Sunday, 31 May 2020

Raj Khosla came to Bombay to become a Singer

He wanted to become a playback singer but destiny made him an ace director of his time. He had learned classical music from the age of six, and as a student, had joined All India Radio, filling in whenever a singer could not make it. He struggled hard to become a singer,  only one composer gave him a song that too after rehearsing went to Mukesh. He did get a song in 1949 film Bhool Bhulaiya, Bulo C Rani composed it, later in Madan Mohan's debut film Ankhen (1950), wherein he sang the quaint 'Rail Mein Jeeya Mora'.
During his struggle days, he became a friend to Dev Anand, who spotted his talent of direction made him an assistant of Guru Dutt at the time of making of Baazi in 1950. He assisted Guru Dutt in Jaal(1952) and Aar Paar(1954).

 in 1954 got a break with "Milap", starring Dev Anand and Geeta Bali. In this film, not only Raj Khosla made a debut as a Director, but a new Music Director, N. Dutta gave debut music. The next film he directed was C I D (1956) which was a hit From here onwards he never looked back. His next two films Kala Pani (1958) and Solva Saal (1958) were back to bach hit. 
He entered into production also, he co-produced and directed Bombay Ka Babu which was again a hit. Till then he directed 5 films in all the 5 films Dev Anand was his hero. The next film he directed was Ek Musafir Ek Hasina in 1962 for Shashdhar Mukharjee with Joy Mukharjee as a hero. The next film he directed was Woh Kaun Thi (1964) with Manoj Kumar and Sadhana.
Khosla explored a variety of styles be it crime thrillers like CID, suspense thrillers like Woh Kaun Thi, and musicals (Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962). Now he tried melodramas (Do Badan (1966) , he was successful in that too. In 1969 he came out with Do Raste and Chirag both the films were hit. The next genre he tried dacoity with highly successful Mera Gaon Mera Desh in 1971 and Kachhe Dhaage in 1973.
He made films after Mera Gaon Mera Desh and had hits like Prem Kahani (1975) starring the then hottest pair of the day Rajesh Khanna and MumtazNehle Pe Dehla (1976) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). After enjoying big hits like Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978) and Dostana (1980) with Amitabh BachchanZeenat Aman, and Shatrughan Sinha, Khosla ran into some rough weather as his other films started flopping. The last film he directed was Sunny in 1984, which was not a hit.A dispirited Khosla took refuge in alcohol and died in Bombay on 9 June 1991
 He, along with Guru Dutt and Vijay Anand, was among the directors, who were also responsible for song picturizations being taken to a new high in the Hindi cinema of the 1950s and 6os.

Songs were sung by Raj Khosla in films

Song of Bhool Bhulaiya 1949

Song of Aankhen 1950

Songs of Films directed by Raj Khosla 
Song of Milap 1955

Song of CID 1956

Song of Kala Pani 1958

Song of Solva Saal 1958

Song of Bombai Ka Babu 1960

Song of Woh Kaun Thi 1963

Song of Mera Saya 1965

Thursday, 28 May 2020

43 Years of Amar Akbar Anthony

This film was released on 27 May 1977 and earned ₹155 million at the Indian box office, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film of that year. Amitabh Bachchan in his blog said that 'Amar Akbar Anthony' is estimated to have made Rs 7.25 crore in those days. Inflation-adjusted, it crosses the collections of Bahubali 2—The Conclusion today! The film ran for 25 weeks in 25 cinema Halls in Bombay alone which is a record.
You would be surprised to note that when the film was in pre-production, Manmohan Desai thought of shelving it but his wife encouraged Manmohan Desai to complete it. He was not sure of the success of the film. On the day of release, Manmohan Desai got very nervous and sick. When he heard "House full" boards were being put at cinema halls he became well and happy. 
Regarding the title of this film, he said that it was an unusual title at that time. In the '70s when film titles revolved around 'Behen Bhabhi' and 'Beti', this one was so out of place. The director Manmohan Desai got the idea of this film while reading a newspaper! He read a news piece of a drunk man named Jackson, who was fed up of his life and hence decided to drop his three children in the park. Similarly, in the film, Pran takes his children and drops them in a park at the beginning of the film.

