♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Updated 7/11/11 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
I always notice Johnnie Walker whiskey bottles in Bollywood films. Perhaps I have a very specific obsessive compulsive disorder that deals exclusively with finding Johnny Walker bottles in the films. I have photos of Johnnie Walker bottles sprinkled throughout this blog, but I thought I’d follow the lead of Shweta at Apni East India Company, who keeps a chronicle of Bollywood chandeliers and create a separate page for all the Johnny Walker. Now we just need the sprawling central staircases of the Indian film industry captured, along with birthday cakes and parties, and of course my most favorite, Bollywood balloons.
This page will now include some of Johnny Walker bottles I’ve found over the years from various Hindi (and maybe some Tamil and Telugu) filums. I have found that when a Johnny Walker bottle appears in these films, trouble is never far behind. In fact, if a black label bottle is shown, instead of the less expensive red label, it not only symbolizes fancier richer people, but people with even more evil intent than consumers of the plain old red label. To illustrate this point, one of the darkest characters I’ve seen is Apoorva Agnihotri‘s character, Rajiv, from Pardes (1997) and just LOOK (DEKH!) at how many Johnnie Walker black label bottles lurk in his presence!
There are FIVE, and that’s not including implied bottles that may be behind him. Blogger and commenter Samir, the oenophile, has expressed that he’s working on a theory for who gets the girl in these movies based on which label they are pictured with and I have suggested that he work on such an algorithm. I am seeking a grant from the Johnnie Walker company to fund such an effort, or maybe they will just send me a few cases of the whiskey. It’s also important to note the trashy goris in the background poster, are also a classic sign of trouble and representative of loose morals of the west.
I’ll keep updating this page and please send me your images of Johnnie Walker bottles in Bollywood (or Kollywood or Tollywood, etc.) films when you find them and I’ll add them here.
25. Thanedaar (1990)
Is that a cigarette in her Madhuri’s hand? Well I suppose it’s better than this.
24. Dhoondth Reh Jaaoge (2009)
23. An Evening in Paris (1967)
Sharmila’s other character, Deepa, is urged by Pran to gulp down some whiskey while both a red and black label of Johnnie Walker look on enthusiastically from the shelf.
A whole group of dancers perform for a Johnnie Walker red label bottle here:
22. Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010)
In his underworld movie, Emraan Hashmi plays Shoaib Khan a character based on Dawood Ibrahim. Ajay Devgan plays Sultan Mirza, based on Haji Mastan. Needless to say, Johnnie Walker bottles are fruitful since underworld types enjoy Johnnie Walker. Hashmi’s Shoaib Khan is making evil plans here, breaking codes of morality, and is interrupted by his mentor, Devgan’s Sultan Mizra.
Now THIS is what I call a dramatic exit: spinning the Johnnie Walker red label and storming out of the room, straight to Delhi!
Hashmi’s Shoaib Khan’s descent into more and more serious crime coincides with him being sighted with the fancier Johnnie Walker black label, after all he’s portraying Dawood Ibrahim, currently second on Interpols most wanted list.
21. Awaargi (1990)
This film has lots of Johnnie Walker whiskey, so much that I had to dedicate an entrie post to it HERE. One of the more rare images was this one, where the Johnnie Walker bottle sits off to the side, listening to Anil Kapoor’s Azaad threaten to give a tight slap to Meenakshi Seshadri’s Meena.
20. Do Anjaane (1976)
A rare siting of a woman (Rekha) with Johnnie Walker black label. I recall a lot of scenes with Prem Chopra’s character luring Amitabh’s character using Johnnie Walker whiskey, and even a train scene involving the whiskey and if I find that clip I’ll add it.
19. Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
18. Ram Lakhan (1989)
How can you tell Vivia runs with gangsters? Well there’s Johnnie Walker on the premises. Opps, sorry her arm is blocking the whiskey!
For much of the film I thought Vivia was Madhuri DIxit in a wig and blue contacts. Did anyone else think that?
17. Omkara (2006)
Thanks to “encore” who added in the comments section,
“catch a glimpse of Johnnie Walker Black Label in Omkara. It makes its appearance in that memorable bridge scene with Langda Tyagi (Saif) and Tiwari (Deepak Dobriyal). Look for it starting 3:15”:
16. Vishwanath (1978)
Two bottles of Johnnie Walker, one red, one black, are witnesses to a murder (by Ranjeet!) in the first moments of this Subhash Ghai film.Afterwards, the Johnnie Walker does its usual thing and keeps company with gangsters/dacoits/goondas/scoundrels.
15. White Rainbow (2005)
1.) Indian woman drinking 2.) widow drinking 3.) She’s (Sonali Kulkarni) drinking Johnnie Walker, black label!
14. Parbat Pe Apna Dera (My Home is In the Hills) (1944)
Dhanyivad to Shweta at Apni East India Company (whose cataloguing of chandeliers in Bollywood inspired me to do the same for Johnnie Walker) for sending me these images from the film. Until proven otherwise, these are the oldest recorded evidence of Johnnie Walker being consumed in and Indian film. Kanta Kumari pouring Johnnie Walker:
13. Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)
12. Dayavan (1988)
Dacoitery and Johnnie Walker black label go hand in hand, hai na?
11. Deewana (1992)
Amrish Puri with black label.
10. Dev.D (2009)
Abhay Deol‘s character drinks vodka (or is it gin?) in the film, but even he couldn’t escape a photo op. with a grand bottle of Johnnie Walker red label.
9. Hera Pheri (1976)
The Johnnie Walker bottle actually co-stars in this sad number:
7. Namak Haraam (1973)
6. Parinda (1989)
Nana Patekar‘s character about to experience death by Johnnie Walker, black label.
5. Raja Hindustani (1996)
He starts out with a bottle of J&B, but about three minutes in he has the good sense to switch over to Johnnie Walker.
4. Sawan Bhadon (1970)
Jayshree T shaking it for a bottle of Johnnie Walker, red label.
3. Superstar ( 2008)
Kunal Khemu‘ s character takes away his torment with a swig of Johnnie Walker, red label.
2. Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
What better way to show the how the low morals of American life affect NRIs than to show Mr. Jaiswal (Kishore Sahu) slamming down some Johnnie Walker while threatening to slap Mrs. Jaiwal (Achala Sachdev).
1. Jewel Thief (1967)
Dev Anand plays two characters in this film, the jewel thief, Amar, and his innocent look alike, Vinay. How can Vinay pass himself off as a thief? Why by drinking Johnnie Walker of course, like a true thief.
And I know this isn’t Bollywood, it’s the handsome Jon Hamm with some Johnnie Walker in Mad Men (season 3 episode 5 to be exact) because sometimes I have to make an exception and go beyond the Indian film industry.
Please check back for updates as this is a work in progress.