The yesteryear star Jeetendra made a career out of formula films, most of which were remakes of Southern hits.
The movie actor Jeetendra was somehow different from his contemporaries, like, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan or Rajesh Khanna, but his charisma was enough to woo the audiences’ in that era which is still going on.
Born as Ravi Kapoor a.k.a. Jeetendra had his own aura. His nifty dance moves in some of the foot tapping music earned him the nickname out of affection as ‘Jumping Jack’.
Critics hardly penned good words for him most of the time, but it doesn’t affect the popularity of this legendary actor which eventually impressed critics too alongside his fans.
Almost, the actor tried his hands in all genre movies and carved an identity on his own which turn to be a formula success for Jeetendra.
Anyway, if you look carefully at the actor’s career you will be realized that most of his successful movies were remakes of Southern hits of that period. That means the Bollywood cherish Southern movies from that era which is still going on!
In a career spanning around decades, the veteran actor 75 of Jeetendra more than over 200 movies were remakes of Southern films.
Let’s discuss how the actor Jeetendra found his mojo in Southern remakes.
A journey of Jeetendra — How He Turn To Be The ‘King of Southern remakes’!
Jeetendra made his acting debut with a blink-and-you-miss role in the cult classic Hindi film, Geet Gaaya Patharonne (1964) directed by the legend V Shantaram.
The movie wasn’t a blockbuster, but the actor’s handsome look helped him land Gunahon Ka Devta (1967) and Farz (1967) both films were successful and it changes the entire looked of his filmy career.
It is yet, to let you know that the actor Jeetendra was not only blessed with a good look, in fact, his acting was also somehow impressive enough.
Inspired by James Bond, Farz is the first Bollywood spy thriller. The role of Gopal Kishan Pandey, better known as Agent 116, was immortalized by Jeetendra.
Farz was Jeetendra’s first commercial success which was the Hindi remake of the Telugu spy thriller Goodachari 116 (1967).
Over the next two years, Jeetendra starred in some of the fresh and original Hind movies, though those movies only witnessed the very little bit of success.
In 1969, he worked in Jeene Ki Raah, a remake of the 1953 Tollywood movie Bratuku Teruvu. He followed up with Jigri Dost and Waris, remakes of the Tollywood movies Govula Gopanna (1968) and Naan (1967), respectively.
Helmed by TR Ramanna, who also helmed the original Southern one, Waris was widely triumphant; in fact, those movies were amongst the highest grossing movies of 1969.
Jeetendra was cast opposite Hema Malini for the first time ever in Waris. The duo became a successful pair onscreen and worked in several movies together.
Jeetendra features in 3 remakes consecutively in 1970 — Himmat, from the 1968 film Adrustavanthulu, Jawab from the 1964 film Sabhash Suri, and Humjoli from the 1964 film Panakkara Kudumbam, all movies were super hits.
The first two were Hindi remake of the Telugu movies, where areas, the movie Humjoli was inspired by a Tamil hit.
In 1971, Jeetendra worked in Ek Nari Ek Brahmachari, another remake from the director T Rama Rao’s Telugu film Brahmachari (1968).
With the success of above-mentioned movies, Jeetendra turns to be a favorite Hindi movie actor amongst the Southern filmmakers, and turn to be selective choices for any forthcoming Hindi remake of the Southern films.
He was a meticulous favorite of Dadasaheb Phalke Award frontrunner LV Prasad, with whom he worked on the some of the famous Hindi remakes Jeene Ki Raah (1969), Bidaai (1974), Shaadi Ke Baad (1972), Udhar Ka Sindur (1976), and Jay Vejay (1977).
Every year, amongst Jeetendra’s many movies, one or two was supposed to be a Southern remake.
In 1980 alone, of his nine releases, five were remakes and those movies were triumphant, including, Judaai, Hindi remake of the 1977 Telugu film Aalu Magalu, and Jyoti Bane Jwala was inspired from the 1978 Telugu Katakatala Rudraiah, both helmed by Dasari Narayana Rao, and Nishana from the 1979 Telugu hit Vetagadu.
For Nishana, Jeetendra teamed up with Telugu filmmaker K Raghavendra Rao for the first time ever. They worked together in some blockbusters, such as Himmatwala (1983), a remake of Raghavendra Rao’s Ooriki Monagadu (1981), and Tohfa (1984), inspired from the movie Devata (1982).
In 1984, Jeetendra had 7 Hindi remakes and nine more in 1986. He closed out the 1980s with the box-office success Aulad (1987), is loosely based on the 1960 Telugu film Maa Babu.
Afterward, of 1980s Jeetendra took partial retirement from the acting with some of the occasional success, like with Manobala’s Mera Pati Sirf Mera Hai (1990). His last remake was Udhar Ki Zindagi (1994), from the Tollywood movie Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu.
By end of the day anyway, the title is totally justified for Jeetendra as the ‘King of Southern remakes’.
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