Amar Akbar Anthony
|Amar Akbar Anthony|
|Directed by||Manmohan Desai|
|Written by||Kader Khan (dialogue)|
K. K. Shukla (scenario)
|Screenplay by||Prayag Raj|
|Story by||Jeevanprabha M. Desai|
Pushpa Sharma (story idea)
|Produced by||Manmohan Desai|
|Starring||Amitabh Bachchan |
|Edited by||Kamlakar Karkhanis|
Anand Bakshi (lyrics)
|Distributed by||Hirawat Jain & Co.|
|Box office||est. ₹155 million (equivalent to ₹3.7 billion or US$46 million in 2020)|
Amar Akbar Anthony is a 1977 Indian Hindi-language masala film directed and produced by Manmohan Desai and written by Kader Khan. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and opposite their female leads of Parveen Babi, Shabana Azmi and Neetu Singh and with Nirupa Roy, Pran Sikand and Jeevan Dhar in supporting roles. The plot focuses on three brothers separated in childhood who are adopted by families of different faiths: Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. They grow up to become respectively a police officer, a qawwali singer, and an owner of a country bar.
The soundtrack album was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and the lyrics were written by Anand Bakshi. The film was released on 27 May 1977 and earned ₹155 million (equivalent to ₹3.7 billion or US$46 million in 2020) at the Indian box office, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film of that year, alongside Dharam Veer and Hum Kisise Kum Naheen.
Religious tolerance became a landmark theme in Bollywood masala films, building on the masala formula pioneered a few years earlier by Nasir Hussain's Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973). Amar Akbar Anthony also had a lasting impact on pop culture with its catchy songs, quotable one-liners, and the character of Anthony Gonsalves (played by Bachchan). It won several awards at the 25th Filmfare Awards, including Best Actor, Best Music Director and Best Editing. It was later remade in Tamil as Shankar Salim Simon (1978), in Telugu as Ram Robert Rahim (1980), and in Malayalam as John Jaffer Janardhanan (1982). In Pakistan, the film was unofficially remade in Punjabi as Akbar Amar Anthony (1978).
Amar Akbar Anthony is the story of three brothers separated in childhood who grow up in the families of different religions respectively and fate reunites them in adulthood.
The film begins on the Independence Day of India with Kishanlal Tripathi (Pran) a poor simpleton, being released from prison who had took the blame of a fatal car accident and was thus arrested by the police. In reality, the crime was committed by his employer Robert D'Souza (Jeevan), a notorious crimelord for whom Kishanlal worked as a chauffeur. Despite Robert's assurance that his family will be paid money thrice his salary after his arrest, Kishanlal is shocked to learn upon returning home that his wife Bharati Tripathi (Nirupa Roy) is suffering from tuberculosis while his three infant sons are starving badly from hunger. He angrily visits Robert's mansion and blames him for his wife's illness and children's starvation, begging him to offer him some help. Instead, Robert humiliates Kishanlal and orders his gang members to kill him. However, Kishanlal fights against Robert's gang members and manages to escape from one of his cars loaded with smuggled gold bullion. He returns home to find his sons abandoned by Bharati who has left a suicide note, saying that she does not wish to live with the money he is paid by wrongdoings.
Pursued by Robert's gang members, Kishanlal takes his sons to the Borivali National Park where he leaves them near the Mahatma Gandhi statue for safety, and drives off to outrun Robert's gang members. He and the sons are presumed dead in an exploding car accident by both the gang members and the police. Following her suicide attempt, Bharati is struck blind by a falling branch as a sign of punishment from the deity for abandoning her sons.
In the park, the oldest son runs behind Kishanlal's car and is hit by the car of Robert's gang members. A Hindu police officer named Superintendent Khanna (Kamal Kapoor) finds him unconscious on the streets and takes him away. The middle son leaves in search of food for his crying baby brother. A Muslim tailor named Mr. Ilahabadi (Shivraj) finds the youngest son "abandoned" and takes him in as his son. Finding himself alone, the middle son falls asleep on the steps of a catholic church. A Christian priest named Father Gonsalves (Nazir Hussain) finds Bharati's suicide note in his pocket and adopts him. Meanwhile, Bharati is rescued and dropped off home by Mr. Ilahabadi, but is unfortunately not able to recognize her youngest son due to her lack of sight. She is devastated to learn from the police that Kishanlal and the sons died in the car accident. Kishanlal, having survived the car accident, returns to the park with Robert's gold bullion but finds his sons gone. In retaliation, he swears vengeance on Robert upon believing that he has lost his entire family.
