Saturday, February 27, 2010


Thanks for checking out my list of my favourite 70s actresses, and for letting me know who your faves are! So now it’s time to talk about the guys… the men whose 70s movies I love.

• Rajesh Khanna

Rajesh Khanna’s film career was like a shooting star – brief but bright! In the years when he ruled the Indian box office (and hearts everywhere), it was pure mania.

I love 70s Rajesh – handsome, romantic, funny, and unique. He had a vibe that was just different from the other leading men of the time. I even love his trademark head-shake and the trademark RK ‘look’. Funky, fun and often more than a little camp, he captured ‘70s groove’ really well. He was a better actor than he’s given credit for these days. He was also usually good fun to watch, which is very important in my book.

Unfortunately, Rajesh’s lack of versatility as an actor (basically, he sucked at dishoom-dishoom), along with the rise of the ‘angry young man’ I’ll be talking about next, brought his reign as the King of Bollywood to a quick end in the 70s. And the less said about his more recent work, the better. I try very hard not to think about it!

• Amitabh Bachchan

No one can argue that the big B is a Bollywood icon. My darling mother, who was not a Bollywood fan, came across me watching ‘Do Aur Do Paanch’ a few years ago, and said to me, ‘how come that guy is in every Indian movie you watch?’ Mr. Bachchan is special to me because when I became re-acquainted with Bollywood about 5 years ago, he was one of the few Hindi film actors I remembered from my childhood. His camp action-adventure, ‘Mard’, was one of the first Hindi movies I saw as a child. And it’s interesting to think that even now, in his late 60s, he’s still going at it and dishing out great performances like his excellent turn as Auro in last year’s ‘Paa’ (he just won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performance).

Regardless of what one may think of him, his filmography alone is proof that his status as a legend of Hindi cinema is well-deserved. I personally love the guy – I love his passion for films, and how he flings his long limbs into every role with almost reckless abandon. I love his versatility and the intensity with which he tackles each role, even the silly ones. I love that distinctively deep voice, those lanky limbs and those dark and unconventionally handsome looks. I think he can be a little pompous, a little self-absorbed, and more than a little self-righteous, but I can live with those flaws. I may call his wife the most talented Bachchan, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the big B is very talented as well – and more importantly, he’s extremely committed to and focused upon his craft.

Anyway, Amit ji did a lot of really great films in the 70s, the decade in which his stellar career really took off. Often dark, brooding and intense, he deftly created his trademark ‘Angry Young Man’ persona. From Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Anand’ (1971), the film that really got him noticed, to ‘Kaala Pathar’ (1979), he did it all in the 70s: from OTT masala (‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ – his comedy in this is classic!), to marital drama (‘Abhimaan’, opposite his then-newlywed wife, Jaya Bhaduri), to moving melodrama (‘Mili’). He played a brooding poet (‘Kabhi Kabhie’), a tortured policeman (loved him in ‘Zanjeer’), hardened criminals (‘Sholay’, ‘Muqaddar ka Sikandar’, ‘Faraar’, ‘Deewaar', ‘Don’), a shy professor (‘Chupke Chupke’)… the list goes on and on…. He worked with the top directors, the hottest leading ladies, and some lesser-known names… and he left a lasting mark on the Bollywood of the 70s.

• Dharmendra

Now everyone knows that I adore Dharmendra… he’s the reason I started this blog! I could wax lyrical about all the reasons I love him, but I’ve done that many times before… so I’ll just point you to my post on his 70s career, if you haven’t read it yet… the 70s were my favourite decade when it comes to Dharmendra films, although as Bollyviewer commented, the quintessential Dharmendra decade is more like 1965 to 1975. Here's a funny screencap from 'Chupke Chupke':

• Rishi Kapoor

Rishi was such a sweetheart in the 70s. With those earnestly cute eyes and that impish smile, he was absolutely adorable - I always just want to hug him when I watch his 70s flicks. He had great screen presence and there was always something so sincere and likeable, so charming and personable, about him in those days. Sweetness aside though, in some of his roles, notably ‘Mera Naam Joker’, ‘Bobby’ and ‘Kabhi Kabhie’, he also captured youthful love, teenage lust and a generous helping of 70s rebellion in a way that no-one else did.

