The Guru (1969 film)

The Guru is a 1969 film by Merchant Ivory Productions, with a screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and James Ivory.

The Guru
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames Ivory
Produced byIsmail Merchant
Written byRuth Prawer Jhabvala
James Ivory
StarringRita Tushingham
Michael York
Utpal Dutt
Madhur Jaffrey
Barry Foster
Aparna Sen
Zohra Sehgal
Dina Pathak
Saeed Jaffrey
Music byUstad Vilayat Khan
CinematographySubrata Mitra
Edited byPrabhakar Supare
Humphrey Dixon (assistant)
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
10 February 1969
Running time
112 min
CountryUnited States

Plot synopsis

A rock star, Tom Pickle (Michael York), travels to India to learn to play the sitar with the great musician Ustad Zafar Khan (as George Harrison did when he studied under Ravi Shankar). Khan (Utpal Dutt) is not happy with his disciple but still takes him to Benares to meet his own guru.

Box Office

According to Fox records, the film required $1,675,000 in rentals to break even. By 11 December 1970 it had only made $625,000, causing the studio to take a loss.[2]


  1. Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p256
  2. Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 328.
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