Centenary Year Of Pran

How Pran Made Flop Actors Shammi Kapoor And Dev Anand Into Star!

After the huge success of Bombay Talkies film Ziddi and AVMs Bahar, Pran became a name to reckon. No big-budget films were complete without Pran. Film starring top stars like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Raj Kapoor had Pran as the key villain. For instance, AVM Films Chori Chori, Bimal Roy’s Madhumati, S. Mukeerjee’s Munimji, etc. Similarly in the 1960s top filmmakers A. Bhim Singh, Shakti Samanta, Bhappi Sonie, K. Amarnath, Nasir Hussain, and others took Pran as the lead villain. A few of his 60’s hit film are Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Rajkumar (1964), Love in Tokyo (1966), An Evening in Paris (1967), Patthar Ke Sanam (1967), Milan (1967), etc.

Pran‘s cemented his status in the film industry from his first film Ziddi and continued to dominate Bollywood in the ’50s and ’60s as the most sought after villains. Pran was thus the ‘Star’ Villain of the ’50s and ’60s. His spell over the audience was such that cine buffs thronged cinema halls attracted not by the hero or heroine’s name but it was Pran‘s charisma that drew them to watch films. In fact, in the late ’50s the rage of Pran‘s villainy reached its apex and filmmakers minted money on Pran‘s ‘Magical Spell’ on fill buffs! Instead of spending huge money on top stars filmmakers paid Pran handsome remuneration and introduced newcomers.

Thus indirectly Pran proved a catalyst into making several actors into stars. Since he was a good actor and a popular Star hence debutant filmmakers depended on his popularity and hired flop actors or newcomers. For instance film director Nasir Hussain dared to cast a flop actor like Shammi Kapoor in Tumsa Nahin Dekha, or Dev Anand in Munimji and Joy Mukerjee in Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon and interesting all the films turned blockbusters and made the trio Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Joy Mukerjee overnight stars!  Besides, many more stars owe their success to Pran like Manoj Kumar (Sawan Ki Ghata), Biswajit (Mere Sanam), Rajendra Kumar (Mere Mehboob), etc.

Pran‘s versatility as an actor was that he would even make a monotonous character like the ordinary villain in Bollywood films wooing the heroine. Pran played this kind of role in numerous films but each time he made it different like in the film Kashmir Ki Kali, Pran played a man from the hills hence he spoke in their accent and pronounced ‘Sa’ as ‘Sha’ that made the character lively. Likewise in the film Patthar Ke Sanam, Pran played a Punjabi and made the character remarkable using a single liner ‘Kyon? Theek Hai Na Theek?’ and then viciously puffed his cigarette with a crooked eye to unleash terror!

Pran was one actor who created terror even as a dead man! If you don’t believe watch the film, Kab Kyon Aur Kahan in which he played a dead man who returns back from the grave! Similarly, in Mehmood‘s film Sadhu Aur Shaitaan he is killed in the taxi and how his dead body horrifies the passengers sitting in the cab! Pran created jitters in the audience with his horrifying look of his eerie eyes!!

Watch the scene from the film Sadhu Aur Shaitaan to believe your eyes on YouTube

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