Bollywood is the powerhouse of grandiosity which shows different colors of our culture, traditions, vibrancy- all of which stations at Hindi Cinema over the years.
The oldest and biggest entertainment industries in the world, the origin of Indian cinema dates back to 1896; the first featured film – ‘’Raja Harishchandra’ or the first talking film, Alam Ara in 1913. The films have given a face to the Indian cinema that stands for today.
From every decade starting in the 1950’s the era of spectacular stories wrapped up in these best Bollywood movies of all time is something to appreciate. In no particular order have a quick look at the remarkable works of Indian filmmakers through these beautiful films.
1. Do Bigha Zameen (1953)
Do Bigha Zameen is a painful story of an Indian farmer directed by Bimal Roy starring actor Balraj Sahni went to win the Prix International Award at the Cannes in 1954. The film showcases one of the first and finest examples of art-meets-mainstream cinema.
Watch the trailer here: Do Bigha Zameen 1957
2. Pyaasa (1957)
Pyaasa is a great piece of work by director Guru Dutt, glorifying the Hindi cinema and was the only Hindi film to make it to TIME’s ‘All-Time 100 Movies’ list and Sight & Sound’s ‘250 Greatest Films’ List. The film stars Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rahman and Mala Sinha in leads. The story depicts the life of an unsuccessful poet in an unkind, frigid society.
Watch the trailer here: Pyaasa 1957 Trailer
3. Mother India (1957)
A legendary film starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, and Rajendra Kumar was the first submissions of India for the Academy Award (Foreign Film category). So far, only three Hindi films have been nominated so far. The film not only became a symbol for its cinematic talent but also for its cultural and nationalistic significance and is amongst the best Bollywood movies of all time.
Watch the trailer here: Mother India 1957 Trailer
4. Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
Talking of the history of Indian cinema, this love saga was a landmark film. A film directed by K. Asif stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor and one of the most expensive films of its time. It was the ‘highest grossing Bollywood film’ back then.
Watch the trailer here: Mughal-E-Azam 1960 Trailer
5. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)
The film is based on the Bengali novel ‘Saheb Bibi Golam’ by Bimal Mitra. This classic story of 1962 was largely appreciated by critics and audiences too for a brilliant performance by Meena Kumari. The Guru Dutt movie made it in the Time Magazine’s ‘All-Time Best 100 Movies’ list.
Watch the trailer here: Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam 1962 Trailer
6. Guide (1965)
A guide is a classic depiction of a story based on a novel by a famous writer, R.K. Narayan as he marked the peak point in Dev Anand’s career. He was starred opposite the talented Waheeda Rehman. The story orbits around the lead character, Raju, whose life transforms from a tour guide to a spiritual guide and then one of the greatest holy men of India.
Times Magazine named the film in its ‘Best Bollywood Classics’ list.
Watch the trailer here: Guide Trailer
7. Pakeezah (1972)
Pakeezah is a moving tale of a Muslim prostitute starring Meena Kumari and the film is one of the most loved and talked about films even 40 years after.
Watch the trailer here: Pakeezah movie
8. Bobby (1973)
Bobby was the film which brought the era of romance between the teens is directed by Raj Kapoor. Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia made their debut with this film and turned superstars overnight with the success of the film.
Watch the trailer here: Bobby Trailer
9. Sholay (1975)
Sholay was the classic film directed by Ramesh Sippy and a beautiful script written by Salim-Javed. The film encircles epic characters Gabbar (Amjad Khan), Thakur (Sanjeev Kumar), Jai (Amitabh Bachchan), Veeru (Dharmendra). It was not only the highest grossing film or one of the best Bollywood movies of all time but also it ran successfully in theatres for five years.
Watch the trailer here: Sholay (1975) trailer
10. Golmaal (1979)
One of the many light entertainers, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, gave us the classic comedy ‘Golmaal’. The film stars Utpal Dutt, Amol Palekar, Dina Pathak, Deven Varma and Bindiya Goswami, ‘Golmaal’ made its remark for not only screenplay but boasted of some remarkable performances.
Watch the trailer here: Golmaal movie
11. Masoom (1983)
Masoom is the directorial debut for Shekhar Kapur who made an adaptation of Erich Segal’s novel ‘Man, Woman, and Child.’ It was a complete standout performance by legendary actors in the best possible way by Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and three child artists- Jugal Hansraj, Urmila Matondkar, and Aradhana Shrivastav have top-notched in their roles depicting a sensitive subject.
