Out of 79 films of Jubilee Kumar Rajender Kumar, more than 3 films ended up as platinum jubilees, 2 films being golden jubilees and 25 films being silver jubilees. He was the greatest crowd puller after Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar.
Rajender Kumar or Jubilee Kumar had fabulous box office record. If we examine his career record, out of 79 films in his career spanning over 30 years, more than 3 films ended up being platinum jubilees, 2 films ending up as golden jubilees and 20 films ending up as silver jubilees. Other than Showman Raj Kapoor and Tragedy King Dilip Kumar no other superstar had such a brilliant box office record.
In 1950, he made his debut in the film Jogan, where Dilip Kumar and Nargis played lead roles. In 1957, his film Mother India, directed by Mehboob Khan ended up as platinum jubilee running for more than 75 weeks. Nargis, Raj Kumar, Sunil Dutt played landmark roles along with Rajender Kumar.
In 1959, 3 of his films Goonj Uthi Shehnai, Dhool Ka Phool and Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan ended up being silver jubilees running for more than 25 weeks and featured in the first 10 super hit films of the year. Amita acted opposite him in Goonj Uthi Shehnai, Mala Sinha acted opposite him in Dhool Ka Phool, Meena Kumari acted opposite him in Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan.
In 1960, he acted in the non-musical classic film Kanoon directed by BR Chopra.
The film highlighted character evidence and outstanding storyline with Ashok Kumar playing landmark character. In 1961, his films Sasural and Gharana ended up being silver jubilee running for more than 25 weeks. From that time the great combination of Rafisahab and Shankar Jaikishan got associated with Rajender Kumar and the music stormed India. In Sasural, Rafisahab won the filmfare award for the best male singer for the song “teri pyari pyari surat ko kisiki nazar na lage” composed by Shankar Jaikishan. Rafisahab’s song in Gharana, “husnwale tera jawab nahi” composed by Ravi Shankar Sharma became big hit.
In 1961, Rajender Kumar’s film Aas Ka Panchi also became silver jubilee hit running for more than 25 years. Shankar Jaikishan used Subir Sen for the song “dil mera ek aas ka panchi” which became super hit. The great pair of Vaijayantimala and Rajender Kumar stormed Bollywood for the next 10 years.
In 1963, Rajender Kumar’s Mere Mehboob opposite Sadhna ended up as platinum jubilee hit running for more than 75 weeks, and Rajender Kumar became jubilee kumar. His films overtook the blockbusters of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor at that time. Rafisahab’s landmark ghazal “mere mehboob tujhe meri muhobbat ki kasam” composed by Naushad Ali haunted the viewers for the next decade. In the same year the other 2 films of Rajender Kumar Dil Ek Mandir and Humrahi became silver jubilees running for more than 25 weeks. Again the Rafisahab, Shankar Jaikishan combination created havoc, the landmark songs being “yaad na jaye”, “mujhko apne gale lagalo aye mere humrahi”, to name a few. In Dil Ek Mandir, the brilliant acting of Meena Kumari and Raj Kumar balanced the tragic performance of Rajender Kumar. In Humrahi, Jamuna acted opposite Rajender Kumar.
In 1964, Sangam was Rajender Kumar’s biggest blockbuster in entire career ending up as platinum jubilee running for more than 75 weeks. Raj Kapoor and Vaijayantimala’s performances were as brilliant as Rajender Kumar’s performance. Rafisahab’s song composed by Shankar Jaikishan “ki tum naraaz na hona” haunted the viewers. In the same year, Rajender Kumar’s Ayee Milan Ki Bela and Zindagi ended up as silver jubilee hits running for more than 25 weeks. Again Rafisahab and Shankar Jaikishan’s combination created gold for Rajender Kumar including the songs “tum khamseen ho”, “tu bura maan gaye”, “o sanam tere ho gaye hum”, “aha aye milan ki bela”, “pehele mile the sapno me”, to name a few. Vaijayantimala acted opposite Rajender Kumar in Zindagi, while Saira Banu acted opposite Rajender Kumar in Ayee Milan Ki Bela.
In 1965, Rajender Kumar’s film Aarzoo became silver jubilee hit running for more than 25 weeks. Again the Rafisahab, Shankar Jaikishan produced gold, the landmark songs being “aye nargisi mastana”, “chalke teri ankhon se”, “aji humse bachkar kahan jayiega”. Sadhna’s performance opposite Rajender Kumar was brilliant and the film ended up being the 4th biggest hit of the year.
In 1966, Rajender Kumar’s film Suraj became silver jubilee hit running for more than 25 weeks. Again it was magic combination of Rafisahab and Shankar Jaikishan which created gold. The landmark songs included “gustaqi maaf”, “kaise samjhayun bari nasamajh ho”, “itna hai tumse pyar mujhe mere raazdaar”, to name a few. Vaijayantimala acted opposite Rajender Kumar in the film.
In 1967, Rajender Kumar’s films Palki and Aman did average business inspite of having great songs of Rafisahab like “surahidar garden koel si hi awaaz”, “dil-e betaab ko sine se lagana hoga”. But in 1968, both of Rajender Kumar’s films Saathi and Jhuk Gaya Aasman ended up as silver jubilees running for more than 25 weeks. Vaijayantimala acted opposite Rajender Kumar in Saathi while Saira Banu acted opposite Rajender Kumar in Jhuk Gaya Aasman. Rafisahab’s songs in Jhuk Gaya Aasman became superhit like “o priya, kaun hai jo sapno me aya”, “kahan chal diye”, while Mukeshji’s song “mera pyar bhi tu hai” became superhit. Naushad Ali composed the music of Saathi while Shankar Jaikishan composed the music of Jhuk Gaya Aasman.
In 1970, Rajender Kumar’s films Geet and Dharti became silver jubilee hits. Mala Sinha acted opposite Rajender Kumar in Geet, while Wahida Rehman acted opposite Rajender Kumar in Dharti. The music of Geet composed by Kalyanji Anandji and Dharti composed by Shankar Jaikishan became super hit with landmark songs of Rafisahab like “aja tujhko pukare mere geet, “khuda bhi aasman se jab zameen par dekhta hoga”.
In 1972, Rajender Kumar’s film Gora Aur Kala opposite Hema Malini became silver jubilee hit. This time music was composed by Laxmikant Pyarellal. Again Rafisahab’s song “tu meri sapno ki raani banegi”, Mukeshji’s song “dheere dheere bol koi sun na len” became super hit.
From the mid-1970s Rajender Kumar faded out of the industry and restricted himself to character roles. But his long innings for more than 30 years brought huge revenue for Bollywood films. After Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar, he was a phenomenon and still remains immortal in his soft, romantic performances in classic films.
One cannot deny the exceptional talent certain film stars in the Hindi film industry possess. While some actors and actresses have gained a great deal of fame commercially, many others have gone unnoticed by the masses.
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