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Bollywood's ten most memorable lawyers

Last updated on: March 11, 2013 11:27 IST

Bollywood's ten most memorable lawyers

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Milord, the courtroom scene is a huge part of movie drama.

The blindfolded statue of justice, the judge banging his gavel, the last-minute witnesses...

And then there are the lawyers.

Be they comedic or corrupt, Bollywood's lawyers are mostly articulate and often remarkable. With the release of Jolly LLB, here's a look at the ten most memorable Bollywood lawyers:

Sunil Dutt (Waqt)

In Yash Chopra's sweeping drama, Dutt plays Ravi, a lawyer who climactically defends his own brother, Raja, played by Raaj Kumar.

It was Kumar who got the plaudits (and a Filmfare Award) for the film, but Dutt's performance as an impassioned lawyer who gets the villain to confess remains hard to forget.

Image: Sunil Dutt in Waqt

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Nargis, Awara

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Prithviraj Kapoor might have played the judge in Raj Kapoor's Awaara, but Raj himself played a crook and a murderer.

The lawyer role, progressively enough, was played by Nargis, the only woman on this list.

She spends the final act of the film defending Raj for his actions.

Image: Nargis in Awara

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Anil Kapoor, Meri Jung

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In this Subhash Ghai hit, Anil Kapoor's Arun Verma sees criminal lawyer GD Thakral (the unforgettably immoral Amrish Puri) get Arun's father wrongfully sentenced to death.

Arun grows up to become a lawyer, there is much memorable piano-tinking, and the film naturally ends with Arun prosecuting Thakral.

Image: Anil Kapoor in Meri Jung

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Sunny Deol, Damini

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Raj Kumar Santoshi's film had Meenakshi Sheshadri as the titular Damini, with a case about the rape of a maid that no lawyer wanted to touch.

Except a hard on his luck drunk lawyer called Govind, played by Sunny Deol.

Deol starts off slow but is soon galvanised into action by his opponent, Amrish Puri's Barrister Chaddha.

Image: Sunny Deol in Damini

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Naseeruddin Shah, Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho

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Saeed Mirza's fantastic 1984 satire about the snailpaced Indian judicial system sees many great actors play advocate: Satish Shah, Salim Ghouse, Rohini Hattangadi all shine in their hilarious, incisively written parts.

But it is Naseer, whose smarmy and self-serving Malkani, provides the film's most biting caricature of the Indian lawyer.

Image: Naseeruddin Shah and Rohini Hattangadi in Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho

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Amjad Khan, Chameli Ki Shaadi

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Not all lawyers, however, are wicked men taking advantage of the system.

Sometimes, like in this Basu Chatterjee film, a lawyer is just a portly old man helping out his enthusiastic young protege.

Amjad Khan is in rollicking form as the omniscient lawyer who provides the voice of wisdom to a young and sprightly Charandas, played by Anil Kapoor.

Image: Amjad Khan in Chameli Ki Shaadi

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Balraj Sahni, Lajwanti

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In Narendra Suri's Lajwanti, written by Sachin Bhowmick, the legendary Balraj Sahni plays a lawyer called Nirmal Kumar.

Unfairly suspecting his wife of having an affair, he throws her out of the house.

It is a bold, flawed character, and while a greater role goes to the wife (played by Nargis) Sahni excels in his part.

Image: Balraj Sahni in Lajwanti

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Dev Anand, Baat Ek Raat Ki

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Waheeda Rehman confesses to a murder, and Dev Anand, playing Rajeshwar the lawyer, steps in to defend her.

His representation of the high-profile murder case, however, involves a full-blown investigation into the facts, and Anand plays both lawyer and ace detective.

Image: Dev Anand in Baat Ek Raat Ki

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Rajendra Kumar, Kanoon

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This BR Chopra multistarrer sees Ashok Kumar as judge and Rajendra Kumar, playing his son-in-law, as a prosecuting lawyer who suspects the judge of murder.

India's first songless talkie, Kanoon remains a riveting watch and provides Kumar's most excellent performance.

Image: Rajendra Kumar in Kanoon

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Rajesh Khanna, Kudrat

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Reincarnation films appear the same but all genres were subverted in the hands of master director Chetan Anand.

In this one, Khanna plays a lawyer trying hard to prosecute Raaj Kumar and failing, while  investigating a reincarnation drama that holds the key to it all.

Including the case.

Image: Rajesh Khanna with Hema Malini in Kudrat

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