This month on FC Flashback, we focus on the work of filmmaker Vijay Anand, fondly known as Goldie Anand. For the uninitiated, Vijay Anand was the youngest of three brothers. His two elder siblings were legendary director Chetan Anand, and the iconic actor/director Dev Anand. Together, they built Navketan Films – a production house that was known for contemporary story telling and memorable music. Between 1960 – 1970 Vijay Anand gave Hindi cinema several blockbusters like Guide, Johny Mera Naam, Jewel Thief, Teesri Manzil, Kala Bazar and Tere Mere Sapne.
Before we give you weekly recommendations from Anand’s stellar body of work, here are 5 things you must know about the filmmaker.
- Vijay Anand was a student of English literature before he made his first film Nau Do Gyarah in 1957 at age 23. As a student of Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, Anand had won several accolades for writing plays. He shot Nau Do Gyarah in 40 days with his brother Dev Anand and sister-in-law Kalpana Kartik. In an interview to Nasreen Munni Kabir, Anand said, “I was doing my Masters and thought I would make Nau Do Gyarah and go back to studying English literature. Unfortunately, I could not go back to studying.”
- Vijay Anand’s films all had fabulous soundtracks and beautifully choreographed songs. Take Shammi Kapoor in Teesri Manzil, Vyjayanthimala in Jewel Thief or Waheeda Rahman in Guide. In the same interview to Kabir, Anand explained how he developed a keen eye for dance. “I spent my childhood with people like Zohra Sehgal, Kameshwar Sehgal, Mohan Sehgal and Guru Dutt. They were almost living in our house. So were Balraj and Damayanti Sahni. My brother Chetan brought them to Bombay, and until they found their own places to live in, they stayed with us. Zohra and Kameshwar came from Uday Shankar’s dance academy and started a dance school in our Pali Hill home.”
- Teesri Manzil was Vijay Anand’s first film outside Navketan Films, their family banner. Nasir Hussain, who produced the film, showed interest in working with Dev and Vijay Anand. Unfortunately, Hussain and Dev Anand fell out and Vijay decided to go ahead with the movie with Shammi Kapoor in the lead.
- Filmmaker Sriram Raghavan (Badlapur, Ek Hasina Thi) has often confessed to being hugely inspired by Anand’s films. If you look closely, you’ll find several hat-tips to Anand’s films in his Johnny Gaddaar. There’s a scene where a hotel receptionist is watching Johny Mera Naam and another where an actress is reading R.K Narayan’s Guide. Vijay Anand’s Guide starring his brother Dev Anand and Waheeda Rahman was based on that book.
- The first film that all three brothers worked on was Kala Bazar. Vijay Anand wrote and directed Kala Bazar, Dev Anand produced and acted in it, and Chetan Anand too had a role. The film was about the black market for movie tickets. The movie had real shots of the premiere of Mother India with actors including Dilip Kumar, Nargis, Geeta Dutt, Guru Dutt and Rajendra Kumar.