39 years ago, 26 July 1982 was when Amitabh Bachchan got seriously injured during the shooting of Coolie. This highest grossing Bollywood movie of those times was eventually released in 1983 and shot into prominence as much for the lead protagonist's portayal of Mumbai's iconic Coolie culture as for the near fatal accident of Amitabh Bachchan. Even today the figt scene where he gets injured is frozen for a moment and shows a message.
Amitabh Bachchan, who is revered to the point of diety by his fans, were aghast when the news of his near fatal injury was announced. The accident, which took place on the sets of Coolie, damaged Puneet Issar's career for a short period. Puneet Issar was the antagonist in the scene and a misstep led him to injure Amitabh Bachchan. In an interview with a leading daily in 2020, Puneet said that he lost nearly 7 movies due to the incident. After Amitabh got over his injury and announced that there was no bad blood between them, was when Puneet got back to his routine career. His portayal of Duryodhan in BR Chopra's television blockbuster Mahabharat brought him back in the reckoning.
About the accident on 26 July 1982
A miscalculated jump by Amitabh Bachchan caused a near fatal punch in the gut by Puneet Issar, the antagonist in the movie. The impact damaged his intestines. This shoot was taking place at the Bangalore University Campus. It was a mistimed jump by Bachchan on the table and the fist cuff of Puneet Issar that hit him on the gut damaged his intestines. Coolie was in the news even before it was released. The entire nation had held its breath and prayed for the icons good health.
Amitabh was taken to a hospital and later transferred to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai (then Bombay). According to the actor, he was in a haze like situation and was clinically dead for a few minutes. Rajiv Gandh, being a close family friend, cancelled his trip abroad in order to be with Amitabh. 60 units of blood from 200 donors were used in his treatment. One of the donors had Hepatitis B. In 2000, 18 years after the incident, due to this infected blood, Amitabh was diagnosed with Cirrhosis that damaged 75% of his liver. HE was out of danger on August 2 1982 and resumed shooting in January 1983.
This accident affected the ending of Coolie
In the original script, Amitabh Bachchan is supposed to die after Kader Khan shoots him. Considering the depth of emotions that his the actors accidents had caused in the country, the film producers decided to change the ending of teh scene, fearing outrage by his fans! Manmohan Desai took the call and changed the ending, curing Amitabh after the gun shot, so that the films commercial success is ensured.
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