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Sooryavansham turns 25! Look back at Amitabh Bachchan's pioneering double roles in Bollywood

Celebrating Amitabh Bachchan's mastery of dual roles, this tribute on Sooryavansham's silver anniversary highlights his extraordinary talent and lasting impact on Indian cinema.

Sooryavansham turns 25! Look back at Amitabh Bachchan's pioneering double roles in Bollywood
Amitabh Bachchan in Sooryavansham

Last Updated: 07.47 PM, May 21, 2024


On the occasion of Sooryavansham's silver anniversary, it is fitting to look back on Amitabh Bachchan's impressive filmography, which showcases his extraordinary skill in playing dual roles. The legendary actor has enchanted viewers with his nuanced representations of a wide range of characters. He is so good at acting and committed to his craft that he can play two different roles in one film without batting an eye. Films like Bandhe Haath, Adalat, Don, Mahaan, Aakhree Raasta, and Toofan highlight Bachchan's remarkable versatility as he deftly handles intricate storylines and gives captivating dual performances. The films showcase his legendary stature as an actor, demonstrating that people still love his work in Indian cinema today.

Amitabh Bachchan films featuring him in a double role

Bandhe Haath (JioCinema)


O. P. Ralhan wrote and produced the 1973 film Bandhe Haath. Ajit, Ranjeet, Madan Puri, Asit Sen, O. P. Ralhan, Tun Tun, and Pinchoo Kapoor round out the cast, which includes Amitabh Bachchan and Mumtaz in the key parts. Living with his mentor, Shyamu (Bachchan), he has stolen his career and is an orphan. While his mentor is in the hospital recovering from a broken bone, Shyamu makes the decision to go straight. Many people hold him in high esteem because they think he is the famous writer Deepak (Bachchan). He finds great joy when he spots an injured Deepak, whom he looks just like. Shyamu takes on Deepak's name and has an affair with the stunning Mala after he becomes sick and dies suddenly. However, there's this police inspector named Kumar (Ajit), who is interested in Deepak and thinks the imposter isn't who he claims to be.

Adalat (ZEE5 [OTTplay Premium])

Narendra Bedi directed the action-drama Adalat in 1976. Waheeda Rehman and Neetu Kapoor, who play Amitabh Bachchan's love interests—father and son—respectively, appear in a double role in the film.

When Dharamchand's (Bachchan) wife Radha (Waheeda) gives birth to a son and calls him Raju, the humble and upright farmer is elated. After he heroically saves Ajit (Anwar Hussain), Suresh, and Sujit (Sujit Kumar) from a tiger, Bombay extends an invitation to Dharamchand, allowing him to work at his own pace. When Dharma sees no room for advancement in his hometown, he takes a trip to Bombay with Radha, Raju (Bachchan), and Laxmi (Heena Kausar), his sister, to find employment with the three. They also gave him a place to live. Since Dharma began to work honestly, everything is going smoothly; however, he has no idea that his employers are involved in the smuggling trade. Following their capture, Ajit, Suresh, and Sujit testified against Dharma, which ultimately resulted in his incarceration. Upon his release from prison, he realises the hardships endured by his family and resolves to not be a naive person like Dharma.

Kasme Vaade (YouTube)

Ramesh Behl produced and directed the 1978 action-drama film Kasme Vaade. The film features the acting talents of Amjad Khan, Randhir Kapoor, Raakhee, Neetu Singh, and Amitabh Bachchan.

Suman (Rakhee) is very important to Amit (Bachchan), a university instructor, and he intends to marry her shortly. Their primary weakness lies in granting Amit's younger brother Raju (Randhir) excessive freedom, which ultimately leads to his downfall. As a result, Raju (Randhir) finds himself in numerous difficulties, prompting Amit to intervene, ultimately leading to his death. Raju finds Shankar (Bachchan), who looks just like Amit, and is overcome with guilt. Assuming his brother has come back, Raju tries to make things right by integrating Shankar into his life with Suman. Little does he realise that Shankar is actually a wanted criminal trying to evade the law.

Don (ZEE5)

Directed by Chandra Barot and based on a story by Salim Javed, Nariman Irani produced the action thriller Don in 1978. Cast members include Zeenat Aman, Pran, Iftekhar, Om Shivpuri, Satyen Kappu, and Amitabh Bachchan, who plays a dual role in the film.

During a police pursuit, wanted felon Don (Bachchan) tragically dies. The sole individual aware of his demise is DSP D'Silva (Iftekhar), who uses his training as a Don-like Vijay (Bachchan) to apprehend the gang. The police and other gang members pose threats to Vijay, though.

