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Zanjeer (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Javed Akhtar (dialogue)
Javed Akhtar (screenplay)
View company contact information for Zanjeer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 May 1973 (India) See more »
The world erodes around Vijay, an honest police officer. He is jailed for 6 months on false charges, trapped by gang leader Teja. When Vijay is released from jail, he plans to take revenge. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
4 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Thrilling, carefully crafted art that is essential viewing See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Amitabh Bachchan ... Insp. Vijay Khanna

Jaya Bhaduri ... Mala

Pran ... Sher Khan

Om Prakash ... De Silva

Ajit ... Seth Dharam Dayal Teja

Bindu ... Mona
Iftekhar ... Police Commissioner Singh (as Iftikhar)
Keshto Mukherjee ... Gangu (as Kesto Mukherji)
Randhir ... Lala Ashok - Sherkhan's friend - Usurer
Gulshan Bawra ... Street Singer
Ram Mohan ... Kabir
Yunus Parvez ... Constable
B.B. Bhalla
Sanjana ... Street Dancer
Purnima ... Sumitra - Vijay's mother
M. Rajan ... Ranjeet - Vijay's father
Goga Kapoor ... Goga (as Goga)
Kirti Sethi
Bhushan Tiwari ... Smuggler - Teja's man (as Bhooshan Tiwari)
Gulloo (as Gulu)
Omkar (as Onkar)
Nandita Thakur ... Shanti Bhabhi
Satyendra Kapoor ... Police Inspector (as Satyen Kappoo)
D.K. Sapru ... Patil (as Sapru)
Amrit Pal ... Man offered 'Sher Khan' money to kill (as Amrit Paul)
Master Rajesh
Dhanraj (as Dhan Raj)
Javed Khan ... Smuggler - Teja's man (as Khan)
Makarnai (as Makrani)
Ranvir Raj ... Smuggler - Teja's man (as Ranbir)
Ramnath (as Ram Nath)
Yograj Singh (as Yograj)
Krishan Dhawan ... Smuggler - Teja's man (as Dhawan)
Ashalata Wabgaonkar ... Police Inspector's wife - Vijay's stepmother (as Asha Lata)

Mac Mohan ... Man caught in Teja's liquor warehouse (as Mack Mohan)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ram P. Sethi ... Constable
Bharat B. Bhalla ... Acctor (uncredited)

Directed by
Prakash Mehra 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Javed Akhtar  dialogue (as Javed)
Javed Akhtar  screenplay (as Javed)
Javed Akhtar  story (as Javed)
Salim Khan  dialogue (as Salim)
Salim Khan  screenplay (as Salim)
Salim Khan  story (as Salim)

Produced by
Babboo Mehra .... associate producer
Prakash Mehra .... producer
Original Music by
Anandji Veerji Shah  (as Anandji)
Kalyanji Veerji Shah  (as Kalyanji)
Cinematography by
N. Satyen 
Film Editing by
Ramchandra Mahadik  (as R.D. Mahadik)
Art Direction by
J.J. Bhende 
Makeup Department
Farida .... hair stylist
Arlene Lok .... hair stylist (as Arlen)
Madanlal Naag .... makeup artist (as Madan Nag)
Connie Rodriqes .... hair stylist (as Connie)
Salma .... hair stylist
Rusi Shanker .... assistant makeup artist
Sikandar .... assistant makeup artist (as Sikander)
Production Management
Ranjeet Pal .... production in charge (as Ranjit Pal)
Radhey Shyam Tandon .... production manager (as Radhe Shyam Tandon)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rakesh Kumar .... chief assistant director
Sushil Malik .... assistant director
Ram P. Sethi .... assistant director (as R.P. Sethi)
Bhaskar Shetty .... assistant director (as Bhaskar)
Vijay Soti .... assistant director
Art Department
Ramchandra Aba .... assistant art director
Narayan .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Kishore Dave .... assistant sound
Mangesh Desai .... sound re-recordist
Ramchandra .... sound assistant
Kishore S. Rane .... sound (as K.S. Rane)
Special Effects by
Dahyabhai Patel .... special effects (as Daya Bhai)
Ravi Khanna .... stunt coordinator: fights
Virendra Kumar .... assistant fights (as Virendra)
Camera and Electrical Department
R.N. Ganguly .... assistant camera (as Ganguli)
Ajit Motiwala .... assistant camera
S.P. Rao .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Shankar Jadhav .... assistant dressman (as Shanker Jadev)
Vasant Mahajan .... dressman (as Vasant R. Mahajan)
Editorial Department
Sakharam Borse .... assistant editor (as Sakaram Borse)
V.S. Salvi .... assistant editor
Music Department
Babla .... assistant music
D.O. Bhansali .... song recordist
Asha Bhosle .... playback singer (as Asha Bhonsle)
Manna Dey .... playback singer
Frank Fernand .... conductor
Kaushik .... song recordist
Jai Kumar .... music arranger (as Jai Kumar Parte)
Lata Mangeshkar .... playback singer
Mohammad Rafi .... playback singer (as Mohd. Rafi)
Badri Nath Sharma .... song recordist (as B.N. Sharma)
Other crew
Chanda .... dance assistant (as Miss Chanda)
Laxman .... publicity designer
Ramesh Ningoo .... accountant
Dinesh Patel .... public relations officer (as Dinesh Patil)
R.P. Patwardhan .... processing in charge
G.M. Rao .... processing in charge
Satyanarayan .... choreographer
Gopal K. Srivastava .... public relations officer (as Gopal Shrivastava)
Harbans Thakur .... production controller

