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 '..' 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 Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, and Lata Mangeshkar sang together for the first and only occasion in their careers.
The film stars Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, and Rishi Kapoor opposite Shabana Azmi, Parveen 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
|1.||"Ye Sach Hai Koi Kahani Nahin"||Mohammad Rafi||02:22|
|2.||"Amar Akbar Anthony"||Kishore Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Shailendra Singh||05:52|
|3.||"Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyar"||Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar||07:33|
|4.||"Taiyabali Pyar Ka Dushman"||Mohammad Rafi||04:40|
|5.||"Parda Hai Parda"||Mohammad Rafi||07:59|
|6.||"Shirdi Wale Sai Baba"||Mohammad Rafi||05:52|
|7.||"My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves"||Amitabh Bachchan, Kishore Kumar|