Disco Dancer

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Disco Dancer
Disco Dancer.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byBabbar Subhash
Written byDr. Rahi Masoom Reza
Deepak Balraj Vij
Produced byBabbar Subhash
StarringMithun Chakraborty
Rajesh Khanna
Gita Siddharth
Om Shivpuri
CinematographyNadeem Khan
Edited byMangesh Chavan
Shyam Gupte
Music byBappi Lahiri (composer)
Faruk Kaiser (lyrics)
B. Subhash Movie Unit
Release date
  • 17 December 1982 (1982-12-17)
Running time
135 minutes
Budget40 Crore
Box officeest. 1 billion ($106 million)

Disco Dancer is a 1982 Indian dance film, written by Rahi Masoom Raza and directed by Babbar Subhash. It stars Mithun Chakraborty and Kim , with Om Puri and Rajesh Khanna in supporting roles. The film tells the rags-to-riches story of a young street performer from the slums of Bombay. The film is known for its filmi disco Bollywood songs, composed by Bappi Lahiri and written by Faruk Kaiser. Popular songs include "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" sung by Parvati Khan, "I am a Disco Dancer" sung by Vijay Benedict, "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" sung by Lahiri, and "Goro Ki Na Kaalo Ki" sung by Suresh Wadkar with Usha Mangeshkar.

The film was a worldwide success, with its popularity extending across Southern/Central/Eastern Asia, the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, and Eastern/Western Africa. Disco Dancer was also the highest-grossing foreign film ever in the Soviet Union. Disco Dancer established Mithun as a household name across Southern Asia and the Soviet Union. The soundtrack album was also a success, having gone Platinum in India and received a Gold Award in China.


Anil (Mithun Chakraborty), a street performer and wedding singer from the slums of Bombay, is scarred by the memory of the rich P. N. Oberoi (Om Shivpuri) beating his mother (Gita Siddharth) in an incident during his childhood. When manager David Brown (Om Puri) is fed up with the tantrums of current Indian disco champion Sam (Karan Razdan) and looks for some new talent, he happens to see Anil dance-walking across a street. Rebranded as 'Jimmy', the rising disco star must take the throne from Sam and win the heart of Rita (Kim), Oberoi's daughter.

All seems to be going well until Oberoi hires men to connect Jimmy's electric guitar to 5,000 volts of electricity, causing Jimmy's mother to die in a tragic accident. Jimmy gets guitar phobia after witnessing his mother's death. Later, Oberoi's goons break his legs. With help from Rita, Jimmy begins to walk.

Jimmy must claim first place for Team India at the International Disco Dancing Competition amidst strong competition from Team Africa (Disco King and Queen) and Team Paris (Disco King and Queen). Jimmy is reluctant to dance, but Rita persuades him to do so. Sam arrives with a guitar to scare Jimmy. Rita manages to drag the show to encourage Jimmy to sing but to no avail. The crowd pelts him with stones which hit his head. Jimmy's uncle Raju (Rajesh Khanna) arrives and advises him to infuse his mother and his music; he throws the guitar to Jimmy, after which Jimmy begins to sing. Oberoi's goons kill Raju, after which Jimmy travels to their lair and beats them up. In the ensuing fight, Oberoi is electrocuted.



The title song I am a Disco Dancer was shot at Natraj Studio in Mumbai over three days, where scenes featuring Mithun Chakrobarty's signature moves were filmed. Thereafter, the shooting featured crowds scenes at Filmistan Studio in Mumbai.[1]


Babbar Subhash, Parvati Khan and Bappi Lahiri recording "Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" 1981
Disco Dancer
Soundtrack album by
GenreBollywood, Disco, EDM
ProducerBappi Lahiri

The music for all the songs[2] were composed by Bappi Lahiri and the lyrics were penned by Anjaan and Faruk Kaiser. The tracks on the 1982 soundtrack album are as follows:

1."I Am A Disco Dancer"AnjaanVijay Benedict07:49
2."Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja"AnjaanParvati Khan03:04
3."Auva Auva Koi Yahan Nache"Faruk KaiserBappi Lahiri, Usha Uthup05:28
4."Ae Oh Aa Zara Mudke"AnjaanKishore Kumar05:58
5."Yaad Aa Raha Hai"AnjaanBappi Lahiri06:22
6."Krishna Dharti Pe Aaja"AnjaanNandu Bhende05:25
7."Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki"AnjaanSuresh Wadkar, Usha Mangeshkar05:23
8."Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki (Sad)"AnjaanSuresh Wadkar02:48

The song "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" has numerous similarities with 1980 French disco song "T’es OK" by Ottawan.

