Blast from the Past: Akshay, Saif and Sunil Shetty’s Interview from 1994

  1. Bored 12 years ago

    This is a funny article. It came out when Anil, Sunny and Sanjay were past their prime and the Khans were together having a low patch after AAA and Anjam flopped. Comparatively Akshay, Saif, Sunil had a few small hits and covered the airtime with some hit songs.

    This article must have gone to press during the initial weeks of HAHK run, which was a very slow starter and probably had not picked up yet. Soon the barrage of massive grossers in KA, DDLJ, Rangeela, RH, DTPH, etc in the coming years were to put the 3 Khans way above the reach of anyone else.

    • Bored 12 years ago

      If Filmfare today runs a story featuring Emraan Hashmi, John Abraham and Tushar Kapoor with them saying Ranbir’s script sense is good – then that does not make Ranbir a superstar or even #1 star at present. πŸ™‚

      • Author
        sputnik 12 years ago

        Today there are Khans (Aamir, Salman, SRK) who all are ahead of Ranbir. So no one will compare Emraan, John and Tushar with Ranbir. If you see any articles today Salman is the yardstick.

        Back in September 1994 who were the Khan equivalents? Amitabh had already retired after Khuda Gawah in 1992. Sanjay was already in jail. Anil did not have any hits after Beta till Laadla and most of the credit went to Sridevi for that. Anil’s Roop Ki Rani was a big flop and that hurt his stardom. Sunny lost badly to SRK in Darr and that hurt him with respect to public perception.

        Salman was giving flops since Saajan to HAHK which just released in August 1994 and Madhuri got all the credit for that. Aamir’s movies were doing decently but weren’t big hits (JJWS, HHRPK).

        The pictures no longer work as boxofficekings gives some virus warnings but Doga had posted this Movie Magazine Opinion Poll of 1995 and I had made this comment. According to that poll Amitabh was still No 1 even though he had retired. That poll talked about SRK being No 2 to Amitabh even for 1993 in the 1994 poll.

        “Thanks for posting this here Doga. Thanks Shetty Bhai for these scans.

        Since Amitabh was already retired since Khuda Gawah (1992) this poll proves that SRK was No 1 since 1993 (year earlier) after Baazigar/Darr as I have always said. It also says that SRK has more male fans and I have always said that he had more male fans after Baazigar/Darr and that he got female fans after DDLJ. Salman being so low on the poll also proves that he hardly benefited from the success of HAHK and that Madhuri stole all the credit.

        Nana and his dialogues from Krantiveer were a craze that year. Askshay had hits like Yeh Dillagi, Mohra but he also had a lot of releases that year. Sanjay’s career pretty much got destroyed with his going to jail as can be seen in the poll.”

        Opinion Poll Results 1995 Part 1

        • Bored 12 years ago

          Agree that there were no Khan equivalents in 1994. So one can argue about SRK being #1 by default. But again, does that make him a Superstar at that point? Without Khans, would Ranbir right now have the merits/accomplishments to be called a Superstar?

          Opinion polls are always dicey. Ormax’s monthly SIL polls stated Hrithik was #2 after Agneepath and then Akshay was #2 after RR released. Even in Shailesh’s recent public polls he had Amitabh higher than Aamir, with Akshay just one slot below Salman.

          • Author
            sputnik 12 years ago

            As the proverb goes “Andho Mein Kana Kaja” meaning One eyed person is the King among blind people πŸ˜‰

            Luck is also very important and SRK was very lucky in that respect. Amitabh retired before his debut. Sanjay Dutt ended up in jail. Anil ruined his career after doing Roop Ki Rani. Anil was unlucky that he had to contend with Amitabh when he was doing well in mid to late 80s.

  2. aryan 12 years ago

    Nice post Sputnik. All the stars were praising SRK’s talent and script selection and I think he was the NO-1 Star.

  3. Gaurav S. Shahane 12 years ago

    In my opinion Amitabh Bachchan is the only true Superstar of Hindi cinema. Rajesh Khanna the First Superstar of Indian cinema washed away all the glittering stars who were the likes of Shammi Kapoor, the troika of Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor and also others like Rajendra ”Jubilee” Kumar, Biswajeet. Even Dharmendra’s popularity suffered a temporary downfall because of the storm that was Rajesh Khanna. However, even the mass phenomenon could not hold fort for long what with his career going into a downward spiral partly because of overexposure and dominantly due to his callous and unprofessional attitude on film sets replete with throwing tantrums time and again. Randhir Kapoor the then considered scion of the Kapoor legacy ultimately faded away after a brief good spell in the industry. Rishi Kapoor the other heir of the notable family also had to face rough weather in the industry despite the stupendous launchpad provided to him by his father in Bobby(he gave 8 flops after Bobby). Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar gave an occasional hit here and there but by by and large the sun had set on their careers. Raj Kapoor had long since given up acting to pursue his interest in filmmaking. Compared to all of them, the six feet two inches long man with a baritone, Amitabh Bachchan did not look back once after he became an overnight sensation with Zanjeer(1973).

