Whenever one thinks of Salman Khan, the image that comes to mind is that of a good looking, well-built man who always removes his shirt in films, and is a great crowd-puller.
However, despite that Salman Khan has much more substance in the acting category and is extremely good in light-hearted action roles.
He did a small turn in Biwi Ho Toh Aisi before hitting big time in Maine Pyar Kiya, a Sooraj Barjatya film. Many hits followed before a lull in his career in the 2000s. But his career revived again in 2010 with even bigger hits.
He is India’s most successful commercial actor of all times. Here is a selection of his earlier hits.
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Cast: Salman Khan, Bhagyashree, Laxmikant Berde, Alok Nath, Reema Lagoo, Mohnish Behl
Director: Sooraj Barjatya
A platonic relationship turns into love but it is doomed because evil elements play dirty. Suman (Bhagyashree) is left with a friend after her poor father Karan (Alok Natth) goes to Dubai to earn money. She stays with his friend Kishan where she meets his son Prem (Salman Khan).
They become friends but are wrongly accused of having an affair and this starts a chain of misunderstandings which turns violent at times. Prem and Suman fall in love along the line but are forbidden meet each other. Finally things work out after lots of trouble. The film was a massive hit.
Hum Aapke Hai Kaun (1994)
Cast: Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Mohnish Behl, Renuka Shahane, Anupam Kher, Reema Lagoo, Alok Nath
Director: Sooraj Barjatya
Two couples fall in love and eventually get married but a tragedy affects all of them in this feelgood film which highlights all the traditions involved in Indian marriages. Prem (Salman Khan) lives with elder brother Rajesh (Behl) and uncle Kailashnath (Nath). The latter is friends with Professor Sidharth Chaudhary (Kher) and his wife (Lagoo).
Chaudhary has two daughters Pooja (Renuka) and Nisha (Madhuri) and a marriage is arranged between Pooja and Rajesh. However, Pooja dies during an accident and it is suggested that Rajesh marry Nisha so that his young son will have a mother to look after him. But Prem loves Nisha and he wants to marry her. Everything falls into place many songs later.
Karan Arjun (1995)
Cast: Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rakhee Gulzar, Mamta Kulkarni, Amrish Puri, Ranjit, Johnny Lever
Director: Rakesh Roshan
A woman’s two sons are brutally murdered but they return in rebirth and take up the battle against a wealthy landlord Durjan (Puri) who killed them and their father. Durga’s (Rakhee) prayers are answered as her murdered sons Karan (Salman) and Arjun (Shah Rukh) return as Ajay and Vijay respectively.
The brothers fight first before realising their relationship. But once they know that all hell breaks loose. But the brothers are cornered along with Vijay’s sweetheart Sonia (Kajol). Durga has the last word against Durjan.
Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)
Cast: Manisha Koirala, Salman Khan, Nana Patekar, Seema Biswas, Helen, Raghuvir Yadav
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
A deaf mute couple, Joseph (Patekar) and Flavy (Biswas) give birth to a girl Annie (Koirala) and a son Sam, both of whom can speak and hear. But complications arise after Sam dies in an accident and Annie falls in love with Raj (Salman) against the wishes of her parents.
Annie is thrown out of her house. She gets pregnant and marries Raj but is injured and goes into a coman after a ghastly accident. Raj tries to convince her father that he is a good man and finally gets accepted. Finally Annie wakes to her happiness.
Tere Naam (2003)
Cast: Salman Khan, Bhumika Chawla, Sachin Khedekar, Savita Prabhune, Ravi Kishan
Director: Satish Kaushik
A college ruffian reforms after he meets an innocent girl but lands up in an asylum after some goons attack him which leads to brain damage. Radhe (Salman) believes in violence but after meeting and falling in love with Nirjara (Bhumika) but is initially rejected by her.
However, when Nirjara hears that Radhe is a nice guy really, she begins to accept him. But Radhe is now in the asylum and he tries to meet her by escaping from there. He finally succeeds and when he goes to Nirjara’s house he learns that she had committed suicide on her wedding day.