The song "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" has been described as a synthesized, minimalist, high-tempo, electronic disco song. Geeta Dayal described it as a "disco anthem for the ages, and one of the best songs Lahiri ever did." It has been cited as a possible influence on the 1982 prototypical acid house album Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat by Charanjit Singh. The Roland TR-808 drum machine was used extensively during the album production.

The song "Auva Auva" (picturized on Karan Razdan's character Sam) has similarities to the 1979 English synthpop hit "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. The song "Cerrone's Paradise" by Cerrone was used in the scene when David Brown discovers Anil who is dance-walking down a street. The song "Krishna Dharti Pe Aaja Tu" has similarities to "Jesus" by Tielman Brothers. This version was used in the movie where Jimmy is practicing dance.

The Disco Dancer soundtrack was popular worldwide, particularly in India, the Soviet Union, and China.[3] It was used during the end credits of the 2019 Tamil film Super Deluxe.[4]

The soundtrack went Platinum in India,[5] equivalent to 1 million sales,[6] and received a Gold Award in China.[3]

Box office[]

Worldwide gross (est.)
Territory Gross revenue Adjusted gross Footfalls
Domestic (India) 6.4 crore[7] (US$6.54 million)[n 1] 100 crore (US$14 million) 15 million[9]
Overseas (Soviet Union) 60 million SUR[10] – US$75.85 million[n 2] (94.28 crore)[n 3] US$189 million (1,176 crore)[13] 120 million[10]
Worldwide ₹100.68 crore (US$106 million)[14][15] ₹1,261 crore (US$189 million) 135 million

In India, the film grossed ₹6.4 crore in 1982.[7] It was the 7th[16] or 14th[7] highest-grossing film at the domestic Indian box office in 1982, with its strongest commercial performance in the West Bengal state,[7] home to actor Mithun Chakraborty and composer Bappi Lahiri.

In the Soviet Union, the film released in 1984, with 1,013 prints.[17] It drew an audience of 60.9 million viewers in 1984, becoming the most successful film at the Soviet box office that year,[18] the biggest foreign hit in the 1980s,[17] the fourth biggest box office hit of the decade,[17][19] the eighth biggest foreign hit of all time,[17] and one of the top 25 biggest box office hits of all time.[17][19] Including re-runs, the film sold an estimated 120 million tickets in the Soviet Union.[10] In terms of gross revenue, it earned 60 million Soviet rubles[10] (US$75.85 million,[n 2] 94.28 crore),[n 3] the highest for an Indian film, surpassing Awaara's 29 million rubles.[18] This made it the highest-grossing Indian film overseas up until it was surpassed by the over 100 crore overseas gross of My Name is Khan (2010)[20] and 3 Idiots (2009).[21][22]

Disco Dancer was also a success in China, when it released there in 1983.[23] The song "Jimmy Jimmy" was popular there. According to Aamir Khan, Mithun Chakraborty is famous in China due to the song.[24]

Worldwide, Disco Dancer grossed a combined 100.68 crore (US$82.39 million) in India and the Soviet Union. This surpassed the 35 crore gross of Sholay (1975),[25] making Disco Dancer the highest-grossing Indian film worldwide up until it was surpassed by the 135 crore gross of Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994).[26] Disco Dancer was the first Indian film to gross 100 crore worldwide.[27]


It was remade in Tamil as Paadum Vaanampadi with Anand Babu, and in Telugu as Disco King with Nandamuri Balakrishna.


Upon release, Disco Dancer was a phenomenon, both domestically and internationally. Prior to the film's release, Bollywood was dominated by "angry young man" Bombay underworld films, an action crime film genre pioneered by screenwriter duo Salim–Javed a decade earlier in the early 1970s. These films often explored socialist and "hero versus system" themes, often presented a poor hero's journey from rags-to-riches, and involved violent revenge plots against villains. Disco Dancer took the "angry young man" genre and subverted it: instead of having Jimmy fight the villains or get revenge through violence, he instead gets revenge and defeats the villains through disco dancing. This led to a wave of disco-themed Bollywood musicals in India, and it become a global phenomenon outside of India. It was a blockbuster in Asia and the former Soviet Union, and drew a large global cult following, from Japan where a Jimmy statue was built in Osaka, to the West where Disco Dancer became the defining example of a stereotypical "Bollywood" film. Retrospectively, the film has received a polarizing critical reception, with praise for its music and dance numbers but criticism towards its plot, with Anuvab Pal calling it an ironic comedy film.[28][29]

Popular culture[]

The title song "I Am a Disco Dancer" was the inspiration for Devo's song "Disco Dancer" (1988).

