Film History, Movies, Tribute

The Best Hollywood-Bollywood Remakes (Copies) Ever – Part II


3. The Reincarnation of Peter Proud

This relatively lesser known film is the only one in the list that has the distinction of ‘inspiring’ a classic in Bollywood, which in turn, was ‘remade’ several years later, in 2008. To add to the confusion, our dear David Fincher is working on an official ‘remake’ of the original.

Karz (1980) Dir. Subhash Ghai, Starring Rishi Kapoor, Tina Munim, Simi Garewal & Pran

Karzzzz (2008) Dir. Satish Kaushik, Starring Himesh Reshammya, Urmila Matondkar, Danny

4. A Better Tomorrow

Aatish Dir. Sanjay Gupta, Starring Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Atul Agnihotri

5. On The Waterfront

Kabzaa Dir. Mahesh Bhatt, Starring Sanjay Dutt, Amrita Singh, Raj Babbar, Paresh Rawal

Ghulam Dir. Vikram Bhatt, Starring Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Rajit Kapur, Sharat Saxena

6. An Affair to Remember

Ok, a footnote here. The above film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, widely considered a classic, was itself a remake. Actually, both the films were directed by the same man. Leo McCarey. He made Love Affair in 1939, and 18 years later, made An Affair to Remember, based on the same script. One wonders why.

Mann Dir. Indra Kumar, Starring Aamir Khan, Manisha Koirala

7. West Side Story

Mere Apne Dir. Gulzar, Starring Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Meena Kumari, Asrani, Danny, Mehmood, Yogita Bali

( Mere Apne was an official remake of a Bengali Film called Aponjon, which itself was heavily influenced by West Side, with political undertones)

Josh Dir. Mansoor Khan, Starring Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Chandrachur Singh, Sharad Kapoor

To be continued…

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Film History, Movies, Tribute

The Best Hollywood-Bollywood Remakes (Copies) Ever


Have been unable to post much in the past weeks. Life has been throwing some nasty surprises. Anyways, let’s get down to business. Today’s list will cover Bollywood remakes/ (ahem) adaptations of Hollywood movies. Our filmmakers have always been inspired by Hollywood. Right from Raj Kapoor’s Chori Chori (1956) which had ‘elements of’ Frank Capra’s Clark Gable starrer It happened One Night (1934), to the more recent Kareena-Shahid Kapoor debacle Milenge Milenge (2010) which was a shoddy copy of John Cusack-Kate Beckinsale blockbuster Serendipity (2001).

Here goes:

1. The Godfather Inspirations:

Dharmatma (1975) Dir. Feroze Khan, Starring Feroze Khan (Michael Corleone), Prem Nath (Vito “The Godfather” Corleone) , Hema Malini & Rekha

Zulm Ki Hukumat (1992) Dir. Bharat Rangachary, Starring Dharmendra, Govinda, Shakti Kapoor, Paresh Rawal & Kimi Katkar

Aatank Hi Aatank (1995) Dir. Dilip Shankar, Starring Aamir Khan, Rajinikanth (Sonny Corleone), Juhi Chawla, Pooja Bedi

Aamir Khan and Rajinikanth in Aatank hi Aatank

2. James Bond Fan Club:

Golden Eyes Secret Agent 077 (1968) Dir. Kamal Sharma, Starring Sailesh Kumar, Mumtaz, Helen

Sailesh Kumar as Agent 077 in Golden Eyes Secret Agent 077

Aankhen (1968) Dir. Ramanand Sagar, Starring Dharmendra, Mala Sinha, Mehmood

Dharmendra as Agent Sunil in Aankhen

Inspector (1970) Dir. Chand, Starring Joy Mukherjee, Helen, Rajendra Nath

Joy Mukherjee as Agent 707 in "Inspector"

Agent Vinod (1977) Dir. Deepak Bahry, Starring Mahendra Sandhu, Asha Sachdev, K.N. Singh

Surakksha (1979) Dir. Ravikant Nagaich, Starring Mithun Chakraborty, Ranjeeta, Jeevan

Mithun as Agent Gopi/ Gunmaster G-9 in Surakksha

Wardaat (1981) Dir. Ravikant Nagaich, Starring Mithun Chakraborty, Kaajal Kiran, Shakti Kapoor, Kalpana Iyer

Bond 303 (1985) Dir. Ravi Tandon, Starring Jeetendra, Parveen Babi

Mr. Bond (1992) Dir. Raj N. Sippy, Starring Akshay Kumar, Sheeba, Pankaj Dheer

And, finally…this one’s more of a Jason Bourne clone:

Prince (2010) Dir. Kookie V Gulati, Starring Vivek Oberoi, Nandana Sen, Neeru Bajwa & Aruna Shields

…..to be continued

Film History, Movies, Tribute

Five All-Time Best Comedies in Hindi


 5. Hera Pheri (2000)

Hera Pheri

Priyadarshan’s breakout comedy caper was 2000’s surprise sleeper hit. A namesake of the 70s Big B starrer heist classic, it was the inspired rehash of a Malayalam film called Ramji Rao Speaking (1989), which was also remade in Tamil as Arangetra Velai (1990). It’s about a trio of buffoons, a woman (but of course), mistaken identity, and loads of cash… Paresh Rawal is still remembered for his stellar performance as Baburao Ganpatrao Apte, a myopic, foul-mouthed simpleton with a heart of gold.

