indian cinema heritage foundation


  • Died: 5 July 1998

Actor, producer and director, Amarjeet (also spelt Amar Jeet) is known for producing films like Teen Devian (1965), Duniya (1968), Prem Shastra (1974) and Rocky (1981), as well as for directing Teen Devian (1965) and Gambler (1971). He was also credited as the director of the Golden Bear-nominated Hum Dono (1961), although it is widely believed that it was Vijay Anand who directed that film. He collaborated multiple times with leading star, Dev Anand

Stepping into direction, he is credited with directing Hum Dono, which was written by Vijay Anand, Nirmal Sircar (story), and Montgomery Kee (war sequences). The film is considered unusually dramatic by production house Navketan’s usual standards. The film was a major hit. It depicted how insecurity can affect romantic relationships, and also touched upon the impact of war on people’s lives. It starred Dev Anand playing two identical-looking soldiers - the comrades in arms Captain Anand and Major Verma. Anand is in love with Mita (Sadhana) while Verma is married to Ruma (Nanda). When Verma is presumed dead, Anand has to take care of Ruma, endangering his relationship with Mita, especially as Ruma mistakes Anand for her real husband. When Verma turns up again, severely crippled, he believes Anand has taken his place in his home. The resolution comes when all four characters meet in a temple. The film included highly popular songs such as the Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi duet Abhi na jao chhod kar and Lata Mangeshkar’s bhajan Allah tero naam. Dev Anand earned a Filmfare Best Actor nomination for the film, while Amarjeet was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 1962 Berlin International Film Festival. In an interview years later, Dev Anand would reveal, “Amarjeet was a publicity man for Navketan and was a very good and loyal man. He asked me to give him a film to direct. He was not a creative worker, but out of sheer loyalty towards him, we gave him the film, though Goldie was behind the camera nearly all the time… It was our grace that we credited Amarjeet as director. Hum Dono was accepted in a very big way. It was the official entry at the 1962 Berlin Film Festival. Nanda, Goldie, Amarjeet and I went to Berlin and spent some great moments there. That trip brought me close to Pearl Buck. We met Jimmy Stewart in Berlin.” Fifty years after its release, the film was re-released in colour on 4 February 2011. 

In 1965, he directed Teen Devian, a musical romance starring Dev Anand, Nanda Karnataki, and Simi Garewal. The film tells the story of a poet who falls in love with three different women. 

The crime romance thriller Gambler, which he directed in 1971, had a star cast comprising Dev Anand, Zaheeda, and Kishore Sahu. It told the tale of Raja, who has been abandoned by his biological mother at a very young age, and grows up with Master, a criminal don and card-sharp, who would like Raja to continue working with him on a commission basis. Raja learns all that can be learned about playing cards, quits his job with Master, and starts off on his own. He succeeds considerably and soon becomes wealthy. He falls in love with the beautiful Chandra Gangaram, and would like to marry her. However, her father would like her to marry the UK-settled Ram Mehta. Meanwhile, in a sudden change of circumstances, Raja is charged with the cold-blooded murder of Master. The climax in Raja's life plays out in the courtroom, where he finds out about his past, and his parents, as he awaits the outcome of the trial.

Among the films he produced are the Dev Anand-starrer Teen Devian, followed by the crime drama Duniya (1968). Duniya, directed by T Prakash Rao, depicted the heavy losses that an advocate faces defending the brother of his sweetheart. It starred Dev Anand, Vyjayanthimala, and Balraj Sahni. He produced Gambler, as well as Prem Shastra (1974), a drama-romance starring Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman. The film, directed by B R Ishara, told the tale of Sagar Sharma, a writer, who is in love with a much younger woman named Barkha. When Sagar meets his ex-wife, Neelima, she tells him that Barkha is her daughter. Sagar refuses to believe Neelima’s claim, and continues his romance with Barkha. Later, Neelima tells him that she had an affair with his elder brother, and that Barkha is his daughter, which makes her Sagar’s niece. The film ends with a gripping courtroom climax, in which the truth is revealed. He served as the executive producer of the multi-starrer Apne Dushman (1975) which featured Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, and Reena Roy, among others. In 1981, he produced Sanjay Dutt’s debut film Rocky, which was directed by Sunil Dutt. An action romance that also starred Reena Roy and Tina Munim, the film was in the list of top 10 grossers of the year. Sunny, his production of 1984, starred Sunny Deol, Amrita Singh and Dharmendra in this drama romance directed by Raj Khosla

Amarjeet passed away on 5 July 1998.