Created some notable film works for the Indian Black and White era films Created the sun breaking through studio roof shot in Kaagaz Ke Phool with the use of a pair of ordinary mirrors to get a parallel beam It won him the Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award for 1959
  • Was principal cinematographer for the first CinemaScope film in India - Kaagaz Ke Phool
  • While on training stint in London to work on color films worked with the crew of The Guns of Navarone
  • Got break in Hindi films by doing a chance shot for Guru Dutt in Baazi Abrar Alvi Guru Dutt's key writer also got a break from the same movie, he gave a chance opinion on a scene for Baazi

According to author and eminent musicologist Rajesh Subramanian, the to-be-famous Cinematographer V K Murthy was initially refused admission to the Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic College in Bangalore, which had started offering a course in film-making, and was offered a seat only after much pleading The aspirant went on to shoot India's first CinemaScope movie Kaagaz Ke Phool 1959


  • Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award - Kaagaz Ke Phool 1959
  • Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award - Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam 1962
  • IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award - Amsterdam, 2005
  • Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2008

Retirement and death

Aged 80, Murthy moved back to Bangalore from Mumbai in 2001 to lead a retired life He died of natural causes aged 91 on 7 April 2014 at his residence in Bangalore

Selected filmography

  1. Deedar 1992
  2. Khule Aam 1992
  3. Kalyug Aur Ramayan 1987
  4. Nastik 1983
  5. Jugnu 1973
  6. Naya Zamana 1971
  7. Suraj 1966
  8. Love in Tokyo 1966
  9. Ziddi 1964
  10. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam 1962
  11. Chaudhvin Ka Chand 1960
  12. Kaagaz Ke Phool 1959
  13. 12 O'Clock 1958
  14. Pyaasa 1957
  15. CID 1956
  16. Mr & Mrs '55 1955
  17. Aar-Paar 1954
  18. Jaal 1952
  19. Baazi 1951


  1. ^ a b Khajane, Muralidhara 20 January 2010 "Murthy first cinematographer to win Phalke award" The Hindu Retrieved 22 January 2010 
  2. ^ "Poetry in picture" The Hindu 20 July 2007 Retrieved 7 April 2014 
  3. ^ a b "'Kagaz Ke Phool' cinematographer VK Murthy passes away" ibnlivecom 7 April 2014 Retrieved 7 April 2014 
  4. ^ "V K Murthy - Wizard of light" livemintcom 7 April 2014 Retrieved 7 April 2014 

External links

  • V K Murthy on IMDb

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