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Wild Horses Natasha

Monday, April 5th, 2010

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Feroz khan: India’s Clint Eastwood


Style icon of Bollywood Feroz Khan was born to an Afghan father, Sadiq  Ali Khan and an Iranian mother, Fatima at Bangalore on September 25, 1939.Feroz did his schooling in the city. He later moved to Mumbai to make a career in the Hindi film industry. He got a big break in the film, Didi (1960), and went on to act in many films like Aarzoo, Aadmi Aur  Insaan and Safar. The actor found him self restricted to doing small budget action films, and could not join the big league.

Fed up, Feroz started  his own production house and made Apradh (1972)As a young man he moved to Mumbai, hoping to break into the film business, winning his first part in Didi (1960). The role was, like many of his parts over the next few years (often in low-budget thrillers), unremarkable. His breakthrough came in 1965, when he appeared in a pair of releases that showed his versatility. In Oonche Log, he played a tear away that refuses to marry his girlfriend after she falls pregnant; Arzoo, however, is a sickly-sweet romance in which he performed opposite some of India’s biggest stars of the day, propelling him towards the roster of Bollywood’s A-list. With his swagger and tough-guy styling he was compared to American leading men like Clint Eastwood or Steve McQueen

He based one typically all-action picture, Dharmatma (1975), on Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning film, The Godfather, and starred in another as a suave racing driver who wins the world championship. Later he appeared in a series of cowboy films

In the late 1960s he thrived as a supporting actor, winning the first of many prizes for Aadmi aur Insaan (1969), as one of a pair of close friends who fall out over a girl. Deprived of leading roles, though, Khan decided to set up his own production company. His debut as producer, and leading man, was Apradh (1972), whose plot intertwines the glamorous worlds of Formula One and jewel theft. He won his first Filmfare for Best Actor in supporting role for   Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969). By then, Sanjay had managed to get a break in Bollywood as well. Both the brothers worked together in the successful film Mela (1971)

He married to Sundari  in 1965 and they became proud parents of Laila and Fardeen. Despite objections raised by an Islamic Moulvi, Feroz and Sanjay got their children married to non-Islamic families. Laila was married to Rajpal, while Fardeen married Natasha Madhwani, the daughter of Mayur and Mumtaz

He lived a public life, he lived it as he pleased without being judgmental about others or caring what others thought about him, he would be surrounded by a lot of people and and yet there was a distance he created, where he could objectively see things as they were. He remembered each and every single day of his struggle, right from the time of his pool playing days to his struggle in the early years of his in the film business. A very well read man, his favorite however remained Oscar Wild

His biggest turn on, wasn’t the obvious but it was music, he would transform into a child when he would create songs or hear them endlessly dancing away, enjoying every lyric and note. He lived a full life, celebrating each and every occasion as if it were the greatest moment of his life, he had many regrets in life, and he achieved it because he was brave

He never got bored in his entire life because he never did anything he didn’t enjoy….brilliant words to describe a life-lover like Feroz..Feroz mara nahin karte…

Feroz Khan was fantastic personality and truly epitomized the grandeur and glamour of that Film Industry. Love him or hate him but you simply could not ignore. How can anyone forget “Qurbani“? The original style icon and a man we should all look up to for have the courage to live his life on his terms. feroz saab was style and elan personified.

Feroz khan started his career in B Grade movies and quickly progressed to the top playing in such movies like Safar and Aadmi aur Insaan for which he won… the best supporting actor Filmfare. It was in Apradh that he debuted as a director, followed by the highly stylish, Godfather influenced, Dharmatma, where he showed his visual genius – the buzkashi scene is one of the best ever to be captured on camera in Indian cinema (done decades later in Mukul Anand’s Khuda gawah). As if in Dharmatma, Feroz found his touch, he followed it up with the biggest hit of his career… Qurbani. It was virtually impossible to get a ticket to Qurbani in the first few weeks of its release

In Qurbani, Feroz Khan can also be credited with bringing Disco to Hindi cinema and making it popular. With an amazing eye for visuals and cinematography and music, he was instrumental in bringing in many talented artists to cinema including the late Nazia Hassan and Biddu .But for the avid movie watcher, who’s followed the 70s and 80s Hindi cinema, Feroz Khan  holds a special place in their hearts for the crazy Cowboy rides he provided in such movies as Khottey sikkey, Geeta mera Naam, Kala sona, Shankar sambhu and so many more.

