Zanjeer is the first in a long line of Bollywood action/crime movies casting Amitabh Bachchan as, basically, a Clint Eastwood analogue. Orphaned when his criminal father attempted to go straight and was killed (along with the wife/mother of the family) by his old employers, Amitabh's character is adopted by a kindly policeman and grows up to be a policeman himself, tangling with a powerful bootlegger, who also happens to be the one who killed his family, although Amitabh doesn't know that at first. Costarred Amitabh's real life wife Jaya Bhaduri as his love interest. A remake - well, a trilogy of remakes in Hindi and Southern Indian languages - is in the works recently, but is struggling with legal issues.
This film provides examples of:
- Defeat Means Friendship: how the hero acquires his Boisterous Bruiser best friend, Sher Khan (no, not that one).
- Faux Action Girl: Jaya is introduced singing a song and brandishing a knife, threatens one troublemaker with the blade a little later on...and then completely forgets that she has any survival skills at all til the very end of the film.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: the hero gets told this towards the end.
- Large Ham: Sher Khan
- You Killed My Father: what fuels the epic throwdown between the hero and the villain.