The Great Gambler (JioCinema, Prime Video, ShemarooMe OTTplay Premium])

Shakti Samanta's 1979 action-crime movie The Great Gambler has Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, and Neetu Kapoor as the leading stars. Vikramaditya's Bengali book of the same name served as inspiration. Undercover operations involving international gangsters, spies, and secret agents from other nations' intelligence organisations form the basis of the film's plot. As the gambler inadvertently uses his abilities to acquire military secrets, a police officer—who happens to be the gambler's double—chases after him.

Desh Premee (ZEE5 [OTTplay Premium])

Manmohan Desai directed Desh Premee in 1982, starring Hema Malini, Sharmila Tagore, Navin Nischol, Parveen Babi, Uttam Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Premnath, Parikshit Sahni, Amjad Khan, and Gita Siddharth. The film also featured Amitabh Bachchan in a dual role.

Master Dinanath (Bachchan) has fought for independence before. Arresting Thakur Pratap Singh (Khan) for arms smuggling, he not only turns the locals against him but also abducts Master's wife Bharati (Sharmila) and baby daughter Priti. Dinanath and his little boy Raju flee to a slum called Bharat Nagar, where they make their home. After contracting leprosy, Bharati's daughter Priti escapes from her kidnappers, leaving her in the care of a friend. Dinanath thinks his family has perished. Bharati Nagar is ruled by four dons from diverse Indian communities. After the four dons settle their disputes and listen to Dinanath's pleas for peace, they take advantage of his presence in Bharat Nagar to hide their own illicit activities. Fast It was 1962, fifteen years later. The adult son of Dinanath, Raju (Bachchan), deviates from his father by making a name for himself in the underworld through criminal activity, all the while his father is blissfully unaware of his whereabouts. Unbeknownst to Raju, Thakur Pratap Singh had abducted his mother and sister (Parveen) years before, leading to their separation, and he started working for him. What happened to Raju's family when Thakur was in charge? Is Dinanath going to learn the truth about his son? Is it possible that Dinanath may reunite with his family someday?

Satte Pe Satta (Prime Video)

Romu Sippy produced Romu and Raj Sippy's 1982 action comedy Satte Pe Satta. Ranjeeta Kaur, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Sudhir Luthria, Kanwarjit Paintal, Kanwaljit Singh, and Vikram Sahu are among the supporting cast members, joining Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, and Amjad Khan in the lead parts.

Malini's character, Indu, is the wife of the eldest brother, Ravi Anand (Bachchan), and she assists in raising seven immoral brothers. Babu, who looks like Ravi, targets Seema Singh, a crippled heiress, on the advice of her cunning uncle, Ranjit Singh (Khan). Yet Babu develops romantic feelings for Seema. The 1954 novel Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was the source material for the film.

Bemisal (JioCinema and Prime Video)

Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed and Debesh Gosh produced the 1982 drama film Bemisal. Based on the same name as the original Bengali narrative by Ashutosh Mukherjee, this film is a remake of Uttam Kumar's 1975 masterpiece, Ami Se O Shakha. Among the actors featured in the film are Om Shivpuri, Aruna Irani, Vinod Mehra, Raakhee, and Deven Verma.

Life can seem unfair to a poor youngster who finds himself in a confusing situation after growing up in a wealthy environment and feeling indebted for nearly everything he owns. Almost no one expresses gratitude for the kindness they receive. The thought of having to pay back such a large amount of debt makes many of us want to run away from the problem. The film's hero, however, is a good man—an ideal hero—who knows that nothing matters more than his family. Despite having to make the tough choice to leave his beloved and his career, he shows no signs of emotion.

Mahaan (Prime Video and ShemarooMe [OTTplay Premium])

S. Ramanathan directed and Satyanarayana and Suryanarayana produced the 1983 action drama Mahaan. Aruna Irani, Parveen Babi, Zeenat Aman, Ashok Kumar, Parveen Babi, Amjad Khan, Kader Khan, Sujit Kumar, and Shakti Kapoor star in the film, while Amitabh Bachchan debuts in a triple role.

His business associate, Rajan (Sujit Kumar), falsely accuses Vikram Singh (Amjad Khan) of possessing drugs. After getting out of jail, he murders Rajan and frames Amit (Amitabh Bachchan), his ex-counsellor. Janki (Waheeda Rehman), Amit's pregnant wife, forces him to flee while Shankar and Guru, his twins, are born. Unfortunately, she loses touch with her son, Guru, after a barren couple takes him. Her husband disappears, leaving Janki to raise Shankar alone. Amit has adopted Manju (Parveen Babi) as his daughter and attempts to live a regular life under the alias Rana Ranveer after he believes his wife Janki has died. In contrast, Janki and Shankar—who is now a police inspector—live in a different city. An unmarried couple reared Guru, who went on to become a successful performer, and met Rita (Zeenat Aman) in the theatre. Manju falls deeply in love with Shankar, unaware that he is the long-lost son of Rana Ranveer. Eventually, their paths intersect, leading to their reunion as a family.

