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Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod were the two giants of Bollywood in the '70s and worked together in 10 films. Even though Amitabh played the lead role in their films, Vinod managed to steal the limelight from him at times with his devastating good looks. While the Big B is a legend, industry naysayers have said that Vinod could have outrun him had he not left the industry at the peak of his career. In fact, Vinod was the only actor who came close to threatening Amitabh's position! We look at their infamous rivalry.
The super hit pair
Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan were a super hit pair and delivered five enormously successful and entertaining films together – Hera Pheri (1976), Khoon Pasina (1977), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) Parvarish (1977) and Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978). Vinod was even pitched as Amitabh's contender for the top spot after he fuelled successes on his own like Raj Sippy's Inkaar (1977). Amitabh was undoubtedly at the peak of his career and definitely a bigger star that played the lead every time. However, Vinod Khanna managed to charm the audiences more than Big B
Vinod Khanna was on the brink of toppling Amitabh
Vinod Khanna, like Parveen Babi, quit the Hindi film industry at the height of his success. He had a long stretch of hits with Amitabh Bachchan and was his direct and closest competitor. In the 1970s he had the image of the 'thinking' angry young man.
The media built up Vinod Khanna as the Bachchan alternative. He was the only actor who ever came close to Amitabh Bachchan's top position and, at one point, people were almost certain that he would replace Big B. Vinod had four major hits in 1977 and despite the fact that three of them starred Amitji, Vinod walked away with most of the accolades.
Vinod was much better than Amitabh in Khoon Pasina. In fact it was one of his better movies and made him a star. He also did a stunning job in Mera Gaon Mera Desh even though he played the villain. It was the acting and his persona on screen that mattered. The Vinod Khanna performance that really stands out was his act in Qurbani. He was at his absolute best, physically and otherwise and critics and audience alike concurred that no one could have done what Vinod did in the movie.
Additionally, Vinod was incredible at action. His unbridled masculinity and machismo are unrivalled to this day. He might not have been as toned or muscular as the stars today are, but his granite jaw indented with an irresistible cleft had everyone enthralled. Vinod was magnetic and overpowering – period.