Awaara, also written Awāra and known overseas as The Vagabond, is a 1951 Indian crime drama film, produced and directed by Raj Kapoor, and written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. It stars Raj Kapoor along with his real-life father Prithviraj Kapoor, as well as Nargis, Leela Chitnis and K. N. Singh. Other members of the Kapoor family make an appearance, including Raj's youngest real-life brother Shashi Kapoor, who plays the younger version of his character, and Prithiviraj's father Dewan Basheshwarnath Kapoor, playing a cameo role in his only film appearance. The film's music was composed by Shankar Jaikishan.
The film expresses socialist themes, and blends social and reformist themes with the crime, romantic comedy and musical melodrama genres. The plot centers on the intertwining lives of a poor thief Raj (played by Raj Kapoor), the privileged Rita (played by Nargis), and Judge Raghunath (played by Prithviraj Kapoor) who is unaware that Raj is his son. In the film, Kapoor's poor "little tramp" character references Charlie Chaplin and was further developed in other Kapoor films such as Shree 420. Awaara is considered a milestone in the history of Bollywood.
The film became an overnight sensation in South Asia, and found even greater success abroad in the Soviet Union, East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. In particular, the song "Awaara Hoon" ("I am a Vagabond"), sung by Mukesh with lyrics by Shailendra, became hugely popular across the Indian subcontinent, as well as in countries such as the Soviet Union, China, Bulgaria, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Romania. The film was also nominated for the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. The film is estimated to have sold over 200 million tickets overseas, including more than 100 million in China and about 100 million in the Soviet Union. Owing to its popularity in so many countries, the film is a candidate for the most successful film of all time. In 2012, Awaara was included in the 20 new entries to All-Time 100 greatest films by TIME.