Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rajesh Khanna portrait November 9, 1969

A portrait of Bollywood star Rajesh Khanna on November 9, 1969. He shot to fame with the film "Aradhana" which was hugely successful at the box office this year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shatrughan Sinha remarks On Wafaa

Q.What do you think about the comeback of Rajesh Khanna and his film Wafaa?
Ans.I certainly hope,wish and pray for my most deserving friend Rajesh Khanna’s comeback with a bang but I don’t think much of his last film Wafaa which fortunately I haven’t seen.
(Asked by Sanjay Rana from Chennai in Filmfare issue of 18 March 2009 Sawal Jawab with Shatrughan Sinha

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Safar:A memorable journey

Producer:-Mushir Riaz
Director:-Asit Sen
Cast:-Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, Feroz Khan
Release Date:-1970

Asit Sen's 1970 hit Safar is a story of ordinary people grappling with staggering challenges and compromises. But in this refreshingly non-melodramatic fare, a murmur of protest, an escaped sob and a half-concealed smirk are the only emotional luxuries its characters afford themselves in the inexplicable journey of life, the eponymous safar of the title.

A famous song from this film emphasises the primordial requirement for coping instead of moping: Nadiya chale chale re dhara, chanda chale chale re taara, tujhko chalna hoga (The river flows on, as does the tide; the moon goes on, as do the stars; you too will have to move on).

Caught in the eddying whirlpool of emotions are Safar's protagonists Neela (Sharmila Tagore) and Avinash (Rajesh Khanna).

Safar is narrated as a long flashback from a greying Neela's point of view. Neela is a budding doctor who lives with her cynical writer-brother Kalidas (I S Johar at his deadpan best) and his wife (Aruna Irani). Avinash, their bachelor neighbour and friend, is a painter by profession and poet by aptitude. But behind his life-affirming smile lurks death. He suffers from cancer.

Neela and Avinash's touching match of compassion and artistic vivacity finds expression in the beautifully penned Indivar number, Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen, majboor kare jeene ke liye (Your eyes, so full of life, compel me to continue living).

But unlike Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anand (which also saw Khanna play a cancer patient who spreads bonhomie wherever he goes), Asit Sen's Avinash seems more real. He experiences pendulum-like swings from fierce optimism to brooding pessimism as he sings, 'Phool aise bhi hai jo khile hi nahee, jinko khilne ke pehle hi khiza kha gayee (There are flowers that never bloom, autumn sets in even before they can blossom).'

There is one unforgettable scene in Safar where you realise the import of the visual vis-à-vis the spoken word in cinema. When Avinash asks his doctor Chandra (Ashok Kumar) if he will live long, Chandra places an hourglass on the table. Avinash stares at the rapidly falling grains of sand; he doesn't need an answer.

Neela, too, is fighting to survive -- economically. She teaches Montu (Mahesh Kothari), the younger brother of a stockbroker Shekhar (Feroz Khan). But when she reprimands Montu for reading pornography during her tuition, she incurs the wrath of Montu's aristocratic mother (Nadira) and is sacked. A contrite Shekhar brings her back, this time as mistress of the manor. Neela had been reluctant to marry him, but Avinash compels her to think logically. Though Neela had been content savouring every moment spent with Avinash, hoping he would miraculously survive, she finally relents.

Scant hours after the nuptial night and a honeymoon vow about 'Jo tumko ho pasand wohi baat karenge (I will only say what pleases you)' -- picturised imaginatively on the ghats of Mahableshwar with the sound of a car's honk serving as musical accompaniment to Mukesh's masculine voice -- the husband changes his tune. He resents Neela's visits to Avinash. He sees a hidden agenda in simple gestures like Neela rearranging Avinash's bedsheets.

The drama now revolves around the question: which of these two men -- one eaten up with jealousy, the other by cancer and misplaced sympathy -- will win the right to ruin Neela's life even more?

