Friday, May 12, 2006


Caught the end of a documentary concerning my favourite Indian actor
Shammi Kapoor on TV last night - inspiring me to briefly wax lyrical about the guy unofficially known as the Bollywood Elvis.

I had a marvellous Elvis-style number in mind for you chaps, but why go to such effort when stellar individuals like raymondo1960 do all the leg work for you?

The clip below perfectly illustrates one of my favourite facets of 60s Bollywood cinema - characters having an outrageously good time and (to quote good friend Bill Barounis) dancing like they're on cocaine and being electrocuted at the same time.

Shammi is part of Indian Cinema's Royal Family - the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, and brother of Raj and Shashi Kapoor. At the height of the swinging 60s he took on the mantle of Bollywood's premiere rebel movie star - a combination of James Dean and Elvis Presley mixed in with some Cary Grant schmooze. Most of his leading man career was spent romancing such Bollywood Beauties as Padmini, Helen, and Asha Parekh, although I'm not 100% certain who the girl marvelling at Shammi's Mop Top is in this clip. You heard Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi on playback duty.

The Janwar (or Beast) of the title is played by Shammi's real-life father, who no doubt disapproves of his son's wayward lifestyle and flouting of Apple Corps. copyright.

Janwar is a new one on me, so I'm indebted to Raymondo for the introducion. It only seems to be available on VCD from UltraIndia - worth mentioning they've a nasty habit of sticking nasty great copyright warnings all over the musical numbers. I can appreciate why they're doing it, but it's a complete arse for law abiding citizens like you and me.

Hmmm - this movie has got me thinking : what other classic Beatle rip-offs are there, aside from the Post-Python Rutles..?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beat the Meatles from Spike & Mike?

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:07 AM  
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2:29 AM  
Blogger Norwood Matt said...

Where are the fondue forks? Must gouge eyes out. Thanks ever-so for bringing this to our attention.

1:11 AM  
Blogger UVR said...

The woman Shammi is 'romancing' in this song is Rajshree Shantaram (raaj-shree shaan-taa-raam), daughter of V. Shantaram, who was a successful Bollywood personality in his own rights (see Wikipedia).

3:32 PM  
Blogger Trauma Queen said...

hi..i discovered this video today and am have putit up on my blog. Have also linked this blogpost to it. Hope it's ok

1:27 AM  
Blogger Katrin said...

Yay! Shammi definitely deserves a post in his honor (or five, or six ...)
Jaanwar is a really fun movie and you should definitely watch it. Soon.
There must be a DVD available somewhere. Mine's from Bollywood Entertainment and you should be able to get that from nehaflix or indiaweekly.

11:35 PM  

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