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The very mention of the word ‘Yahoo’ conjures up images of the iconic Shammi Kapoor’s eccentric, lively and of course truly unforgettable onscreen personality. During his nearly six-decade-long association with the Indian film industry, the actor won over a legion of passionate fans and redefined the meaning of cool along the way. Today, on Kapoor’s birth anniversary, let us take a trip down memory lane and relive some of his most iconic big screen outings.
Tumsa Nahin Dekha: Released in 1957 and directed by Nasir Hussain, ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’ proved to be Shammi Kapoor’s ticket to instant stardom. It gave Kapoor an ideal platform for showcasing his youthful looks and charismatic mannerisms. Also featuring Ameeta and Pran in important roles, the film was touted as a musical.
China Town: Touted as thriller, ‘China Town’ featured Shammi Kapoor in a double role and gave him an opportunity to showcase his versatility to the fullest. Boasting of some lifting tunes from Ravi, the film was later on remade in Telugu and Tamil as ‘Bhale Thammudu’ and ‘Kudiyirundha Koyil’ respectively. While MGR starred in the Tamil remake, NTR played the lead role in its Telugu retelling.
Junglee: The film that made ‘Yahoo’ a synonym for Shammi Kapoor, ‘Junglee’ is best remembered for its energetic music and lighthearted storyline. Directed by Subodh Mukherjee, the movie was a runaway hit at the box office and has become a cult classic over the years.
Professor: Yet another popular film that bears testimony to Shammi Kapoor’s acumen as a performer, ‘Professor’ saw him play the role of a young man who disguises himself as an old tutor in order to teach to young girls. Released in 1962, this Lekh Kapoor-directed venture fared well at the ticket window, helping Kapoor bag a Filmfare nomination.
Prince: One of the most commercially successful films of 1969, ‘Prince’ created quite a buzz amongst movie buffs courtesy its intriguing plot which revolved around a irresponsible young prince. It also featured Vyajanthimala, Ajit and Rajendra Nath in important roles.
Brahmachari: A film that can well and truly be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, ‘Brahmachari’ featured Shammi Kapoor in the role of a caring simpleton. The movie is best remembered for the crackling rapport between Shammi Kapoor and his co-star Rajshee. A big winner at the box office, ‘Brahmachari’ helped Kapoor bag his only Filmfare award in the ‘Best Actor’ category.
An Evening in Paris: Featuring the stunning onscreen pair of Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore, ‘An Evening in Paris’ became the talk on the town courtesy Kapoor’s debonair avatar and stylish mannerisms. Moreover, the film also gave the conservative lobby quite a shock when Tagore donned a bikini in one of the scenes.
Amaran: It was in 1992 that Shammi Kapoor gave the Tamil film industry a taste of his unique style when he essayed a pivotal role in ‘Amaran’. Featuring him in the role of a don, the film was a major commercial success and enjoyed a 100 day run at theatres.
Kashmir Ki Kali: The film is regarded as one of the classics of Indian cinema courtesy its breathtakingly beautiful locales, memorable numbers and of course the crackling Sharmila-Shammi chemistry. Touted as a romantic drama it was directed by Shakti Samantha.
Manoranjan: A remake of the French film ‘Irma La Douce’, this comedy was way ahead of its times. Released in 1974, it pushed the boundaries of morality by portraying prostitution as a fun-filled activity. Despite being a mild revolution in the history of Indian cinema, the movie could not find much success at the ticket window. Interestingly, ‘Manoranjan’ was directed by Shammi Kapoor himself.
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