This Week From Past : Ram Balram (1980)

Release Date : 28th November, 1980

Ram Balram is a 1980 Hindi-language film directed by Vijay Anand. It starred Dharmendra as ‘Ram’ and Amitabh Bachchan as ‘Balram’. The other cast included Zeenat Aman and Rekha. Ajit, Amjad Khan and Prem Chopra were the villains in the film.

Synopsys :

“Ram and Balram are 2 young boys who live with their loving parents. Their scheming uncle, Jagatpal, however kills the boy’s father and mother. Jagatpal lies to the boys that their parents have been killed in an accident and promises to raise them himself. He enrols the younger brother Balram(Amitabh Bachan), in school and eventually sends him off to join the police force. The older becomes a mechanic. Jagatpal has a tight hold on the boys, even when Ram(Dharmendra) is an adult, he still gives all his wages to his uncle and is only allowed to keep a few rupees for pocket money. When Balram returns as a fully fledged police officer, Jagatpal finally reveals his plan. He is going to use Ram to target the biggest smugglers in India. Now that Balram is a police officer, he will protect his brother from getting arrested. Balram has reservations, but Jagatpal threatens to beat him just as he did when he was a boy. Balram is still unhappy with Jagatpal’s plan so tells his superiors in the police force that his brother intends to infiltrate the smuggler’s underworld so that Balram can arrest them. The plan goes well. Ram becomes one of the lieutenants of one of the biggest smugglers (Amjad Khan) and Balram’s excellent arrest rate make him one of the force’s most successful officers. Jagatpal becomes enormously wealthy from Ram’s illicit gains.

The brothers also find love. Balram with the daughter of a college professor (Rekha) and Ram with a girl who has moved to the area looking for her father (Zeenat Aman). Unbeknowst to Ram, the girl believes her father to be Jagatpal. She, along with her courtesan mother, attempt to extort money for Jagatpal but he refuses to believe he is the father. His suspicions are confirmed when he catches the mother paying off a former customer. The man is confronted by Jagatpal and confesses that the girl is not Jagatpal’s daughter. Jagatpal’s plan comes unstuck however when the boy’s mother returns. She did not die after all. Ram recognises his mother but Balram cannot as he was too young when they were separated. Both boys weep when they are reunited, Ram for the mother he has missed all those years and Balram for the opportunity he now has to get to know his mother. She reveals Jagatpal’s actions to the two brothers and they unite to take him down.”

Box-office : Ram-Balram was third movie of Amitabh-Dharmendra after Sholay and Chupke Chupke. This movie was expected to be another Sholay. But comparison to Sholay always works in negative way for any movie. Ram-Balram was no exception. Movie opens to thunder response with packed houses all over, but couldn’t meet the set expectations. After three houseful weeks, it fells on 4th week and wrapped under 5 Crore in 25 weeks of run. However 5 Crore was huge amount in 1980 which if adjusted today come close to 80 Crore. Movie was distributed @45 Lakhs for bombay territory and rest part of India costs 1.5 Crore. Over 1.95 Crore of investment and 3.75 Crore Distribution share makes it 1.85 Crore earner movie. But in 1980 when Bachchan movies are expected much more, Ram-Balram was termed as just Semi-Hit.

Jubilees :

Few recorded jubilees of ram-Balram across north india :

  • 27 Weeks at Mini Shingaar, Ludhiana.
  • 18 Weeks at natraj, Khanna.
  • 18 Weeks at Moti, Delhi
  • 30 Weeks at Anand, Lucknow
  • 30 Weeks at navrang, kanpur
  • 22 Weeks at Regal Cinema, Delhi 
  • 18 Weeks at Dimple, Yamuna Nagar

Music of Ram Balram was quite popular, Tracks are :

  • “Ek rasta do raahi ek chor ek sipaahi”,  Sung by Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar
  • “Achcha kaho chaahe bura kaho”, Sung by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar
  • “Yaar ki khabar mil gayi”, Sung by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar
  • “Ladki pasand ki mushqil se milti hai”, Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi
  • “Ab toh ram hi jaan bachaaye”, Sung by Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Dilraj Kaur

Music by Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (as Laxmikant Pyarelal), Lyrics by Anand Bakshi

— BollyBusiness

~ by Yakuza on November 28, 2009.

