Top 10 Movies of Rajesh Khanna

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Rajesh Khanna

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Two years…fifteen back to back solo hits….this is the stuff that Superstars are made of! This unbeaten record till date, won Rajesh Khanna the title of “Superstar”. In fact, the term itself was coined for him as he reined and ruled over the Hindi movie industry with his immense fan following, especially female-fans!  The stories of how the female fans waited, pursued and wooed him are legendary. It is the kind of success, dreams are made of! To pick the top 10 movies of the legendary Superstar, Rajesh Khanna is difficult if not impossible…Here are the top 10 for all times and seasons.

10. Ittefaq

This 1969 thriller directed by Yash Chopra had Rajesh Khanna playing Dilip Roy a man accused of murdering his wife.  This edge of the seat thriller will have you mesmerized the whole time.  This movie is one of the first Hindi movies, without any songs or dances. To think that Rajesh Khanna, a man who was the eternal Romantic hero with the most popular songs and dances picturized on him, acted in this movie, is remarkable on its own. Nanda plays Rekha in whose house the hero hides. Most of the movie is based on the action of one night!  Watch this to see Rajesh Khanna deliver yet another electrifying performance!

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9. Aap Ki Kasam

Rajesh Khanna plays a jealous husband Kamal Bhatnagar in this 1974 blockbuster movie. The movie saw him pairing with Mumtaz, another hit combination of their time. The songs are popular to this day and Rajesh Khanna’s performance of a jealous husband who repents his actions later on, are indeed a must-watch.  The very popular foot-tapping number, “Jai jai shiv Shankar”, the beautiful romantic, “Karvate badalte rahe”, and the philosophical “Zindagi ke safar mein” are all from this movie. Rajesh Khanna’s signature dance steps and style of acting can be seen and enjoyed in this movie, so go ahead and watch it for some serious dramatic stuff!

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8. Safar

Released in 1970, the movie had the winning combination of Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore along with Feroz Khan in the lead. The sensitive yet controlled performance of all the three main leads won a lot of critical acclaim.  Rajesh Khanna plays Avinash, a medical student, who is suffering from cancer.  The friendship between him and Neela (Sharmila Tagore) could be more, but in a seemingly casual way, Avinaash encourages her to marry Shekhar (Feroz Khan) and move on in life.  Life’s journey and its many unpredictabilities were beautifully vocalized in Kishore Kumar’s immortal voice with Rajesh Khanna lending  brilliant expression…It remains true to this day…”Zindagi ka safar, hain ye kaisa safar”!

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7. Avtaar

With this 1983 film, Rajesh Khanna again broke the mould, to deliver a blockbuster after a brief spell of failures. This comeback of sorts saw Rajesh Khanna playing an aged man, who copes with the negligence of his sons in a strong and stoic manner. It was indeed a very relevant theme of the day and Rajesh Khanna won many a critical acclaim for his performance. Ably supported by the equally talented Shabna Azmi, Rajesh Khanna in and as Avtaar became the role model for the older generation to follow…don’t depend on your children to look after you! The very famous “Chalo bulawa aaya hai, maata ne bulaya hai…” pictured on Rajesh Khanna and Shabna Azmi as they trek the path to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi is played to date on that route! Who would have thought that the romantic hero would walk the devotional path and still win many hearts!  Watch Avtaar, to see a different ‘avtaar’ of this legendary Superstar!

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6. Kati Patang

A Shakti Samanta movie, Kati Patang had Rajesh Khanna pairing with Asha Parekha. A blockbuster of its time, Kati Patang had many memorable songs. It yet again, established Rajesh Khanna as the reining Romantic hero of his times.  The hummable “Ye shaam mastani, madhuhosh kiye ja”, “Pyaar diwana hota hai, mastana hota hai” “Ye jo mohabbat hai” are all from this movie.  Based on the novel, “I Married a Dead Man”, the movie basically revolves around Madhavi’s (Asha Parkeh’s) life…the trials and tribulations she undergoes after running away from her marriage. The twists and turns in the plot along with the ensuing romancing between the lead pair, will keep you enthralled…Don’t miss it!

