Top 25 Best Bollywood Movies
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India has a rich and diverse film industry that has produced countless iconic and groundbreaking movies over the years. From Bollywood blockbusters to regional masterpieces, Indian cinema has something to offer for every taste and genre. Here, we have compiled a list of the 25 best Indian movies of all time, showcasing the very best of Indian cinema.
Sholay is a classic Bollywood film released in 1975. Directed by Ramesh Sippy, the movie is an action-adventure film about two ex-cons, Veeru and Jai, who are hired by a retired police officer Thakur Baldev Singh, to protect a small village from a notorious bandit named Gabbar Singh.
The movie features an ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan as Jai, Dharmendra as Veeru, Sanjeev Kumar as Thakur, Hema Malini as Basanti, and Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh. The film was a massive commercial success and became one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Sholay is known for its memorable characters, dialogues, and action sequences, including the iconic scene of Thakur using his feet to pull the trigger of a rifle after Gabbar Singh had cut off his arms. The film’s soundtrack composed by R.D. Burman is also considered one of the greatest Bollywood soundtracks of all time.
Sholay is considered a classic in Indian cinema and has been remade and referenced in numerous films and television shows.
Mughal-e-Azam is a classic Indian film released in 1960. Directed by K. Asif, the movie is a historical epic that tells the story of the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (played by Dilip Kumar) and Anarkali (played by Madhubala), a court dancer. The film is set in the court of Emperor Akbar (played by Prithviraj Kapoor) and explores themes of love, loyalty, and duty.
Mughal-e-Azam was made on a grand scale and is known for its lavish sets, intricate costumes, and beautiful music composed by Naushad. The film was shot in both black and white and color, with the famous “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya” song sequence being one of the first color sequences in Indian cinema.
Despite facing numerous production delays and financial setbacks, Mughal-e-Azam was a massive commercial and critical success upon its release. It is considered a landmark film in Indian cinema and has since been re-released in color and in a digitally restored version. The film is known for its timeless story, powerful performances, and stunning visuals, and continues to be regarded as one of the greatest Indian films of all time.
3. Mother India
Mother India is a classic Bollywood film released in 1957, directed by Mehboob Khan. The movie is a social drama that tells the story of a rural Indian woman named Radha (played by Nargis) who struggles to provide for her family in the face of poverty, social injustice, and tragedy.
The film portrays the life of Radha over several decades, starting from her youth when she falls in love and marries Shamu (played by Raaj Kumar). After her husband is injured and unable to work, Radha takes on the responsibility of providing for her family, which leads to her facing several challenges and hardships.
Mother India is known for its portrayal of a strong and resilient woman who perseveres in the face of adversity. The film’s message about the importance of self-sufficiency and social responsibility struck a chord with audiences and made it a huge commercial success.
The movie was also India’s entry for the Academy Awards in 1958 and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film category. Mother India is considered a landmark film in Indian cinema and continues to be regarded as one of the greatest Bollywood films of all time.
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4. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, also known as DDLJ, is a classic Bollywood romantic drama film released in 1995. Directed by Aditya Chopra, the movie stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles.
DDLJ tells the story of Raj (played by Shah Rukh Khan) and Simran (played by Kajol), two young Indian immigrants living in London who fall in love during a trip to Europe. However, they face opposition from Simran’s conservative father who has arranged her marriage to another man.
The film is known for its iconic dialogues, catchy songs, and beautiful on-location shooting in Europe. The chemistry between Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol and their performances in the film are also highly praised.
DDLJ was a huge commercial success and ran in theaters for more than 1000 weeks, making it the longest-running Indian film in history. The film’s themes of love, family, and tradition continue to resonate with audiences around the world and have made it a cultural phenomenon. DDLJ is considered a classic in Indian cinema and is often cited as one of the greatest Bollywood films of all time.
“Lagaan” is a critically acclaimed Bollywood film directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and produced by Aamir Khan. The film was released in 2001 and became a huge success both commercially and critically.
The story is set in the late 19th century during the British colonial rule in India. The film revolves around a small village called Champaner, which is struggling to pay the high taxes imposed by the British officers. The villagers, led by their young and charismatic leader Bhuvan (played by Aamir Khan), decide to challenge the British officers to a game of cricket. If the villagers win, they will be exempted from paying the taxes for the next three years. If they lose, they will have to pay triple the taxes.
