FLASHBACK | 3 June, 2022
(From our issue dated 7th June, 1997)


Boney Kapoor’s Judaai is celebrating 100 days today (June 7) at more than 35 centres all over India. It is heading for 100 days at about 10 more centres. Produced by Surinder Kapoor and directed by Raj Kanwar, the film stars Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Urmila Matondkar, Kader Khan, Paresh Rawal, Johny Lever, Upasna Singh and Farida Jalal. Music: Nadeem Shravan.


The success of VIRASAT has taken many by surprise and has brought the much-needed joy in the industry.

Virasat started picking up from 2nd and 3rd day onwards and has now established itself as an A1 film in most of the circuits. The film’s making, Anil Kapoor and Tabu’s performances and its hit music score are being praised by the ladies and classes. 8th day’s collections were also wonderful at many places. 1st week Bombay 24,88,069 (90.43%) from 8 cinemas (8 on F.H.); Ahmedabad 10,81,437 from 5 cinemas, Baroda 2,13,407, Rajkot 1,61,281, Jamnagar 94,861, Kolhapur 1,99,772, Solapur (14 shows) 1,12,858 (97%); Belgaum 1,13,285; Delhi 44,45,836 (87.06%) from 12 cinemas (1 unrecd. and 1 on F.H.); Kanpur 3,81,559 from 2 cinemas, Lucknow 2,68,355, Agra 1,64,346, Allahabad 1,08,000, Varanasi 1,22,200, Bareilly 1,15,139, Gorakhpur 1,14,000 (71.45%); Calcutta 15,83,905 from 16 cinemas (4 on F.H.); Nagpur 5,26,660 from 3 cinemas, Jabalpur 1,77,870, Amravati 1,17,972, Bhilai 1,35,688, Chandrapur 1,30,624, Yavatmal 70,030; Bhopal 2,54,511 from 2 cinemas; Jaipur 4,73,353 from 2 cinemas, Ajmer (29 shows) 1,15,951, Bikaner 2,05,248; Hyderabad 4,42,957, full.

Insaaf has not found acceptance. 1st week Bombay 25,00,299 (59.09%) from 12 cinemas (11 on F.H.); Ahmedabad 2,94,209 from 3 cinemas (3 cinemas unrecd.), Rajkot 1,60,444 from 2 cinemas; Kolhapur 1,03,452, Solapur 1,08,348; Delhi 14,15,661 (49.33%) from 8 cinemas (1 on F.H.); Kanpur 1,81,556 from 2 cinemas, Lucknow (6 days) 1,38,011, Agra 2,51,319, Allahabad 83,630, Meerut 1,70,240, Bareilly (5 days) 46,299, Gorakhpur (6 days) 90,000; Calcutta 15,02,280 from 21 cinemas; Bhopal 1,71,342 from 2 cinemas (1 on F.H.); Jaipur 4,57,610 from 4 cinemas, Jodhpur 1,10,000 (1 unrecd.), Bikaner 1,28,014, Bharatpur (gross) 91,500; Hyderabad 23,38,548 from 17 cinemas. Opened this week in C.P. Berar.


Mahaanta 2nd week Bombay 6,75,460 (36.37%) from 4 cinemas (11 on F.H.); Ahmedabad 3,57,182 from 5 cinemas, Jamnagar 33,901; 1st Kolhapur 1,26,411 (91.60%), 2nd Solapur 74,771; Delhi 5,33,963 from 6 cinemas (1 unrecd., 6 on F.H.); Kanpur 1,50,503 from 2 cinemas, Lucknow 1,15,455, Agra 80,000, Allahabad 57,000, Varanasi 65,572, Bareilly 67,891, 1st Hardwar 45,000; 2nd Calcutta 1,44,583; Nagpur 96,404 from 2 cinemas, 1st Jabalpur 1,21,039, 2nd week Amravati 69,462, Akola 50,552, total 1,71,969, Raipur 91,014, Jalgaon 88,796, Wardha 26,313; Indore 52,098, Bhopal 63,165, Ujjain 41,927; Jaipur 1,19,204; Hyderabad (6 days) 1,44,203; 13 days’ total at Vijayawada 2,66,703, 12 days’ total at Visakhapatnam 1,96,623.



