FLASHBACK | 6 October, 2023
(From our issue dated 10th October, 1998)


The Dassera and Gandhi Jayanti holidays last week proved bountiful for the box-office everywhere.

Bandhan has done very well on the strength of family audience. Where it was released on Thursday (Dassera), it got the added benefit of the holiday. It is fantastic in U.P., Bengal, Bihar, C.P. Berar and Nizam, and fair in Bombay city (affected due to BEST bus strike), Delhi city, C.I. and Rajasthan. 1st week Bombay 48,00,516 (82%) from 13 cinemas (9 on F.H.); Ahmedabad 7,25,900 from 7 cinemas (1 unrecd.), Padra 1,21,215, Rajkot 1,51,615 from 2 cinemas (1 in matinee), Jamnagar 1,04,627; Pune 10,32,156 from 5 cinemas (1 in matinee), Kolhapur 1,90,000, Solapur 2,77,230 from 2 cinemas; Hubli 2,50,770 (100%), Belgaum 1,62,204 (100%); Delhi 42,96,493 (84.32%) from 10 cinemas (1 on F.H.); Kanpur 4,82,874 from 2 cinemas, Lucknow 3,48,049 (100%), Varanasi 2,57,855, Allahabad 2,47,353, Bareilly 1,66,332 (76.92%), Dehradun 2,65,303 (83.83%), Hardwar 1,06,027 from 2 cinemas; Rohtak 21,761; Calcutta 33,56,229 from 13 cinemas; Nagpur 7,19,178 from 4 cinemas, Jabalpur 2,53,363 (100%), Amravati 1,46,095, Akola 1,46,093, Raipur 1,91,902, Bhilai 1,75,549, Jalgaon 1,65,000, Chandrapur 1,70,006; Indore 2,21,000 (5 on F.H.), Bhopal 4,32,274 from 2 cinemas; Jaipur 8,95,440 from 4 cinemas, Ajmer (29 shows) 2,15,702, Bikaner 1,07,786; Hyderabad 39,71,083 from 14 cinemas, share 19,85,000, Aurangabad share about 3 lakh.



Both the big releases of Diwali had a relatively smooth sailing at the hands of the censors. In Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, there was an objection to just one word — ‘rag’ (as in ragging) — which director Karan Johar agreed to change. Shah Rukh Khan, talking of ragging in his college, says, “Hum naye students ko rag karte hain, pareshaan karte hain.” Since a girl, staying in a  Bombay hostel, recently committed suicide, allegedly because she was ragged by her seniors, the censors felt, it wouldn’t be proper to allow the word in the film. Karan agreed that the hero of the masses, Shah Rukh, could be construed as sending wrong signals if he was allowed to mouth the word ‘rag’ even if that was in a lighter vein. And so, the sentence was changed to ‘Hum naye students ko gaana gaane ko kehte hain.’

In Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, the word Khaini in the Khaini song has been replaced with Beeda. A couple of other words in two scenes, too, have been changed, besides some other cuts effected in visuals.


Yash Chopra’s Dil To Pagal Hai (TF in Maharashtra) entered combined 50th week at Novelty (matinee), Bombay, on 9th October.


Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali have been charged under sections 9, 13 and 51 of the Wildlife Act of 1972, for hunting deer near a forest in Jodhpur. While the two heroes were granted anticipatory interim bail by the district judge on 9th October, the three heroines were presented before the munsif magistrate the same evening and were released on bail. The hearing has been fixed for 12th October. In the meantime, Salman has denied that they were hunting in the forest.

The artistes, who are in Jodhpur for the shooting of Rajshri’s Hum Saath Saath Hain, were arrested by the forest department. Salman and Saif have been ordered to not leave the premises of Hotel Umaid Bhawan Palace where they are staying, before and after the film’s shooting.


Well-known veteran cinematographer Jaywant Pathare expired in Bombay on 9th October. He was 77 and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Jaywant Pathare had started his career with Raj Kapoor’s Aah. His last film was Jhanjhawat (Marathi). He had won a couple of awards for his films Anupama (B & W) and Bemisal.


Ramgopal Varma’s Satya (tax-free in Maharashtra) is celebrating 100 days of its run today (10th October) in Bombay at two cinemas, Eros and Plaza. Incidentally, Satya has been granted tax exemption for a further period of 3 months, that is, up to 10th January, 1999.


Cameraman Ramchandra Das passed away on 8th October in Bombay. He was 58 and is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. Das was the honorary treasurer of the Western India Cinematographers’ Association (WICA) and the honorary general secretary of the FWICE.


British film and TV actor Roddy McDowall, who made Hollywood his home and is remembered for his performance of an apeman in The Planet Of The Apes, died on 3rd October in Los Angeles. He was 70 and was suffering from cancer. Some of his best films are John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley, Cleopatra and The Greatest Story Ever Told.


