Disco Dancer

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Disco Dancer
Promotional poster
Directed by Babbar Subhash
Produced by Babbar Subhash
Tilotima Babbar Subhash
Written by Dr. Rahi Masoom Reza
Deepak Balraj Vij
Starring Mithun Chakraborty
Kim Yashpal
Rajesh Khanna
Om Puri
Gita Siddharth
Om Shivpuri
Music by Bappi Lahiri
Cinematography Nadeem Khan
Edited by Mangesh Chavan
Shyam Gupte
B. Subhash Movie Unit
Release date
  • 17 December 1982 (1982-12-17)
Running time
135 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi-Urdu[1]
Box office est. 100.68 crore

Disco Dancer is a 1982 Indian Bollywood musical drama film, written by Rahi Masoom Raza and directed by Babbar Subhash. It stars Bengali actor Mithun Chakraborty in the lead role, with Kim Yashpal and Rajesh Khanna in supporting roles. The film tells the rags-to-riches story of a young street performer. It is especially known for its filmi disco Bollywood songs composed by Bappi Lahiri and actor Mithun Chakraborty. Songs including "I am a Disco Dancer", "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" (sung by Parvati Khan), "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" (sung by Vijay Benedict and Bappi Lahiri) and "Goro Ki Na Kaalo Ki" (sung by Suresh Wadkar with Usha Mangeshkar) became very popular.

The film was a worldwide success, with its popularity extending across Southern/Central/Eastern Asia, the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, and Eastern/Western Africa. It was one of most successful films in the Soviet Union, where it drew a box office audience of 60.9 million viewers. It was the second Indian film to gross 100 crore (equivalent to 11 billion or US$150 million in 2017) worldwide after re-runs, making it the highest-grossing Indian film after Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994). Disco Dancer established Mithun as a household name across Southern Asia and the Soviet Union. In China, the soundtrack was a success and received a Gold Award.


Anil (Mithun Chakraborty), a street performer and wedding singer from the Bombay slums, is scarred by the memory of the rich P.N. Oberoi (Om Shivpuri) beating his mother (Gita Siddharth) in an incident during his childhood. When David Brown, the manager (Om Puri) is fed up of Indian disco current champion's tantrums Sam (Karan Razdan) and looks for some new talent, he happens to watch Anil dance-walking across a street. Rebranded as 'Jimmy', the rising disco star must take the throne from Sam and win the heart of Rita (Kim Yashpal), Oberoi's daughter.

All seems to be going well until Oberoi hires men to connect Jimmy's electric guitar to 5,000 volts of electricity, causing Jimmy's mother to die in a tragic accident. Jimmy gets guitar phobia after witnessing his mothers death. Later, Oberoi's goons break his legs. With help from Rita, Jimmy begins to walk.

Jimmy must claim first place for Team India at the International Disco Dancing Competition amidst strong competition from Team Africa (Disco King and Queen) and Team Paris (Disco King and Queen). Jimmy is reluctant to dance, but Rita persuades him to do so. Sam arrives with a guitar to scare Jimmy. Rita manages to drag the show to encourage Jimmy to sing, but to no avail. The crowd pelts him with stones which hit his head. A person arrives and advises him to infuse his mother and his music; he throws the guitar to him, after which he begins to sing. Oberoi's goons kill the person, after which Jimmy travels to their lair and beats them up. In the ensuing fight, Oberoi is electrocuted.



The title song I am a Disco Dancer was shot at Natraj Studio in Mumbai over three days, where scenes featuring Mithun Chakrobarty's signature moves were filmed. Thereafter, the shooting featured crowds scenes at Filmistan Studio in Mumbai.[2]


Disco Dancer
Soundtrack album by Bappi Lahiri
Released 1982
Genre Bollywood, Disco, EDM
Language Hindi-Urdu
Producer Bappi Lahiri

The music for all the songs[3] were composed by Bappi Lahiri and the lyrics were penned by Anjaan and Faruk Kaiser. The tracks on the 1982 soundtrack album are as follows:

