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Guess which film Manmohan Desai hated?

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Among Manmohan Desai’s many blockbusters is the one that is most loved by audiences: Amar Akbar Anthony, the 1977 entertainer, where Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor played three long-lost brothers brought up as a Christian, a Hindu and a Muslim respectively.

Surprisingly Manji, as veryone affectionately called him, didn’t think much of the film.

In fact, he hated it.

In a lengthy interview stretching over two sessions on consecutive days with Subhash K Jha at his home in Mumbai in 1986, Manji — never known to mince words — flatly denounced Amar Akbar Anthony.

He called it a fluke hit!

“Among all the films that I’ve done with Amit (Bachchan), Amar Akbar Anthony was my least favourite. I prefer Naseeb, Coolie and Mard,” he had said.

His favourite film from his repertoire was the 1973 Shashi Kapoor-Sharmila Tagore starrer, Aa Gale Lag Jaa.

Amar Akbar Anthony involved my minimum effort, labour and money. It was a fluke hit. When it was released, I thought it had good songs. But I never thought it would be such a success,” Manji recalled.

“I was sure Aa Gale Lag Jaa would be a superhit while Amar Akbar Anthony would flop.”

 

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