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The Chetan Anand and Amitabh Bachchan film that thankfully got shelved at a crucial time. (Exclusive by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com)

12 May, 2020 | Articles on Cinema / Did You Know!

Rare pleasant surprises continue hitting hard as we keep digging into the archives of old publications, interviews and more rare sources. And this time, even when a lot has been already written about all shelved films of Amitabh Bachchan, I still could find another unheard of or lesser known film in an old issue of SCREEN newspaper/magazine after the last LAMBU DADA, I wrote about at BTC in December 2019.
(Click here to the read the article)
Post ZANJEER in 1973, the year 1975 happened to be the most important year for Amitabh Bachchan with two career defining films releasing one after another making way for the phenomenon of “Angry Young Man” taking over the entire era. The two films were DEEWAR and SHOLAY (apart from ZAMEER, CHUPKE CHUPKE, MILI and FARAAR coming in the same year). 
However just when the next phenomenon of Hindi Cinema was in the making, an advertisement got published in the reputed SCREEN newspaper/magazine in the month of July 1975 (a few weeks before SHOLAY’s release in Bombay).
The advertisement was unarguably a surprising one as it was of a historical film SALIM ANARKALI directed by Chetan Anand for his own banner Himalaya films with the names of Amitabh Bachchan (spelt as Bachan) and Priya Rajvansh (which was obvious) mentioned as the lead cast.
Interestingly the poster had a black strip pasted on the name along the heading Music – which might be because of no confirmation received by the proposed music director. On the other hand, it had Sudhendu Roy mentioned as Art Director and Janki Dass as Production Set-up person along with the names of PRO as Surendra Srivastava and B. K. Gaur.

Following the age-old trend of announcing films with a painted art-work instead of real artist images, the poster had the hand-drawn images of a burning candle, a feather and a royal Mughal King’s Turban placed together (that can be seen in the shared image).
Going back to the title of this exclusive article saying “The Chetan Anand-Amitabh Bachchan film that thankfully got shelved at a crucial time” – it was said so because a historical film coming post 1975 featuring Amitabh and Priya Rajvansh would not only have hampered the otherwise completely contrasting image of Amitabh Bachchan, but would have also brought big losses to Chetan Anand in financial terms. But then, since nobody can predict any film’s box office performance before its release (in most of the cases), we can never comment what would have been the results if this film was successfully made and released.
Personally speaking, the moment I got to see the poster, the first thought I had in mind was – this certainly deserved not to be made for everyone involved.

On a concluding note, I couldn't find any other information related with the film (even in the book on Chetan Anand). So please do share in comments if you have any additional info about the project.

Bobby Sing (Harpreet)
All Rights Reserved – 12th April 2020 – bobbytalkscinema.com 

Tags : The Chetan Anand and Amitabh Bachchan film Rare Share By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Rare and Exclusive by Bobby Sing, Shelved Films of Amitabh Bachchan.
12 May 2020 / Comment ( 1 )
Pratick Mukherjee


I came across this post while searching for something else.

Did you know why the name of the music director was blacked out?

I believe it was because originally the legendary music director Madan Mohan was considered for this.

There was an ill-fated meeting between Madan Mohan and Chetan Anand a couple of days before 14th July, 1975.

Unfortunately during the course of that evening, Madan Mohan would get sick and was rushed to the hospital.

He passed away within a day or so.

I am not sure whether the movie was shelved due to that ominous reason or for a different reason.

I agree with your view that the movie was miscast with Amitabh Bachan and Priya Rajvansh - neither of them would have been suited for their respective roles.

It would quite likely have been a commercial disaster as well for Chetan Anad.

The unfortunate demise of Madan Mohan may, or may not, have been the reason the movie was scrapped. However, that does explain why the music director was blacked out on the poster.

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