Bombay distributors Shyam Shroff and Balkrishna Shroff will host a luncheon party in their office on 14th October. The Shroffs have been throwing such Diwali parties in their office since 1993.


The suspension of all production activities by producers in West Bengal entered the 20th day today (10th October). The suspension call was given by the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) on 21st September due to non-cooperation and misbehaviour by a few artistes with some producers.

Following the EIMPA call, there have been no shootings, editing, recordings and dubbings in Calcutta or elsewhere in the state for 20 days now.


Panchsheel cinema of Bhopal, which has been closed for renovation since seven months, will reopen on 20th October with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. 8-track DTS sound system has been installed at the cinema. Owner Azizuddin has spent heavily on the renovation.

The air-cooled cinema has a capacity of 1,427 seats divided as: Box 11, Balcony 589, and Family 827. Capacity nett per show is Rs. 16,773, and for 28 shows, it is Rs. 4,69,644.


Atul Agnihotri’s wife, Alvira, delivered a baby boy on 7th October at Breach Candy Hospital in Bombay.


The matter regarding the release of non-Kannada films in Karnataka has been amicably settled due to the good offices of K.C.N. Chandrasekhar, president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), Bangalore.

A delegation of the Film Federation of India (FFI) comprising its president, Santosh Singh Jain, Sv. Rm. Ramanathan, K.D. Shorey, N.N. Sippy, Shakti Samanta and L. Suresh had a meeting with the KFCC president and other members of its executive committee in Bangalore on October 6 and 7.


Which of the two Diwali releases is expected to take a better start?

– Can’t both, BADE MIYAN CHOTE MIYAN and KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI, take flying starts? The initial craze among masses is greater for BMCM, while among youngsters, it is for KKHH.

Is it true that Salman Khan has replaced Chandrachur Singh in Tips’ Friends?

– Yes, it is true, but then, such changes in cast are not new. There have been so many films in which either the hero or heroine or important character artiste has been replaced by another, for whatever reasons.

What is the ratio of success in the field of non-film music albums?

– The same as in films.


* Ramanand Sagar’s mega TV serial, SHRI KRISHNA, has achieved the unique distinction of earning the highest ever advertising revenue for DD, by a weekly serial. It has earned more than Rs. 70 crore. In its first year run on DD1, the serial earned more than Rs. 31 crore as advertisement revenue, by selling a total of 45,045 seconds of advertisement time — another record. …Producer Subhash Sagar’s ALIF LAILA has completed a run of 100 weeks on East Net — a division of M. Net of South Africa. The serial has been granted a further extension to air all its episodes.

* The latest Chiranjeevi starrer in Telugu, CHUDALANI VUNDI, is a jackpot. In Nizam, it has done a business of 2.3 crore in just 4 weeks. It is directed by Guna Shekhar and produced by Ashwini Dutt.

* Character actor Anjan Srivastava has bought two new cars — an Audi 80 and a Honda Accord. He comes for shooting in one car and returns home after pack-up in the other!

* That Madhuri Dixit is a thorough professional is common knowledge. The actress proved it once again when she wore a thin chiffon saree in snow-laden Alaska for a song picturisation of PUKAAR. And this, while all the other unit members were dressed in kilos of woollens!

* B. Subhash’s DULHAN BANOO MAIN TERI is inspired from a real-life incident. Once when B. Subhash was waiting at Sahar International airport, Bombay, to board a flight to the USA, a young girl approached him and asked him whether he was going to London. When he replied in the negative and asked her what her problem was, the girl broke down and said, she was in love with an NRI from London, who had promised to marry her, before leaving for London. She added that thereafter, she never heard from him and, therefore, she wanted to go to London to find him. Well, this is the inspiration for DULHAN… too.

* Joharilal Jhanjharia of Alka and Premsukh cinemas, Indore, has created a record of sorts. He has been the chairman of the scrutiny committee of the CCCA elections for more than 25 years now! Jhanjharia, incidentally, is known for his honesty.


Epic Enterprises’ Bade Miyan Chote Miyan was given C.C. No. CIL/1/59/98 (U) dt. 16-10-’98; length 4043.87 metres in 16 reels (cuts: 47.41 metres).

Dharma Productions’ Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was given C.C. No. CIL/1/58/98 (U) dt. 30-9-’98; length 5071.49 metres in 18 reels (minor deletion in sound only).


