S.M. Yousuf was one of few film directors in the sub-continent who made some super hit films on various social topics with eastern and Islamic values. Saheli (1960), Aulad (1962), Dulhan (1963), Ashiyana (1964), Eid Mubarak (1965) and Sharik-e-Hayyat (1967) were some of these films. His most super hit film Saheli in 1960 was the first film to have bagged 5 Presidents Gold Awards and was also the first film to be screened in the Indian Film festival the following year of its release and S.M. Yousuf was one of the delegates representing Pakistan. He was also conferred an award by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru who was an ardent film fan and on on stage said "Humara Yusuf ab paraya ho gaya.."
S.M. Yousuf (real name Shaikh Mohammed Yusuf) began his film career from a pre-partition film Bharat ka Lalin 1936. He made 14 films before partition and 13 in Pakistan. He also made six films in India in the 1950s. His son Iqbal Yousuf was also a film actor and director. Famous Indian actress Nigar Sultana was his second wife and the marriage lasted for 5 years. He died on August 17, 1994 in Lahore.