The film affords a fascinating study of the link between worldly success and male self-worth in the sequences where Shekhar, after losing heavily in the share market, distracts himself by obsessing over the possibility of Neela's infidelity. His desire to divert his attention so that he can feel less uncomfortable in his own skin is a sad but telling comment on human nature. Shekhar ultimately commits suicide by getting an unsuspecting Neela to give him a drink laced with poison.

The film folds up when the court acquits Neela of Shekhar's murder after his mother testifies in her favour. The mother's motivation for clearing Neela remains shrouded in ambiguity. Portions of the film are perhaps a bit too opaque for its own good.

Thereafter, Safar limps unnecessarily to show a dying Avinash unattended by Neela who is busy with an emergency. Montu's screaming declaration to Neela that she was responsible for Avinash's death, and her subsequent reaction that he shouldn't address her as sister-in-law any more, leave one a trifle baffled. The only conclusion one can hesitatingly draw is that Neela has decided to be unencumbered by emotional attachments so that she can unreservedly serve mankind.

Rajesh Khanna beautifully conveys his character's desperation and his conviction that surviving by a slender thread is not really living.

Sharmila Tagore is a study in stoicism. She is largely effective, but does blow up a couple of crucial scenes due to her preoccupation with mascara and mannerisms.

It is Feroz Khan, in an author-backed role, who singes you with his simmering jealousy. The potassium cyanide he consumes to kill himself seemed like the external manifestation of the suspicion he is consumed by.

If only the motivations for Sharmila's character weren't so often left to the viewers' interpretation, Safar would have featured higher on the list of all-time classics. Instead, it emerges as a collection of impressive segments.

Memorable dialogue

Sharmila Tagore (remarking on Feroz Khan's unremitting jealousy): Suyee jab record par atak jaati hai, sangeet nahee shor nikalta hai (When the needle gets stuck on the record, you hear noise instead of music).


Within six months of winning accolades for his performance as a dying man in Safar, Rajesh Khanna played another memorable cancer patient in Anand.

After Safar's premiere, Meena Kumari remarked to Nadira that Rajesh Khanna looked too ruddy-cheeked to be a cancer patient. Nadira promptly conveyed the message to Rajesh Khanna.

Feroz Khan won a firm foothold in the industry by immediately following his flamboyant act as the corrupt builder in Aadmi Aur Insaan with Safar.


One of Kalyanji-Anandji's best scores, Safar had Mukesh's haunting rendition of Jo tumko ho pasand. It suited Feroz Khan's rugged personality to the tee. Consequently, Feroz employed Mukesh's vocals in most of his films, including Apradh and Dharmatma.


Jeevan se bhari teri/Kishore Kumar
Zindagi ka safar/Kishore Kumar
Hum the jinke sahare/Lata Mangeshkar
Jo tumko ho pasand/Mukesh
Nadiya chale chale re/Manna Dey

By Dinesh Raheja

A thriller called Iqtefaq


Producer:-B R Chopra
Director:-Yash Chopra
Music:-Salil Chaudhary
Cast:-Rajesh Khanna, Nanda
Release Date:-October 1969

Today, acclaimed filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is making waves for daring to film a songless Bhoot (Ajay Devgan, Urmila Matondkar, Fardeen Khan, Rekha, Nana Patekar). But B R Chopra showed similar gumption decades ago when he made two successful films without songs in the 1960s -- Kanoon (1960) and Ittefaq (1969). It is also apparent to any avid filmgoer that Varma's earlier film Kaun (Urmila, Manoj Bajpai) had a hangover, conscious or otherwise, of Ittefaq.

Acclaimed for its experimentalism at the time of its release, Ittefaq was planned by Chopra as a modestly budgeted, offbeat quickie primarily because his big-budgeted Aadmi Aur Insaan (Dharmendra, Feroz Khan, Saira Banu) had been delayed. He assigned the direction of this songless film -- always a rare phenomenon in Hindi cinema and even more so in the song-saturated 1960s -- to his younger brother, Yash.

