The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

Bertrand Russell in Bollywood

with 4 comments

This is for real: Bertrand Russell featured in a Hindi film.

Wikipedia confirms it:

Russell made a cameo appearance playing himself in the anti-war Bollywood film “Aman” which was released in India in 1967. This was Russell’s only appearance in a feature film.

as does IMDB page for Aman (1967):

Bertrand Russell … Himself.

And without this movie, Bertrand Russell might not have had the finite Erdős–Bacon number that he does. His Bacon number is four, going through this sole tenuous link:

Bertrand Russell was in Aman (1967) with Brahm Bhardwaj
Brahm Bhardwaj was in Kaalia (1981) with Ranjit Chowdhry
Ranjit Chowdhry was in I’m Not Rappaport (1996) with Marin Hinkle
Marin Hinkle was in Rails & Ties (2007) with Kevin Bacon


Bertrand Russell was in Aman (1967) with Om Prakash (I)
who was in Ghar Ho To Aisa (1990) with Saeed Jaffrey
who was in Sphinx (1981) with Frank Langella
who was in Frost/Nixon (2008) with Kevin Bacon


Kevin Bacon was in New York, I Love You (2008) with Irrfan Khan
who was in Dhund: The Fog (2003) with Gulshan Grover
who was in Patthar (1991) with Sunder (I)
who was in Aman (1967) with Bertrand Russell

Surprisingly though, establishing an Erdős number for Bertrand Russell is even harder! He rarely collaborated, except with Whitehead, who collaborated rarely as well. There is a publication path, but it goes through non-mathematical work: the Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955, titled Texts of scientists’ appeal for abolition of war, which gives him an Erdos number of 3, through A. Einstein — E. Straus — P. ErdösErdős. (That publication also gives Erdős numbers to many others including Max Born, F. Joliot-Curie, and Linus Pauling.)


Written by S

Mon, 2007-11-26 at 01:16:42

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

4 Responses

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  1. Nice post !

    The connections to Kevin Bacon come about in really roundabout ways. If TV show appearances are considered as valid contributors to the link, then another family of paths open up.

    Bertrand Russell appeared in an episode of “Five More” in 1966 with Dudley Moore.
    Dudley Moore did a cameo in “The Pickle” which also had Geoffrey Blake.
    Geoffrey Blake was in “Frost/Nixon” with Kevin Bacon.

    Russell’s Erdös number can be established by this path :

    P Erdös
          D. Holton
                P. Hilton
                      J. H. C. Whitehead
                            M. H. A. Newman
    + "On Order In Time" : Bertrand Russell + MHA Newman

    It is longer than the one you mentioned but to the best of my knowledge, is composed of technical publications only.

    On a similar note, I’ve always found it quite amusing that Bertrand Russell’s Nobel was in Literature !

    Wrichik Basu

    Fri, 2009-07-10 at 11:49:40

    • Ah, thanks! I wonder who the “P. Hilton” and “J. H. C. Whitehead” are… for a moment I thought it was A. N. Whitehead, Bertrand Russell’s collaborator, but it’s someone else.

      I guess M. H. A. Newman is Maxwell Herman Alexander Newman,
      J. H. C. Whitehead is John Henry Constantine Whitehead,
      P. Hilton is Peter Hilton, and
      D. Holton is Derek Alan Holton(?) — who doesn’t seem to have a paper with Erdős AFAICT, but no matter, Peter Hilton has distance 2 anyway.

      But the main problem is that “On Order in Time” appears to have written by Russell alone, although M. H. A. Newman’s name accompanies it here (only). So is there a path to Russell using only technical publications?

      I too find some Nobel prizes amusing, including Winston Churchill’s Nobel in literature!


      Fri, 2009-07-10 at 12:40:44

  2. this is the coolest thing I have seen on the internet in quite some time.

    Lord Akoroth

    Thu, 2012-08-16 at 12:12:06

  3. A CMI’te makes Reddit, nice find dude :)


    Thu, 2012-09-06 at 11:30:43

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