The lesser-known fact is from one of the songs from the movie. We are referring to the song 'My name is Anthony Gonsalves...' Audience loves to listen to the song even today, especially, the starting lines which go, 'Sophisticated rhetorician intoxicated with the exuberance of your own verbosity,' uttered by Anthony after he emerges from the huge Easter egg. The words are a quotation from a speech given by Benjamin Disraeli in 1878. 

Another lesser-known fact is that initially, Amitabh's character name was Anthony Fernandes when Manmohan Desai met lyricist Anand Bakshi, and the song "My name is Anthony Fernandes" was written, it didn't go well with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Composer Pyarelal then recalled his violin teacher, composer Anthony Gonsalves, and suggested an alternative "Anthony Gonsalves", which would be finalized as the character's name.
The soundtrack of the film, composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal with lyrics penned by Anand Bakshi, proved as popular and successful as the film itself. For the song, "Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai", four leading playback singers, Mohammed RafiMukeshKishore Kumar, and Lata Mangeshkar sang together for the first and only occasion in their careers.

The film stars Vinod KhannaAmitabh Bachchan, and Rishi Kapoor opposite Shabana AzmiParveen Babi, and Neetu Singh in the lead roles. The film was scheduled in such a way that the entire cast, including the three titular stars, didn't have to shoot together except for the climactic sequence and the title song, "Anhoni Ko Honi Karde", where they all perform together. It was shot over a period of a month at Ranjit Studios in Mumbai.
There was an interesting goof in the film. In the introduction scene between Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, Rishi's character Akbar Illahabadi calls Neetu Singh's character Dr Salma by her real name and not with her character's name. This goof is noticeable enough, but no efforts were taken to correct it in the movie. This is the scene when Akbar comes to Dr. Salma for a health check-up and he refers to Dr. Salma as Neetu. 
Recall the cult scene wherein Amitabh Bachchan mouths a dialogue looking into the mirror? The dialogue 'Pakka idiot lagtaa' is still fresh in everyone's mind. It was after Amitabh did the mirror scene that Manmohan Desai became a life long fan of Amitabh. Manmohan saw the scene later on and told Amitabh that if he ever wants to leave Manmohan Desai it will be fine, but he (Manmohan) would never leave him.who later formed a hit combo.
You would be surprised to note that Manmohan Desai had met Amitabh in 1972. Salim Javed had introduced him to Manmohan. Desai was not impressed with Amitabh and stated "The only role I will ever offer him is a CHICKEN ROLL !"

Rishi Kapoor in his biography revealed that he was shooting for Laila Majnu 1976 when he got a call from Manmohan Desai that he would like him to play the role of Akbar in his next movie, he thought that Akbar would be someone like Akbar Baadshah the kind of role his grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor played in Mughle Azam 1960 and Rishi Kapoor said to Manmohan Desai he won't be playing that role which his grandfather had played after further discussion he came to know the character was about three heroes belonging to different faiths.
The role of AMAR was originally offered to Dharmendra, but he declined it because of his busy schedule. It was then Vinod Khanna was signed. In the original script, Vinod Khanna did not have any heroine opposite himself he insisted Man Mohan Desai to cast and actress opposite him as his co-stars Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor had actress paired opposite them. Shabana Azmi was cast at the last moment.

This film was full of entertainment but was also full of illogical facts such as the scene where all 3 brothers giving blood directly to the mother. A miracle in medical science and also in the last scene when Neetu Singh catches Parveen's wrist to find out whether she is pregnant. It became a joke that Manmohan Desai is entertaining but you have to leave your brain at home to see his films.
This film truly belonged to Amitabh Bachchan. He received his first Filmfare award for this film. The film crowned Amitabh Bachchan as a ‘One Man Variety Show’ 

Songs of Amar Akbar Anthony

Title                                                    Time
1."Ye Sach Hai Koi Kahani Nahin"Mohammad Rafi02:22
2."Amar Akbar Anthony"Kishore KumarMahendra KapoorShailendra Singh05:52
3."Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyar"Mohammad RafiMukeshKishore KumarLata Mangeshkar07:33
4."Taiyabali Pyar Ka Dushman"Mohammad Rafi04:40
5."Parda Hai Parda"Mohammad Rafi07:59
6."Shirdi Wale Sai Baba"Mohammad Rafi05:52
7."My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves"Amitabh BachchanKishore Kumar
Song of Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Song of Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Song of Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Song of Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Song of Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Song of Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

