How the film "Zita and Gita" was filmed: footage from filming and 13 interesting facts about the film (18 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, Movie, PEGI 0+
2 March 2024

This film about two twin girls is one of the most popular Indian films.

1. For several years, Ramesh Sippy worked as an assistant director, and only in 1971 he directed his first independent film, “Gesture,” which was a resounding success.

Not wanting to stop there, Ramesh immediately began looking for ideas for his new film. And then, thanks to the film "Ram and Shyam", he had the idea to make a film about twin sisters. Yes, he immediately rejected the idea of twin brothers, otherwise this would have been the 4th film on this topic. But there have never been twin sisters in Indian cinema.

But the most interesting thing is that director Pramod Chakramorty, inspired by the film “Ram and Shyam”, which was released in 1967 and was about twin brothers, decided to make his own film about twin sisters. But having learned that Ramesh Sippy had already taken this idea, he did not bring his idea to life, so as not to be accused of being secondary.

Still from the film "Ram and Shyam" (1967)

But later Pramod Chakramoorty directed the film "Avenger", which was also a stunning success.

2. Ramesh Sippy invited actress Hema Malini, who had previously starred in his hit film Gesture, to play the lead role of the sisters. As Hema Malini herself said, she really liked the film “Ram and Shyam”, but she never thought that she would have to participate in such a project and play two sisters with different characters.

Hema Malini

True, Malini was not the first on his list. Initially, he wanted to take the famous actress Nutan for the role of the sisters, but the producers protested, since the actress was already too old for this role, because at that time she was already 36 years old, while Zita and Gita were young girls.


Then the actress Mumtaz, who, by the way, starred in the film “Ram and Shyam”, was invited to play these roles. But Mumtaz charged such a price that the producers themselves decided to refuse her services.


It was only then that the role was offered to Hema Malini, who accepted the role.

3. But with the search for actors to play the roles of young people for Zita and Gita, some difficulties arose.

Famous Indian actor Rajesh Khanna was invited to play the role of one of the men. Rajesh agreed to this role, but on the condition that the film would still be about twin brothers, whose roles he would play. But the director was adamant that the film should be about the sisters. Therefore, Khanna’s services had to be abandoned.

As a result, Indian actor Sanjeev Kumar was cast in the role of Gita's lover (Ravi). The only problem was that he asked for a considerable fee for his participation. But since there were no other candidates, and the director didn’t want to take on anyone, he had to take Sanjeev for the role of Ravi.

And as the actor himself admitted, in principle he didn’t care who to play, since he perfectly understood that the girls, and not him, would be at the center of the plot.

4. Problems arose every now and then on the screenwriting front, since the two young screenwriters could not come to any kind of consensus. Members of the film crew said that the writers argued with each other every now and then. It happened that such disputes even led to fights.

5. Hema Malini and Sanjeev Kumar knew each other even before the filming of Zita and Gita. Moreover, Sanjeev proposed marriage to the actress several times. But in the end the wedding never happened.

But Hema was not familiar with the actor Dharmendra, who played Cancer (Zita’s lover). But during filming, Hema Malini found out that Dharmendra was not warming up to her, which she was incredibly happy about. True, she was afraid to reciprocate his feelings. because I didn’t want Sajeev to find out about it.

5. Actors Hema Malini and Sanjeev Kumar did not know how to roller skate, so they had to learn how to do it right on the set, which is why they kept falling.

6. Some scenes of the film were not written in the script. Ideas for them came to the director right during filming. For example, this is how the scene in which Geeta climbed onto the ceiling fan was invented.

Initially, the actress did not like this idea, so she asked director Radnesh Sippy to show her a master class. In the end, Sippy actually climbed onto this very fan. And only after that Hema Malini climbed onto the fan herself.

7. The director came to the conclusion that it was better to film the sisters on different days so that actress Hema Malini would not get confused in her roles. That is, on one day only scenes with Zita were filmed, and on another day only scenes with Gita.

But Hema herself argued that it was simply unrealistic to confuse the heroines. As soon as she applied makeup and put on a costume, she immediately felt the character of the character she was playing at the moment. Moreover, as the actress herself admitted, after putting on makeup and changing clothes, even her gait automatically changed.

8. Stunt and action choreographer Shatty himself played one of the villains in the film, and his wife replaced Hema Malini as Geeta during complex stunts, such as tightrope walking.

9. The film "Zita and Gita" would have been released in 1971 if not for the Indo-Pakistani war. Due to this conflict, filming had to be suspended for more than a year.

10. As Hema Malini said, it was easy for her to play such different sisters, since she had the character of each of them.

11. The film "Zita and Gita" gained wide popularity, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1972. And when director Rajesh Sippy decided to make a new film, Revenge and Law, he decided to cast the already famous actors from Zita and Gita, namely Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar and Dharmendra, in the lead roles.

And it was during the filming of the film "Revenge and Law" that Hema began an affair with Dharmendra. True, Hema’s father was against such a union, since Dharmendra was married and had two children. Therefore, the couple was able to get married only after the death of the actress’s father and the actor’s divorce.

Dharmendra and Hema Malini years later

Over time, she gave birth to two children, and later founded her own production company, Hema Malini creations.

12. We all closely associate Indian films with chants. The film "Zita and Gita" was no exception. But the actors and actresses themselves most often do not perform the vocal parts of their characters. For these purposes, professional singers are invited.

There are not so many singers who sing in films instead of actors. Lata Mangeshkar alone sang more than 25 thousand songs for Bollywood films, for which she even got into the famous Guinness Book of Records. That's why the voices in Indian films when singing songs seem the same to us.

13. In the USSR, the film “Zita and Gita” also became very popular. True, the film reached Soviet release slightly cut off. In total, about 13 scenes were removed.

For example, in the Soviet version, Ravi first appears only at Zita's house, whereas in the original he appears much earlier while playing golf.

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