“Teezri Manzil” is counted among Shammi Kapoor’s biggest hits, but the film happened to him only after producer Nasir Hussain had a physical altercation with superstar Dev Anand and hence decided to drop the actor, initially signed for the movie.
The 1966 musical thriller was directed by Vijay Anand, popularly known as Goldie, who was the younger brother of Dev.
Nasir’s superstar nephew Aamir made the revelation about his fight with Dev, during a special panel discussion on the filmmaker’s life and cinema at the launch of his biography “Music, Masti, Modernity- The Cinema of Nasir Hussain”.
“Originally Goldie uncle wasn’t directing ‘Teesri Manzil’ and Shammi uncle wasn’t in the film. It was Dev sahab who was playing the lead and Nasir sahab had written story screenplay and dialogues and was directing it. Goldie uncle was directing a film called ‘Baharon Ke Sapne’.
“It was a script, which he had written during his college days about an educate, unexplored. It was an off-beat kind of a film,” Aamir began narrating the incident.
The actor said it was actress Sadhna’s engagement party, where Nasir and Dev had a showdown.
“There was a huge film party, where Sadhna ji was getting engaged. The entire industry was there. At that night, Nasir and Dev sahab came to blows. They were a little high also,” Aamir said at the session.
“Because apparently Nasir sahab overheard him saying, ‘The film which Nasir is making with me is coloured and he has given Goldie some black-and-white film to make. Goldie is making the movie with some new boy, Rajesh (Khanna).’ Nasir sahab got very upset. They had to be pulled apart. I can never imagine Nasir sahab or Dev sahab trying to hit someone. They were gentle souls, and sophisticated.”
Aamir said the next day, Nasir asked Vijay to direct “Teezri Manzil” and offered to helm “Baharon Ke Sapne”.
“Nasir sahab caled Goldie uncle at the office and said, ‘Now you are going to direct ‘Teesri Manzil’, and I am going to direct ‘Baharoen Ke Sapne’. But Dev is not in ‘Teesri Manzil’.”
“Baharon Ke Sapne” was released in 1967 and also starred Asha Parekh. Nasir also produced the film.
“Teesri Manzil” also starred Asha and produced-written by Nasir. It went on to become a super hit, with the songs setting records. The film’s music was composed by RD Burman and had memorable songs like “O Mere Sona Re Sona Re”, “O Haseena Zulfonwali”, “Aaja Aaja Mein Hoon Pyaar Tera”.
“Shammi uncle was very particular about his music. So when he finally came on board for the film, he asked chacha Jaan (Nasir). ‘Who is this new boy, RD Burman?’.
“During a music session, Pancham uncle sang all the songs to Shammi uncle and apparently Shammi uncle on hearing each song was getting so excited he started dancing while the music test was going on, Aamir said.