B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Manmohan Desai was born on February 26, 1936. Manmohan Desai grew up in Bombay in a filmy environment, both his father and elder brother being involved in films.
Manmohan Desai made his first film Chhalia (1960) starring Raj Kapoor when he was just 24. Chhalia didn’t fare too well at the box office. Then he went on to direct Bluffmaster (1963), Budtameez (1965) and Kismet (1968). And although Kismet was a big success at the box-office, Manmohan desai was not a very popular name as yet.
Manmohan Desai entered the A-league of directors with his Rajesh Khanna starrer Sachcha Jhootha (1970), which was a runaway success. Manmohan Desai didn’t look back after Sachcha Jhootha.
After Sachcha Jhootha, Manmohan Desai made many films and worked with almost all the big stars of hindi films. His Rampur Ka Laxman (1972) and Roti celebrated silver jubilees. However, Manmohan Desai’s career reached new scales when he worked with Amitabh Bachchan. His success at the box-office continued with Parvarish (1977), Dharamveer (1977) and Chacha Bhatija (1977). However, His multi-starrer magnum opus Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) took him to new altitudes and went on to be one of the most popular hindi films ever. It made Amitabh Bachchan a superstar, and Manmohan Desai formed a successful pair with him. Manmohan Desai made many more successful films with Amitabh Bachchan like Suhaag (1979), Naseeb (1981), Coolie (1983) and Mard (1985). With each film, the genius of Manmohan Desai only grew bigger. However, His Gangaa Jamuna Saraswati (1988) was a disaster at the box-office, and Manmohan Desai never directed a film again. He produced Toofan (1989) for his son Ketan Desai. However, Toofan too bombed at the box-office. On March 1, 1994 Manmohan Desai passed away, leaving behind a legion of directors whom he inspired to make films that entertain.
Manmohan Desai’s father Kikubhai Patel was a film director, while his brother Subhash Desai produced many films. His son Ketan Mehta has made films like Allah Rakha (1986), Toofan (1989) and Anmol (1993). He married twice - first Kanchan Kapoor – Shammi Kapoor’s daughter. And then actress Nanda.