Bachchan's first box office success came in 1973 when director Prakash Mehra cast Bachchan in the film Zanjeer. The film was a cops-and-robbers melodrama which helped establish Amitabh's personna as an "angry young man" and was the first major hit of his career. After that he had many more hit films over the years such as Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979) and Shakti (1982) which further cemented his image as an "angry young man". In addition to being an "angry young man", he also become known for his comedy roles in hit films such as Chupke Chupke (1975) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and romantic roles in films such as Kabhie Kabhie (1976) and Silsila (1981).
While filming Coolie in 1982, Bachchan was seriously injured during the filming of a fight scene with co-star Puneet Issar.. He was in the hospital with a ruptured intestine for months, and at times was close to death. A remarkable outpouring of support and concern by his fans and the nation in general followed. After recovery Bachchan resumed the shooting for Coolie, and it finally released and was a huge success.
The director, Manmohan Desai altered the ending for Coolie after Bachchan's accident. Bachchan's character was originally intended to have been killed off but after the change of script, the character lived in the end. It would have been inappropriate, said Desai, for the man who had just fended off death in real life to be killed on screen as well. Also, remarkably, in the released film the footage of the fight scene is frozen at the critical moment, and a caption appears onscreen marking this as the instant of the actor's injury.