22 years later, the three sons are now shown grown up with different names, religions and professions in Mumbai; the oldest son is now shown as a Hindu police officer named Amar Khanna (Vinod Khanna), the youngest son is now shown as a Muslim singer of qawwali named Akbar Ilahabadi (Rishi Kapoor), and the middle son is now shown as a Christian owner of a country bar named Anthony Gonsalves (Amitabh Bachchan). As fate would have it, the trio meet each other and become friends when they donate blood to a blind flower-seller meeting with a hit-and-run accident, unaware that she is their mother Bharati. Meanwhile, Kishanlal is now shown as a wealthy crimelord as he had used the gold bullion to form his own syndicate and hire Robert's gang members, driving him out of his business and forcing a penniless Robert to work for him. It is also revealed that in order to avenge his separation from his family, Kishanlal had kidnapped Robert's infant daughter and taken her in as his niece, and that she has just returned to India after studying abroad.
During a police raid on one of his hideouts, Kishanlal and his gang members are forced to leave from the place, allowing Robert to escape with a shipment of smuggled gold bullion and shoot Superintendent Khanna non-fatally in the process as he tried to arrest him. Meeting up with Robert, Anthony hides him from the police and helps him escape, unaware about his crimes. This results in Anthony being interrogated about Robert's whereabouts by both Amar and Kishanlal. He eventually feels guilty after learning from Amar that Robert shot Superintendent Khanna.
As the story unfolds, each of the protagonists find themselves falling in love; Amar falls in love with a forced crook named Lakshmi Anand (Shabana Azmi) after arresting her abusive stepmother (Nadira), Akbar falls in love with a beautiful physician named Salma Ali (Neetu Singh) whose grumpy father Taiyyab Ali (Mukri) disapproves of their relationship, and Anthony falls in love with Robert's daughter Jenny D'Souza (Parveen Babi) during a church sermon on Easter Sunday. Using the stolen gold bullion, Robert regains his position as a crimelord and hires new gang members, planning to retrieve Jenny and seek revenge from Kishanlal.
Eventually, Robert and his gang members bump into Bharati and attempt to pursue her. While trying to escape from Robert, Bharati reaches a festival hosted by Akbar honoring the Sai Baba of Shirdi where she miraculously regains her eyesight. During her visit to Akbar's house, Mr. Ilahabadi recognises her as the woman whom he had rescued from the falling branch and dropped off home 22 years ago. At this point, Bharati sees Akbar's childhood photograph and learns that he is her youngest son. After being held hostage in the hospital by Robert, Salma and Taiyyab Ali find themselves in a house fire arranged by some prostitutes who worked under Taiyyab Ali. Akbar rescues them both and a grateful Taiyyab Ali gives blessings to Akbar and Salma's relationship. Due to Salma's information, both Akbar and Amar learn that they are brothers and that Kishanlal and Bharati are their parents, having an emotional reunion with them.
However, things take a drastic turn when Jenny's bodyguard Zebisco (Yusuf Khan) betrays her and sells her out to Robert in exchange of her hand in marriage. Father Gonsalves sees Robert and Zebisco kidnapping Jenny and tries to rescue her. Unfortunately, Robert stabs him fatally with his knife and succeeds in taking Jenny to his house. Lakshmi is also kidnapped and taken to Robert's house as hostage by her stepbrother Ranjeet Anand (Ranjeet Bedi), who happens to be one of the gang members of Robert. After learning what happened to Father Gonsalves, Anthony learns through Bharati's old suicide note that Amar and Akbar are his brothers and that Kishanlal and Bharati are his parents.
With the knowledge that they are related and after learning the while chain of incidents, the brothers are determined to make Robert pay for his crimes. They disguise themselves as a musician, an elderly tailor and a catholic priest respectively and enter Robert's house along with Salma, who pretends to be Akbar's wife. After their dance performance, the trio reveal themselves to Robert and the gang members and fight against them all. Eventually, the police are called in at the scene by Lakshmi, Salma and Jenny and have Robert and the gang members arrested and sent to prison for their crimes. However, Bharati is distraught to learn that Kishanlal is also arrested and sent to prison by the police for his past crimes. From inside the prison, Kishanlal expresses his happiness about gaining his three long-lost sons again along with three daughters-in-law as well. He is thus released from prison by Superintendent Khanna only to let him embrace Amar, Akbar and Anthony. The film ends with the three brothers happily driving in the sunset along with their respective love interests.
