Archive for October 8th, 2008

October 8, 2008

Bombay Superstar

In 1973, the BBC documentary series Man Alive aired an episode about the then-reigning superstar of Hindi cinema, Rajesh Khanna, called “Bombay Superstar.” Thanks to my friend and fellow Rajesh fan Asli Jat (who also wrote a helpful synopsis of it for me) I managed to finally get a rare look at it: a copy of a VHS tape digitally converted several times, so quality is not optimal, but it’s easily interesting enough to make it worth seeing.

Reporter Jack Pizzey went to India and managed to interview the reclusive star, along with directors Hrishikesh Mukherjee and J. Om Prakash, actors Mumtaz and Shashi Kapoor, and others. Footage includes his surprise wedding to Dimple Kapadia, the Kashmir location shoot of Aap Ki Kasam and the film premiere of Daag. Besides being a profile of Rajesh, it’s also a fascinating look at the politics and power plays inside the industry, and the struggle it takes to stay at the top.

I’ve included some audio clips so that you can have the pleasure of hearing these legendary film personalities speak, along with some (very poor) screen shots of the program.

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