From his unforgettable debut as an awkward schoolboy becoming a man in his father Raj’s ‘Mera Naam Joker’; to his equally unforgettable role as the title character opposite a luminous Dimple Kapadia in ‘Bobby’; to his youthful and fun roles opposite future wife Neetu Singh (loved them together in ‘Khel Khel Mein’, 'Kabhi Kabhie’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Doosra Aadmi’ and others)… there are so many gems among Rishi’s 70s flicks, and I love them.

• Vinod Khanna

I like to call him sexy Vinod. Because that’s what he is! To be honest, when I watch his 70s films, the young Vinod Khanna doesn’t actually have to say or do anything to make me happy. Just looking at him – from those dark, intense, heavy-lidded, beautifully-framed, brown eyes, to the dimple in his chin, to his beautiful physique – that’s enough for me. When he doesn’t smile, he’s scorching hot. When he smiles, everything in his face lights up. He’s a gorgeous man, and as you can probably tell, I could talk about how hot he is for ages, but I’ll spare you… partly because I’ve probably embarrassed myself enough already, and partly because he’s a lot more than a pretty face.

He was a really good actor too in his heyday – from the learned and anguished friend of ‘Muqaddar ka Sikandar’; to the serious policeman of ‘Amar Akbar Anthony'; to the intensely, evil-but-hot bandit of ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’; to the stylish young stud of ‘Mere Tulsi Aangan Ki’, he just… gave all his roles that special touch… you know what, I give up - the truth is, I obviously can’t talk about this guy ‘seriously’. He just makes me melt. Sadly, I don't have many screencaps of sexy Vinod, and the pictures I've come across on the net don't do him justice; but happily, Veracious has lots of lovely ones here.

The indomitable Pran almost made this list – he was such an icon of the 70s! I love the villainous roles he played with such relish, always leaving his indelible mark on just about every film he did, even the really bad ones. I just LOVE Pran (cue gratuitous screencap)!

So, the women are done and the men are done... that’s it on my fave actors from the 70s. There are other actors from the 70s that I love: Sanjeev Kumar (brilliant actor!) and Parveen Babi (such a babe!), for example. Even Rishi’s uncle, Shashi Kapoor, who some of you are probably thinking I just forgot to mention! But hey, one must stop somewhere….

So… those are my favourite Bollywood actors from the 70s…. Who would you choose?


bollywooddeewana said...

Hmm i enjoyed going through this as well Sexy Vinod indeed, i'd add Jeetendra to my list there's just something about him i find so cute, plus i love his charisma, i'll also add Manoj Kumar for Dus Numbri i guess that's reason enough ;0)

and i'm so with you on Pran i saw Dharma (1973) recently and if you're a lover of Pran that's a film you MUST see

I love Amol Palekar as well he did lots of Guy Next door romantic roles check him out in 'Golmaal'& 'Choti si baat' amongst others where your beloved 'Dharema' make a cameo appearance in the 'Jaaneman Jaaneman' song

sophy said...

The one I'd swap in would be Sanjeev Kumar (for Vinod Khanna). Even before I knew anything about Bolly, I liked him and when youtube came along, my first searches were Sanjeev Kumar related. I think Sanjeev was a bigger star than Vinod but someone more knowledgable can correct me.
Rishi is a better actor than Shashi and i remember Rishi being very big in the 70s. So no other changes.

PS: What is RK's handshake?

sophy said...

Sorry you said RK's head shake. That's a little worn, it was good the first couple of times he did it. I completely agree about the screen presence. When Rajesh appeared you forgot about everyone else (unless she was Mumtaz).

Daddy's Girl said...

@bollywooddeewana: I'm so glad that you like Jeetendra - everyone else seems to slag him off! I like him a lot, he was very charming and a lot of fun to watch. Also love that you mentioned Manoj Kumar - yes, he was tres awesome in 'Dus Numbri'! The definition of cool. I quite like him as well. I like Amol Palekar but need to see a few more of his movies. Thanks so much for sharing your faves!

@Sophy: I do love Sanjeev, he was a truly brilliant actor, and I think you're right about him being a bigger star than Vinod in the 70s. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

bollyviewer said...

