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When the discovery rediscovered the discoverer - Prem Nath and Vijay Anand. (Did You Know Facts of Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing)

23 Oct, 2018 | Articles on Cinema / Did You Know!

Though largely remembered for his famous villainous acts in films such as JOHNY MERA NAAM, DHARMATMA and KARZ, Prem Nath is equally recalled for his memorable positive acts in ROTI KAPDA AUR MAKAAN, KALICHARAN, BOBBY, SHOR, DESH PREMEE and more. However, the versatile actor actually began his career as a hero in the late 40s with AAG, AJIT, NAUJAWAN, AAN, BARSAAT, BAADAL posing as a strong competition to the then super stars.

Associated with Prithvi Theaters of Prithiviraj Kapoor from its initial years (later becoming a part of the family with his sister getting married to Raj Kapoor), Prem Nath was the elder brother of actors Rajendra Nath and Narendra Nath, and one of the first few heroes with a great physique playing the macho-man on screen. He later married actress Bina Rai and also produced films before getting disillusioned with his film career in the late-50s. The thinking actor even travelled to the Himalayas for his spiritual quest, made a documentary on Kailash Parbat and also wrote books as Tears of The Heart, Shradhanjali and more in that particular period of time, before making a powerful and surprising comeback in 1970.

On the other hand, the youngest among the Anand brothers, Vijay Anand (popularly known as Goldie) is known for revolutionsing Hindi cinema through his novel and powerful directorial skills, the art of story-telling and song picturisations. Starting his career with NAU DO GYARAH in the late 50s he later directed cinematic gems such as KALA BAZAAR, TERE GHAR KE SAMNE, GUIDE, TEESRI MANZIL, JOHNNY MERA NAAM, JEWEL THIEF and TERE MERE SAPNE transforming the way dramas, thrillers and even light comedies were made in Hindi Cinema. Also fond of acting, Vijay Anand was a part of a few of his own films and other projects as an  actor too (including a TV serial in the later years). But the visionary is more specifically remembered for his exceptional crime thriller movies that also remain an inspiration for many of the present well-known directors like Sriram Raghvan.
Coming to the link between the two regarding discovering and re-discovering each other, it’s not a widely known fact that Prem Nath had actually discovered a young talent as an actor-director back in the year 1954, when he was one of the three judges at a college dramatic competition. The two other judges were Ramanand Sagar and Kedar Sharma, and the play that won the first prize was titled REHEARSAL directed by a young Vijay Anand, becoming an early step towards his first directorial venture NAU DO GYARAH in 1957.
In the later years, though the veterans did work together in TEESRI MANZIL released in 1966, their fond relationship actually got pleasantly revived when the tables turned and the discoverer Prem Nath was rediscovered by his own discovery Vijay Anand in his trendsetting film JOHNY MERA NAAM released in 1970.
The highly entertaining and well-made crime thriller became a stepping stone, opening an entirely new chapter in the career of Prem Nath. And a disappointed or rather out of sight actor went on to contribute in many cult mega hits of Hindi Cinema thoroughly enjoying his long successful second innings till the mid-80s. Incidentally the film proved to be a milestone in the career of Padma Khanna too shocking the viewers in her song "Husn Ke Lakhon Rang" enacted with Prem Nath and also won the only Filmfare award for the multi-talented I. S. Johar for his hilarious triple comic act.
Showcasing the significant journey, his son Monty made a documentary on his father titled "Amar Prem Nath Last of the Titans" in the year 1995 which got aired on Doordarshan. In his interview Monty revealed that Vijay Anand originally wished Prem Nath to do the role of the lost brother in JOHNY MERA NAAM later played by Pran. However, he was somehow given the negative character instead that made him fully charged assuming the film to be its comeback project for sure. In his interview to FILMFARE Monty also recalled that as his father believed in astrology, he had confidently told Dev Anand that the film releasing on his birthday is certainly going to be a big hit benefitting all.

And JOHNY MERA NAAM did witness the same, becoming one of the most loved, acclaimed and inspiring outstanding creations of our Hindi cinema. 
In fact, that’s exactly how unexpected paybacks are planned by the destiny, as the much needed surprises, which put us back on track with a new blessed energy.

Bobby Sing
NOTE : The article in an edited form was also published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 24th October 2021.
Did You Know By Bobby SingFor more interesting articles on lesser known facts on Hindi Cinema, do try DID YOU KNOW Series by Bobby Sing available in both Book and E-book form.

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The E-book available at Amazon Kindle, Google Play, I-Books and Kobo.
Now also available in Hindi titled ITNA TO YAAD HAI MUJHE published by Prabhat Prakashan.

Hope all friends opting for it have a good time reading.

Tags : When the discovery rediscovered the discoverer Prem Nath and Vijay Anand by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Did You Know Facts of Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing, Lesser Known Facts about Hindi Cinema at bobbytalkscinema.com
23 Oct 2018 / Comment ( 2 )

Wonderful and very interesting write up. Enjoyed too much. 

Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot Sudarshan Pandey Ji.
Keep Visiting, reading and writing in.

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