# Title Singer(s) Lyricist Duration
1 "I Am A Disco Dancer" Vijay Benedict Anjaan 07:49
2 "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" Parvati Khan Anjaan 03:04
3 "Auva Auva Koi Yahan Nache" Bappi Lahiri, Usha Uthup Faruk Kaiser 05:28
4 "Ae Oh Aa Zara Mudke" Kishore Kumar Anjaan 05:58
5 "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" Bappi Lahiri Anjaan 06:22
6 "Krishna Dharti Pe Aaja" Nandu Bhende Anjaan 05:25
7 "Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki" Suresh Wadkar, Usha Mangeshkar Anjaan 05:23
8 "Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki (Sad)" Suresh Wadkar Anjaan 02:48

The song "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" has been described as a synthesized, minimalist, high-tempo, electronic disco song. Geeta Dayal described it as a "disco anthem for the ages, and one of the best songs Lahiri ever did." It has been cited as a possible influence on the 1982 prototypical acid house album Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat by Charanjit Singh. Roland TR-808 drum machine was used extensively during the album production.

The song "Auva Auva" (picturized on Karan Razdan's character Sam) has similarities to the 1979 English synthpop hit "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. The song "Cerrone's Paradise" by Cerrone was used in the scene when David Brown discovers Anil who is dance-walking down a street. The song "Krishna Dharti Pe Aaja Tu" has similarities to "Jesus" by Tielman Brothers. This version was used in the movie where Jimmy is practicing dance.

The Disco Dancer soundtrack was popular worldwide, particularly in India and the Soviet Union. It was also popular in China, where the soundtrack received a Gold Award.[4]

The British Sri Lankan alternative rapper M.I.A. covered "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" as "Jimmy" in 2007 for her album Kala. The music of this song was also used in the 2008 Adam Sandler movie You Don't Mess with the Zohan. There have been cover versions of "Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" from other international musicians, including the 1998 hit "Jimmy" by Russian techno group Ruki Vverh, "Jimmy Jimmy" by Russian artists DJ Slon and Angel-A, and a cover version by Tibetan artist Kelsang Metok.

Box office[edit]

Worldwide gross revenue
Territory Gross revenue Adjusted gross
6.4 crore[5]
(US$6.54 million)[n 1]
88 crore (US$12 million)
(Soviet Union)
60 million SUR[7]
(US$75.85 million)[n 2]
(94.28 crore)[n 3]
US$179 million
(1,176 crore)[10]
Worldwide 100.68 crore
(US$82.39 million)
1,261 crore
(US$189 million)

In India, the film grossed 6.4 crore in 1982.[5] It was the 7th highest-grossing film at the domestic Indian box office in 1982,[11] with its strongest commercial performance in the West Bengal state,[5] home to actor Mithun Chakraborty and composer Bappi Lahiri.

In the Soviet Union, the film released in 1984, with 1,013 prints.[12] It drew an audience of 60.9 million viewers in 1984, becoming the most successful film at the Soviet box office that year,[13] the biggest foreign hit in the 1980s,[12] the fourth biggest box office hit of the decade,[12][14] the eighth biggest foreign hit of all time,[12] and one of the top 25 biggest box office hits of all time.[12][14] In terms of gross revenue, it earned 60 million Soviet rubles[7] (US$75.85 million,[n 2] 94.28 crore),[n 3] the highest for an Indian film, surpassing Awaara's 29 million rubles.[13] This made it the highest-grossing Indian film overseas up until it was surpassed by the over 100 crore overseas gross of My Name is Khan (2010)[15] and 3 Idiots (2009).[16][17] Disco Dancer was also a success in China, where the song "Jimmy Jimmy" was popular. According to Aamir Khan, Mithun Chakraborty is famous in China due to the song.[18]

Worldwide, Disco Dancer grossed a combined 100.68 crore (US$82.39 million) in India and the Soviet Union. This surpassed the 35 crore gross of Sholay (1975),[19] making Disco Dancer the highest-grossing Indian film worldwide up until it was surpassed by the 135 crore gross of Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994).[20] Disco Dancer was the first Indian film to gross 100 crore worldwide.[21]


It was remade in Tamil as Paadum Vaanampadi with Anand Babu, and in Telugu as Disco King with Nandamuri Balakrishna.

