This movie is a very special one for Amitabh fans as it is
the only good movie in which he plays a set of twins.Other
movies where he tried to repeat it namely Mahaan and
The Great Gambler is a fast paced action thriller which
has a taut screenplay and Amitabh in his full form that
makes the movie worth watching.
The movie starts with Jai(Amitabh) a small time
gambler getting engaged in a brawl.As the movie progresses
we come to know that he is a great gambler and he always
wins the game of cards.Enter bad guy(Madan Puri) who hires
Jai to play in his own casino so that he can rob some
influential people and later use their services to his own
benefit.One such person is Nath(Jagdish Raj) who is working
with the intelligence.Jai wins around 75,000 and leaves
Mr.Nath bankrupt.Now in order to save himself from disgrace
Nath has togive out the secret plan K2 which is actually
wanted by Saxena(Utpal Dutt as a humming villain).Saxena
has a team of bad men who r Romesh(Prem Chopra),Sethi(Roopesh
Kumar) and Marconi(Sujit Kumar).Alongwith them is Romesh's
girlfriend Shabnam(Zeenat baby at her best).Due to an internal
fight between them Sethi flees to Rome with evidence against
Saxena.He contacts the Indian Police who send their trusted
man Vijay(Amitabh again) to collect the evidence.Meanwhile
Jai is also heading to Lisbon to marry Neetu Singh so that
he can win the wealth of her dad(Iftekhar).After a series
of action sequences and great location viewing we come to
know that Jai and Vijay are twins who got separated in
their childhood.They join hands to destroy the evil men and
eventually get their respected ladies and their sister(who
appears only for 2 and a half scenes).
Shakti Samanta is known for his Aradhana and Amar Prem
type of movies.He gave many hits with former superstar
Rajesh Khanna.So the viewers must be surprised on seeing
him direct Khanna's arch-rival Bachchan and that too in
and action oriented thriller.Well,for those who do not know
Samanta had made some great action stuff like Howrah Bridge,
China Town and An Evening In Paris before he made Aradhana.
The Great Gambler has shades of both An Evening In Paris
and China Town.He has kept the pace of the movie quite fast
and aided by a tight screenplay he succeeds in keeping the
The locations where the movie is shot are very beautiful
The movie boasts of being shot in Cairo,Lisbon,Venice and
Rome.The cinematography is excellent.The action sequences
form the highlight of the movie and are very well executed.
the fight between Amitabh bachchan and Shetty(in a cold
storage) is excellent.The music by R.D. Burman is good.The
song '' Main Tumko Kya Kahoon....'' is great.But the evergreen
''Do lafzon Ki hai....'' picturised on Amitabh and Zeenat on a
boat in Venice is a classic song by all standards.The
background score specially the tune when initially Helen and
later Zeenat dance while sending secret codes is haunting.
The way pyramids,egyptian belle dance,european casinos and
Venice are shown in the movie,it has an international look.
Amitabh carries the movie very ably on his shoulders.
He has looked his best in both the roles.The coats,glasses and
shirts he wear go very well with the characters.He acts very
naturally and looks very handsome.This is perhaps the only
double role film where there is no difference between
both the roles.There is absolutely no difference between
Jai and Vijay in looks,voice,way of dressing and habits.This
leads to some confusion for the viewer as well.Zeenat and
Neetu Singh play their part comfortably.Madan Puri,Iftekhar,
Om Shiv Puri and Jagdish Raj are adequate in their respective
The peculiar and interesting part of the movie is the
different type of villanous character namely Saxena,Romesh,
Sethi and ofcourse Marconi enacted ably by Utpal Dutt,
Prem Chopra,Roopesh Kumar and Sujit Kumar.Utpal Dutt plays
an unusual and interesting character Saxena who starts humming
tunes even though he is discussing serious topics.Prem Chopra
as Romesh is at his menacing best.Roopesh Kumar plays Sethi
in a way that it becomes his most famous performance.However
it is Sujit Kumar as Marconi, who has an accent and talks
funnily, who gets away with the cake with his superb timing.
Sujit Kumar was a regular in Shakti Samanta films but this
one is really special.Helen shines in a cameo.
Another unknown feature about this movie is producer
Boney Kapoor shooted for the movie in a fight sequence where
he played Amitabh Bachchan's DOUBLE!!!
When released in 1979 The Great Gambler met with
modest success but it has high repeat value which makes it
a must watch for Bachchan fans.Samanta and Bachchan again teamed
up for the 1981 blockbuster billingual ''Barsaat Ki Ek Raat''.
Still, The Great Gambler although often compared with Don
remains a must watch for Samanta's ability to handle an action
film with panache and for the class Bachchan generates as
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