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5 reasons why Feroz Khan was ahead of his time

On Feroz Khan's 77th birth anniversary, we look at how the actor-turned-filmmaker brought in a new style with his directorial ventures. 

Keyur Seta

The 1970s belonged to stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor, who starred in clean commercial entertainers. But during this era, an actor-turned-filmmaker quietly brought in a new style to filmmaking and continued to do so successfully till the 1990s. It was Feroz Khan who brought in international aspects to Hindi films. On his 77th Birth Anniversary, let’s have a look at his interesting contribution.

Yash Chopra had made foreign locations like Switzerland famous through his films. Feroz Khan achieved the feat of becoming the first Hindi cinema filmmaker to shoot a film in Afghanistan when he shot Dharmatma (1975) there. The beautiful landscapes proved that it was worth the gamble. Later on in 1980, he brought to light the locations of London in Qurbani.  

At a time when mainstream Hindi cinema took a traditional or not-so-modern approach towards their heroines, Feroz Khan went all out to portray them boldly. His female characters could even be a cabaret dancer (Zeenat Aman in Qurbani) or someone not bothered about khandaan ki izzat despite hailing from an Indian family. 

During that time, films were made keeping family audiences in mind. But Feroz Khan didn’t seem to be a believer in this theory. Mumtaz’s bikini sequence in Apradh (1972), Zeenat Aman’s cabaret act in Qurbani (1980) and more importantly Dimple Kapadia and Madhuri Dixit’s love scenes in Janbaaz (1986) and Dayavan (1988) are proof.

Feroz Khan also brought in his own style in dressing his actors. Thinking about the beauty of the leading ladies of films, we are instantly reminded of Zeenat Aman and Hema Malini’s colourful costumes in Qurbani and Dharmatma respectively. He also portrayed his heroes, including himself, in western attire. The biggest example is his own avatar as a cowboy in Dharmatma, which is unforgettable. 

Feroz Khan was also known for making a lot of stylish cars famous through his films. For example, just for a five minute action sequence in Qurbani (1980), he got hold of a brand new Mercedes. According to him, it was necessary to add more authenticity to the scene.