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
145 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

After the success of the movie, writers Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar (Salim-Javed) wanted the movie to be remade in English, the film itself was inspired by two English films.See more »
Insp. Vijay Khanna:Until you're asked to sit, keep standing politely. This is a Police Station, not your dad's house.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Slumdog Millionaire (2008)See more »


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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Thrilling, carefully crafted art that is essential viewing, 10 February 2005
Author: Philip Banerjee from Sheffield, England

Zanjeer (The Chain) is the film where Amitabh Bachchan made the breakthrough from being an established actor to superstardom, and where the trend was set towards the revenge film in Indian cinema. Amitabh's Angry Young Man character was born in this film in his brilliant portrayal of the brooding, temperamental Vijay who is haunted by a recurrent nightmare. Indeed, his performance as a disturbed, vengeful young man propelled him to new heights, such that he was at the top of many directors' wanted list for at least a decade afterwards. Interestingly, the role was rejected by several stars of the early 70s before being offered to Amitabh, illustrating how luck can play a part in a career's success or failure. Who knows what different turns Bachchan's career would have taken had he not had the chance to play Vijay, the young man with chips on both shoulders. Surely his talent would have found an outlet somewhere, but would he have made such a ground breaking impact in any other role?

Zanjeer is certainly not all about one actor, and a strong cast showcase their talents to the full. The greatest character actor of all time in Indian cinema, Pran, gives a very enjoyable performance as Vijay's loyal friend, Sher Khan. As ever, Pran's attention to detail and willingness to 'live the character' is immediately obvious and doubtless he will have researched the Pathan dialects to deliver a richly authentic performance. Jaya Badhuri cleverly plays the sassy knife sharpener with great depth and sensitivity. Ajit is no conventional villain: not the hothead that is seen in so many Indian movies; instead he is cold and cruel but nevertheless, quintessentially evil. Even Iftekhar's cameo as Vijay's boss, the Police Commissioner is worthy of praise.

This classic thriller is tightly scripted by Javed Akhtar, and never loses its pace thanks to Salim Khan's screenplay and Prakash Mehra's clever direction and the richly talented cast. It has a high octane tension which is sustained throughout. An example of this is in Vijay's visit to the party when the gangster's moll (played by Bindu) seeks to seduce Vijay in the raunchy number Dil Jalon Ka. The posturing of the unimpressed Vijay and Teja (Ajit), the cool, calculating tycoon and his cronies with the backdrop of the gyrating Bindu and superb musical score are captured expertly by a circling camera team. Mehra achieves all this without being overly melodramatic, something that might not be said of one of his other big hits, Muqaddar Ka Sikander, and that is very much to Zanjeer's benefit.

There are several haunting, dark moments in this film which last long in the memory. The initial murder scene against the backdrop of the firecrackers of the Diwali celebrations, as well as Vijay's nightmare of the black hooded rider atop a galloping white horse are enduring images which immediately spring to mind. The film is essentially dark in mood and many of the images - the inner city back streets and railway sidings give it a real gritty feel - and yet in contrast, many of the scenes are shot in bright daylight. Mehra's attention to detail influences all aspects of the film, giving it a rich texture, quite literally in some cases! Vijay's costumes are very early 70s Western chic, without going over the top, and the Pathan, Sher Khan (Pran), wears authentic cultural dress.

The enjoyment of this film is slightly detracted from in a couple of scenes, as the cropping of the edges of the film mean that facial expressions of the leading characters are missed. This does not detract from the fact that Zanjeer is pure, carefully crafted art and that this seminal film is essential viewing for anyone with an interest in Indian cinema.

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