The thriller begins with painter Dilip Roy (Rajesh Khanna) returning home to find his wife Sushma (Alka) murdered. His belligerent sister-in-law Renu (Bindu) accuses him of having killed his wife in a fit of rage. When Dilip breaks down and laughs hysterically during a court interrogation (in a Kafkaesque scene relying heavily on shadow-play to convey the court setting), he is sent to a psychiatric ward for treatment.

Dilip has the choice to do time either in prison or in a lunatic asylum. He creates a third option and escapes -- in a rather clumsy and amateurishly shot scene. Even in later years, action scenes have often proved Yash Chopra's Achilles heel.

With the police hot on his heels, Dilip gatecrashes into a mansion inhabited by a housewife Rekha (Nanda, wearing a figure-hugging chiffon sari throughout the film) and holds her at gunpoint. The hapless lady nervously divulges that she is alone as her businessman husband Jagmohan is in Kolkata.

For the next couple of reels, the film escalates the tension to fever pitch as the overtly sexy Rekha tries to free herself from Dilip's grip. She lunges for her husband's revolver, sneaks a phone call to the police station when a drenched Dilip excuses himself to change into her husband's clothes, and flashes a torch on her drawing room windows. She even keeps back a visiting doctor (Gajanan Jagirdar) and a police officer (Sujit Kumar) by offering them cups of coffee. But all her efforts come to naught.

Finally, Rekha changes her strategy. She decides to befriend Dilip. At this juncture, the director downplays the thriller aspect and concentrates on the subtle seduction game, with its undercurrent of carnal passion. Dilip and Rekha exchange intimate notes about their on-the-rocks marriages, while sipping whiskey and sherbet, respectively. This portion of the film is as slow as a well-thought-out chess move, yet involving.

The film regains its pace when Dilip discovers Jagmohan's body in the bathtub. He hysterically accuses Rekha of murdering her husband. Resorting to physical force, he forces Rekha to look into the tub -- but there is no body!

An enraged Rekha convinces Dilip he is hallucinating. But a phone call from Kolkata, inquiring after Jagmohan's return, reignites his suspicion. In a high-strung climax, the police break into Rekha's house to find Dilip and Rekha exchanging a flurry of allegations. A nail-biting battle of wits ensues.

In keeping with the tone of Bollywood's golden age, when sinners received just punishment for their onscreen acts, the film concludes with the murderer killing himself/herself.

The combative spirit between a seasoned performer like Nanda and the keen-to-prove himself novice Rajesh Khanna gives the film an edge.

A pre-Aradhana Rajesh is, by turns, effortless and overly excitable. His easygoing affinity works like a charm.

Nanda is the spellbinder here. Her character seems to be constantly in a state of emotional meltdown and she conveys it with a carefully controlled performance.

The lack of a glitzy supporting cast -- Sujit Kumar, unfortunately, is more wooden than a totem pole, Alka and Bindu were unknown names in those days -- works to the film's advantage because it leaves one clueless about the characters' ulterior motives. A cameo by Shammi, as a nosy neighbour who descends on Nanda while Rajesh is holding her captive, effectively serves as an air pocket in the breathless thriller.

Salil Chaudhary's background music, in retrospect, sounds like it's come from the Jurassic age. The sounds of suspense have undergone many tonal changes since Ittefaq.

This essentially two-actor film is basically a director's litmus test. Despite a few flaws in the film, Yash Chopra distinguishes himself. Some of the two-character scenes seem like stage-acting classes. The night scene, after the lights are switched off, could have been lit a shade less brightly. Also, Ittefaq's theme offers scope for intimacy rather than spectacle. Yash, however, lays emphasis on gloss and stylish treatment, often leaving you wishing for more subtext and psychological insights.

