Muhsin Bey is frequently quoted as being a turning point in Turkish cinema. With some notable exceptions, much of Turkey’s movie production up to Muhsin Bey consisted of cheap tear-jerkers, juvenile comedy and remakes of popular foreign movies. While many of these movies still have appeal for Turkish audiences today, it is mainly for nostalgic reasons. Muhsin Bey, in contrast, is an original movie with both comedic and dramatic elements, dealing with social change in a way that is both universal and specific to Turkey.
Muhsin Bey (“Mr. Muhsin”) is a music producer/manager in Istanbul in the 70s. At the end of his career, not having “discovered” any talent recently, his finances and credibility are suffering. Using last favors from his many friends in the industry, he sets up a singing competition, promising the winner a contract. Among many applicants is one Ali Nazik, an immigrant to Istanbul from South-eastern Turkey with a wonderful voice. The movie goes on to tell the story of Muhsin Bey and Ali Nazik as they try to make a star out of Ali Nazik, while drawing attention to the change in values and culture of Istanbul as a result of the very large immigration from eastern Turkey.