We have so many favorites in common! Dharam, Vinod and Rishi would make it to my list, too. Of course, my #1 would be Shashi, but the rest wouldnt be far behind. I guess I shouldnt hold Amitabh's later excesses against him. He was really good in the 70s and had so many good films. One day I'll give in and begin to like him (as long as I keep off Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag!)... I love Sanjeev Kumar too, but only the early 70s version. He tended to be awfully stylised in his acting, in later years. Others who'd make it to my list - Navin Nischol (so good looking and pretty understated in most films) and Kabir Bedi (not exactly a hero but so sexy).

Pran, like Ashok Kumar, is just timeless... They are favorites from any period!

Anishok said...

I definitely have to start branching out to the 70's!

P.S. Dharmendra looks so much like Sunny in that screencap! That's the first time I've really noticed the family resemblance.

Daddy's Girl said...

@Bollyviewer: Thanks for sharing some of your faves! Will have to look out for Navin more. What you said about Ashok Kumar and Pran is SO true - whatever the decade, they were awesome. And although he was great in the 70s, Amitabh has certainly done some terrible films since then, so I can definitely understand your feelings! For me, the fact that there is a mix of gems and duds in his more recent work keeps me liking him. There is 'RGV ki Aag' and 'Baghban' to be sure, but there's also 'Sarkar' and 'Paa'.

@Anishok: Have a great time with the 70s - there are so many good films from the era. The resemblance between young Amit ji and Abhi is striking. The big B has some powerful genes!

Erin Georgia said...

This is amazing, I love about these men... especially this line (Re: Amitabh): I love his passion for films, and how he flings his long limbs into every role with almost reckless abandon

Every time I watch him I just think, "Man, he has long limbs...look how they move!"

Rishi Kapoor is just adorable. He just looks so ernest that you can't help but want to squeeze him and hope some of that perpetual cuteness rubs off!

Daddy's Girl said...

Erin, that's exactly it about Rishi, so engagingly earnest... well, in the 70s anyway! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Uzo said...

Your mom said that?> LOL...My dad said the same thing and he also added - the other short one that is always crying - He meant Shah Rukh..LOL

Anyhoo.....Loving your list but Pran scared me oh....

Shashi Kapoor i loooooooooved and Rishi - tres dreamy....

Yeach - the Bachchan genes are mighty mighty strong...

Daddy's Girl said...

LOL... Uzo, your dad is hilarious! Poor SRK! You know, every time I think of us going to Mannat with those lovely yellow roses and our fan letters to 'our boo', I just can't help but smile. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful memory with me!

GKK said...

The greatest stars of the 70's were arguably, Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan.
Jeetendra's impact really began in the 80's and i tell you, Manoj kumar in Dus Numbri, is really Sheer Brilliance!!!Love him to bits.
In terms of villainy roles, i think prem chopra should greatly be considered alongside pran.He was really fun to watch.
You see, Sanjeev and Vinod were majorly second leads in their time, with of cos, holding their own as lead actors in movies of the 70's.
Sanjeev was widely regarded as an acting genius and gave solo hits like Khilona, Koshish, but the Boxoffice records suggests that Vinod Khanna was the Bigger Star!!

Daddy's Girl said...

Thanks for the great insights, GKK! You make a great point about Sanjeev Kumar and Vinod Khanna both being primarily second leads, with Sanjeev being recognised more as a acting genius, while Vinod was more commercial. I am also glad to see that Manoj Kumar's fabulous performance in 'Dus Numbri' is not unappreciated by others!

shreya shah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shreya said...

I loved your list about the favourite stars of the 70's.My favourite is PRAN and Ashok Kumar and hats-off to their jodi in many films of the 70's.

Daddy's Girl said...

Thanks so much for the comment, Shreya! I love PRAN so much, and Ashok Kumar is also one of my favourites, so thank you very much for mentioning him!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved rajesh khanna in his hay days so good looking his acting was very professional

Rishab Jain said...

Iam shocked about what sanjeev kumar is receiving treatments here. Off course he was bigger star than vinod , jeetender. In terms of acting he was better than rajesh khanna, Amitabh bachchan, Dharmendra. Sanjeev Kumar should replace vinod khanna in this list.

Unknown said...

In seventies and eighties Amitabh was undisputed king of Bollywood followed by Jeetendra and Dharmendra who had more Number of bigger hits than Rajesh khanna whose successful time faded out in 1974 with last 3 big hits Prem nagar, roti and Aap ki Kasam. While Jeetendra and Dharmendra has rows of big hits till the end of eighties