Desh Premee

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Desh Premee
Desh Premee poster
Directed byManmohan Desai
Produced bySubhash Desai
Written byKader Khan
K.B. Pathak
Prayag Raj
StarringAmitabh Bachchan
Hema Malini
Uttam Kumar
Sharmila Tagore
Parveen Babi
Shammi Kapoor
Amjad Khan
Navin Nischol
Music byLaxmikant-Pyarelal
CinematographyPeter Pereira
Edited byMukhtar Ahmed
Release date
  • 23 April 1982 (1982-04-23)
Running time
165 mins

Desh Premee (English translation The Patriot) is a 1982 Hindi film directed by Manmohan Desai, starring Amitabh Bachchan in a dual role alongside an ensemble cast including Hema Malini, Navin Nischol, Parveen Babi, Shammi Kapoor, Uttam Kumar, Parikshit Sahni, Premnath, Sharmila Tagore and Amjad Khan. It was the fifth collaboration of Manmohan Desai and Amitabh Bachchan. The film was average at the box office, however both critically and commercially, it failed to re-create the magic of previous Amitabh-Manmohan Desai films. It celebrated silver jubilee at Venkataramana 70mm A/c (3 shows) in Hyderabad.

The film is dedicated to the memory of Mohammed Rafi, who sang the film's title song and one of its cast members Uttam Kumar, both of whom died two years before the film was released. This was the only film for which music director Laxmikant was also a playback singer for one song. The songs were penned by Anand Bakshi.


Master Dinanath (Amitabh Bachchan) is a freedom fighter and participated in the war against the British in 1942 and independence was eventually won in 1947. But after independence, the people's love for their country seems to be diminishing and they are too busy betraying it like ex British landlord Thakur Pratab Singh (Amjad Khan). Master Dinanath finds out about Thakur Pratab Singh's illegal activities such as smuggling of weapons and ammunition and gets him arrested. In revenge for putting him in prison, Pratab Singh gets Master Dinanath's wife Bharati (Sharmila Tagore) and daughter Priti (Parveen Babi) kidnapped by Thakur's partner in crime Sher Singh (Kader Khan) to try to change his ways but, to no avail. Thakur also provokes an attack on Masterji's home by the local villagers, who accuse Dinanath of betraying his country and he is forced to flee his home with his young son Raju. His wife becomes a victim of leprosy and escapes from Sher Singh, leaving her daughter Priti in a friend's care. Masterji is informed that his wife and daughter could be dead as they find a necklace of hers near the train tracks. Masterji is devastated by his wife and daughter's loss and he and his son move on with their life.

They settle into a slum called Bharat Nagar, which is divided into 4 sections with a don in each one of different backgrounds: Punjabi (Shammi Kapoor), Madrasi (Premnath). Bengali (Uttam Kumar) and Muslim (Parikshat Sahni). All of them love their own section, but nobody thinks of themselves as Indian except Masterji. Masterji sets out trying to bring peace between the four dons and once they settle their differences, the four underworld dons use the Masterji's stay in Bharat Nagar to cover up their own illegal activities.

15 years later, Masterji's now grown-up son Raju (again played by Amitabh Bachchan) turns out to be the opposite of his father. He starts working for Thakur Pratab Singh, unaware that Thakur had once kidnapped his mother and sister. Will Raju find out what Thakur did to his family? Will Master Dinanath find out his son is not who he thinks he is? and will Master ever find his wife and daughter again?


The song of Mohammad Rafi "Mere Desh Premiyon" was the last song of his in Manmohan Desai's film. Manmohan Desai and Mohammed Rafi, with Laxmikant Pyarelal's music, created a magical era of music in Bollywood movies. Shammi Kapoor acted in a supporting role in the movie and had no song. Two songs of Kishore Kumar and one song of Mohd. Rafi were pictured on Amitabh Bachchan. The song of Kishore Kumar "Khatoon Ki Khidmat Mein" was influenced by Mohammed Rafi's "Hum Kale To Kya Hua Dilwale Hain" from the film Gumnaam. For this song, Amitabh Bachchan also dressed and acted like Mehmood, on whom that song was picturized. Laxmikant sang "Gore Nahin Hum Kaale Sahi", a duet with Asha Bhosle, and his voice was used on both Amitabh Bachchan and Prem Chopra for the song. Asha Bhosle sung for Hema Malini. Navin Nichol was the supporting actor, and also had one song, and Amit Kumar sang for him, a duet with Kishore Kumar "Ja Jaldi Bhaag Ja". The music of the movie was fairly popular.

The movie celebrated a golden jubilee in Hyderabad RAMAKRISHNA 70MM theatres, and was hugely successful on re-release in the 80s and 90s.


# Title Singer(s)
1 "Jaoji Jao" Lata Mangeshkar
2 "Mere Deshpremiyo" Mohammed Rafi
3 "O Bekhabar Bedardi" Lata Mangeshkar
4 "Gore Nahi Hum Kale Sahi" Laxmikant Kudalkar, Asha Bhosle
5 "Khatoon Ki Khidmat Mein" Kishore Kumar
6 "Ja Jaldi Bhaag Ja" Kishore Kumar & Amit Kumar

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