50 Years of Humjoli

Recall the badminton song "Dhal Gaya Din " which was later recreated in a song of 2007 film"Om Shanti Om"  Another song Haye Re Haye Neend Nahin Aye and Tik Tik Tik performed by Jeetendra and Mumtaz made this movie a musical hit in 1970.
The highlight of the film was the unforgettable comedy of Mehmood, who played a triple role of grandfather, father, and son mimicking Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, and Randhir Kapoor.
The film was produced by Prasan Kapoor under the Tirupati Pictures banner and directed by T. R. Ramanna. It stars JeetendraLeena Chandavarkar in the lead roles with Pran and Mehmood, and music composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal

Village-based Gopalnath (Pran) had always dreamed of becoming rich. On a visit to Bombay city, his dreams are fulfilled when he agrees to marry plain-looking Roopa, the sole heiress of a wealthy man (Nazir Hussain). Unknown to Roopa, Gopalnath loves fellow-villager, Shyama (Shashikala). After the passing away of Roopa's dad, Roopa gives birth to a baby girl, Ranibala. Gopalnath arranges to have Roopa killed; marries Shyama, and lets Ranibala lives in a hostel. Years later, his past comes to haunt him in the shape and form of Shyama's relatives, and Ranibala's suitor, Manmohan, who will not leave any stone unturned to blackmail Gopalnath for the rest of his life.

Great performances from everyone as well as excellent songs and picturization make Humjoli an entertaining watch. Mumtaz appears for the catchy song 'Tik Tik' where Mumtaz and Jeetendra's dancing makes Leena shed tears of jealously. 

Songs of Humjoli

1"Haye Re Haye"Lata MangeshkarMohammed Rafi
2"Dhal Gaya Din Ho Gayi Sham"Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle
3"Chal Shuru Ho Ja"Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar
4"Ho Tu Tu Tu"Kamal Barot, Asha Bhosle
5"Yeh Kaisa Aaya Zamana"Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Mahmood
6"Tik Tik Tik Mera Dil"Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi
Song of Humjoli 1970

Song of Humjoli 1970

Song of Humjoli 1970

Song of Humjoli 1970

Song of Humjoli 1970

Song of Humjoli 1970

Sunday, 24 May 2020

"YAHOO" The Yell that Shook the Nation

This iconic foot-tapping song from film Junglee introduced a freestyle dancing by Shammi Kapoor. His sky-breaking scream ‘Yahoo!’ depicts a freedom-seeking soul. This song became a cult song.  The idea of "Yahoo" itself was Shammi Kapoor's who had used it earlier in "Tumsa Nahin Dekha" (1957) and "Dil Deke Dekho" (1959).
You would be surprised to know that the iconic yell "Yahoo!!" in this song was not rendered by Mohammad RafiIn fact, Jaikishan the music director of this film had planned on using his voice for the scream but when he couldn't pull it off, he asked the writer Prayag Raj who happened to be in the. studio and gave that memorable shout. Shammi Kapoor once said it was only Rafi saheb who could sing on such a high scale.
Shammi Kapoor hurt himself while picturizing this song. He badly bruised his knees when he came hurtling down a snow-covered hill while shouting his signature call -- "yahoo" - This song was picturized at Pahalgam in Kashmir.
 It is this musical number alone that solidified Kapoor's reputation as an untamed screen presence (in the style of Dean and Presley) and set the tone for his future movies. 
After picturizing this song, when Rafi saheb saw the song, he hugged Shammi Kapoor and said that he thought of him while singing this song and you have exactly done that. After this song Rafi became his voice in films. 
Junglee was 1961 film which was in color, it was an attraction to those days. Shammi Kapoor was not sure that this film would be such a hit, especially this song. This song became a craze and Shammi Kapoor became a Superstar after this film. Kapoor steadily amassed a huge following that reached its zenith with this film.
This movie was first offered to Jagdeep before played by Shammi Kapoor. Jag deep 'Surma Bhopali' from Sholay fame famous for the comic role did some serious role in his early movies
Song of Junglee 1961