Feroz Khan had a Charming  personality and a good voice but in spite of having a dashing personality required to play the leading man’s roles, Hindi filmmakers did not offer him big films as a solo hero and he decided to pave the way himself and became the director and the producer with a crime thriller Apradh. Feroz Khan along with Dev Anand took a charge to make fast paced Crime thrillers in 70s

Before taking the decision to become a director he had appeared in some good films but he was contributing there as one of the multiple heroes. He was very well appreciated as romantic lover and husband of Sharmila Tagore in Safar. He excelled in the role of a sensitive lover and a jealous husband and the son

He had already proved his worth as an actor much before in a good film based on a very interesting story Oonche Log should definitely be watched for three reasons, a different story, a wonderful clash between blind father (played by Ashok Kumar) and his police officer son (played by Raaj Kumar) because of the younger son (played by Feroz Khan) and good performances given by all the three actors Ashok kumar, Raaj kumar and Feroz khan. “Oonche Log” can be said as one of the top five performances of Feroz Khan as an actor

Few actors have been there in the Hindi cinema who excel very well when pitted against other actors.. Raaj Kumar, Feroz Khan and Shatrughan sinha etc can be said as the elite members of this prestigious club. They shined more in a competitive environment. Feroz Khan’s performances in Oonche Log, Safar, Admi aur Insan, Mela, Geeta Mera Naam and many “Western kind” of films and Qurbani are live examples of this hypothesis because he was appreciated in the presence of actors known for their acting skills or who were famous stars in their respective eras. FK is known more for appearing in those western like flicks and crime thrillers but he was able to join unusual projects

Before Prem agan and Janasheen happened to Feroz Khan, his filmmaking and films both were associated with “Paisa vasool” stylish and entertaining films. It was not the case that he knew only how to present his heroines in a sensual manner but he knew also how to present the sensuality of the men of his films.

As a Director he knew very well how to present his attractive actors, Feroz Khan, Vinod khanna and Sanjay dutt. The blast of male or female sensuality did not look forced , Mumtaz in Apradh and Zeenat aman  in Qurbani made sensational news as they were doing it for a director who knew how to use such scenes in a convincing manner.  Feroz Khan had the eyes to recognize Amjad khan talent in the role of a shrewd police inspector in Qurbani .Apradh, Dharmatma and Qurbani remain three shining films of Feroz Khan as a director.  As a director Feroz Khan paved a certain path in the 70s on which Directors like Mukul Anand walked in the 80’s. He played the perfect foil for Rajesh khanna in Safar, Rajendra kumar in Aarzoo, Dharamendra   in Aadmi aur insaan, Sunil dutt  and many-many actors .He won a Filmfare  for best supporting actor in “Aadmi aur insaan” and was nominated for best supporting actor for International crook.

Apradh, Qurbani, Dharmatma, Jaanbaz all had good music, he had a great combination with Kalyanji-Anandji. Also many of them were pretty stylish and quite Westernized…Also liked most of his curry Westerns, Khote Sikkey, Kala Sona, Chandi sona  all of them quite entertaining

He was also the “Cowboy” of the film industry with films like Khota Sikkey etc. He pasteurized his songs very well. The song “Har kisi ko nahi milta” with Sridevi holding the mike amidst clouds with remain forever etched in my memory as they used to play it on Chitrahar every week

He bought the rights of ‘Nayakan ‘ and remade it as ‘Dayavaan‘ thereby enabling one of the best on-screen kisses between Vinod khanna  and Madhuri dixit.

Feroz Khan would always be remembered for the way he used Style in his movies & made a statement. His stylish shot taking ability needs expert discussion. Arial shots in Dharmatma, while horses are running at the land of Afghanistan were so fascinating and the light and color combination of his films were quite attractive.

Fans used to whistle as in “Safar” as an introduction every week for my radio music and talk show, “The Sanjay Kumar Show”. Feroz struggled more than his brother but he proved that with hard work you can accomplish anything. Qurbani was the biggest hit of that year. Some bought the same type of Mercedes that was smashed up by Feroz in the film. His way of Speaking and Acting was definitely his own. In Safar, even though it is considered primarily a Rajesh Khanna film, that Feroz stole the scenes. His love for ‘Neela’ (Sharmila Tagore) in Safar was very deep and she did not return the feelings. It was similar to Gone with the wind .We can remember his words at the beginning of the Qurbani credits that he dedicated to Sanjay Gandhi who passed away just before the film’s release.

In the 1980s he acted less, and directed more, but his productions were flops as often as hits, and by 1992 he had decided to take a break from the industry. After Yalgaar (1992), Khan took a break from films. For six years, he did not act or produce films. In 1998, he launched his son Fardeen in Prem Agan The film flopped and Khan went back into a shell. He made an acting comeback in Janasheen  in 2003. His last film was Anis Bazmee’s  super hit Welcome

His comeback was hit by the news that he had cancer, and his final screen appearance was in the comedy crime caper Welcome (2008), in which he plays a mafia boss in Dubai.

The original Style Icon and a man we should all look up to for have the courage to live his life on his terms.

Jahan rasta nahin koi wahan mein banaunga,

meri zindagi se milein jinhe huaslon ki talash ho

Feroz khan died of cancer at his Bangalore farm house on this day 27th April 2009.

This stylish actor and filmmaker will be remembered at times and perhaps worth of his directed films will be assessed properly now when he is away from any kind of criticism and praise .The most suave & stylish personalites that Indian cinema has seen so far. Physically he may be no more, but the legend lives on in our memories!!!

References:Feroz khan,Vinod Khann,Zeenat Aman,Dharmendra,Mumtaz,Rajendra kumar,Rajesh khanna




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mass media graduate,freelance journalist

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