'Casting Coup' is a term generally used when two or more big stars come together in a film. In the 80s Ramesh Sippy brought Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan together in SHAKTI. Later Subhash Ghai in the 90s brought Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar in SAUDAGAR and then Aditya Chopra got Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan together in MOHABBATEIN. But do you know which filmmaker holds the record of creating the ‘First Casting Coup' in India?
Well, he is none other than eminent filmmaker Mehboob Khan, who made India's greatest magnum opus MOTHER INDIA, India's first film to enter into Oscar Award's Best Foreign Language Film in 1958 and winning the nomination amidst best five categories.
Readers may wonder Mehboob Khan's ANDAZ (1949) to be India's ‘First Casting Coup' as it boasted of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Nargis but prior to this Mehboob Khan had created a bigger ‘Casting Coup' by roping two actress-cum-singing sensations of that era viz. Suraiya and Noor Jehan, who was regarded as ‘Mallika-e-Tarannum' (Queen of Melody) in his movie musical blockbuster ANMOL GHADI (1946)
When Mehboob Khan announced ANMOL GHADI the nation was set on fire as film buffs waited with bated breath to watch the two beautiful actresses together, who were also great singers!
Till the film got released, spicy gossips about the two actresses circulated in media, so much so that betting punters minted money with film buffs betting on who would be better than the other!
When the film hit the theatres, it was Noor Jehan who stood out with four super-hit songs, including the all-time classic ‘Aawaz de kahan hai...', while Suraiya had to remain contended with just one hit ‘Socha tha kya, kya ho gaya...' Suraiya would have just remained one of the actresses, had Noor Jehan not migrated to Pakistan.
The following years after Partition, namely 1948 and 1949, proved to be fruitful for Suraiya, who gave three super-hits in a row - PYAAR KI JEET, DILLAGI and BADI BEHEN - and became the highest paid actress of her time. She became so popular that leading heroes were eager to work with her.
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