indian cinema heritage foundation

Satish Bhatnagar

  • Born: 11/ 12 May, 1922
  • Died: 7 July, 2010
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi

Screenplay and dialogue writer Satish Bhatnagar has films such as Raaz (1967), Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967), Abhilasha (1968), Maryada (1971), Kasauti (1974), Hera Pheri (1976), Prem Bandhan (1979), Satte Pe Satta (1982), Kachche Heere (1982), Mazdoor (1983), Tawaif (1985), Dahleez (1986), Kal Ki Awaz (1992), Aakhri Sanghursh (1997), and Baghban (2003) to his credit. He was also involved in the scripting of some episodes of the TV serial Kanoon

Known to be a freedom fighter and acknowledged as such by the Indian government, Satish Bhatnagar wrote commercial radio programmes for Ameen Sayani, and edited a film fortnightly called Pointer in the 1960s, published by Jagmohan Mattu and Ameen Sayani. He worked for the BBC in London before he was persuaded by Guru Dutt to move to Bombay and write a film for him. Unfortunately, the film was never made. He made his debut in 1967, with the Ravindra Dave-directorial Raaz. Produced by G P Sippy for Sippy Films, the romantic thriller launched Rajesh Khanna, and also won the actor critical appreciation. The same year he also penned the dialogues for Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, based on the Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles, starring Dharmendra, Nutan and Rehman

Bhatnagar co-wrote the screenplay of Hera Pheri, a crime film directed by Prakash Mehra. It was a hit at the box office, featuring the two rising stars Bachchan and Vinod Khanna, who were gunning for the top spot. 

Satte Pe Satta, the action comedy which Bhatnagar penned, featured Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Amjad Khan, Ranjeeta Kaur, and others, and was adapted from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), and Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan (1957). A big success, the film ranked at number 10 on the box office collection list of 1982.

Among his other well-known films, he wrote the screenplay of B R Films’ Baghban which was critically acclaimed, especially for the on-screen chemistry between Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini who came together 20 years after Nastik (1983). Bhatnagar was a senior member of the empanelled writers retained by the B R Chopra film banner. 

Known for puffing on his trademark pipe, Satish Bhatnagar even had a special sher (couplet) dedicated to him by poet Nida Fazli, after the latter was amazed to see an 80-plus Bhatnagar regularly sweeping his doorway and the footpath outside. In the latter part of his life, an ailing Bhatnagar was still struggling to find a producer for his Chandragupta Chanakya screenplay, which had been shelved decades earlier.

Satish Bhatnagar passed away on 7 July, 2010. He had donated his body for medical research. 


Additional information courtesy:

  • Filmography (1)