Disco Dancer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Disco Dancer
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBabbar Subhash
Written byDr. Rahi Masoom Reza
Deepak Balraj Vij
Produced byBabbar Subhash
StarringMithun Chakraborty
Rajesh Khanna
CinematographyNadeem Khan
Edited byMangesh Chavan
Shyam Gupte
Music byBappi Lahiri
B. Subhash Movie Unit
Release date
  • 17 December 1982 (1982-12-17)
Running time
135 minutes
Box officeest. ₹100.68 crore

Disco Dancer is a 1982 Indian dance film, written by Rahi Masoom Raza and directed by Babbar Subhash. It stars Mithun Chakraborty and Kim in leading roles, with Om Puri, Gita Siddharth and Karan Razdan in supporting roles with Rajesh Khanna in a special appearance.

The film tells the rags-to-riches story of a young street performer from the slums of Bombay. The film is known for its filmi disco Bollywood songs, composed by Bappi Lahiri and written by Anjaan and Faruk Kaiser. Popular songs include "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" sung by Parvati Khan, "I am a Disco Dancer" sung by Vijay Benedict, "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" sung by Bappi Lahiri, and "Goro Ki Na Kaalo Ki" sung by Suresh Wadkar with Usha Mangeshkar.

The film was a worldwide success, with its popularity extending across Asia, the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. Disco Dancer was also the second highest-grossing film ever in the Soviet Union and the highest-grossing foreign film. Disco Dancer established Mithun as a household name wherever the film went well, with Jimmy became a more popular name for Mithun Chakraborty. The soundtrack album was also a success, going Platinum in India and receiving a Gold Award in China. Adjusted for inflation, it is still one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.


Anil, a street performer and wedding singer from the slums of Bombay, is scarred by the memory of the rich P. N. Oberoi beating his mother in an incident during his childhood. When manager David Brown is fed up with the tantrums of current Indian disco champion Sam and looks for some new talent, he happens to see 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, 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 mother's 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 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. Jimmy's uncle Raju arrives and advises him to infuse his mother and his music; he throws the guitar to Jimmy, after which Jimmy begins to sing. Oberoi's goons kill Raju, 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.[1]


Babbar Subhash, Parvati Khan and Bappi Lahiri recording "Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" 1981
Disco Dancer
Soundtrack album by
GenreBollywood, Disco, EDM
ProducerBappi Lahiri

The music for all the songs[2] 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:

1."I Am A Disco Dancer"AnjaanVijay Benedict07:49
2."Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja"AnjaanParvati Khan03:04
3."Koi Yahan Nache Nache"Faruk KaiserBappi Lahiri, Usha Uthup05:28
4."Ae Oh Aa Zara Mudke"AnjaanKishore Kumar05:58
5."Yaad Aa Raha Hai"AnjaanBappi Lahiri06:22
6."Krishna Dharti Pe Aaja"AnjaanNandu Bhende05:25
7."Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki"AnjaanSuresh Wadkar, Usha Mangeshkar05:23
8."Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki (Sad)"AnjaanSuresh Wadkar02:48

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."

The song "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" has similarities to 1980 French disco song "T’es OK" by Ottawan. The song "Auva Auva" (picturized on Karan Razdan's character Sam) was inspired by the 1979 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" was inspired by "Jesus" by Tielman Brothers. This version was used in the movie where Jimmy is practicing dance.[3]

The Disco Dancer soundtrack was popular worldwide, particularly in India, the Soviet Union, and China.[4] The soundtrack went Platinum in India,[5] equivalent to 1 million sales,[6] and received a Gold Award in China.[4]

Box office[edit]

Worldwide gross (est.)
Territory Gross revenue Inflation-adjusted gross revenue (2016) Footfalls
Domestic (India) 6.4 crore[7] (US$6.54 million)[n 1] 124 crore (US$16 million) 15 million[9]
Overseas (Soviet Union) 60 million Rbls[10] – US$75.85 million[n 2] (94.28 crore)[n 3] US$222 million (1,176 crore)[13] 120 million[10]
Worldwide ₹100.68 crore (US$106 million)[14][15] ₹1,261 crore (US$189 million) 135 million

In India, the film grossed ₹6.4 crore in 1982.[7] It was the 7th[16] or 14th[7] highest-grossing film at the domestic Indian box office in 1982, with its strongest commercial performance in the West Bengal state,[7] home to actor Mithun Chakraborty and composer Bappi Lahiri.

In the Soviet Union, the film released in 1984, with 1,013 prints.[17] It drew an audience of 60.9 million viewers in 1984, becoming the most successful film at the Soviet box office that year,[18] the biggest foreign hit in the 1980s,[17] the fourth biggest box office hit of the decade,[17][19] the eighth biggest foreign hit of all time,[17] and one of the top 25 biggest box office hits of all time.[17][19] Including re-runs, the film sold an estimated 120 million tickets in the Soviet Union.[10] In terms of gross revenue, it earned 60 million Soviet rubles[10] (US$75.85 million,[n 2] 94.28 crore),[n 3] the highest for an Indian film, surpassing Awaara's 29 million roubles.[18] 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)[20] and 3 Idiots (2009).[21][22]

Disco Dancer was also a success in China, when it released there in 1983.[23] The song "Jimmy Jimmy" was popular there. According to Aamir Khan, Mithun Chakraborty is famous in China due to the song.[24]

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),[25] 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).[26] Disco Dancer was the first Indian film to gross 100 crore worldwide.[27]