    In an instant his earlier thirteen flops were forgotten and he was billed as the next big thing after Rajesh Khanna(Bachchan became a superstar in 1973, the same year in which Khanna began disintegrating). Since Zanjeer, Amitabh gave several of the biggest hits of the film industry with Abhimaan,Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Majboor, Benaam, Kasauti, Deewar, Sholay, Kabhie Kabhie, Hera Pheri, Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish and the list goes on. He is the only actor who boasts of delievering the 4 consecutive highest grossing films of 1978 namely- Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Trishul, Don and Kasme Vaade. Also he has played leading roles in the highest grossing films of 3 consecutive years-Amar Akbar Anthony(1977), Muqaddar Ka Sikandar(1978) and Suhaag(1979). Mind you these feats have not been achieved or repeated even by the three Khans as yet. Yes, Amitabh has had his share of flops too but they were again a result of his overexposure onscreen. After all, even Shah Rukh Khan can’t manage to give more than two hits in a year; eg: In 2004, Khan had two mega-hits to his credit, they being Main Hoon Na and Veer-Zaara. However his third film that year Swades crashed at the box office inspite of it’s topicality, mainly because it was a very offbeat film. SRK had not even managed to give a hit for a while after DDLJ(1995), what with debacles like Ram Jaane, Angrezi Babu Desi Mem, Oh Darling Yeh Hain India that followed. In 1996, none of his films did well and though in 1997 he made a comeback with Dil To Pagal Hain, Pardes and the average grosser Koyla, after Kuch Kuch Hota Hain in 1998, Khan’s career was not in the best form with the below average reception that Baadshah(1999) recieved at the box office. In the following year too he had to rely on Amitabh Bachchan’s renewed popularity courtsey KBC, in Mohabbatein, in order to salvage and boost his career which was in danger due to the arrival of the new heartthrob Hrithik Roshan. Khan had to contend with Roshan too and by far it was the most difficult year for Khan professionally. Even today, we observe that all the three Khans star in only one or two films a year which they package and publicise well and make them successes at the box office, and then boast of having an indomitable box office standing. They might be fearing that if they star in more than two films, the next one might just flop at the box office due to viewer fatigue thus endangering their tally of hits.

    Comparatively, Amitabh ruled the film industry for more than a decade, giving the biggest successes of the industry one after the other and he was irreplaceable, even with the arrival of Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor in the early and mid 1980’s. Whereas, Shah Rukh’s career stumbled hardly wthin a decade of his entry into the film industry and also unlike Amitabh Bachchan, he was considered interchangeable for a brief period of time with Hrithik Roshan. Amitabh constanty gave hits upto 1986, while Shah Rukh Khan had bad patches in 1994,1996 and 1999 respectively. Moreover, Amitabh could have continued his rule on the Hindi film industry longer had he not been tempted to pursue politics which was not his cup of tea. His career slumped primarily because of his disastrous stint in politics as well as the defamation faced by him due to his false implication in the Bofors Scandal. Still he made a highly successful comeback in Shahenshah(1988) and continued giving big hits till 1991, like Aaj Ka Arjun and Hum including big openers llke Jaadugar and Ajooba. As Balkrishna Shoff, the leading film distributor has opined in his interview given above in Movie Magazine, only Amitabh had that kind of immensely magnetic star power to make even his bad films and flops to run. In his prime, even his flops earned more than his competitors’ hits. A very good example of this fact is Bachchan’s film Agneepath(1990), which despte being a colossal flop made more money than other successful films released that year and also managed to bag the 4th spot in the list of the highest grossing films of 1990. Sine then Agneepath has generated a cult popularity and fan following among the audience, which cannot be rivalled even by the hugely successful remake of the film by the same name-Agneepath(2012) starring Hrithik Roshan who reprises the role of Bachchan. The other two Khans Aamir and Salman too have not consistently given hits. While Aamir had to struggle after Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak(1988), till he delievered hits like Dil and Raja Hindustani, even Salman Khan experienced a downward slide after Maine Pyaar Kiya his super-successful debut and a couple of hits like Baaghi, Saajan and Sanam Bewafa, till he got Hum Aapke Hain Kaun by the grace of Sooraj Barjatya. Before Wanted(2009) too, Salman’s career was not so happening as he had delievered more flops than hits, with an infrequent hit once in a while. Aamir too was unsteady before Rang De Basanti and Fanaa, after the sad plight of Mangal Pandey-The Rising which released after his self-imposed exile of 4 years. All three Khans have their own target markets. Shah Rukh appeals to the rich and higher middle class strata of society as well as international audiences largely consisting of NRI’s. Salman enjoys popularity amongst the poorer classes and masses while Aamir has got his own huge niche market and target audience for his films. But unlike all the three Khans, Amitabh’s popularity was not limited to a certain section of society. Rather, he had a universal appeal among all the classes as well as masses cutting across various states and linguistic barriers. His international fame extends upto the US, UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa(notably Egypt).

