By: Kimberly Rodrigues
LEGENDARY producer, director, and writer Nasir Hussain made unforgettable movies that entertained audiences across different generations and was largely responsible for introducing a western-inspired rock’n’roll swagger into Bollywood.
He also launched new talent, who went on to become all-time greats, like iconic actress Asha Parekh and his nephew Aamir Khan. The ace filmmaker passed away on March 13 2002 after a prolific career but left behind an impressive body of work. To mark his death anniversary, which falls this week, Eastern Eye put together a watchlist of his top 10 movies, listed in chronological order.
Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957): After achieving success as a writer in Bollywood, Nasir Hussain made his directorial debut with this influential movie. He injected a western edge that had been missing from Hindi cinema and helped turn struggling actor Shammi Kapoor into an overnight star. He played a young man brought up by his single mother, who unexpectedly gets a chance to reconnect with an affluent father he hates. The movie was filled with great songs, and this musical mastery would define his impressive body of work.
Dil Deke Dekho (1959): The filmmaker followed up his hit debut with another rock’n’roll classic, featuring Shammi Kapoor in the lead role. He took a similar story template, but this time the protagonist is separated from his estranged mother. The musical mega-hit introduced audiences to Asha Parekh. She would not only become one of the greatest leading ladies of all time, but also a muse for Hussain.
Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961): After two big successes as a director, the ace filmmaker marked his debut as a producer with this musical. Dev Anand and Asha Parekh headlined the multi-layered romance about a woman, who falls in love with a man, who might be hiding secrets from her. It was another film with a stunning collection of songs.
Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963): The romantic musical set in a picturesque setting revolved around a hopeless romantic from a broken home trying to woo a woman betrothed to someone else. Hussain produced and directed the multi-layered movie filled with magnificent songs, which was his first film in glorious technicolour. His muse Asha Parekh once again played the lead role and starred opposite Joy Mukherjee.
Teesri Manzil (1966): The filmmaker reunited with his favourite leading pair Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh for this film that cleverly combined a murder mystery, romance, and a rip-roaring soundtrack. He wrote and produced the iconic movie, directed by Vijay Anand, which would go on to become a cult classic. The movie would also be a star-making moment for young composer RD Burman, who would go on to rule Bollywood in the following decade.
Caravan (1971): The last big collaboration between the ace filmmaker and his muse Asha Parekh revolves around an heiress, who escapes from a villainous husband and finds love again after she takes up a new identity with a band of performing gypsies. The movie best remembered for iconic item number Piya Tu Ab To Aja, was loosely based on Hollywood film Girl On The Run (1953) and was a huge box-office success.
Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973): The super hit film is best remembered for iconic song Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko, but was so much more than that. Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman headlined the movie, which is credited with helping to create the Bollywood masala entertainer, which has a little bit of everything, including action, music, romance, crime, and a thriller element. Hussain produced, directed, and co-wrote the film, which would later be remade in multiple languages.
Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977): The blockbuster musical headlined by Rishi Kapoor was loaded with super hit RD Burman composed songs like Bachna Ae Haseenon and the award-winning Kya Hua Tera Vaada. Hussain produced, directed, and co-wrote this masala entertainer that had everything from romance and comedy to villains and a family drama.
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988): Hussain produced and co-wrote this smash hit musical, which marked the debut of his nephew Aamir Khan as a leading man and helped turn Juhi Chawla into a star. The story of star-crossed lovers also introduced his other nephew Mansoor Khan as a director and brought romance back into Bollywood. It would win a Filmfare award for Best Film.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992): For his final big success, Hussain reunited his nephews Mansoor Khan and Aamir Khan for the coming-of-age sports drama inspired by 1979 Hollywood film Breaking Away. He produced and co-wrote the story of two brothers with contrasting personalities, which had many memorable moments like the song Pehla Nasha. The movie introduced Farah Khan as a choreographer and would win him another Filmfare award for Best Film.