It was remade in Tamil as Paadum Vaanampadi with Anand Babu, and in Telugu as Disco King with Nandamuri Balakrishna. Babbar Subhash & Nitin Kumar Gupta are producing a remake of a same name and is tentatively being written by V. Vijayendra Prasad.[28]


Upon release, Disco Dancer was a phenomenon, both domestically and internationally. Prior to the film's release, Bollywood was dominated by "angry young man" Bombay underworld films, an action crime film genre pioneered by screenwriter duo Salim–Javed a decade earlier in the early 1970s. These films often explored socialist and "hero versus system" themes, often presented a poor hero's journey from rags-to-riches, and involved violent revenge plots against villains. Disco Dancer took the "angry young man" genre and subverted it: instead of having Jimmy fight the villains or get revenge through violence, he instead gets revenge and defeats the villains through disco dancing. This led to a wave of disco-themed Bollywood musicals in India, and it become a global phenomenon outside of India. It was a blockbuster in Asia and the former Soviet Union, and drew a large global cult following, from Japan where a Jimmy statue was built in Osaka, to the West where Disco Dancer became the defining example of a stereotypical "Bollywood" film. Retrospectively, the film has received a polarizing critical reception, with praise for its music and dance numbers but criticism towards its plot, with Anuvab Pal calling it an ironic comedy film.[29][30]

Popular culture[edit]

The title song "I Am a Disco Dancer" was the inspiration for Devo's song "Disco Dancer" (1988).

The British Sri Lankan alternative rapper M.I.A. covered "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" as "Jimmy" in 2007 for her album Kala. 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.

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.[31]

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.

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.[32]

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).

The film's soundtrack was used during the end credits of the 2019 Tamil film Super Deluxe.[33]

Korean K-pop artist Aoora in collaboration with Saregama released the K-pop version of "Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja".[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 9.79 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1982[8]
  2. ^ a b 0.791 Rbl per US dollar in 1984[11]
  3. ^ a b 12.43 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1984[12]


  1. ^ "On a disco high!". Pune Mirror. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Disco Dancer : Lyrics and video of Songs from the Movie Disco Dancer (1982)". HindiLyrics4U. Archived from the original on 26 April 2023. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  3. ^ "'Disco Dancer' Mithun still a favourite in Kazakhstan". Hindustan Times. 28 November 2007.
  4. ^ a b Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, page 88, University of Minnesota Press, 2008
  5. ^ "Bappi Lahiri: The golden era of music has ended". Gulf News. 17 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  6. ^ "International". Billboard. Vol. 93, no. 28. Nielsen Business Media. 18 July 1981. p. 69. Archived from the original on 9 October 2023. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d Box Office 1982, Box Office India
  8. ^ Monthly Commentary on Indian Economic Conditions, Volume 28, page xv, Indian Institute of Public Opinion, 1986
  9. ^ Mittal, Ashok (1995). Cinema Industry in India: Pricing and Taxation. Indus Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 9788173870231.
  10. ^ a b c d Naralenkova, Oxana (10 September 2009). "Bollywood returns to Russian screens". Russia Beyond. Archived from the original on 4 April 2023. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  11. ^ Archive of Bank of Russia http://cbr.ru/currency_base/OldDataFiles/USD.xls Archived 17 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Reserve Bank of India - Publications". Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  13. ^ "67.175856 INR per USD in 2016". Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  14. ^ "On Independence Day, here are the most successful Indian movies of every decade since 1947". Hindustan Times. 15 August 2018. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Worth their weight in gold". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 14 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  17. ^ a b c d e Sergey Kudryavtsev. "Зарубежные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". Archived from the original on 21 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  18. ^ a b Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin Archived 6 August 2023 at the Wayback Machine, page 211, Indiana University Press, 2005
  19. ^ a b Sergey Kudryavtsev. "Отечественные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  20. ^ Singh, Shivaji (23 July 2016). ""Which Khan Is The Real Box Office King of Bollywood?"". Koimoi. Archived from the original on 4 May 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  21. ^ "3 Idiots Is Biggest Grosser Overseas". Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Three Idiots Creates History In China". 30 December 2011. BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "印度片現在這麼火也不是沒有原因的". Xuehua. 7 April 2018. Archived from the original on 6 May 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Aamir: I couldn't really enjoy the food in China". Rediff. 21 May 2015. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  25. ^ Top 10 biggest commercial hits of Amitabh Bachchanbusiness-standard.com Archived 7 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ Cain, Rob (2 October 2017). "For Indian Movies, 1,000 Crore Rupees Is The New 100". Forbes. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  28. ^ "After 41 Years Disco Dancer To Have A Sequel".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ Pal, Anuvab (2011). Disco Dancer : A Comedy In Five Acts. HarperCollins Publishers India. ISBN 978-93-5029-024-8.
  30. ^ Dixit, Shubhra (17 June 2015). "Angry Young Man in a Dance-Off: The Cult of 'Disco Dancer'". The Quint. Archived from the original on 3 December 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  31. ^ You Don't Mess with the Zohan#Soundtrack
  32. ^ "Why 'Jimmy Jimmy' evokes such a joyful universality". The Times of India. 6 November 2022. Archived from the original on 10 June 2023. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  33. ^ Shekhar, Anjana (6 April 2019). "Addicted to old songs that appeared in 'Super Deluxe'? Here's your playlist". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  34. ^ "K pop artist Aoora collaborates with Indian label, gives his spin to Bappi Lahiri's Jimmy Jimmy: Watch". Archived from the original on 10 June 2023. Retrieved 10 June 2023.

External links[edit]