4. Andaaz Apna Apna (1994)

Andaz Apna Apna

 In 1994, ace director Rajkumar Santoshi landed a casting coup that has not been bettered ever since, not even by Santoshi himself! Two of three reigning Khans of the time, Aamir and Salman Khan, co-starred in a crazy, madcap comedy called Andaaz Apna Apna. It was a box office bomb, but over the years, it has gained a strong cult following. The film was full of in-jokes and film references: the two leads were named “Amar” and “Prem” respectively, Paresh Rawal in a dual role of Ram Gopal Bajaj and Shyam Gopal Bajaj, Amar and Prem’s dads were named “Murli” and “Bankelal” respectivley (played by Jagdeep and Deven Varma), Shakti Kapoor starred as Crime Master Gogo (“Mugambo ka Bhatija”), Karishma Kapoor’s character was called “Raveena” disguised as Karishma, Raveena Tandon’s character was “Karishma” in the guise of Raveena…confused? Watch the film!

3. Half Ticket (1962)

Half Ticket

Back in the early 1960s, Kishore da was a major star. He was an acting, singing, dancing sensation. A true maverick. Half Ticket has him playing a young man, his mother, a 10 year old boy, a dancing girl… Add to it the dazzling presence of Madhubala in her prime, and you have a memorable classic in your hands.

2. Gol Maal (1979)

Gol Maal

Gol Maal is the story of the encounter between Bhawani Shankar, an old disciplinarian and idealist whose code of honor has a lot to do with sporting a moustache, and a young man named Ramprasad Sharma who gets a job at the former’s office. The inimitable chemistry between Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt forms the core of the movie. The fuming Dutt and the stuttering Palekar keep you in splits all throughout.

1. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

And then, the Baap of all black comedies. Who can forget the extended Mahabharat/Mughal/Ramayan stage play sequence? A satire on the corruption plaguing the media and nexus between real estate cartels and the government departments, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro was unsuccessful at the BO on release. But as time went by, quite a cult developed surrounding the film. And its on the rise. Amen!

Movies, Reviews

Top 5 ‘Lost’ Films that are not available on DVD


First things first: I am going to include only Indian films on the list – no Hollywood, no World Cinema. In India, there are scores of films that are not to be found anywhere now. It takes a Martin Scorsese to restore a gem of an Indian lost film : Kalpana (his Film Foundation is doing an excellent job of restoring World Cinema – do visit them here); we were never much into restoration or archiving anyways. However, I’ve picked some gems that are almost forgotten, very seldom talked about, apart from a few mentions on Blogosphere, here and there. Let’s begin:

1. Raakh (1989)

Aamir Khan’s debut as a lead actor (though it released later than Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, it was shot much earlier), the film  represented  many firsts – Aamir’s first actioner, Santosh Sivan’s debut as a cinematographer, Aditya Bhattacharya’s (son of yesteryear director Basu Bhattacharya. He’d dabbled with acting six years  prior, in Shyam Benegal’s Mandi, playing Smita Patil’s rebellious young lover) maiden directorial venture. Aamir showed clear signs of what was to resurface 12 years later, but the one who took the cake was Pankaj Kapur. In a National Award (Best Supporting Actor) winning performance as the neurotic cynical cop who set out on a self-destructive path, the immensely talented actor went on a rampage (literally) before the camera. Incidentally, the film won Aamir his first National Award too. Raakh is not available anywhere on DVD or otherwise, except a VHS transfer downloadable on Torrent sites. In early 2009, there was a lot of media hullabaloo over Aamir releasing the film on DVD along with a theatrical release, in collaboration with Palador. The project hasn’t been heard of ever since. The good news is, Aditya Bhattacharya is working on a 20th Anniversary DVD release – he’s already unveiled a Redux version (remember Apocalypse Now Redux?)

2.  English, August (1995)

Dev Benegal (Road, Movie) broke into the film making scene with his adaptation of the eponymous novel by Upamanyu Chatterjee (brilliant author; one of the most well known and talented Indian writers who wrote in English, in an age devoid of Chetan Bhagats). The film marked the debut of another extremely gifted artist: Rahul Bose. It spoke of an Indian Administrative Service official and his years in an extremely hot and humid fictional village called Madna. English, August is not available on DVD or otherwise; Benegal mentions in his blog that the negatives have been damaged because of poor storage at Prasad Labs at Chennai.

To be continued…