    Come to think of it and you will find that of all these stars before Amitabh and after him, it was only and only Amitabh who was consistent in his success at the box office when he was in his prime which is a feat today’s top stars can’t and have never been able to emulate. That’s why the timeline of the film industry will always be divided into two eras i.e. Pre-Amitabh Bachchan and Post-Amitabh Bachchan. It is for this reaon that till date Amitabh Bachchan still enjoys the status of being the all time most popular and commercially successful star of Indian cinema.

    • Author
      sputnik 12 years ago

      You have pretty much summed up the history of Amitabh and Khans – overall a balanced comment though. I however don’t think its fair to compare people across different time periods.

      • Gaurav S. Shahane 12 years ago

        @sputnik: Dude, I wasn’t making any comparisons between Big B and the Khans. I was only making the point that Amitabh is by far the most popular and commercially successful superstar of the film industry. Adjusted for inflation, his films have grossed more than any of those of the currently reigning trio of the Khans. That does not mean I was saying that SRK, Aamir and Salman are a pile of rubbish in comparison to Amitabh. I only implied that Amitabh is better, not that the Khans are bad. It’s only a matter of choice, say if I am asked to choose the sexier one between Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra, I would choose Bipasha. That does NOT mean I don’t like Priyanka Chopra or that I don’t find her hot and sexy. Same goes for the matter of Amitabh and the Khans. If you felt I was making comparisons between Big B and the Khans, I am extremely sorry. Though I observed in certain comments above mine, that even Ranbir Kapoor has been compared to Shah Rukh Khan, even though both of them belong to different eras in the film industry. Ranbir Kapoor is almost two decades younger to SRK in the film industry, then why should they both be compared with each other either? What’s your take on that?

        • Author
          sputnik 12 years ago

          I said you summed it up pretty well and you have no reason to be sorry about anything.

          I think that Amitabh is better than the Khans acting wise. But BO comparisons between them are not fair because they belong to different time periods. Amitabh was in the last leg of his career as a hero when Aamir, Salman debuted and retired before SRK made his debut.

          Since the Khans are doing well (Salman, Aamir more than SRK) there will be comparisons of Ranbir with them even though he is two decades younger to them. But if tomorrow the Khans retire or flop completely and Ranbir becomes the Top star then that would be the start of a new era with Ranbir. If someone says that HAHK/DDLJ/RH were silver jubilees and Ranbir movies don’t run for even 50 days then that’s not fair.

          • Gaurav S. Shahane 12 years ago

            Thanks dude for enlightening me. Initially, I misconstrued your reply as being something accusatory, but thanks for clearing the air. I believe we should converse more like this on other articles too on this website. I am now a huge fan of this site.

  4. Author
    sputnik 12 years ago


    Sure. Do comment on other articles that you find interesting and we can converse.

  5. Navneet Mundhra 11 years ago

    @Gaurav S. Shahane Your analysis of Amitabh and Khans is half-baked… Salman Khan have 7 hits in 2 years (1998-99) – Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Bandhan (Did well in interiors).. In 1999, three BIGGEST hits belonged to Salman – Biwi No.1, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Hum Saath Saath Hai..

    Is this not ROARING success??

    Yes, Salman had a couple of rough years but so did Amitabh and all actors..

    and please discount movies having him in guest roles e.g. Saawan, Heroes, Hello..

    His record would have been more sterling had he planned his release dates in a better manner like he’s doing now!!

    and now FIVE back-to-back blockbusters… No other in Indian cinema has given five BLOCKBUSTERS in a row, not even Amitabh Bachchan..

  6. Navneet Mundhra 11 years ago

    As for Aamir Khan… well, his success ratio is much better than Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, SRK or any other actor. You pointed out rare failure like Mangal Pandey.. What about a glut of classics? No other actor has enjoyed the kind of credibility Aamir Khan has!! His name associated with any movie in any capacity ensure audience’s interest.. Peepli Live, Delhi Belly!!

    Amitabh had done many crap movies.. He would do 7-8 movies a year.. One superhit, 2 hits, 2 average, 3 flops!! Shaan, Shakti, Silsila, Ram Balram, Desh Premee… so many flops.. Yaarana was average grosser..

    and in late 80s, he gave more flops than hits.. Jaadugar, Akayla, Indrajit, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, Toofan… Khuda Gawah may have minted money but the budget was too exorbitant..

  7. Bored 11 years ago

    Aamir’s plus point is he acted in some good movies that worked well at BO. At the same time he has 2 main problems – he acted in many atrocious movies and have overall done very low number of movies. When u are that selective, then a higher success ratio does not matter that much – its pretty much expected.

    Salman had years and years at a stretch when he was no better than a B-grade star (2000-2009). Even his own producers/distributors wudnt take him seriously then. Even now he is pretty much a star of B-grade movies but since Dabangg the audience of B-grade movies have started to go to theaters in hordes.

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