Aakhree Raasta (ZEE5 [OTTplay Premium])

K. Bhagyaraj wrote and directed the 1986 criminal drama film Aakhree Raasta, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Prada, Sridevi, and Anupam Kher. David D'Costa (Amitabh Bachchan) and his pregnant wife Mary D'Costa (Jaya Prada) led a modest life in Madras (now Chennai) in 1962. He will give his life for Sadashiv Amrapurkar's character, Member of Parliament Chaturvedi, whom he worships. He introduces Mary to Chaturvedi, and with his approval, they name their son James. Mahesh (Anupam Kher) eventually stops him in his tracks, blocks train traffic, and helps him out. His return home brings the devastating news that Mary has taken her own life. She accused Chaturvedi of raping her in a note she left behind. After Dr. Verma (Bharat Kapoor) and Police Inspector Roop Kumar Sahay (Dalip Tahil) stop an enraged David from confronting Chaturvedi, they sentence him to 24 years in prison for the murder of Mary. During his extended absence, he entrusts his friend Mahesh's care to James. In 1986, David finally received his release after twenty-four years. The revelation that Mahesh has gone from a bootlegger to a rich man comes as a shock to David when he pays him a visit. Amitabh Bachchan portrays Vijay, the son of CID Inspector Mahesh, who urges David to move on from the past and live with him. This news breaks David's heart, but he is hell-bent on getting even for his unfair conviction and Mary's murder, so he begins a systematic killing spree. Vijay, who is trying to shield the three individuals from harm but has no idea that David is his father, is the sole obstacle he must overcome.

Toofan (Prime Video and ZEE5 [OTTplay Premium])

Ketan Desai directed the 1989 superhero film Toofan. In addition to Amrita Singh, Meenakshi Seshadri, Pran, and Farooq Sheikh, the film features Amitabh Bachchan in a dual role as both the lead and a magician. The plot centres on a brother and sister who are both devoted followers of Lord Hanuman, and one of them possesses extraordinary abilities. The second protagonist was a shy magician who lived on the streets and dreamed of performing the same escape feat that had killed his father.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (JioCinema and Disney+ Hotstar)

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan was an action comedy film that David Dhawan directed in 1998. Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda play contrasting roles as police officers and thieves in the film, respectively. Other actors in the ensemble include Paresh Rawal, Sharat Saxena, Satish Kaushik, Anupam Kher, Raveena Tandon, and Ramya Krishnan, while Madhuri Dixit features in a song. Its sources of inspiration are The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare and Bad Boys, a 1995 film by Michael Bay.

Both Arjun and Pyare Mohan are cooperative and truthful police officers. Thieves Bade and Chote Miyan, who bear a striking resemblance to Arjun and Pyare, wreak havoc when they perpetrate crimes, leading to the unfortunate pair bearing the blame.Sooryavansham (Prime Video) 

Sooryavansham (Prime Video)

E. V. V. Satyanarayana directed Sooryavansham, a 1999 drama film. The film features Amitabh Bachchan in a dual role alongside Soundarya, Jayasudha, Anupam Kher, Kader Khan, Soundarya, and Rachna Banerjee. The film, a remake of the 1997 Tamil film Surya Vamsam, depicts the close bond between a traditional father and his illiterate but submissive son, highlighting how the strong patriarchy strains their relationship.

The chief of the village, Bhanu Pratap Singh (Bachchan), hates his youngest son, Heera (also Bachchan), since he cannot read or write. But he would not give up on his father's aim of constructing a hospital, no matter what.

Lal Baadshah (Prime Video)

K. C. Bokadia directed the 1999 action drama film Lal Baadshah, starring Amitabh Bachchan (in a dual role), Raghuvaran, Manisha Koirala, Shilpa Shetty, and Amrish Puri. In her last film, Nirupa Roy played the role of Bachchan's foster mother. The release of the film coincided with the decline of Bachchan's career, and it bombed at the box office. Underworld boss Vicky Baadshah (Raghuvaran) is the villain in the film, but Lal Singh (Bachchan) fights back. But his resemblance to a royal (Bachchan), who long ago concealed a treasure, exposes his history.