Music director Usha Khanna has turned a serial producer with Mamta which she is making under the banner of Usha Khanna Productions. Krishna Singh is the co-producer. The 52-episode TV serial will go on the floors on June 29. It is being directed by Prabhat Khanna from his own story and concept. Cast: Shahbaaz Khan, Anjana Mumtaz and Asif Sheikh. Lyrics: Yogesh.


Veteran Marathi film actress Meenakshi Shirodkar, grandmother of Shilpa and Namrata Shirodkar, breathed her last on 2nd June in Bombay. She had broken her backbone and was operated upon two weeks back. She was 81 and is survived by a son and his family.

Meenakshi was the first actress of Marathi films to appear in a swimsuit on the screen in Master Vinayak’s classic film, Brahmachari. She acted in many films and stage plays.


Judge R.Y. Ganoo on 9th May passed an order confirming his earlier ad interim order that T-Series (Super Cassettes Industries), their servants and agents are restrained from manufacturing and selling of cassettes and CDs of Ziddi and Salma Pe Dil Aagaya. They are further restrained from removing any stock of these two titles from their factories/godowns. This order was passed on an application made by Vatsa Entertainment Ltd. in the Bombay city civil court. Vatsa Entertainment had terminated its agreement with Super Cassettes Industries for the manufacture and distribution of Ziddi and Salma Pe Dil Aagaya cassetes. However, T-Series continued to manufacture these cassettes and CDs and also did not pay the royalty due to Vatsa Entertainment and hence Vatsa filed a suit in the Bombay city civil court.


The proprietor and the manager of a leading twin cinema complex of Vijayawada were arrested by the police on 4th June for allegedly abetting black-marketing in tickets. The distribution and exhibition sectors of Vijayawada trade remained closed on 5th in protest against the arrest and the atrocities of the police. About 500 people from the two sectors took out a silent procession through the main streets of the city to the office of the Vijayawada police commissioner.

In the meantime, the cinema owner and manager were released on bail on 4th itself.


Anand cinema, Jodhpur, remained closed for two days earlier this week due to the death of Geetadevi Kachhwaha, widow of Mahendra Singh Kachhwaha and sister-in-law of Yashwant Singh Kachhwaha of Anand cinema. Mahendra Singh Kachhwaha expired last month.


Rajkumar Santoshi Signs Priyadarshan, Akshaye

Priyadarshan has been signed to direct Akshaye Khanna for a film to be made under the banner of Ram Creations for producer Rajkumar Santoshi. It has music by A.R. Rahman, art by Sabu Cyril, and cinematography by K.V. Anand. Regular shooting will start from July 1. A leading lady and other cast and credits are being finalised. Xavier Marquis is the co-producer of the film.


Inderjit Films Combine’s Itihaas was given C.C. No. CIL/3/17/97 (A) dt. 2-6-’97; length 4442.67 metres in 18 reels (cuts: 281.01 metres).

Paramount Films of India Ltd.’s The Phantom – Vetal (dubbed) was given C.C. No. CFL/2/20/97 (UA) dt. 4-6-’97; length 2766.86 metres in 10 reels (no cut).

Prakash Jha Productions’ Mrityudand, seen on 3rd, has been passed with UA certificate, with cuts.

Sri Nirmala Devi Combines’ Do Aankhen Barah Hath (length 4107.48 metres in 15 reels), applied on 2nd, was seen on 4th.

Devyank Arts’ Lav Kush (length 4884.82 metres in 18 reels), applied on 3rd and seen on 4th, has been passed with U certificate, without cut.

Trimurti Films P. Ltd.’s Gupt (length 4776.25 metres in 17 reels), applied on 3rd and seen on 5th, has been offered A certificate, with cuts.


Pre-release reports of Virasat in trade circles were bad. People felt, a film with such a rural background would never run. They also felt, it was too much of a class taste. What went right?

– There’s no hard and fast rule that a rural background film cannot run. A story which touches the heart, whether based in a village or a city, is bound to run. VIRASAT may have a class treatment but it deals with a subject which has mass appeal and there’s also plenty of sentiments for the ladies.

What is the formula for box-office success?

