47 years of Zanjeer: Interesting facts about the Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan starrer


Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan

Prakash Mehra’s directorial Zanjeer is surely one of the most memorable films in the history of Indian cinema. The movie starred Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan in the lead roles and Pran played a pivotal role in the film.

Today, Zanjeer completes 47 years of its release, so let’s look at some of the most interesting facts about the movie…

Zanjeer gave Amitabh Bachchan’s career the much-needed boost

Amitabh Bachchan is a megastar, but he didn’t have a great start in Bollywood. Big B started his career in 1969 with the film Saat Hindustani. He then starred in many films but apart from Anand and Bombay To Goa, most of them failed to make a mark at the box office. But it was 1973 release Zanjeer that gave Amitabh Bachchan’s career a boost and made him a star. After the movie’s release, he was regarded as the angry young man of Bollywood.

 

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Amitabh Bachchan was not the first choice for the film

While Big B became a star after Zanjeer, not many would know that he wasn’t the first choice for the movie. Dharmendra was the first choice for the film, but he later opted out of it. Then the film was offered to other actors like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Raaj Kumar. However, finally, Amitabh Bachchan was roped in on the recommendation of writers Salim-Javed and Pran.

Jaya Bachchan was also not the first choice for the movie

Before Zanjeer, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan had starred together in films like Bansi Birju and Ek Nazar. Well, Jaya Bachchan was also not the first choice for the film. The movie was first offered to Mumtaz. It is said that Zanjeer was announced with Dharmendra and Mumtaz in the lead roles. But after Dharmendra, Mumtaz also opted out of the film and Jaya Bachchan was roped in.

No financers and distributors for Zanjeer

It is said that it was difficult for Prakash Mehra to find financiers and distributors for Zanjeer and the reason was Amitabh Bachchan. The financers and distributors were not much happy with Mehra opting to cast Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role as he had given many flops and wasn’t a big name then.

Not one or two, but four remakes

We all know that in 2013 director Apoorva Lakhia remade Zanjeer with Ram Charan and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles, and Sanjay Dutt stepped into the shoes of Pran for the film. But well, before the 2013 release, Zanjeer was remade thrice in different languages. In 1974, Zanjeer was remade as Nippulanti Manishi (Telugu) and Sirithu Vazha Vendum (Tamil). While N.T. Rama Rao played the lead role in the Telugu remake,  M. G. Ramachandran stepped into Big B’s shoes for the Tamil remake. In 1980, the film was remade in Malayalam titled Naayattu. Jayan played the lead role in Malayalam remake.