Umesh Mehra is a prominent filmmaker in Bollywood who has directed many blockbuster movies during 1980s-90s. He is also the son of Bollywood producer F.C. Mehra (Fakir Chand Mehra) who made films like ‘Professor’, ‘Lal Patthar’, etc. in 1960's. His father established Eagle Films in 1954 and son Umesh has also directed many films under Eagle Films banner. Umesh’s father made films like ‘Singapore’(1959) which was the first Indian film to be shot in Singapore and Malaysia and also produced ‘Amrapali’ which was an entry in Oscar.
Umesh Mehra made his debut in the film industry by directing ‘Ali Baba and 40 Chor’ (1980) with the biggest stars of Indian and Soviet cinema. His father launched Umesh with this film that was an Indo-Soviet co-production, and the film had Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Zeenat Aman playing the lead roles. It was the biggest costume drama film ever made, and the film was a box-office success too. It is said that Umesh Mehra was inspired to direct the film after he saw ‘Mughal-E-Azam.' Naturally, the director even directed veteran actor
Dilip Kumar in a film ‘Qila’ (1998) after which Dilip Kumar retired from acting. Qila was a flop movie. Umesh Mehra had directed
Akshay Kumar in three films in the Khiladi series, such as ‘Sabse Bada Khiladi’ (1995) ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ (1996) and ‘International Khiladi’ (1999). He gave a lot of backing to Akshay Kumar in his struggling days and made him a star in Bollywood. Umesh Mehra was also behind the success of many movies of
Mithun Chakraborty such as ‘Ashanti’ (1982), ‘Mujrim’ (1989) and ‘Yaar Gaddar’ (1994). Umesh also gave many chances to actors like
Jackie Shroff and others when they were struggling in Bollywood.
Umesh launched music director
Anu Malik in his film ‘
Sohni Mahiwal’ (1984) which was the second film of
Sunny Deol with
Poonam Dhillon. Even today many critics find Anu malik’s composition in ‘Sohni Mahiwal’ as one of his best. Umesh Mehra even tried to adapt Hollywood film ‘Blue Lagoon’ in his Hindi remake ‘Teri Baahon Mein’. The film gave chances to
Mohnish Bahl( actress Nutan’s son) and Ayesha Dutt (wife of Jacke Shroff) to start their career as a leading actor in Bollywood. Umesh quit filmmaking after 2002 and entered into TV production.