The plus factor is that the thriller keeps you guessing till the very end and has a satisfying climax. The ability to startle is the key to Yash's central characters. Besides, he casually plants details that pay off later. And he creates just the right ambience by employing rain-swept streets and a huge, curtained house as the backdrop for the often claustrophobic story.

Abetted by cameraman Kay Gee, he adventurously indulges in a lot of technical bravura. A low-angle camera offers us a view of an anxiety-ridden Rajesh as he is being walked to his cell by policemen, while a handheld camera staggers ahead of him to show us the reactions of the crowd assembled at his home after his wife is murdered.


* Ittefaq won Filmfare awards for Best Director (Yash Chopra) and Best Sound Recordist (M A Shaik).

* Mala Sinha, a favourite actress with the Chopra camp, was considered for the role of the adulteress.

* Rajesh Khanna and Nanda were paired in two more films, a comedy, Joru Ka Ghulam, and a thriller, The Train.

* Ittefaq, a quickie, was completed in a couple of months. Since Rajesh Khanna was sporting an unshaven look in Ittefaq, he had to sport a stubble in Do Raaste (co-starring Mumtaz), which was being shot simultaneously.

Music highlights:

* Salil Chaudhary, who had earlier composed the background music of Chopra's songless courtroom drama Kanoon (also a Nanda-starrer), was roped in once again for Ittefaq. He was renowned for his mastery over the background score. After Madan Mohan's untimely death, he also composed the background score of Gulzar's Mausam.

By Dinesh Raheja

Monday, January 5, 2009

Story of Rajesh Khanna debut

During the united talent hunt contest conducted by filmfare magazine in 1965 there were four winners Subhash Ghai,Dheeraj Kumar,Farida Jalal and ofcourse Rajesh Khanna.
Amongst the judges was the veteran filmmaker B.R.Chopra who had a very good eye for new talent.He noticed that this handsome young man stoodout from the other winners and he also showed the same spark which he had seen in Dilip Kumar after waching his debut movie Jwar Bhatta in 1944.At that time in 1944 B.R.Chopra was a journalist and not a filmmaker.
B.R.Chopra immediately signed Rajesh Khanna for his movie Raaz opposite Babita.During the making of Raaz he also signed up Aakhri Khat,Baharon Ke Sapne and Aurat which were actually art movies of that time.And to say that the credit of doing only art movies went to Naseeruddin Shah,Om Puri,Smita Patil,Shabana Azmi,etc was actually begun by Rajesh Khanna who became a very successful commercial film hero later.Raaz was released in early 1967 follwed by Aakhri Khat,Baharon Ke Sapne and Aurat in the very same year.These films did not do well at the the box office,but were critically acclaimed and Rajesh Khanna's performance as an actor was appreciated.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The magic of Sharmila,Rajesh Khanna and Amar Prem

Producer:-Shakti Samanta
Director:-Shakti Samanta
Music Director:-R D Burman
Stars:-Rajesh Khanna,Sharmila Tagore
Release Date:-11 February 1972

Amar Prem redefined the right time-right place magic. Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore were at the peak of their careers, Shakti Samanta was going through his most creatively fecund phase, lyricist Anand Bakshi was spurred by his success to outdo himself, and R D Burman, it seemed, could strike no wrong chords at all.

The treatment of Amar Prem's story and characters may not be entirely grounded in reality (Sharmila's religious, courteous and compassionate courtesan is a far cry from the beedi-smoking, venom-spewing prostitute she played in Mausam), but the film's emotional appeal is undeniable. It probably lies in the in-built romanticism of the story and the heart-in-your-throat evocation of the supreme selflessness of lovers.

Amar Prem contends that true emotional fulfillment need not necessarily lie in a fructified relationship which ends with a marriage and the average two kids; it can also be found in a nameless bond between a man and a woman that transcends convention.