– There’s no readymade formula as such, but novelty, either in content or presentation, coupled with conviction in what you are making, has more chances to succeed than anything else.

Why do you keep criticising stars for their high prices? After all, it is producers who run after stars, not vice versa?

– Yes, stars don’t run after producers, and their prices are governed by the laws of demand and supply. But my point is that since they are a part of this industry, they must have a more compassionate approach and should show more concern for the others in the industry by pricing themselves more realistically.


Mr. R.R. Khajanchi of Khajanchi Film Exchange, Amravati, is expected in town (493-0645) on 10th June.

Producer-director Indra Kumar returned from the USA on 6th night.

Producer Vashu Bhagnani returned from his holiday abroad on 6th June.

Producer Boney Kapoor will return from Madras this evening (7th June) and will go to the USA on 9th.


‘Kama Sutra’: Video Cassettes Available?

Traders in Naaz were shocked to learn that pirated video cassettes of Mira Nair’s dubbed Hindi film, Kama Sutra, were in circulation in the market. Reportedly, the cassettes originated from London where a premiere show of the film was held some time back. Ajay Devgan, who holds the film’s distribution rights for Bombay, is contemplating taking up the matter with R. Mohan who holds the all-India rights of the film. Obviously, Ajay Devgan would now demand a drastic price reduction. It may be recalled here that pirated video cassettes of Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen were also out much before the film’s theatrical release.

Tension Brewing

There’s tension on the Mrityudand front. Producer-director Prakash Jha is contemplating a price hike but the film’s Bombay distributor, Vinodbhai Kakkad, is in no mood to agree to hike. Reportedly, he has expressed his desire to the producer to relinquish the distribution rights if a price hike is insisted upon. C.P. Berar distributor Rajesh Jain (who is also the C.P. distributor of Insaaf and who obtained a court order in the case of Insaaf for its delivery at the contracted price) is also thinking in terms of going to court against the price hike.

By the way, Rajesh Jain took delivery of Insaaf at a little above the contracted price (outright purchase) and released it in his territory this week.

‘Virasat’ Success: The Firsts

There are a couple of firsts associated with the success of Virasat. After so many years have producers Mushir-Riaz got a success that Virasat is almost like their first victory. Their last successfull film was Mehbooba and even that, released 21 years ago, wasn’t a universal success. After Mehbooba, it was just a line of flops and debacles from their banner which gave films such as Apne Paraye, Rajput, Shakti, Zabardast, Samundar, Commando and Akayla. Virasat is also director Priyadarshan’s first commercial success. Priyan, as Priyadarshan is known to his friends, has always been counted as a ‘class director’ because his films invariably have a ‘class’ treatment which make them critically acclaimed films but which are commercial flops. Even though Virasat has that ‘class’ touch of Priyan, it has been loved by the ladies, besides the elite audience. And since this ‘class’ film deals with the story of a village, it just might do good business in ‘B’ and ‘C’ class centres too. If it does, it will be another first — a ‘class’ film doing good business in small centres.

Changed Scenario

Talking of Virasat, one also recalls the number of changes which took place in its cast and credits before the film was finally started. It was initially supposed to be directed by J.P. Dutta. After J.P., it was Bharathan, the director of the original version (Thevar Magan), who was roped in. But the guy is said to have told Raaj Kumar in his very first meeting with the star that he was a great fan of his. Not wrong in being anybody’s fan but the producers felt, if the director was so much in awe of the actor, he wouldn’t be able to do a competent job. It was then Mahesh Bhatt who was signed to call the shots. Finally, Priyadarshan was assigned the job. For the role of the older Thakur (hero’s father), currently played by Amrish Puri, the original choices were Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar. Dilip Kumar did not do the film as he was busy with the direction of Kalinga. Raaj Kumar was reportedly angry with J.P. Dutta who did not reach at the appointed time to narrate the story to him. When Mahesh Bhatt was signed to direct the film, the writer was to have been Javed Akhtar. Reportedly, Javed expressed reservations about Anil Kapoor being able to do justice to the role of the hero and wanted him to be replaced. Of course, Mushir-Riaz would hear nothing of it. The funny part is that Raaj Kumar on his part did not think, Javed Akhtar was suitable to write the film.

