Pyaasa (1957) by Guru Dutt. Possibly one of the most remarkable transpositions of poetry on screen. Dutt plays the poet himself and when he says the verses, he actually sings (using the beautiful voice of Mohammad Rafi). It's just out of this world. More than once I've had tears in my eyes listening to the audio tape I bought in Delhi in the late eighties.~ French filmmaker Olivier Assayas in Sight and Sound magazine on the topic of The Best Music in Film. The question asked of him:
What is your favourite film soundtrack music and why do you like it so much?
Music of Pyaasa was not his first choice, instead his first choice was:
"With not a second of hesitation David Mansfield's music for Heaven's Gate "
Besides its music Heaven's Gate (1980) is famous for being the film that sank the studio United Artists.
Olivier later in the article comments that
“[Music in Pyaasa is] even sadder than the music in Heaven's Gate.”
The French discovered Guru Dutt in1984 when Pyaasa premiered in France and went on to be a critical and commercial success. In presenting the film to French audience, acclaimed film critic Iqbal Masud played a key role by spelling out the significance of the film to the new audience. Accompanying Iqbal Masud that year were the then acclaimed actresses of New Wave cinema in India - Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi.
Iqbal Masud wrote about the whole experience in one of the chapters for his book Dream Merchants, Politician & Partition: Memoirs of an Indian Muslim
Article Muslim Ethos In Indian Cinema by Iqbal Masud.
Read it here