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5. Hathi Mere Sathi

The biggest hit of 1971, this Rajesh Khanna starrer made him a favorite with the kids as well! The movie was seen as an answer to Disney movies.  An orphan child and wild animals, an irresistible combination for kids! At a time when hardly any big heroes acted in movies that catered to children as well, this movie continues to stand out as an all out family entertainer to this day!  The movie also saw Salim-Javed as the co-screenplay writers for the first time. So, though their success is generally mentioned in conjunction with Amitabh Bachchan, it is Rajesh Khanna, who gave them their first big hit! Rajesh Khanna’s performance in the movie and the rapport he shares with the animals proved that his charm was not limited to people alone! Considered a great entertainer for kids, this is a great family-watch…For all you animal lovers; it’s a treat to watch the beautiful bond that the elephant Ramu and hero Rajesh Khanna share.

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4. Bawarchi

A far cry from his usual romantic and debonair roles, this Hrishikesh Mukherjee saw Rajesh Khanna in the title role of Bawarchi (Cook). Rajesh Khanna as Raghu enters the middle class joint family with all its usual squabbles and problems. This family entertainer is all about how Raghu enters the household and solves all problems and becomes indispensible to the family members. With Jaya Bhaduri, Hangal and other character artists supporting him, this is an out and out Rajesh Khanna movie. The ease with which he dons the long Khaki shorts (the only outfit we see him in the whole movie) and cleans and scrubs is a testimony to this great actor’s acting talent. At a time, when he had a huge fan following that worshipped his suave style and looks, he broke that mould to emerge a victor yet again! This feel good movie also has some interesting twists and turns…do watch it to get a different perspective of the legend’s work.

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3. Anand

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1971 film, Anand had Rajesh Khanna playing the title role. It won many awards that year, including the Filmfare Best Award Actor for Rajesh Khanna. He plays a terminally ill patient suffering from cancer, but his never say die attitude and his joie de verve are portrayed in stark contrast to Dr. Bhaskar Banerjee’s (Amitabh Bachchan) take on life.  Rajesh Khanna had a whole nation mourning his death in the movie!  The performance was extraordinary, the movie a classic, the dialogues unforgettable, and Rajesh Khanna had another hit to his credit. Watch this classic with a box of tissues next to you!

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2. Amar Prem

A Shakti Samanta Classic, released in 1972, Amar Prem sees Rajesh Khanna at his acting best! Paired with Sharmila Tagore, Rajesh Khanna gave an incredible performance in this movie. Set in Calcutta, the movie centers around two central characters, Sharmila Tagore (Pushpa) and Rajesh Khanna (Anand babu). The movie has some classic songs and dialogues, which have remained popular to this day. When Anand babu empathically says, “Pushpa, I hate tears”, a whole nation sighed!  With songs like “Chingari jo bhadke”, and “Kuch toh log kahenge” among others, Kishore Kumar’s voice officially became Rajesh Khanna’s! Such was Rajesh Khanna’s  popularity at the time of shooting this movie, that officials refused to permit the shooting of one of the songs under Howrah Bridge for fear that it would collapse under the weight of the innumerable fans who would gather there to watch the Superstar!  Watch this classic Rajesh Khanna’s movie for an unforgettable experience.

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1. Aradhana

Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana is irresistible! If you thought one Rajesh Khanna was alluring, then here we have him playing the double role of a father and son! The impact of his role was so huge that female fans would kiss his car, write letters in blood, and marry his photograph! Rajesh Khanna plays Arun Kumar (father) and Suraj (son), both men are shown to be young, dashing pilots in the Indian Air Force.   As he crooned “Mere Sapnon ki Rani kab aayegi tu” while riding in an open jeep on hilly terrain, a blushing Sharmila Tagore (Vandana) smiles coyly as she hides behind a novel on the toy train. The sparkling chemistry between them simmers from this opening song continuing to the unforgettable “Roop tera mastana, pyaar mera deewana’. A huge box office success, this movie further established Rajesh Khanna as the leading Romantic hero of all times. Rated among the most romantic movies of all times, this is indeed the best Rajesh Khanna movie ever!

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Conclusion

This stylish actor, who was fondly called “Kaka” by his co-stars, was an icon like never before in Bollywood.  His popularity and success remain unmatched to this day.  Such enigmatic legends are few and far between…The above list can only give you a brief glance at what this superstar has achieved!

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