The film opens to the strains of S D Burman's melodious lament Doli mein bithai ke, which instantly evokes a rural ethos and a lachrymose mood. Bruised village belle Pushpa (Sharmila Tagore) is returning home after having been abandoned by her philandering husband (Manmohan) for a younger woman.

Pushpa makes a valiant bid to start life afresh but the village youth openly make passes at her while the women treat her with contempt. She tries to drown herself in the village pond but is saved by the notorious Nepali babu (Madan Puri).

The director uses symbolism to indicate the rest --- the pot Pushpa had tied to herself to end her life is shown sinking into the pond.

Pushpa is sold to a brothel in Kolkata. Like in most Hindi films, she can sing like an angel.

On the night of Pushpa's singing initiation at the kotha, a dhoti-clad businessman Anand Babu (Rajesh Khanna), is instantly drawn to her voice. Anand always has a quip on his lip and the odour of whiskey on his breath. Later, in a rather stagy and incongruously amateurish scene, Samanta establishes Anand's loneliness. His wife squanders her time at beauty parlours and parties.

Romance, spurred by their shared feeling of abandonment, quietly embraces the two lonely souls. Anand becomes Pushpa's regular (exclusive, it is suggested) client. With his odd mix of cynicism and charm, Anand helps Pushpa come to terms with her life.

Later, a widower (Sujit Kumar) from Pushpa's village moves into the neighbourhood with his son Nandu and second wife (Bindu). Harangued by his stepmother, Nandu is drawn to Pushpa. Anand and Nandu now complete Pushpa's dream family, but Pushpa's reverie proves shortlived.

Honouring his family's wishes, Pushpa snaps off her relationship with Anand. Soon, Nandu too shifts with his family to another city.

Years go by. Pushpa is now a greying, bent and constantly-abused dishwasher at a lowly restaurant. The film climaxes with a series of events vindicating Pushpa's struggle, sorrows and sacrifices. Pushpa's now-blinded husband dies in her arms. Anand babu, who has left 'wine, women and wife', returns to her life and orchestrates a meeting between Pushpa and Nandu, now a well-to-do engineer (Vinod Mehra). Nandu takes Pushpa home, symbolically, on the day when other people are taking Durga Ma's idols home.

Samanta's strong point is his ability to draw us directly into his characters' lives. Though he resorts to a surfeit of cliches in establishing Pushpa's relationship with Nandu, he handles Pushpa's interdependent relationship with Anand Babu with commendable ease and maturity.

In a scene that showcases the filmmaker's sensitivity, Anand Babu suggests a boat ride to Pushpa when he senses her agitation at her mother's death. He assuages her with Bakshi's rare beauty Chingari koi bhadke, while she rests her head on his shoulders.

However, Samanta, in a bid to glorify Anand Babu in the climax, robs the film of some of its sensibility. The penultimate scene would have been far more effective if Nandu had offered to take Pushpa home without having to be prompted by Anand Babu.

Samanta tells the story of the people on the fringes of society with the assurance of one who has a keen insight into their minds. He dismisses people who make moral judgements at societal outcasts with: Tu kaun hai tera naam hai kya? Sita bhi yahan badnaam huyee [Who are you, what is your name? Even Sita was insulted here].

The film is unabashedly sentimental yet retains its poignancy. Pushpa has no legal or societal claim on either Anand or Nandu. Her predicament is captured in Anand's line, "Nandu se rishta? Agar koi apna na hokar bhi apna lage toh usse kya kehte hain?" [What is the relationship with Nandu? If someone is bound to you in spite of not being related to you, what do you call that?]

he rich emotional detail makes Amar Prem gripping.

Rajesh Khanna confidently swaggers through his role, letting the inner turmoil peek through the surface calm. He makes the most of his wry grin, pained eyes and softly delivered acerbic lines to make his well-crafted character come alive. On hindsight, one can see his bag of mannerisms --- crinkling eyes, nodding head --- in full play. Somehow at that time, they made him the embodiment of charm.

