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When Manmhan Desai Revealed Amar Akbar Anthony Was His Least Favourite Film: 'It Had Good Songs But…' –

In Manmohan Desai’s movie Amar Akbar Anthony, there’s a scene where three men donate blood to a woman. Instead of collecting it separately, the blood is directly pumped from the men’s bodies to the woman through tubes. Some might think it’s silly, but Desai knew he was making films for the masses who enjoy this kind of entertainment and had mentioned it in a chat with Subhash K Jha in 1986. He had also said that Amar Akbar Anthony was a fluke hit and his least favourite among the films he did with Amitabh Bachchan. He also directed the megastar in other movies like Mard, Coolie, Parvarish, Suhaag and Naseeb.

Desai’s film had a big star-studded cast including Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Neetu Kapoor and Parveen Babi. But he didn’t expect it to be such a success. He said, “Amar Akbar Anthony involved my minimum effort, labour and money. When it was released, I thought it had good songs, but I never thought it would be such a success. I was sure Aa Gale Lag Jaa (starring Sharmila Tagore and Shashi Kapoor) would be a superhit while Amar Akbar Anthony would flop.”

The film also had a famous scene where Amitabh’s character, Anthony, is drunk and talks to himself in the mirror. Shabana, who was also in the film, mentioned seeing Amitabh do a perfect take 14 times. Even though the first take was fine, he had to redo it many times due to a technical issue. In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, she remembered how they would shoot scenes for both Amar Akbar Anthony and Parvarish on different studio floors. Amitabh Bachchan once mentioned shooting the scene while Desai was on the set of Parvarish.

Taking to his blog, he had written, “Man ji said to me, you rehearse this mirror scene ‘main zara us floor pe shot lekar aata hoon’ .. but when he came back I had already done the scene and shot it with the ASST., .. a basic idea given by Kader Bhai .. rest is all impromptu, ad lib, one take .. !!”

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