Saturday, 23 May 2020

The Invisble Men of Bollywood

The idea of invisibility has always fascinated cine-goers. The idea of an invisible man originated from the novel by H. G Wells published in 1897. The first movie in this novel was made in 1933 in Hollywood by Universal Studio. Since then many films are made on this subject. 
The invisible man has been a runaway success in Bollywood too. This formula has wowed the masses through the generations in Hindi Film Industry. The first film on this subject was made in 1938 as "Mr. X", produced and directed by Vijay Bhatt. The second film was also Mr. X in 1957 played by Ashok Kumar. The third film was "Mr. X in Bombay" released in 1964. Another film on this subject was Mr. India in 1989.
It is definitely a very cool superpower to possess and the success of all these films only shows that this subject is a money-spinner.
Mr. X (1957)
Song of Mr X 1957
Sippy films made Mr.X in 1957, starring Ashok Kumar, Nalini Jaywant, Pran and Johny Walker, produced by G.P.Sippy, Directed by Nanabhai Bhatt, Music by N.Dutta and Lyrics by Majrooh, Hasrat, Tanvir Naqvi and Bharat Vyas.
The film was made in a small budget and was a hit. The song Laal Laal Gaal picturized on Johny  Walker was a super hit.

Mr. X in Bombay (1964)

Song of Mr. X in Bombay (1964) 
A comedy film directed by Shantilal Soni featuring Kishore Kumar, Kum Kum. The music for this film was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics were penned by Anand Bakshi and Asad Bhopali. The song "Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi" of this movie became an evergreen hit.

Elaan  (1971 )

Song of Elaan  (1971 )
Its F C Mehra's film, directed by K. Ramanlal. The film stars Vinod MehraRekhaVinod Khanna, and  Madan Puri. The character played by Vinod Mehra finds himself locked in a cellar alongside an old man who claimed to have invented an ''atomic ring'', which can make a person invisible. He gives it to Mehra by literally tearing off his leg and extracting the ring, which the latter has to supposedly put in his mouth and take off all his clothes to turn invisible. The film was an average hit.

Me. India (1987)

Song of Mr India 1987
 Mr. India remains a cult classic in India. It had all the ingredients of an entertainer and the formula was bang on. T.Produced by Boney Kapoor and directed by Shekhar Kapoor, based on a screenplay written by Salim-Javed. It stars Sridevi and Anil Kapoor in the lead roles. Amrish Puri, as Mogambo. The film was the second highest-grossing Indian film of 1987 

Chamatkar (1992)

Song of Chamatkar (1992)
It's an F C Mehra's film directed by Rajiv Mehra. It cast Naseeruddin ShahShah Rukh Khan and Urmila Matondkar in pivotal roles. The film was quite popular among children.  The film had Shah Rukh Khan as a cricket coach and Naseeruddin Shah as the 'ghost' who was killed and buried in the same cemetery, where a homeless Shah Rukh seeks refuge

Gayab  ( 2004 )

Song of Gayab  ( 2004 )
 Produced by Ram Gopal Verma, It stars Tusshar Kapoor and Antara Mali as the lead protagonists. The film became a moderate box office success. There is nothing new to Gayab. The invisibility trick was slicker in Mr. India. The film contains the antics of Vishnu enjoying his invisibility and trying to win Mohini’s heart (with the insertion of a side-plot here and there).

Mr. X (2015)

This Emraan Hashmi-starrer wasn`t well-received by the audiences despite made in 3D. The actor played a dedicated government officer, who gets charred in a factory during an assignment and is given an untested potion by his friend's sister, which causes a complete cell regeneration from the scratch causing him to become invisible in all lights except neon light and direct sunlight. 