- Vinod Khanna as Amar Khanna (born Amar Tripathi); Akbar and Anthony's older brother, Lakshmi's love interest turned husband, Salma and Jenny's brother-in-law, Kishanlal and Bharati's biological oldest son
- Rishi Kapoor as Akbar Ilahabadi (born Raju Tripathi); Amar and Anthony's younger brother, Salma's love interest turned husband, Lakshmi and Jenny's brother-in-law, Kishanlal and Bharati's biological youngest son
- Amitabh Bachchan as Anthony Gonsalves (born Chhotu Tripathi); Amar's younger brother, Akbar's older brother, Jenny's love interest turned husband, Lakshmi and Salma's brother-in-law, Kishanlal and Bharati's biological middle son
- Shabana Azmi as Lakshmi Anand / Lakshmi Khanna; Amar's love interest turned wife, Akbar and Anthony's sister-in-law, Salma and Jenny's co-sister, Kishanlal and Bharati's oldest daughter-in-law
- Neetu Singh as Salma Ali / Salma Ilahabadi; Akbar's love interest turned wife, Amar and Anthony's sister-in-law, Lakshmi and Jenny's co-sister, Kishanlal and Bharati's youngest daughter-in-law
- Parveen Babi as Jenny D'Souza / Jenny Gonsalves; Anthony's love interest turned wife, Amar and Akbar's sister-in-law, Lakshmi and Salma's co-sister, Kishanlal and Bharati's middle daughter-in-law, Robert's estranged daughter
- Nirupa Roy as Bharati Tripathi; Kishanlal's wife, Amar, Akbar and Anthony's biological mother, Lakshmi, Salma and Jenny's mother-in-law
- Pran as Kishanlal Tripathi; Bharati's husband, Amar, Akbar and Anthony's biological father, Lakshmi, Salma and Jenny's father-in-law
- Jeevan as Robert D'Souza; Kishanlal's archenemy, Jenny's estranged father
- Yusuf Khan as Zebisco; Jenny's bodyguard
- Ranjeet Bedi as Ranjeet Anand; Lakshmi's stepbrother
- Kamal Kapoor as Superintendent Khanna; Amar's foster father
- Shivraj as Mr. Ilahabadi; Akbar's foster father
- Nazir Hussain as Father Gonsalves; Anthony's foster father
- Mukri as Taiyyab Ali; Salma's grumpy father
- Moolchand as Pedro; Robert's acquaintance
- Helen as the girl at the airport who is sent by Kishanlal to impersonate Jenny
- Nadira as Lakshmi's abusive stepmother
- Pratima Devi as Lakshmi's elderly grandmother
"You see the whole country of the system is juxtapositioned by the hemoglobin in the atmosphere, because you are a sophisticated rhetorician intoxicated with the exuberance of your own verbosity."
—Anthony Gonsalves, in his monologue preceding the "My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves" sequence
Amar Akbar Anthony has a cinematic antecedent in Yash Chopra's 1965 film Waqt, in which a father's three sons are separated from each other. Waqt also inspired the 1976 super-hit diamond jubilee Pakistani film Talash, starring Shabnam and Nadeem. However, Amar Akbar Anthony was slated to release in 1975, prior to Talash's release.
The character of Anthony Gonsalves was named after the famous composer and teacher of the same name, whose pupils included Pyarelal (of Laxmikant–Pyarelal, the composer duo of the film) and R. D. Burman. Director Manmohan Desai had planned for Amitabh's character to be named “Anthony Fernandes,” with Bakshi's song entitled “My Name is Anthony Fernandes.” However, the song didn't go well with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Composer Pyarelal then recalled his famous violin teacher and suggested that the character's last name be changed to “Gonsalves.” The nonsensical monologue preceding the "My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves" sequence was taken in part from a 1878 speech by British politician Benjamin Disraeli in reference to W. E. Gladstone.
Amar Akbar Anthony was Manmohan Desai's first film as an independent film producer. The film was shot over a month at Ranjit Studios in Mumbai. Some exterior and interior shots were filmed at the Mount Mary Church in Bandra, Mumbai and at the Don Bosco School, Wadala, Mumbai respectively. Shooting was scheduled so that the entire cast didn't have to appear together except for the climactic sequence and the title song ("Anhoni Ko Honi"), where they all perform as a group. However, the shooting went over schedule, which required Rishi Kapoor and Shabana Azmi to shoot their scenes separately so they could leave towards the end of production to work on other films.
