Stiff-shirted patriarchs have capriciously denied their children love filial and romantic in melodrama for millennia, from Medea to Romeo and Juliet to The Barretts of Wimpole Street to Meet the Fockers. They are especially prominent in the family-centered fables of India's musical cinema. The new country's most popular star, Raj Kapoor, also produced and directed this cautionary tale about a judge (Prithviraj) who throws his wife out after she is kidnapped and, some months later, returns pregnant; his base and baseless suspicion is that the bandit she's been with is the father. In ignominy and secret, she bears the judge's son (Kapoor) who is raised a vagabond and, decades later, goes on trial before the judge. Sensational revelations! As Kapoor sees it, the torrents of guilt that flood across the screen are not just the judge's but society's, for dividing India into brahmins and outcasts. A piquant addendum to this battle of the generations: Prithviraj was Raj Kapoor's father.