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Subodh Mukharjee - A Filmmaker of Golden Era of Bollywood

The younger brother of the doyen of Hindi films Shashdhar Mukherjee of Filmistan Studio. The studio that gave us Shaheed (1948), Shabnam (1949), Anarkali (1953), and Nagin(1954). Jagriti(1954),  
Munimji 1955, Paying Guest 1957, Tumsa Nahin Dekha 1957 
He directed Dev Anand in Munimji and Paying Guest and later started his own production house with Love Marriage. He introduced Saira Bano and made Shammi Kapoor a superstar with the 1961 film Junglee.
Subodh Mukharjee ( away from the nationalist movement and engaged him film making.He was given the first film as an independent director Munimji The script was written by Nasir Hussain and the music was composed by S D Burman. The film was a hit. The song "Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Rahi," sung by Kishore Kumar, became a super hit. This team of Subodh MukherjeeNasir HussainDev Anand, and music director S.D. Burman later got together to make another movie, Paying Guest, in 1957. In the same year,. Looking to this the Filmalaya decided to make another film Tumsa Nahin Dekho was released which was directed by Nasir Hussain, it was also successful so Filmalya gave Nasir Hussain another film to direct, this upset Subodh, e decided to start his own production house, the SMP Subodh Mukharjee Productions
The first film of this house was Love Marriage starring Dev Anand and Mala Sinha. This was the third film in a row under his direction All the three films were hit.
The next film under his direction and production house was Junglee with Shammi Kapoor. The film was a super hit. after Junglee he made April Fool in 1964 and Saaj Aur Awaz in 1966, both the films were average in Box Office.
In 1967 he produced Shagird, the direction was given to Samir Ganguly. The film stars Joy Mukherjee and Saira Banu in lead roles The film was a super hit. He then made two films simultaneously,
Abhinetri released in 1970 was directed by him and Sharmilee directed by Samir Ganguli was a hit. his was the last hit from SMP. 
In the first two decades of his career, he had a high success percentage, but like so many movie-makers of his generation, he floundered from the seventies and quit in 1985. The last 2 films were Teesri Aankh 1982 and Ulta Seedha in 1985.
Song of Munimji 1955

Song of Paying Guest 1957

Song of Love Marriage 1959

Song of Junglee1961

Song of Shagird 1967

Song of Sharmilee 1971

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Suhana Safar Aur Yeh Mausam Haseen - The song that was kept on Hold

This song remains one of the most popular songs of Madhumati, released in 1958. The Madhumati soundtrack features eleven songs composed by Salil ChowdhryShailendra wrote the lyrics The soundtrack of Madhumati became the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack of 1958. This remains one of the personal favorite songs of Mukesh.
Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen is one of Hindi cinema’s greatest musical scores. An anthem in praise of natural beauty. Mukesh’s inimitable voice emanates the joy with a fantastic echo effect. Salil Chowdhury utilized this quality so adeptly in this composition that listening to it one feels like none but Mukesh could have rendered this song. Charming its way into people’s hearts and rightly securing his position in the league of legends.
It is said that Dilip Kumar, the hero of the film wanted this song to be sung by Talat Mahmood but Talat himself declined to sing saying Mukesh needed that break much more than him, Mukesh was not getting songs during those years and that he was hard up for money.
There is another story behind this song, that Shailendra who was the lyricist for this song couldn’t find a suitable line to follow this particular one “Ye Gori Nadiyon Ka Chalna Uchhal Kar”. So the song was kept on hold for quite some time till one day, he happened to chance upon a little girl who was crossing a lane and singing to herself. This inspired him to write the next line “Ki Jaise Alhad Chale Pee Se Mil Kar”. He immediately went to Salil Da's home and completed the full song. Shailendra has used words like ‘Alhar’, which is seldom used in film songs and it is north Indian rooted word, generally used by village and small-town folks.
Along with the composition of the song and its picturization; the lyrics were unique. Describing the movement of rivers, 
Unlike other films, shot indoors, Roy decided to shoot Madhumati outdoors and at a hill station. It had a six-week schedule in Ranikhet, Nainital. Some scenes were shot in Ghorakhal, near Nainital. In those days there were no monitors, so when the negatives were developed, it was found that most of the footage was foggy. Since a reshoot in far-away Uttarakhand wasn't possible, sets were created near Vaitarna Dam, Igatpuri, near Nashik. Art direction team, led by Sudhendu Roy, created fake pine trees, which were planted to matched the location in Nainital.
Song of Madhumati 1958