Tension Hota Hai

Finally, the much awaited trial of debut-making director Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was held on 6th October at Film City’s preview theatre. The first trial of the film’s first print was for the unit members and a few very close friends. It must have been Karan Johar’s proudest moment — showing his first creation to all those who were close to him. But, it was also the most scary moment of his life, we learn. For, as against the normal practice of people frequenting toilets during film shows either out of boredom or on a genuine call, it was the director himself who was running to the toilet more times than anyone else during the KKHH trial! “What could I do?”, explains Karan, “I was so nervous. I must have visited the toilet 12 times. It was even worse than appearing for my ICSE exams. some years ago!” We guess, his anxiety should be over, now that everyone — without a single exception — who has seen his film, is raving about it at length.

Odds Favour Amitabh?

On the eve of the Diwali release of Amitabh-starrer Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, here’s some interesting data of the Amitabh-starrers which were released on Diwali in the last 25 years, together with how they fared at the box-office: Saudagar (Diwali ’73): Flop; Parvarish (’77): Hit; Muqaddar Ka Sikander (’78): Blockbuster; Yaarana (’81): Hit; Mard (’85): Hit; and Akayla (’91): Flop. As you can see, out of the six Amitabh-starrers that have been released on Diwali, as many as four have been hits. Going by this, the odds seem to be quite in favour of BMCM. Let’s wait and watch.

Fax On Demand

As his Amitabh-Govinda starrer, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, gears up for a Diwali release, more compliments are coming producer Vashu Bhagnani’s way. This time from his C.P. Berar distributor, Laloo Kabra. Laloo, who is himself known for his speed and efficiency, praises Vashu Bhagnani for his efficiency. It so happened that as soon as Vashu got the censor certificate of BMCM, he telephoned all his distributors to give them the good news. Like he must have done with his other distributors, Vashu volunteered to fax a copy of the censor certificate to Laloo too. And guess what? He did it within the next 40 seconds! For Laloo, it must have surely been a big surprise as the very moment after he hung up the phone with Vashu, he got the copy of the certificate on his fax machine. Quite a Tez Miyan, this Vashu.

Ramoji Rao Strikes Deal For Film City

While the Indian film industry continues to ignore Ramoji Rao’s ultra-modern and self-sufficient Film City in Hyderabad, news comes in that a Hollywood venture is slated to be entirely filmed at the same Film City. The film, titled Night Fall, will be jointly produced by Ramoji Rao and Hollywood producer-director Roger Corman of New Horizons. The deal was struck after Corman visited the Film City on Ramoji Roa’s invitation. He was reported to be so impressed with the facilities available that he immediately finalised the plans for the film with Rao. Corman also mentioned that the Film City could be rated as one of the best in the world and added that it offered the same facilities that studios in Hollywood did. The budget of Night Fall is estimated to be in the region of US $20 to 30 million.

“Revise Ratios, Abolish MG Royalty”: Pramod Munot

Leading C.P. distributor-exhibitor Pramod Munot is not the one who minces words when he talks about the incongruities that exist in the film trade today. According to him, it is high time that all-India ratios were revised. He argues that while the admission rates in all the major cities have increased vastly, those in the smaller centres have not risen proportionately. Munot suggests that in order to determine the new ratios, the collections of a universal hit be taken into account. The new ratios can be easily worked out on this basis, he adds.

Munot also proposes that the MG royalty system should be abolished completely. It is not at all fair as the distributors pay crores of rupees to the producers who ignore them, he alleges. According to him, there is absolutely no business ethics among producers who refuse to show their films to the very people who have bought them. The business is reduced to gambling in such cases, he laments. And if the producers are so secretive about their films, let them give them to distributors on advance basis, suggests Munot.

Finally, he draws attention to a statement by a top industry leader, published a few weeks back in a national daily, in which the leader has expressed his cynicism at the government’s decision to grant industry status to films. The leader is quoted as saying that the new status has not benefitted the film industry at all. How irresponsible can the man be, asks Munot. He adds that the leader, perhaps, does not realise what benefits the government’s move will yield to the exhibition sector, for example. Bank loans would be made available for building new cinemas, power tariffs would be lower, and these would be only a few of the benefits that would come into the exhibition sector, he concludes. As it is, Munot feels, there should be 50,000 cinemas today rather than the existing 13,000.


Q: Why were Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam, Tabu arrested together, by the forest officers in Jodhpur (where they have gone for the shooting of Rajshri’s film) earlier this week? (Read details elsewhere in this issue).
A: Because they told the forest officers: “Hum Saath Saath Hain!”

Q: What if the five artistes are proved guilty of hunting wild animals in the forest?
A: They’ll individually admit: “Maine Shikaar Kiya.”


The congratulatory messages and good wishes we’ve been receiving all through the week on FILM INFORMATION completing 25 years on Dassera this year have overwhelmed us. We at INFORMATION humbly acknowledge the messages and resolve to keep the flag flying high.

The congratulatory advertisements and messages will be published in our issue next week, which will be a SILVER JUBILEE-cum-DIWALI BUMPER issue.

– Editor