Sharmila Tagore plays a largely mute courtesan but her kohl-lined, tear-rimmed eyes speak volumes. Refreshingly, she conveys her sorrow also by resorting to a sardonic smile that is typically Sharmila.

Famous Dialogue:
Anand Babu: "Saline water... Pushpa, I hate tears. Inhe ponch dalo [Wipe them]."

*In the Bengali original, the role essayed by Rajesh Khanna (in the Hindi version) was enacted by Bengal's heartthrob Uttam Kumar.

*This film repeated the superhit Aradhana combination of Rajesh-Sharmila-Shakti Samanta. In fact, Shakti Samanta wanted to pair Rajesh-Sharmila in the Aradhana successor Kati Patang too, but due to Sharmila's pregnancy opted for Asha Parekh.

*The Anand Bakshi-R D Burman combination proved akin to chingaris being stoked into a blazing bonfire. Amar Prem serves as a beacon for one of the high points of seventies' music.

*Incidentally, R D Burman surrendered to image straitjacketing and sidestepped his favourite singer Asha Bhosle to give Lata Mangeshkar two still-remembered serious songs to sing.

Famous songs from Amar Prem
Doli mein bithai ke S D Burman
Raina beeti jaye Lata Mangeshkar
Chingari koi bhadke Kishore Kumar
Kuchh toh log kahenge Kishore Kumar
Yeh kya hua Kishore Kumar
Bada natkhat hai yeh Lata Mangeshkar

By Dinesh Raheja

Namak Haram A clash of the titans

Producer:-Rajaram,Satish Wagle,Jayendra Pandya
Director:-Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Music Director:-R D Burman
Stars:-Rajesh Khanna,Amitabh Bachchan,Rekha, Simi
Release Date:-23 November 1973

In 1964, Paramount produced a memorable Hollywood historical Becket, pitting two screen giants Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole against each other. The two thespians played best friends turned bitter foes.

Nine years later, Hrishikesh Mukherjee attempted a more contemporary interpretation with Namak Haram, starring two of Hindi cinema's most famous names --- seventies superstar Rajesh Khanna and the actor destiny had singled out to be his successor, Amitabh Bachchan.

Since Namak Haram was released late 1973 after Amitabh had already achieved stardom courtesy Zanjeer and Abhimaan, it was a momentous teaming up.

Namak Haram may talk a lot about the clash of opposing economic ideologies, but it works essentially because of the ever morphing human relationship between its two pivots.

he film begins with the promise of a prolonged flashback: Vicky (Amitabh), sporting a dash of grey in his hair, has been just released from jail. He is received by a sympatico Nisha (Simi) who, we learn as the spools unravel, was born with a golden spoon but propagates socialism.

On reaching home, Vicky meditates over Somu's (Rajesh Khanna) garlanded photograph. It does not leave you with much guess work about his character's culmination, but it is the perfect cue for a flashback.

Somu, a middle-class youth, and millionaire Vicky belong to two different strata of society. They are held together by their friendship. They wear identical shirts, share a whiskey bottle, lust after the same courtesan, and even do a stint of work for the same firm.

Unfortunately, the short-tempered Vicky gets embroiled in a spat with his moneybag father's (Om Shivpuri's) employee Bipinlal (A K Hangal). Bipinlal, a union leader, announces a strike. At his dad's insistence, a seething Vicky reluctantly apologises to Bipinlal.

A disturbed Somu hatches a plot to avenge Vicky's humiliation. He poses as a labourer called Chander, lives in the workers' basti, and starts working in Vicky's factory, to displace Bipinlal as the leader.

Hereafter, the story takes what one could possibly call a commercial break. Somu gets sentimental about a song penned by the cynical basti poet Alam (Raza Murad), and has a romance with a buxom basti girl Shyama (Rekha).

