Haathi Mere Saathi Completes 40 Years Of Release; Six Facts About Rajesh Khanna-Starrer You Must Know

Here are some interesting facts about Rajesh Khanna's film Haathi Mere Saathi as the film celebrates 40 years of its release

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Haathi Mere Saathi Completes 40 Years Of Release; Six Facts About Rajesh Khanna-Starrer You Must Know
Haathi Mere Saathi starring Rajesh Khanna remains to be one of the most iconic films ever made. From its storyline to songs, everything was a hit. It did not just minted money at the box office, the film also carved a place for itself in the hearts of all the animal lovers out there. As the film completes 40 years of its release, here are some interesting facts about the film that one must know. Read on.

Released on May 1, 1971 Haathi Mere Saathi was the biggest hit of Rajesh Khanna’s blockbuster career, out-numbering his  other superhits  like Do Raaste Aradhana, Kati Patang and Bandhan at the box office.

It was the remake of the 1967 Tamil film Deiva Cheyal. The story, about the friendship between a man and four elephants has a deep resonance even today when ecological  imbalance has hit an  all-time low and environmental concerns are at an all-time high.

This was the first of the many successive blockbusters written by Salim-Javed. Rajesh Khanna personally went to them and requested them to re-write the original  Tamil  screenplay. Salim-Javed re-wrote the story, gave it a more rounded shape and  contoured the hero’s characters in shades that suited Superstar Khanna’s personality.

The film’s popularity with the children was a major factor in its diamond-jubilee success (it ran for 75-100  weeks in several centres). The kids fell in love with  their Khanna uncle. The song Chal chal mere haathi oh mere saathi sung in Kishore Kumar’s voice was a  big favourite  among kids.

The producer "Sandow" Marudur Marudachalamurthy Ayyavoo Chinnappa Devar made many films in Tamil with animals in a pivotal part. Haathi Mere Saathi was his first Hindi film and the biggest hit of Devar’s career.  A  year after Haathi Mere Saathi he made  Jaanwar  Aur Insaan with Shashi Kapoor and Raakhee replacing the friendly elephants in Haathi Mere Saathi with a hostile  tiger . Jaanwar  Aur Insaan  didn’t work at the  box office.

The original choice  for the  leading lady’s role was Sharmila  Tagore. But  she couldn’t do the  film. That’s when Tanuja stepped  into the picture.  Her character’s name  was  changed  to Tanu. Later on ‘Tanu’ and ‘Kaka’ did another film together Mere Jeevan Saathi which flopped miserably. The haathi, you see, was missing.
Image source: IMBD
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