Awaara (Hindi: आवारा, Urdu: آوارہ, translation: "The Tramp") is a 1951 Hindi film directed and produced by Raj Kapoor who also plays the leading role.
His real-life father Prithviraj Kapoor stars as his on-screen father Judge Raghunath. Kapoor's youngest real-life brother Shashi Kapoor plays the younger version of his character. Prithiviraj's father Dewan Bashwanath Kapoor also played a cameo role in his only film appearance.
The film centers on the intertwining lives of poor Raj (Raj Kapoor) and privileged Rita (Nargis). In the film, Kapoor's poor, innocent "little tramp" character references Charlie Chaplin and was further developed in other Kapoor films such as Shri 420.
The film is a collaboration of the famous team of director/producer Kapoor and writer Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, with music composed by the team of Shankar Jaikishan.
KA Abbas originally wanted Mehboob Khan to direct the film but the two disagreed over the casting. Khan wanted Ashok Kumar to play the judge and Dilip Kumar the son. In the event, Abbas withdrew his script from Mehboob Studios and Raj Kapoor decided to direct it.
The song "Awara Hoon" (I am a Tramp), sung by Mukesh with lyrics by Shailendra, became hugely popular across the Indian subcontinent, as well as in Russia, Romania, Turkey, Afghanistan and China. The film was nominated for the Grand Prize of the Cannes Film Festival in 1953.
* Prithviraj Kapoor as Judge Raghunath
* Nargis as Rita
* Raj Kapoor as Raj Ragunath
* Leela Chitnis as Leela Raghunath
* K.N. Singh as Jagga
* Leela Mishra as Raghunath's Sister-in-law
* Cukoo as Bar dancer
* Helen as Dancer (uncredited)
* Shashi Kapoor as Young Raj (child artist)
* Prem Nath as Cameo appearance in song
It was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Grand Prize of the Festival.
In 2005, Indiatimes Movies ranked the movie amongst the "Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films", writing, "Whenever Raj Kapoor and Nargis came together on screen, sparks flew. Their chemistry was electrifying and it crackles with raw passion in Raj Kapoor's Awara. Nargis's wild and carefree sensuality pulsates and Raj Kapoor's scruffy hair-rebellious persona only adds fuel to the fire".
Time magazine listed it at number 1 on its list of "10 Indian Films to Treasure.
The film grossed over Rs.12 million. This record was beaten the next year by "Aan".
Due to the film's remarkable success on Turkish spectators, Awaara was remade in Turkey as Avare in 1964 starred by prominent Turkish actor Sadri Alışık, along with actress Ajda Pekkan.