17 Responses to “This Week From Past : Ram Balram (1980)”

  1. Excellent post Yakuza, Ram Balram is defintely one time watchable, with loads of actiona, Drama and good music, this is one of those movies which i generally watch in free time for few scenes and songs.

  2. very good post….i love this section of yours.

  3. Om Shanti Om profit was also 24 crore and it is blockbuster and this one is semi-hit.
    Now I feel how big Amitabh is ?

  4. Dear Yakuza, first of all thanks to bring great topic but sir tell me the verdict of this is on Bollybusiness methadolgy or from some where else.because in that time 5 or 6 crore is look like 90 crore.and this film is semi-hit but I think if we do with the methadology of bollybusiness so it comes hit sir.because if we look the result of OSO same to this film and OSO is blockbuster film.please sir clearfy.

    • sorry shakir, couldn’t reply you earlier, in contemporary era, verdicts become very subjective and lenient as compared to past when only heavy earner movies are considered as Hit/super-hit, in-fact there was no blockbuster term in past. It was just Flop/Hit/Super-hit and Super Duper Hit (as par trade magazine from 70’s and 80’s). No Disaster or blockbusters term were used for verdict of movies. If same financials exists for any movie in contemporary era then this would lead to at-least super-hit category.

  5. Brilliant piece..putting on Master PRaz now. I just saw DOSTANA (1980) today as you’ve seen…and plan to catch RAM BALRAM as well as DESH PREMEE and PARVARISH soon!

    • Yeah, i read your excellent piece on Dostana. Have you seen hrishikesh golden – Bemisaal ? i am Planning to revisit it ASAP. Waiting for your views on both parvarish and Desh-premee (For me Parvarish was better stuff, Desh Premee was good in parts).

      • Yak: BEMISAAL havent seen in years…will need to check it out.

        Before those, I have SARKAR RAJ, MAHAAN, PUKAR and the old DON! Will put up views shortly..

        Just put up KAALA PATTHAR today :)!

        • yup, just checked your thoughts on Kala-pathar again(i have read this excellent piece before at your old blog).

    • Hi
      As far I remember :

      Bemisaal – celebrated silver jubilee in Mumbai.
      Mahaan : Though flop – still celebrated 100 days in Kalika cinema hall in Kolkata.
      Pukar ; Again flop ( since Coolie relased back to back after 2 weeks) celebrated 100 days all ocer India.

      Waiting eagerly for the detailed analysis.

  6. […] Read the rest from HERE […]

  7. thanks dear Yakuza for reply and great answer.thanks sir.waiting for ur film Bemisaal.

  8. dhamrpaaji was the ONLY aactor in 70’s who didn’t get overshahadowed by amitabh bachan whenever they starred together in movies (ublike sahshi kapoor, vindoh khanna, )

    SHOLAY, CHUPKE CHUPKE, RAM BALRAM in all 3 both shared equally important and crowd pleasing roles

  9. RAM BALARAM – used to have great repeat value.
    I remember in 1980’s -90’s every yeear repeatedly it used to get rereleased in Kolkata in the follwoing cinema halls :

    The distributor was Damani Pictures.

  10. Yakuza, how much business a movie can do today if release on say 1000 prints ?

    • Market potential has reached to much higher level. A movie releasing on 1000 prints(1300-1400 screens) have full capacity of 100+ Crore in a week itself. Even if big movie releasing on this much prints do 75% collections, should do 75 Crore business.Some time i feel pity that we generally celebrate under achievers.I mean we don’t have movies any more now which can make use of full market potential at least for one week only.

  11. Good effort Yakuza to put down contemporary movies.You really give me hard laugh. 100 Crore in one week ho ho lmaooooooo.Ghajini ne 7 din mein 54 Crore kiya tha .. aur vo 80-90% tha. 1 hafte mein koi movie 60-65 Crore se jyada business nahi kar sakti. Loll .. kya comedy hai.

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