Popular culture[edit]

In 2010, the songs "I Am a Disco Dancer" and "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" were used in the 2010 Bollywood comedy film, Golmaal 3, directed by Rohit Shetty. The songs were relevant to the performance of Mithun Chakraborty's character Pritam, who reflected on his past as a young mega-hit disco dancer. The first song was the inspiration to Devo's 1988 "Disco Dancer."

The music from "Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" was used in the final fight scene in the Adam Sandler film You Don't Mess with the Zohan.[22]

Aamir Khan's special appearance as Disco Fighter in the Imran Khan starrer 2011 film Delhi Belly is inspired by Mithun Chakraborty's role in Disco Dancer.

"Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" and "I Am a Disco Dancer" are very popular in countries such as Mongolia and post-Soviet states such as Russia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.[citation needed]

Baimurat Allaberiyev, an ethnic Uzbek from Tajikistan, became an internet sensation by singing "Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki" and "Jimmy Aaja" in a warehouse. The 2008 video recorded on a mobile phone got over 1 million views on YouTube. He landed an acting role in a Russian comedy film, Six Degrees of Celebration (2010).

British-Tamil singer/rapper M.I.A. recorded an English version of "Jimmy Aaja", for her second studio album, "Kala" by keeping the title and chorus of the song unchanged. The song was released as a single with an accompanying music video.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 9.79 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1982[6]
  2. ^ a b 0.791 Soviet rubles per US dollar in 1984[8]
  3. ^ a b 12.43 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1984[9]


  1. ^ Aḵẖtar, Jāvīd; Kabir, Nasreen Munni (2002). Talking Films: Conversations on Hindi Cinema with Javed Akhtar. Oxford University Press. p. 49. ISBN 9780195664621. most of the writers working in this so-called Hindi cinema write in Urdu: Gulzar, or Rajinder Singh Bedi or Inder Raj Anand or Rahi Masoom Raza or Vahajat Mirza, who wrote dialogue for films like Mughal-e-Azam and Gunga Jumna and Mother India. So most dialogue-writers and most song-writers are from the Urdu discipline, even today. 
  2. ^ "On a disco high!". Pune Mirror. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  3. ^ http://www.hindigeetmala.net/movie/disco_dancer.htm
  4. ^ Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, page 88, University of Minnesota Press, 2008
  5. ^ a b c Box Office 1982, Box Office India
  6. ^ Monthly Commentary on Indian Economic Conditions, Volume 28, page xv, Indian Institute of Public Opinion, 1986
  7. ^ a b Bollywood returns to Russian screens Archived 25 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine., Russia Beyond the Headlines, September 2009
  8. ^ Archive of Bank of Russia http://cbr.ru/currency_base/OldDataFiles/USD.xls
  9. ^ http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/PublicationsView.aspx?id=15268
  10. ^ 67.175856 INR per USD in 2016
  11. ^ http://boxofficeindia.co.in/worth-their-weight-in-gold-80s/
  12. ^ a b c d e Sergey Kudryavtsev. "Зарубежные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". 
  13. ^ a b Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin, page 211, Indiana University Press, 2005
  14. ^ a b Sergey Kudryavtsev. "Отечественные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". 
  15. ^ Singh, Shivaji (23 July 2016). ""Which Khan Is The Real Box Office King of Bollywood?"". Koimoi. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "3 Idiots Is Biggest Grosser Overseas". 
  17. ^ "Three Idiots Creates History In China". 30 December 2011. BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "Aamir: I couldn't really enjoy the food in China". Rediff. 21 May 2015. 
  19. ^ http://smartinvestor.business-standard.com/market/ipoNews-418220-Top_10_biggest_commercial_hits_of_Amitabh_Bachchan.htm
  20. ^ "Top Worldwide Grossers ALL TIME: 37 Films Hit 100 Crore". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  21. ^ Cain, Rob (2 October 2017). "For Indian Movies, 1,000 Crore Rupees Is The New 100". Forbes. 
  22. ^ You Don't Mess with the Zohan#Soundtrack

External links[edit]