Monday, February 25, 2013

Manmohan Desai the original showman of Bollywood

Manmohan Desai the original showman of Bollywood

Today is the birth anniversary of Manmohan Desai, a producer, director who gave us big blockbusters in the 1980s.  The original poor man's showman, his films had the panache and elan.  Today we remember this great producer/director with fondest memories.

Manmohan Desai started this career with Chhalia in 1960.  Thereafter he never looked back.  Working as a Director for his Producer Brother, Subhash Desai, he gave us hits like  Bluff Master, Dharam Veer, and Desh Premee.

He didn't believe in story telling as a drab routine, rather he flourished in risque scenes which appealed to the Indian cine fans that he delivered blockbuster after blockbuster.  Amitabh, who at that time was potrayed as angry young man in his earlier films like Zanzeer was succcessfully launched into the common mans hero mould by Manmohan Desai with films like Amar Akbar Anthony, Naseeb and Suhaag.

The term multi starrer film was started by him with huge star casts and 70 mm stereophonic sound.  The Indian public at that time lapped up every thing he dished out.  Toofan in the later part of his life which he coincidentaly just produced, was perhaps the only film which failed at the box office.  His filmography includes super hits like Dharam Veer with Dharmendra and Jeetendra and Amar Akbar Anthony with Amitabh, Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor.  He beautifully wove a secular story in to his films with majority of films having a cross religion friendship plot.  In a way it helped India at that time to find something common with his films.

After Toofan in 1989, which failed at the box office, he vanished from the public domain and suddenly one day on 1 March 1994, an ailing Manmohan Desai committed suicide at his home in Khetwadi by jumping from the building that he owned, near Grant Road, Mumbai. 

The very producer director who gave us multi starrer films died a very lonely death.  It is said that he suffered a chronic back pain which caused him to attempt suicide.  But anyways today is his birth anniversary and let us all pay the great man a handsome tribute with this video of song Shirdi Wale Sai Baba from Amar Akbar Anthony which is still popular.

The Bar Tender

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