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11 Amitabh Bachchan classics at cinemas to mark his 80th birthday; here’s a ready reckoner

Jointly organised by Film Heritage Foundation and PVR Cinemas, the retrospective covers Bachchan films from 1973 to 1982

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 08.10.22, 02:38 PM
Amitabh Bachchan will celebrate his 80th birthday on October 11

Amitabh Bachchan will celebrate his 80th birthday on October 11 IMDb

Amitabh Bachchan will celebrate his 80th birthday on October 11. To mark this special occasion, a one-of-a-kind film festival titled ‘Bachchan: Back to the Beginning’ is being held from October 8 to 11. As part of the festival, 11 Bachchan classics are being screened across 30 screens at 22 cinemas in 19 cities in India.

Compiled by archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, founder-director of Film Heritage Foundation, the list covers films that had been released in the theatres between 1973 and 1982. The retrospective is being jointly held by Film Heritage Foundation and PVR Cinemas.


Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Raipur, Kanpur, Kolhapur, Prayagraj and Indore are among the cities that will host the film festival. In Kolkata, the 11 Bachchan films are being screened at the PVR multiplex in Mani Square Mall, at 3pm on October 8, 9, 10 and 11. Tickets have been priced between Rs 150 and 250.

Here’s a ready reckoner of the films being screened in this special festival.

Abhimaan (1973): Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, this film is a sensitive take on marriage and explores what could happen when the wife is as talented as the husband. Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan play Subir and Uma, who are singers. Subir, with an established career as a singer, encourages Uma to take up singing professionally after their marriage. But when her career begins to soar, cracks begin to surface in their marriage. A cult classic, Abhimaan has inspired several spin-offs over the years.

Deewar (1975): Written by Salim-Javed and directed by Yash Chopra, Deewar is emblematic of Bachchan’s ‘angry young man’ image. It tells the story of two brothers, played by Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor, who are on two sides of the law. On the one hand is Bachchan’s Vijay, who has taken to a life of criminal activities to support his family and sacrificed his own education for his brother. On the other is Kapoor’s Ravi, a cop who finds himself in a bind, with orders to catch his elder brother.

Mili (1975): Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Mili is a romantic drama and an emotional roller coaster starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Ashok Kumar. This is a love story revolving around a young girl Mili (Jaya), who is suffering from an incurable disease. Her neighbour (played by Bachchan), who has taken to alcohol to battle depression, falls in love with her. What happens when he finds out about her ailment? Watch the movie to find out.

Chupke Chupke (1975): A remake of the Bengali film Chhadmabeshi, this Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore and Jaya Bachchan is remembered for the comedy of errors that ensues when Bachchan disguises as Dharmendra’s character, Prof Parimal Tripathi, and Parimal disguises as a driver. Witty dialogues and heartwarming performances aside, Chupke Chupke makes the most of Bachchan’s comedic talent.

Kabhi Kabhie (1976): Directed by Yash Chopra, this romantic drama starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Rakhee and Waheeda Rehman is a story of unrequited love and heartbreak. Bachchan’s Amit Malhotra is an upcoming poet who stops writing poetry when the love of his life, Pooja (Raakhee), is married off to an architect (Shashi Kapoor). Several years later, life brings Amit and Pooja face to face and it causes an upheaval in their lives. Composed by Khayyam, the soundtrack of this film is still remembered for the haunting songs, especially Bachchan’s recitation in Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein.

Amar Akbar Anthony (1977): Written by Kader Khan and directed by Manmohan Desai, this 1977 blockbuster stars Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor. A story of three brothers separated in childhood, who are adopted by three separate families following Hinduism, Islam and Christianity respectively, the film is a landmark in Hindi cinema. Bachchan’s My Name is Anthony Gonsalves song-and-dance routine was a high point of Seventies’ pop culture.

Don (1978): Written by Salim-Javed and directed by Chandra Barot, the 1978 blockbuster is a cult classic starring Amitabh Bachchan in double roles. Don (played by Bachchan) is a wanted criminal who gets killed in a police encounter. Vijay, a simpleton who looks like Don, replaces him and must manage the illegal activities of the deceased criminal. Bachchan aces both the roles with ease.

Kaala Patthar (1979): Directed by Yash Chopra, this iconic action drama is the story of Vijay Singh (Amitabh Bachchan), a disgraced former navy officer who now works as a coal miner. Branded a coward, he seeks redemption. However, things take a turn as he gets trapped with other miners after a flood hits the coal mine.

Kaalia (1981): Written and directed by Tinnu Anand, this 1981 action thriller tells the story of Kaalia, played by Amitabh Bachchan, who is sucked into the world of crime because of a tragic turn of fate. Vengeance is his sole aim in life. This iconic film further cemented Bachchan’s ‘angry young man’ avatar among the masses.

Namak Halaal (1982): Written by Kader Khan and directed by Prakash Mehra, this 1982 film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Smita Patil and Parveen Babi was a comedy blockbuster. Bachchan’s antics as Arjun Singh, a hotel bellboy who’s always safeguarding the interests of his employer, turned it into a laugh riot. Arjun Singh’s ‘I can talk English, I can walk English, I can laugh English because English is a very phunny language’ remains a memorable Bachchan dialogue.

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