Travails With The Alien : The Film That Was Never Made

Travails with the Alien

Aliens haven’t been regulars in Indian cinema and who else than Satyajit Ray to try and go where no man has gone before. Did you know that he wrote a story in Bengali called ‘Bonkubabur Bandhu’ about a common rural man who encounters a benign alien and is intrigued by it? Later, Ray wrote a script based on the story, to be made into a film and approached Hollywood producers and actors. But the film never got made. There was a complex maze of events and communications between Ray and Hollywood. He received a shocking revelation a few years later he was in for a rude shock when he discovered that his concept had been used by Steven Spielberg in E.T. ‘Travails With The Alien’ comprises all these letters, the screenplay and the original short story by Ray, making it a compelling book of our times.

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From the blurb:

In the 1960s, Satyajit Ray wrote a screenplay for what would have been the first-of-its-kind sci-fi film to be made in India. It was called The Alien and was based on his own short story “Bonkubabur Bandhu”. On being prompted by Arthur C. Clarke, who found the screenplay promising, Ray sent the script to Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, who agreed to back it, and Peter Sellers was approached to play a prominent role. But the film never got made.

About the author:

Satyajit Ray (1921-92) is one of the greatest film-makers of all times. His first film Pather Panchali (1955) won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. The only Indian to receive the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1992. He was also a prolific writer of fiction, non-fiction, and a designer, calligrapher, editor and music director.

Author(s): Satyajit Ray
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Release: April 2018
Genre: Non Fiction/Cinema
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