This blog comes up with a whole lot of Bollywood trivia every now and then. So, no surprises as a few more of them come up. Except this time, all of these are excerpted from mails I have received from just one person!
To start with, here are a few subject lines from my inbox!
1. Scenes depicting bikini-clad ladies from Hindi movies
2. Filmography: Suresh Oberoi
3. List of Jungle Movies
4. Filmography: Huma Khan
5. Filmography: Satyen Kappu
6. Any other Tarzan movie you know of?
7. List of movies released in 1992
8. Movies dubbed in Hindi
9. Subhash Ghai’s films as an actor
And then, excerpts from some random mails over eight years:
First up, a short bio of an actress who changed her name!
An acting graduate from FTII, Rehana Sultana shocked the nation by stripping in her very first film: BR Ishara's 'Chetna'(1970). It was about a boy from a decent middle class background falling in love with a call girl and wanting to marry her. Anil Dhawan played the obsessed lover. 'Chetna' was a hit. So was Rehana Sultana.
Followed Rajendra Singh Vedi's 'Dastak' (1970), another film which got 'A' (For Adults Only) certificate from the censors. It had Sanjeev and Rehana, a newly married couple, being conned into becoming tenants in a kholi, located in a red light area. ‘Dastak’ won laurels, Urvashi Award for Rehana and also brickbats for an unconventional theme.
Her third film 'Man Tera Tan Mera' (1971) too got an 'A' certificate.
Unfazed, Rehana deleted the A from Sultana, became Rehana Sultan and declared, "I have donated the A from my name to Censor Board!"
There were more films. Eventually, Rehana fell in love with her director-mentor B R Ishara, married and retired.
Second, a story on how a top star of the day was conned and by whom!
'Mr X' was inspired by 'The Invisible Man'. In a way, one can consider this to be the mother of Shekhar Kapur’s 'Mr India'! The film had all those tricks - invisible man smoking a cigarette, furniture moving on its own and pistol hanging in air and scaring the villains.
What made 'Mr X' remarkable is a little trick Nanabhai Bhatt and the producer G.P.Sippy played on Ashok Kumar, the 'hero' of this film. Kumar was signed on a daily fee of Rs 1000.
Under some pretext, a smart Bhatt shot the first shots and the climax with him on the same day. And as Mr X was masked throughout the film, a duplicate did rest of the film! The duplicate was Mehmood who, later, rose to become the most successful comedian in the industry!
Ashok Kumar was sore. The amount he had got for doing this entire film was even less than his earnings from Bombay Talkies for his first film! But he was helpless. Moreover 'Mr X' was a hit! From this day onwards he and most of the stars refuse to shoot for climax till they are paid all their dues.
When Bhatt was quizzed he quipped, “Everything is fair in business.” No wonder the sons he has left behind - Mahesh, Mukesh, Parveen and Robin - are as shrewd.
Among Bhatt’s better known films are 'Sindbad the Sailor', 'Zimbo Comes to Town', 'Veer Ghatotkach', 'Rocket Girl' and 'Kangan’.
A letter from him to celebrate the first signs of a Bengali takeover of Hollywood!
Finally, Bengalis have arrived! My dream is to see a Bengali playing Bond - asking for a Vodka Martini, wearing Dhuti on a Bijoya Dasami afternoon as someone has hidden a nuclear bomb inside the Asur's gut. Not exactly there yet, but good progress.
Remember the guy who played the Doctor in MI6 headquarters who was instructing Bond on how to use the defibrillator as Bond was having a heart attack? That guy is our very own Paul Bhattacharjee - I bet his first name is Palash!
This is the 2nd most important day in Bengali history (first one was when Rabi Thakur returned his Knighthood). Whoo hooo!!!
And finally, a mail from somebody else describing a 'classic' film. But it actually describes him amazingly well!
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 3:11 PM
Junta, kal ek itnaa fart movie dekhaa, ki U people can't even imagine! Seriously is se jyaada bakwaas-shit movie aaj tak kisine banaayaa hi nahi hogaa! The name is "Agni-Chakra" *-ing Govinda, Dimple, Nasirudin Shah, and Anupam Kher whose voice has been dubbed by some general Tapori! Usme there is a shady-chap the villain who presides over as the chairman of "University of Crime". For Masochist juntaa (especially Nilendu, but chances R U must've seen it before), this one is not 2 B missed! Eeeegadd! The Pits! Zaroor dekho! Seriously if U feel that there could be any other movie which can beat this one, let me know!
Why did I collect all these mails over the last one week, postponing the much-awaited restaurant post? Well, its the God's birthday. And His pearls deserve to be showcased.
Happy Birthday, Nilendu. Awaiting your next mail.