Amar Akbar Anthony incorporates a strong element of secularism within a Bollywood masala film. Analysts such as Virdi (2003) and Kavoori & Punathambekar (2008) opine that the themes of Desai's "magnum opus" include religious pluralism and secular nationalism. Philip Lutgendorf hints that the separation of the three children on Indian Independence Day is akin to the Partition of India. Similarly, Vijay Mishra (2013) argues that the film reaffirmed India's "liberal ethos."  The three religions represented by the titular characters are the "pillars of the nation:" when they work together, they can restore life to their mother (represented when they donate blood during the opening title sequence) and beat any evil (symbolised by their common villain). The characters' reunion with their parents completes the nationalistic allegory, suggesting that what was lost at independence can be regained.
The film's masala style is evident in its plot and characters. According to Varia (2013), Amar Akbar Anthony was conceived as a tragedy but later incorporated many other genres. Dickson (2016) commented that the film featured a plot which would "give even Shakespeare migraines." Some authors also highlight the archetypal character of the suffering and self-sacrificing mother (Roy). However, Dinesh Raheja concludes that "ultimately, the show belongs to Amitabh Bachchan. In a tailor-made role, he has the audience in stitches. Despite his playing an implausible character, one quickly surrenders one's reservations in favour of a rollicking romp."
|Amar Akbar Anthony|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||7 January 1977|
|Genre||Feature Film Soundtrack|
|Label||Universal Music India|
Amar Akbar Anthony's soundtrack was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, with lyrics penned by Anand Bakshi. It proved as popular and successful as the film itself. The vinyl record, released on Polydor, was the first LP that was coloured pink.
Some of the biggest names in the Indian music industry of the time provided vocals for the film's songs. Four leading playback singers Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar, sang together for the first and only occasion in their careers on "Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyar." In this song Kishore sang for Amitabh Bachchan, Rafi sang for Rishi Kapoor, Mukesh for Vinod Khanna while Mangeshkar sang for Shabana Azmi, Neetu Singh, and Parveen Babi. The film also features a comical filmi qawwali entitled "Parda Hai Parda" ("There Is a Veil"), sung by Rafi. Other musical legends who worked on the film include Mahendra Kapoor and Shailendra Singh.
|1.||"Ye Sach Hai Koi Kahani Nahin"||Mohammad Rafi||02:22|
|2.||"Amar Akbar Anthony"||Kishore Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Shailendra Singh||05:52|
|3.||"Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyar"||Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar||07:33|
|4.||"Taiyabali Pyar Ka Dushman"||Mohammad Rafi||04:40|
|5.||"Parda Hai Parda"||Mohammad Rafi, Amit Kumar (Uncredited, one line)||07:59|
|6.||"Shirdi Wale Sai Baba"||Mohammad Rafi||05:52|
|7.||"My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves"||Kishore Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan||05:32|
The Emergency Period delayed the release of several of Manmohan Desai's films. As a result, four of Desai's films, Dharam Veer, Chacha Bhatija, Parvarish, and Amar Akbar Anthony, were released in 1977. Incidentally, all of these would be amongst the top-grossing films of the year.
For the film's marketing, erasers with the images of Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, and Amitabh Bachchan were sold to students. Posters, postcards, and song booklets of the film were sold in shops. Colorful vests and metal crosses that were similar to the ones worn by Bachchan in the film achieved popularity.
The film grossed ₹155 million (equivalent to ₹3.7 billion or US$46 million in 2020) at the Indian box office and was the highest-grossing Bollywood film at the Indian Box Office for the year 1977. It has since been regarded as one of the most iconic films of Indian cinema.
|Award||Category||Recipients and Nominees||Results|
|25th Filmfare Awards||Best Actor||Amitabh Bachchan||Won|
|Best Music Director||Laxmikant–Pyarelal|
|Best Editing||Kamlakar Karkhanis|
|Best Film||Manmohan Desai||Nominated|
|Best Lyricist||Anand Bakshi for "Parda Hai Parda"|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Mohammed Rafi for "Parda Hai Parda"|
- Booth, Gregory D. (2008). Behind the curtain: Making music in Mumbai's film studios. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-971665-4.
- Elison, William; Novetzke, Christian Lee; Rotman, Andy (2016). Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, brotherhood, and the nation. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674504486.
- Haham, Connie (2006). Enchantment of the mind: Manmohan Desai's films. Roli Books. ISBN 978-81-7436-431-9.
