Meet actor who sold house, land to save film, producers backed out, film beat Sholay’s record, was houseful for 96 days

Meet actor who sold house, land to save film, producers backed out, film beat Sholay’s record, was houseful for 96 days

This film could only be made after its star sold his house and land as the producers backed out

For years, Manoj Kumar was synonymous with patriotic and nationalistic cinema in Bollywood. With films like Shaheed and Purab Aur Pashchim, he firmly established himself as Bharat Kumar in India. But Manoj Kumar’s most ambitious project came in 1981 when he embarked upon making a period action drama titled Kranti. Eventually, the film was a resounding success but the path to this box office glory was a tough one.

How Manoj Kumar toiled to make Kranti

Kranti was being directed by Manoj Kumar himself and was mounted on a massive budget, estimated to be around Rs 3 crore. But as the production began, financers and producers backed out, leaving the star with no option but to fund the film himself. Desperate to arrange money for the film, Manoj Kumar sold his bungalow in Delhi. When that did not cut it, he also a sold a plot he had in Juhu, the plush area of Mumbai. As per reports, Manoj Kumar had planned to build a movie theatre after retirement. But he gave that dream up for Kranti. The film starred Manoj himself, apart from Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini, and Parveen Babi. It was released in February 1981.

maxresdefault 61 - Meet actor who sold house, land to save film, producers backed out, film beat Sholay's record, was houseful for 96 days


A poster of Kranti

Kranti’s epic box office run

Upon its release, Kranti was a sensation. It marked Dilip Kumar’s return after a five-year hiatus. The film opened grandly and was a raging success, completing silver jubilee runs in a record 26 centres, and golden jubilee in many others. In one theatre, Kranti ran for 67 weeks with houseful shows for 96 straight days. By the end of its run, Kranti earned Rs 10 crore net in India and Rs 16 crore gross worldwide, breaking Sholay’s then-record of Rs 15 crore. It remained the highest-grossing Indian film for five years until it was overtaken by Disco Dancer. Sholay eventually surpassed Kranti again due to re-releases.

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