Somu then wins the workers' confidence after Vicky concedes to Somu's demands for a bonus. Bipinlal loses the union election to Somu. An elated Vicky wants to celebrate the momentous occasion with a glass of Chivas Regal. But Somu is too busy contemplating the morality of gulping down a mazdoor's day's earnings in one swig.

Somu's sympathies are now genuinely with the workers. Vicky, subconsciously influenced by his father's views that the middle class is ambitious and unreliable, begins to see Somu as a namak haram.

Beneath Vicky's acidic attack lies his pique at his friend seeming to have chosen the bastiwalas over him, and the director effectively makes this implicit.

Vicky's father, the master puppeteer, now delivers two blows. He blows Somu's cover and later gets him mowed down by a truck. Revolted by his father's ruthlessness, Vicky claims he masterminded the killing and hands himself to the police.

It is his way of making his father pay.

Namak Haram's dialogue makes abundant references to the class distinctions, the greedy capitalist, the role of politicians in encouraging discord and appeals for a more orderly world and a more even distribution of wealth, albeit without offering any concrete solutions.

It may ostensibly be a story about the class war but it is no dry economic treatise. The film is juiced up by its exploration of the mercurial yet binding relationship between the two friends.

Somu's pain at his divided loyalties and the conflict of interests are well brought out by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. So is the blend of love and hate that defines Vicky's relationship with his father. After destroying his father's dreams, Vicky says with all sincerity: "Dad, aap apna khayal rakhiyega."

Mukherjee does take his time to get the story off the ground. The development of the friendship and the boisterous scenes could have been more interestingly portrayed. Also, the shifts from scene to scene is puzzlingly old fashioned. The women sadly remain on the fringes.

Rajesh Khanna plays the conventional hero with charm and a sense for the grand gesture.

But Amitabh has a definite edge over him in this closely fought clash of the titans.

The film offers an early glimpse of Amitabh's intensity and his ability to play a role with uncanny authority. Watch him thunder at Om Shivpuri when he first gets to know of his attack on Rajesh: "Jo kuch bhi hua, woh mere aure uske beech mein hai, koi teesra beech main aaya toh [Whatever happened, that is between him and me. If a third comes between us]..."

If I were to single out one Amitabh scene, it would be his expression of impotent anger as he relives Rajesh's humiliation at the hands of the union leader. There are tears when he turns around and rarely have tears seemed more real on the Hindi screen.

Famous Dialogue:

Vicky: "Hai kisi maa ke laal mein himmat jo mere saamne aaye?"
(A lone Vicky's challenge to the dozens of workers who have beaten Somu to pulp)

Alam: "Jeene ki arzoo mein mare jaa rahe hai log, marne ki arzoo mein jeeye jaa raha hoon main."


* Amitabh won Filmfare's Best Supporting Actor Award for Namak Haram. Coincidentally, two years before, Amitabh had won Filmfare's Best Supporting Actor Award for Anand, a film also directed by Mukherjee and costarring Khanna.

* The same year, Amitabh Bachchan was also nominated in Filmfare's Best Actor category for Zanjeer but lost the award to debutante Rishi Kapoor for Bobby.

* Most of Amitabh's solo portions were shot before busy star Rajesh Khanna began shooting for the film.

* Rekha might not have had much to do in Namak Haram but her association with Hrishida proved profitable when he later cast her in Khoobsurat.

* Hrishikesh Mukherjee worked for the first time with the Anand Bakshi-R D Burman combination and was rewarded with three hit Kishore Kumar songs. Though Gulzar didn't get a chance to pen the lyrics, he wrote some easily accessible and scathing dialogues.

* It was the rare occasion when Asha's sister Usha Mangeshkar got an opportunity to duet with Asha.

Famous songs from Namak Haram
Song/ Singers
Sooni re sejariya saajan Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar
Diye jalte hain Kishore Kumar
Nadiya se dariya Kishore Kumar
Main shayar badnaam Kishore Kumar
Woh jhoota hai Kishore Kumar

By Dinesh Raheja