The younger generation of today must have been amazed by the historic drama such as Bajirao Mastani, Jodha Akbar, etc. However, they are not aware of the fact that despite having no great technology or special effects, Mughal-e-Azam achieved the feat of India’s finest historic war film of all times. The film consisted of stars like Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Prithviraj Kapoor and became an epic film in the history of Bollywood in 1960. Directed by K. Asif, the film is even noted for its filming with huge sets to depict the huge forts and war scenes.
Kabuliwala is a 1961 Hindi feature film based on the popular children story Kabuliwala by Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore. The film is directed by Hemen Gupta and Balraj Sahni plays the titular role in the film. Just like Tagore’s story, the film also depicts the affection between Kabuliwala, an Afghani immigrant dry-fruit seller in Calcutta and a kid named Mini, a small girl who he imagines to be his daughter back in Kabul.
Also Read : Best Hindi Films of Balraj Sahani
Bandini is yet another female-centric film on our list of best classic Bollywood films of all times. This 1963 film is directed by Bimal Roy, who had already achieved a fair share of success with films like Devdas and Do Bhiga Zameen. Bandini stars Nutan in the lead role, while Dharmendra and Ashok Kumar play the male leads in the movie. The film is about a strong yet weak Indian woman, who is serving life imprisonment for a murder under dire circumstances.
Haqeeqat is a 1964 Bollywood war film directed by Chetan Anand. The film featured an ensemble cast of Balraj Sahni, Dharmendra, Priya Rajvansh, Sanjay Khan, and Vijay Anand. Unlike the latest war films in Bollywood that are based on Indo-Pak encounters, Haqeeqat was based on the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
Also Read : Best War Movies
Well, it wasn’t the first Bollywood feature film to introduce love triangle theme, but the 1964 romantic drama film Sangam did set a whole new trend for the love triangle concept. The film was produced and directed by Raj Kapoor himself, who also played the lead role in the film alongside Rajendra Kumar and Vyjayanthimala. The film also stars Iftekhar, Nana Palsikar, Lalita Pawar, Achala Sachdev, and Hari Shivdasani in supporting characters. The film basically follows the love triangle between the three main lead of the film portrayed by Kapoor, Kumar, and Vyjayanthimala.
Friendship, love, and affection were often the main elements always common in Bollywood films from the beginning because the Indian audience applauded when these elements were presented in the right way. That’s the reason why a film like Dosti that didn’t have any main star cast but two characters, one of them blind and the other crippled, went on to become one of the Iconic films of all time featuring friendship. Directed by Satyen Bose, the film is about the friendship of two orphans, a blind boy and a crippled boy, who literally defined the meaning of real friendship and set an example for everyone who watched this film ever in their lives.
Waqt is a 1965 film with a multi-star cast that includes Sunil Dutt, Balraj Sahni, Raaj Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Sadhana, Madan Puri, Sharmila Tagore, Achala Sachdev, and Rehman. Directed by the ace director Yash Chopra, the film is credited to re-introduce and trend the concept of lost and reunite formula in the Bollywood film industry. The film is about a happy and prosperous family, which is separated due to an unfortunate incident and the rest of the film is about their reunion and a final courtroom drama.
Guide is one of the first romantic drama films in Bollywood that literally raised some eyebrows as it featured a romance between a young man and a married woman. This 1965 film starring Dev Anand and Waheed Rehman in the lead roles was actually adapted from the R.K. Narayan novel The Guide. Time Magazine has included the film fourth on the list of Best Bollywood Classics.
Gumnaam is the first suspense thriller film on our list of best classic Bollywood films. Directed by Raja Nawathe, the film is about a group of people, who are deserted on an island with a killer on the loose within the group trying to kill everyone one by one. Then, there’s also a mysterious girl roaming around the island singing the title song of the film. The song “Gumnaam Hai Koi” also went on to become the trademark song in many films to depict a ghostly presence. The film stars Manoj Kumar and Nanda in the lead roles alongside Pran, Helen, and Mehmood in supporting characters.
Upkar is a typical Indian classic film that features the rural life in India. The film is directed by Manoj Kumar, who has also played the lead role in the film. Upkar also marks the debut of Mr. Bharat for Manoj Kumar and his drift towards playing patriotic characters. The film is about a village man “Bharat” for whom his brother is everything. He sacrifices a lot to help his brother go abroad and get a higher education. His brother, on the other hand, gets greedy and takes the wrong path while Bharat joins the Indian army during the 1965 Indo-Pak war and returns a war hero in the village. The rest of the film is about the union of two brothers. The film also stars Asha Parekh, Prem Chopra, Pran, and Kamini Kaushal in pivotal roles.
Padoson is a 1968 Hindi comedy film starring Sunil Dutt and Saira Banu in the lead roles alongside the supporting cast of Mehmood, Kishore Kumar, Mukri, and Keshto Mukherjee. Directed by Jyoti Swaroop, the film is about wooing the neighbor girl by a young man with the help of his friends. It was actually the Hindi remake of Telugu film Pakkinti Ammayi.
Satyakam is one the most tragic movie I have ever watched till date. Surprisingly the film was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, who made us laugh a lot with films like Bawarchi, Chupke Chupke, Anand, Khoobsurat, etc. Although Satyakam is one of the best classic Bollywood films of all time, I would still not advise to watch it just because it is a film that’s so depressing and can be emotionally exhausting. The film features an ensemble cast including Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, and Ashok Kumar in important roles. Also, the film is considered to be Dharmendra’s finest acting performance his career. The film was actually based on a Bengali novel of the same name by Narayan Sanyal.
Kati Patang (1970)
Kati Patang is a Hindi romance drama starring Rajesh Khanna and Asha Parekh in the lead roles. Directed by Shakti Samantha, the film went on to become one of the best romantic dramas of all time in Bollywood. The film features a budding love story between a young man and a widow. But wait, there’s more to the story as the film proceeds further and the truth about the widow is revealed after lots of mystery. The film also had some memorable songs that are found even today on the playlists of all generations.
Purab Aur Paschim (1970)
Yet another patriotic film starring Manoj Kumar in the lead role as Bharat, Purab Aur Paschim is about the western influence corrupting the minds of young Indians. The film tries to draw our attention towards the importance of Indian roots and cultural values which are being forgotten by the youngsters going abroad for further studies under the influence of western culture. Bharat also goes to London for higher studies but remains adamant on his Indian values. On the other hand, he also makes few of them realize the value of Indian culture and redeems them, including his would-be wife Preeti, played by Saira Banu.