The British Sri Lankan alternative rapper M.I.A. covered "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja" as "Jimmy" in 2007 for her album Kala. The music of this song was also used in the 2008 Adam Sandler movie You Don't Mess with the Zohan. There have been cover versions of "Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" from other international musicians, including the 1998 hit "Jimmy" by Russian techno group Ruki Vverh, "Jimmy Jimmy" by Russian artists DJ Slon and Angel-A, and a cover version by Tibetan artist Kelsang Metok.

The music from "Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" was used in the final fight scene in the Adam Sandler film You Don't Mess with the Zohan.[30]

In 2010, the songs "I Am a Disco Dancer" and "Yaad Aa Raha Hai" were used in the 2010 Bollywood comedy film, Golmaal 3, directed by Rohit Shetty. The songs were relevant to the performance of Mithun Chakraborty's character Pritam, who reflected on his past as a young mega-hit disco dancer.

Aamir Khan's special appearance as Disco Fighter in the Imran Khan starrer 2011 film Delhi Belly is inspired by Mithun Chakraborty's role in Disco Dancer.

"Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja" and "I Am a Disco Dancer" are very popular in countries such as Mongolia and post-Soviet states such as Russia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.[citation needed]

Baimurat Allaberiyev, an ethnic Uzbek from Tajikistan, became an internet sensation by singing "Goron Ki Na Kalon Ki" and "Jimmy Aaja" in a warehouse. The 2008 video recorded on a mobile phone got over 1 million views on YouTube. He landed an acting role in a Russian comedy film, Six Degrees of Celebration (2010).

See also[]


  1. ^ 9.79 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1982[8]
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b 0.791 Soviet rubles per US dollar in 1984[11]
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b 12.43 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1984[12]


  1. ^ "On a disco high!". Pune Mirror. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  2. ^ http://www.hindigeetmala.net/movie/disco_dancer.htm
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, page 88, University of Minnesota Press, 2008
  4. ^ Shekhar, Anjana (6 April 2019). "Addicted to old songs that appeared in 'Super Deluxe'? Here's your playlist". The News Minute. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Bappi Lahiri: The golden era of music has ended". Gulf News. 17 July 2014.
  6. ^ "International". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 93 (28): 69. 18 July 1981.
  7. ^ Jump up to: a b c d Box Office 1982, Box Office India
  8. ^ Monthly Commentary on Indian Economic Conditions, Volume 28, page xv, Indian Institute of Public Opinion, 1986
  9. ^ Mittal, Ashok (1995). Cinema Industry in India: Pricing and Taxation. Indus Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 9788173870231.
  10. ^ Jump up to: a b c d Naralenkova, Oxana (10 September 2009). "Bollywood returns to Russian screens". Russia Beyond. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  11. ^ Archive of Bank of Russia http://cbr.ru/currency_base/OldDataFiles/USD.xls
  12. ^ http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/PublicationsView.aspx?id=15268
  13. ^ "67.175856 INR per USD in 2016". Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  14. ^ "On Independence Day, here are the most successful Indian movies of every decade since 1947". Hindustan Times. 15 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Worth their weight in gold". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 14 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  17. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Sergey Kudryavtsev. "Зарубежные фильмы в советском кинопрокате".
  18. ^ Jump up to: a b Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin, page 211, Indiana University Press, 2005
  19. ^ Jump up to: a b Sergey Kudryavtsev. "Отечественные фильмы в советском кинопрокате".
  20. ^ Singh, Shivaji (23 July 2016). ""Which Khan Is The Real Box Office King of Bollywood?"". Koimoi. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  21. ^ "3 Idiots Is Biggest Grosser Overseas". Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Three Idiots Creates History In China". 30 December 2011. BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2011.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "印度片現在這麼火也不是沒有原因的". Xuehua. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Aamir: I couldn't really enjoy the food in China". Rediff. 21 May 2015.
  25. ^ http://smartinvestor.business-standard.com/market/ipoNews-418220-Top_10_biggest_commercial_hits_of_Amitabh_Bachchan.htm
  26. ^ "Top Worldwide Grossers ALL TIME: 37 Films Hit 100 Crore". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  27. ^ Cain, Rob (2 October 2017). "For Indian Movies, 1,000 Crore Rupees Is The New 100". Forbes.
  28. ^ Pal, Anuvab (2011). Disco Dancer : A Comedy In Five Acts. HarperCollins Publishers India. ISBN 978-93-5029-024-8.
  29. ^ Dixit, Shubhra (17 June 2015). "Angry Young Man in a Dance-Off: The Cult of 'Disco Dancer'". The Quint. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  30. ^ You Don't Mess with the Zohan#Soundtrack

External links[]

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