Raj Kanwar’s Second Gesture

It has been Raj Kanwar again who has shown grace by postponing the release of Itihaas by a week so that Border has no opposition. Border last week was postponed by a week and will now come on 13th June, the day on which Itihaas was earlier scheduled for release. The funny part is that Itihaas release was planned for 13th June only because Border was initially due to come on 31st May. Raj Kanwar had at that time personally met J.P. Dutta and asked him about the release plans of Border and, on his own, volunteered to come two weeks after Border. The latter film later got postponed by a week, to 6th June. Then, last week, it was decided to postpone Border by a further week. Raj Kanwar was initially reluctant to change his date and stuck to 13th June. After all, it wasn’t his fault if Border was postponed by a week. But Bharat Shah, who presents Border, requested Raj Kanwar to move ahead by one more week just one last time. There were meetings and telephonic conversations galore on 3rd June between Bharat Shah and Raj Kanwar. Finally, Raj relented and Bharatbhai beamed with joy. But Raj Kanwar, in agreeing to release his Itihaas on 20th June, told Bharatbhai that should Border be further postponed, it would be Bharatbhai’s turn to not get it in opposition to Itihaas and, instead schedule it for any day after 20th June. Bharatbhai, of course, agreed readily.

Ghai’s August Connection

With the release of Subhash Ghai’s Pardes planned for 8th August, one is reminded of three other Ghai films which were released around the same time in earlier years —Karma on 7th August, 1986, Saudagar on 8th August, 1991, and Khal-nayak on 5th August, 1993. The music of Pardes will be released on 30th June but those who’ve heard the songs say, they are melodious and mesmerising (Nadeem Shravan and Anand Bakshi). Besides six Hindi songs, the film also has an English number, written and rendered by Hema Sardesai. A song of Pardes will be aired on television for the first time on 15th June in the Superhit Muqabala programme on DD1.

Smallest Cinema, Biggest Share

It pays to keep your cinema in good condition. This is what one can conclude when one sees the shares of Insaaf in Indore. Although the film has not been appreciated, it has yielded a handsome share from Abhinayshri cinema of Indore. In fact, of all the five cinemas in Indore, in which Insaaf was released last week, Abhinayshri has the smallest seating capacity (only 745) and yet, it has yielded the highest share in Indore. The owners of Abhinayshri and Amulshri spent a fortune in renovating the cinemas recently. The two cinemas have been merged into one. The name Abhinayshri has been retained for the merged cinema.

Release At Short Notice

K.C. Bokadia is indeed an opportunist. No sooner was the release of Border postponed last week, from 6th to 13th June, than he decided to release his own Gundagardi on 6th as there were no other releases fixed for the day. In just a week’s time, he got all his distributors to agree to the release and effected deliveries smoothly to meet the release date. To his luck, Thursday was Amavasya day and the film opened to very good houses. Of course, the mass-appealing title also did the trick.

‘Speedy’ Saazish

Bengal distributor Lala Damani, who has turned a Hindi film producer too (he has already produced Bengali films), deserves to be complimented for the speed with which he is completing his Saazish, starring Mithun Chakraborty, Vikas Bhalla, Pooja Batra, Kashmira Shah, Helen, Aroona Irani, Sachin, Homi Wadia and others. The film went before the cameras on 20th March and it should be complete in a couple of days — that is, in less than three months! Perhaps, because he is a distributor first, Lala did not make a mere proposal, rather, he signed his artistes after his script was ready. For music, Lala opted for melody instead of “today’s Western tunes”, as he calls them. Sudhir R. Nair, erstwhile assistant to Shashilal Nair, has directed Saazish which abounds in emotions in the first half and action in the second half.

Incidentally, Ajay Devgan was to play the role which is now being played by Mithun Chakraborty. For some reason, Ajay couldn’t do the film. But Ajay liked the film’s story so much that he acquired its distribution rights for Bombay.

Sony’s Music Company

The Sony people have now opened a music company too. Called Sony Music, the new company has its posh and tasteful office at Santacruz, Bombay. To begin with, Sony will release some basic albums. It hasn’t acquired any film music rights so far, but will do so soon.