34 Years of Coolie. (02/12/1983)

BollywooDirect
3 min readDec 2, 2017

Coolie is a 1983 action comedy film, directed by Manmohan Desaiand written by Kader Khan. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan as Iqbal, a railway coolie, with supporting roles played by Rishi Kapoor, Rati Agnihotri, Kader Khan, Waheeda Rehman, Suresh Oberoi and Puneet Issar.

The film became famous even before its release when Amitabh Bachchan was critically injured on 26 July 1982 in the intestines while filming a fight scene with co-star Puneet Issar at the Bangalore University campus, which almost cost him his life.

In the fight scene, Bachchan was supposed to fall onto a table but mistimed his jump. This resulted in an internal abdominal injury. He was transferred to a Mumbai hospital, where according to the actor, he went into a “haze and coma-like situation”, and was “clinically dead for a couple of minutes”.

Despite the critical injury, Bachchan recovered remarkably and resumed shooting on 7 January 1983. In the final cut of the film, the fight scene during which he got injured was frozen and a message appears marking the scene as the one in which he was injured. Manmohan Desai did this on Amitabh’s wish.

Due to Bachchan’s injury, the ending was also changed. The original script showed Amitabh dying after Kader Khan shot him. But later on, after the injury-and-recovery episode, Manmohan Desai, thinking that this would have a negative impact on the movie as well as a bad feeling in the audience, decided to change the ending. The modified ending has the hero recover from his operation.

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