The late Manmohan Desai’s evergreen multistarrer “Amar Akbar Anthony” turned 43 on Wednesday, and the films talismanic hero Amitabh Bachchan resorted to discussing money matters a bid to show why the film still matters today.
The money that the 1977 superhit made on release, after adjusting inflation, would have crossed the box office haul of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”, claimed Big B.
“T 3544 -43 YEARS .. !!! .. ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ is estimated to have made Rs 7.25 crore in those days. Inflation-adjusted, it crosses the collections of Bahubali 2—The Conclusion today! #43YearsOfAmarAkbarAnthony,” Big B tweeted.
The 2017 release “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” has seen a lifetime domestic collection of over Rs 511 crore, according to the trade website koimoi.com. Wikipedia pits the global gross of “Bahubali 2” at a staggering Rs1,810 crore, adding that the film is the second-biggest Indian hit of all time, after Aamir Khan’s 2016 release, “Dangal”.
Well, box office realities of the 1970s and the 2000s are vastly different, but that does not take away from the endearing popularity of Manmohan Desai’s complete entertainment package that starred Bachchan along with a powerhouse commercial cast of the era. While Big B played the lovable local tough Anthony, the late Vinod Khanna was inspector Amar, and the late Rishi Kapoor played Akbar the romantic qawwal.
The film — a cocktail of comedy, action, romance and family drama — also starred Parveen Babi opposite Bachchan, Shabana Azmi opposite Khanna and Neetu Singh opposite Kapoor, with Pran, Nirupa Roy, Ranjeet, and Jeevan playing other interesting characters.
On Wednesday, Big B also shared an adorable picture from the sets of the film with his kids Abhishek and Shweta, which was clicked during a song shoot.
Sharing the black-and-white throwback photo on Instagram, Big B wrote: “SHWETA and Abhishek visit me on set of Amar Akbar Anthony .. shooting song ‘My name is Anthony Gonsalves’ .. at Holiday Inn Ball Room .. this pic on the beach front ..
43 YEARS of AAA , today .. !!!”
Amitabh Bachchan also revealed he was taken aback on hearing the title of the film.
“When Man ji came to narrate the idea to me .. and told me the Title .. I thought he had lost it .. at a time in the 70’s when film titles revolved around Behen Bhabhi and Beti , this one was so out of place .. BUT ..”
He continued: “It is reported that it did a business of 7.25 cr at that time .. inflation adjusted it crosses collections of Bahubali 2 .. say the sayers who do calculations. But fact is it did massive business .. did 25 weeks in 25 theatres in Mumbai alone .. or so they say .. Doesn’t happen now … gone are those days !!
Released on May 27, 1977, the film has superhit music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, with lyrics by Anand Bakshi. The film has screenplay by KK Shukla and some of the catchiest dialogues ever in Bollywood by Kader Khan. On release, the film turned out to be one of the biggest hits of 1977.
“Amar Akbar Anthony” narrated the story of three brothers whom fate separates from each other as well as their parents, and who are adopted by people of different faiths — a Hindu, a Muslim and a Christian. The commercial superhit is perhaps the best example of the larger-than-life masala formula that Manmohan Desai patented through a series of films in the seventies, which many directors tried replicating over the next decade or so.