Abdullah (film)

Abdullah is a 1980 Indian Bollywood romantic drama film that was directed by Sanjay Khan.[2] The film starred Raj Kapoor, Sanjay Khan, Zeenat Aman and Danny Denzongpa in lead roles, with Sanjeev Kumar, Madan Puri, Sujit Kumar, Mehmood, Om Prakash and Farida Jalal in minor roles. The story was written by George Marzbetuny and Kader Khan wrote the dialogues. It was one of the most expensive Indian films at the time.[3]

Abdullah 1980 film poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed bySanjay Khan
Written byKader Khan (dialogues)
George Marzbetuny (story)
Produced byAsghar Ali
Abbas Khan
Zarine Khan
StarringRaj Kapoor
Sanjay Khan
Zeenat Aman
Danny Denzongpa
CinematographyV. Gopi Krishna
Edited byM. S. Shinde
Music byR. D. Burman
Zafo Films Private Limited Productions[1]
Release date
  • 8 August 1980 (1980-08-08)
Box officeest. 14.79 crore ($15.6 million)


In an unspecified Arab country, Khaleel (Danny Denzongpa) is a dangerous outlaw bringing terror to the land. Sheikh Mohammed Al-Kamal (Sanjay Khan) is a man of honour, who helps to protect people from harm and is asked by the government to help search for Khaleel. The quest to bring Khaleel to justice becomes a personal one for the Sheikh when his wife Zainab (Zeenat Aman) is injured during a bungled kidnap attempt by Khaleel.

Abdullah (Raj Kapoor) is a devout Muslim who lives in a small hut in the middle of the desert, and looks after a well which provides water to thirsty travelers. One day a friend, Ameer (Sanjeev Kumar), informs him that Khaleel had raided a settlement nearby, killing everyone except for Yashoda (Farida Jalal), a pregnant woman. Shortly thereafter, Ameer himself is killed, a mortally wounded Yashoda gives birth to a boy, names him Krishna, asks Abdullah to care for him, and passes away. Abdullah overcomes his fears of bringing up a Hindu boy, and looks after Krishna as his own son.

One day Khaleel's magician (Bob Christo) informs him that he is going to die at the hands of Krishna. Just as the Hindu deity Krishna once slew Kansa, his maternal uncle, so also will Khaleel's life end at this Krishna's hands. Angered by this, Khaleel sets out to kill Krishna. He attacks Abdullah, abducts Krishna and readies to kill the boy to get rid of any threat against him. In response, Abdullah and the Sheikh set out to stop this and to deal with Khaleel once and for all.



'Maine Poochha Chaand Se', sung by Mohammed Rafi, is an evergreen classic and remains popular. Lyrics written by Anand Bakshi.

1."Om Jai Jagdish Hare"Lata Mangeshkar 
2."Jashn-E-Bahaara"Asha Bhosle 
3."Bheega Badan Jalne Laga"Asha Bhosle 
4."Maine Poochha Chand Se"Mohammed Rafi 
5."Ae Khuda, Har Faisla Tera""Kishore Kumar 
6."Lallah, Allah Tera Nigahbaan"Manna Dey 
7.UntitledR. D. Burman 

Box officeEdit

Abdullah grossed 3.4 crore at the domestic Indian box office, making it 1980's 17th highest-grossing film in India. However, the film's performance at the domestic box office was deemed below average.[4] Its domestic Indian gross is equivalent to US$4.32 million in 1980, or US$14 million (87 crore) in 2016.[n 5]

Despite under-performing at the domestic Indian box office, the film became an overseas blockbuster at the Soviet box office, due to Raj Kapoor's popularity in the Soviet Union. It drew an audience of 31.9 million Soviet viewers in 1983, the highest for an Indian film that year, making it one of the top 30 most popular Indian films in the Soviet Union.[7] The film's Soviet gross amounted to 7.975 million Rbls, equivalent to US$11.28 million (11.39 crore) in 1983, or US$31 million (181 crore) in 2016.[n 5]

Worldwide, Abdullah grossed US$15.6 million (14.79 crore) by 1983, equivalent to US$40 million (268 crore) in 2016.[n 5]


  1. ^ 7.8629 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1980[5]
  2. ^ 31.9 million Soviet tickets sold,[7] average ticket price of 25 kopecks[8]
  3. ^ 0.707 Rbl per US dollar in 1983[9]
  4. ^ 10.0989 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1983[5]
  5. ^ a b c Abdullah: 14.79 crore or US$15.6 million by 1983 (268 crore or US$40 million in 2016)
    • India: 3.4 crore[4] (US$4.32 million)[n 1] in 1980 (US$14 million (87 crore)[6] in 2016)
    • Soviet Union: 7.975 million Rbls[n 2] (US$11.28 million,[n 3] 11.39 crore)[n 4] in 1983[7] (US$31 million or 181 crore[6] in 2016)


  1. ^ Abdullah at IMDb
  2. ^ Christo, Bob (14 May 2011). Flashback: My Life and Times in Bollywood and Beyond. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-81-8475-511-4.
  3. ^ "Qurbani". Cine Blitz. Blitz Publications. 5 (2): 90. 1979.
  4. ^ a b "Box Office 1980". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  5. ^ a b http://fx.sauder.ubc.ca/etc/USDpages.pdf#page=3[bare URL PDF]
  6. ^ a b "67.175856 INR per USD in 2016". Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Sergey Kudryavtsev. "Зарубежные популярные фильмы в советском кинопрокате (Индия)".
  8. ^ Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War, page 48, Cornell University Press, 2011
  9. ^ Archive of Bank of Russia http://cbr.ru/currency_base/OldDataFiles/USD.xls

External linksEdit