- Bhatia, Sidharth (2013). Amar Akbar Anthony: Masala, madness, and Manmohan Desai. HarperCollins Publishers India. ISBN 978-8172239350.
- Sadana, Rashmi (2 February 2012). English Heart, Hindi Heartland: The Political Life of Literature in India. University of California Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-520-26957-6. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
- Elison, William (4 January 2016). Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation. Harvard University Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-674-49599-9. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
- "Box office 1977". Box Office India. 2011. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Maderya, Kumuthan (22 June 2017). "From Amar Akbar Anthony to Baahubali: Whither Indian cinema's secularism?". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 22 September 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
- Dwyer, Rachel (2005). 100 Bollywood films. Lotus Collection, Roli Books. p. 14. ISBN 978-81-7436-433-3. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016.
- Sharma, Devansh (2 November 2018). "Yaadon Ki Baaraat: Nasir Hussain's 1973 potboiler initiated Hindi cinema's transformation into 'Bollywood'". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
- Manwani, Akshay (8 January 2018). "Yaadon Ki Baaraat: The quintessential bollywood film". Daily News and Analysis. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
- ET Bureau (20 September 2008). "Transcending language barrier". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Rabe, Nate (2 September 2017). "Sounds of Lollywood: The big difference between 'Amar Akbar Anthony' and its Pakistani rip-off". Scroll. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
- Heyman, Michael; Satpathy, Sumanyu; Ravishankar, Anushka (2007). The tenth rasa: An anthology of Indian nonsense. Penguin Books India. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-14-310086-7. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014.
- Dasgupta, Rohit K.; Datta, Sangeeta (2019). 100 essential Indian films. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 6. ISBN 9781442277984.
- "Talash". Pakistan Film Magazine. n.d. Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- "Excerpt: Amar Akbar Anthony". Mint. 3 August 2013. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Roy, Gitanjali (8 May 2013). "10 things you didn't know about Amar Akbar Anthony". NDTV Movies. Archived from the original on 15 July 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- Booth, p. 3
- Booth, p. 5
- San Miguel, Helio (2012). Mumbai. World Film Locations. Intellect Books. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-84150-632-6.
- Mohamed, Khalid (31 January 2018). "Muslims in the movies: The good, the bad, and the Khilji". The Quint. Archived from the original on 2 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Virdi, Jyotika (2003). The cinematic imagiNation: Indian popular films as social history. Rutgers University Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8135-3191-5.
- Kavoori, Anandam P.; Punathambekar, Aswin (2008). Global Bollywood. NYU Press. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-8147-2944-1.
- Lutgendorf, Philip (2014). "Amar Akbar Anthony". Indian cinema. University of Iowa. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Mishra, Vijay (2013). Bollywood cinema: Temples of desire. Routledge. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-135-31099-8.
- Damsteegt, Theo, ed. (2003). Heroes and heritage: The protagonist in Indian literature and film. Leiden University. p. 217. ISBN 978-90-5789-090-1.
- Nochimson, Martha P. (23 September 2011). World on film: An introduction. John Wiley & Sons. p. 266. ISBN 978-1-4443-5833-9.
- Varia, Kush (2013). Bollywood: Gods, glamour, and gossip. Columbia University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-231-50260-3.
- Dickson, Andrew (2016). Worlds elsewhere: Journeys around Shakespeare's globe. Henry Holt and Company. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-8050-9735-1.
- Breckenridge, Carol A., ed. (1995). Consuming modernity: Public culture in a South Asian world. University of Minnesota Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-8166-2305-1.
- Raheja, Dinesh (22 March 2003). "Amar Akbar Anthony: Whoop-it-up fun!". Rediff.com. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Morcom, Anna (1 January 2007). Hindi film songs and the cinema. Ashgate Publishing. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-7546-5198-7. Archived from the original on 23 March 2016.
- "Amar Akbar Anthony (Original motion picture soundtrack)". Apple Inc. January 1981. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Amar, Akbar, and Anthony soundtrack credits". IMDb. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
- Diptakirti Chaudhuri, "Bollygeek: The Crazy Trivia Guide to Bollywood", Hachette India, 2021.
- Whitener, Brian (2007). "Amar Akbar Anthony". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Ganti, Tejaswini (5 March 2013). Bollywood: A guidebook to popular Hindi cinema. Routledge. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-415-58384-8.
- "100 Filmfare Days: 49- Amar Akbar Anthony". Filmfare. 10 June 2014. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "70 iconic films of Indian cinema". Mint. 18 August 2017. Archived from the original on 26 October 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2018.