The film depicts the journey of the villagers as they prepare for the cricket match, facing several challenges along the way. It also explores the themes of unity, courage, determination, and the fight against oppression.
“Lagaan” was widely appreciated for its cinematography, music, direction, and performances by the cast. It also received several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and the Filmfare Award for Best Film. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002.
“Pyaasa” is a classic Bollywood film released in 1957, directed by Guru Dutt and produced by his production company, Guru Dutt Films. The film is known for its poetic and philosophical content, as well as its memorable music by S.D. Burman.
The film tells the story of a struggling poet named Vijay (played by Guru Dutt) who is rejected by society and his family. He is unable to find a publisher for his poetry and is forced to live in poverty. However, his fortunes begin to change when he meets a young woman named Gulabo (played by Waheeda Rehman), who recognizes his talent and falls in love with him.
The film explores the themes of love, art, and social inequality. It critiques the materialism and hypocrisy of society and highlights the struggles of artists in a society that does not value their work. The film’s title “Pyaasa” translates to “thirsty” in English, referring to the protagonist’s thirst for love, recognition, and meaning in life.
“Pyaasa” is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Indian cinema and is considered one of the greatest films ever made. It has been praised for its strong performances, memorable music, and powerful message. The film was also selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress in 2010.
“Guide” is a classic Bollywood film released in 1965, directed by Vijay Anand and produced by Dev Anand. The film is based on the novel “The Guide” by R.K. Narayan and stars Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman in the lead roles.
The film tells the story of a tourist guide named Raju (played by Dev Anand) who falls in love with a married woman named Rosy (played by Waheeda Rehman). Rosy’s husband, Marco (played by Kishore Sahu), is a famous archaeologist who is more interested in his work than his wife. Raju helps Rosy break free from her unhappy marriage and pursue her dream of becoming a professional dancer.
The film explores the themes of love, passion, ambition, and redemption. It also critiques the social norms and values of Indian society and highlights the conflicts between tradition and modernity. The film’s music by S.D. Burman, with lyrics by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri, is considered one of the best soundtracks in the history of Indian cinema.
“Guide” is widely regarded as a landmark film in Indian cinema and has won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Film, the Filmfare Award for Best Film, and the Filmfare Award for Best Director. It was also nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.
“Pakeezah” is a classic Bollywood film released in 1972, directed by Kamal Amrohi and produced by his wife, Meena Kumari. The film is known for its exquisite visuals, memorable music, and strong performances.
The film tells the story of a courtesan named Sahibjaan (played by Meena Kumari) who is born and raised in a brothel. She falls in love with a wealthy man named Salim (played by Raaj Kumar) but is unable to be with him due to societal norms and her own profession. The film explores the themes of love, sacrifice, and redemption.
“Pakeezah” is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Indian cinema and is considered one of the most iconic films of its time. It is known for its stunning cinematography, elaborate sets, and intricate costumes. The film’s music, composed by Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad, is also considered one of the best soundtracks in the history of Indian cinema, with timeless classics such as “Chalte Chalte” and “Inhi Logon Ne”.
“Pakeezah” was a commercial success and has since attained cult status. It is remembered as a timeless classic that showcases the beauty and elegance of the Indian film industry.
9. Don 2
“Don 2” is a Bollywood action-thriller film released in 2011, directed by Farhan Akhtar and produced by Ritesh Sidhwani. It is a sequel to the 2006 film “Don” and stars Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role.
The film continues the story of the titular character, Don, a notorious criminal who is now the kingpin of the Asian underworld. Don is pursued by the police and Interpol, but he manages to escape and plan a heist in Berlin. He teams up with a hacker named Roma (played by Priyanka Chopra) and his former associate, Vardhaan (played by Boman Irani), to pull off the heist and eliminate his enemies.
The film is known for its high-octane action sequences, sophisticated gadgets, and stylish visuals. It also features a strong performance by Shah Rukh Khan, who is praised for his portrayal of the charismatic and ruthless Don.
“Don 2” was a commercial success and received positive reviews from critics. It was noted for its innovative storyline, slick direction, and impressive production values. The film’s soundtrack, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, was also well-received and included popular songs such as “Zara Dil Ko Thaam Lo” and “Mujhko Pehchaanlo”.
