Director: Ashok Kumar (Agarwal); Writer: K.K. Shukla; Cinematographer: Peter Pereira; Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor, Rati Agnihotri, Shoma Anand, Suresh Oberoi, Kader Khan, Om Shivpuri, Satyen Kappoo, Nilu Phule, Goga, Puneet Issar
Duration: 01:33:20; Aspect Ratio: 1.744:1; Hue: 352.696; Saturation: 0.045; Lightness: 0.433; Volume: 0.301; Cuts per Minute: 13.466
Summary: Remembered mainly as the film in which Bachchan suffered a near-fatal accident. The frame recording the incident is frozen as the legend of his injury flashes on to the screen. It is also Manmohan Desai’s most aggressively communal film. Iqbal (Bachchan) is orphaned when the villain Zafar (Khan) kills his father and rapes his mother Salma (Rehman). Zafar also bursts a dam killing hundreds of people. Iqbal grows up to become a leader of the coolies (porters) at a railway station. Other characters are the drunken journalist Sunny (Kapoor), a foster-child of the villain who befriends Iqbal, and the rich heroine Julie (Agnihotri) whose father was also killed by the villain. The end of the film, shot at the Haji Ali mosque in Bombay, makes an appeal to the lumpenised Muslim underclass when an injured Iqbal invokes the power of Allah to deal the death blow to the villain. Iqbal also enjoys an electoral triumph over Zafar, foreshadowing Bachchan’s election as an MP in 1984. Not to be confused with the Malayalam film Coolie (also 1983) directed by Ashok Kumar.