Shammi Kapoor, The OG 'Junglee' & 'Majnu' Of Bollywood, Had 18 Box Office Flops Before He Secured His First 1 Crore Hit!
With His First 1 Crore Hit With Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Here’s How Shammi Kapoor Taught Box Office To ‘Shake It Like Shammi!’ (Picture Credit: IMDB & Youtube)

If I give you the word Yahoo and you are a true blue filmy, your reflex would make you sing Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe! That is what Shammi Kapoor did to this nation when he turned the first dancing star of Bollywood films. The actor dived into hearts overnight with Tumsa Nahi Dekha. A film that was originally made for Dev Anand but fell into Shammi Ji’s lap, fortunately. A film that ended his struggle as a Box Office star.

Tumsa Nahi Dekha was the first hit of the actor’s career, but do you know that Raj Kapoor‘s brother had to go through a dry spell at the Box Office after his debut in 1953 with Jeewan Jyoti, a film that none remembers.

Blame it on the timeline, but Shammi Kapoor had to struggle to make a place at a time when Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Nargis, and even Shammi’s elder brother Raj Kapoor used to rule at the Box Office. With so many stars already at the audiences’ service, there seemed to be no need of a new superstar. It was then that Shammi Ji entered the scene.

From 1953 to 1956, three years and 18 films, and all flops. This was Shammi Kapoor’s filmographic description till he rose like a phoenix. But it was his determination and guts that he struggled and struggled until he got his first hit in 1957 with Tumsa Nahi Dekha. The film earned 1.25 crore at the Box Office and was the actor’s first film to cross the 1 crore mark at the Box Office.

However, before Tumsa Nahi Dekha, Shammi Kapoor gave 18 flops at the Box Office. Yes, that was Raj Kapoor’s younger brother for you. 18 continuous flops. He was the first actor to play Majnu on screen, probably with Laila Majnu, in 1953, the year he made his film debut.

His next hit was in the year 1959 with Dil Deke Dekho, whose title track, was a superhit! The film earned 90 lakh at the Box Office. The following year was phenomenal for Bollywood – 1960, the year of Mughal-E-Azam. But Shammi Ji maintained the winning streak with a hit like Singapore, which had a lifetime business of 55 lakh. However, his box office breakthrough came in 1961 with Junglee whose title track and Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par were chartbusters. This musical hit was the second highest-grossing film of 1961 and collected 2 crore at the box office!

The year 1962 gave him three hits in Professor (1 crore), Dil Tera Deewana (85 lakh), and China Town (70 lakh). The actor then told the world how to Shake it Like Shammi with constant musical hits. It started with Tumne Pukara Aur Hum Chale Aaye from Rajkumar, which collected 1.6 crore, and the musical superhit Kashmir Ki Kali, which collected 1.4 crore and still makes us groove to Ye chaand sa roshan chehra.

Shammi Kapoor turned into the OG dancing superstar at the Box Office, also ruling with his chartbuster songs with films like Teesri Manzil, An Evening In Paris, Brahmachari, and more. While Teesri Manzil (1966), with iconic songs like O Haseena Zulfon Wali and Aaja Aaja Main Hun Pyaar Tera, collected 2.25 crore and turned a landmark for him, his career’s highest grosser, another hit in the actor’s career was an Evening in Paris (1967) that collected 1.5 crore at the Box Office, followed by Brahmachari’s 1.25 crore which came grooving to Aajkal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche.

Ironically, Shammi Kapoor never made it to the top except for Junglee, but he surely was the only superstar who gave more chartbusters to shake and groove and stayed relevant, being a part of the top ten HGOTY continuously with his musical superhits. His last hit as the lead was in 1971 with Andaz, which collected 2 crore at the box office.

Shammi Kapoor conveniently moved to supporting roles further in his career and stayed relevant till his last film, Rockstar, which had his nephew Rishi Kapoor’s son Ranbir Kapoor playing the lead.

Note: Note: Box office numbers are based on estimates and various sources. Numbers have not been independently verified by Koimoi.

For more box office facts and trivia, stay tuned to Koimoi.

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