10. Chennai Express
“Chennai Express” is a Bollywood romantic comedy film released in 2013, directed by Rohit Shetty and produced by Gauri Khan. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles.
The film tells the story of Rahul (played by Shah Rukh Khan), a man who is forced to take a train journey from Mumbai to Rameswaram to immerse his grandfather’s ashes in the sea. However, he ends up meeting Meenamma (played by Deepika Padukone), a Tamil girl who is running away from her father to escape an arranged marriage. The two embark on a series of misadventures and comedic situations as they travel together.
The film is known for its catchy music, colorful visuals, and comic timing. It also features a strong performance by Deepika Padukone, who is praised for her portrayal of a feisty Tamil girl.
“Chennai Express” was a commercial success and became one of the highest-grossing films of all time in Indian cinema. It was also well-received by audiences and critics, who appreciated its light-hearted and entertaining storyline. The film’s soundtrack, composed by Vishal-Shekhar, was a chartbuster and included popular songs such as “Titli” and “Lungi Dance”.
“Awara” is a classic Bollywood film released in 1951, directed by Raj Kapoor and produced by his father, Prithviraj Kapoor. The film stars Raj Kapoor and Nargis in the lead roles.
The film tells the story of a young man named Raj (played by Raj Kapoor) who is branded a criminal due to his father’s past. He falls in love with Rita (played by Nargis), the daughter of a wealthy judge, but their love is challenged by their different backgrounds and social statuses. The film explores the themes of social inequality, injustice, and the search for identity.
“Awara” is known for its iconic songs, including “Awara Hoon”, “Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi”, and “Dum Bhar Jo Udhar Munh Phere”. The film’s music, composed by Shankar-Jaikishan with lyrics by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri, is considered one of the best soundtracks in the history of Indian cinema.
The film was a commercial success and has since attained cult status. It is remembered for its powerful performances, social commentary, and timeless music. “Awara” is widely regarded as a landmark film in Indian cinema and has been listed as one of the greatest films ever made by Time magazine.
Deewar” is a classic Bollywood film released in 1975, directed by Yash Chopra and written by Salim-Javed. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor in the lead roles.
The film tells the story of two brothers, Vijay (played by Amitabh Bachchan) and Ravi (played by Shashi Kapoor), who are raised in poverty after their father abandons them. Vijay turns to a life of crime while Ravi becomes a police officer. The two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the law, leading to a dramatic confrontation.
“Deewar” is known for its powerful dialogues, memorable performances, and gripping storyline. The film’s iconic dialogues, such as “Mere paas maa hai” (I have a mother) and “Aaj mere paas bangla hai, gaadi hai, paisa hai. Tumhare paas kya hai?” (Today I have a house, a car, money. What do you have?), have become a part of Indian popular culture.
The film was a commercial success and has since attained cult status. It is remembered for its social commentary, exploration of the themes of morality and family values, and its realistic portrayal of the underbelly of Mumbai. “Deewar” is widely regarded as one of the best films ever made in Indian cinema and has been listed in Time magazine’s list of “100 Best Films of the Century”.
13. Mera Naam Joker
“Mera Naam Joker” is a classic Bollywood film released in 1970, directed by Raj Kapoor, who also stars in the lead role. The film is a semi-autobiographical account of Raj Kapoor’s own life as a struggling artist and his relationships with women.
The film tells the story of Raju (played by Raj Kapoor), a famous circus clown who has experienced heartbreak in his personal life. The film is divided into three parts, each focusing on a different stage of Raju’s life. The first part depicts his childhood and his relationships with his father and his first love. The second part focuses on his career as a circus clown and his relationships with three women. The third part shows his disillusionment with love and his attempts to find meaning in his life.
“Mera Naam Joker” is known for its length, running for over three and a half hours, and its music, composed by Shankar-Jaikishan. The film’s iconic songs, such as “Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan” and “Kehta Hai Joker Sara Zamana”, have become classics in Indian cinema.
Despite being a commercial failure at the time of its release, “Mera Naam Joker” has since attained cult status and is regarded as one of Raj Kapoor’s best films. The film is remembered for its themes of love, loss, and the search for meaning in life. It also features powerful performances by Raj Kapoor, as well as Simi Garewal and Padmini.
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