Watch the trailer here: Masoom (1983) movie
12. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
The 80’s decade came along with a love story that set a standard for films to come. Giving a modern twist to William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ starred relative newcomers Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla, who became idols overnight.
Watch the trailer here: Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak 1988 movie
13. Bandit Queen (1994)
A most characterizing and defining film, ‘Bandit Queen’ was Shekhar Kapoor’s brave, powerful direction biopic on Phoolan Devi, an Indian dacoit-turned-politician.
One of the most controversial films of Hindi cinema, ‘Bandit Queen’ is not only technically spectacular but also offers us the most iconic screen character. Protagonist Seema Biswas, even after twenty years, is remembered as Phoolan Devi.
Watch the trailer here: Bandit Queen 1994 Trailer
14. Hum Aapke Hai Koun…! (1994)
Family films celebrating Indian culture were a major subject in the nineties. As a theme, marriage subjects too had hit the Hindi films, but originally it was not possible to inspire a story, but Sooraj Barjatya made it possible.
A Barjatya film starring a hit pair of the 90s – Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit – ‘Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun’ became a benchmark for the family story stuff.
Watch the trailer here: Hum Apke Hai Kaun 1994
15. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
A classic love story entangling evergreen couple Shahrukh Khan and Kajol rewrote the word romance and its rule in Hindi cinema. ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ or popularly called as DDLJ had given a tough competition to Sholay’s record becoming the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema. The film also belongs to the status of one of the most romantic and best Bollywood movies of all time.
The interesting thing is that it completed a 1000 weeks at one of Mumbai’s oldest theatres ‘Maratha Mandir’ and continues to play a show daily.
Watch the trailer here: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Official Trailer
16. Lagaan (2001)
This directorial epic film of Ashutosh Gowariker not only received worldwide acclaim but also went on to get nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Language film category). The story circumvents Bhuvan, the main lead, a farmer from Champaner, accepts the challenge of Captain Andrew Russell to beat the English men in the game of cricket and if they win, will be freed from paying tax for the next three years. Lagaan finds its place in the list of Bollywood classic movies.
Watch the trailer here: Lagaan Once Upon a Time in India Trailer
17. Swades (2004)
Another masterstroke in the direction was played by Ashutosh Gowariker that was applauded by the critics and audiences at the same time. The film was also appreciated by Indian audiences beyond the boundaries of the nation for its theme which is based on the real-life story of an NRI couple starring Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, Kishori Ballal in leading roles.
Watch the trailer here: Swades Trailer
18. The Lunchbox (2013)
A love story rare to see in Indian cinema, ‘Lunchbox’ is a movie of adept’s delight. From its upliftment story to performance, this technically beautiful work not only appreciated in international film festivals but also won the hearts of the audience. The film unanimously was nominated for the Oscars also.
Watch the trailer here: The Lunchbox Official Trailer HD (2013)
19. Queen (2014)
A women-centric film was complete in its own manner. The film revolves around a girl name, Rani who decides to fly to her honeymoon alone when her fiance ditches her just before their marriage. Traveling around Europe, she feels happy, makes friends, and altogether gains new-found independence.
Watch the trailer here: Queen Official Trailer
20. Masaan (2015)
Mason followed two different story arcs in Varanasi city, which eventually gathers. It pursues the journey of a Devi (Richa Chadha), who has to deal with the loss of his lover and has to overcome the guilt of his death. The second follows the journey of the Deepak (Vicky Kaushal), coming from a family who burns the funeral large fires at the Varanasi Ghats. Critics highly praised the film and won a few awards at the Cannes Film Festival.
Watch the trailer here: Masaan Official Trailer
21. Titli (2015)
The story starts from Delhi’s vulnerable and barren lands, Titli, the youngest member of a violent carjacking (a robbery especially of motor-vehicle) brotherhood, plans a desperate bid to escape from ‘family’ business. His schemes get hindered by his disobedient brothers, who marry him off against his wish. But Titli finds an incredible partner in his new wife Neelu, who nurtures her own frustrated dream.
Watch the trailer here: Titli Official Trailer
22. Filmistaan (2014)
Filmistaan is an interesting story of a film person from India who has been wrongly kidnapped and made to cross the border while shooting the film. In Pakistan, even when he is being in hostage, his only hope for survival is Hindi films. This film received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
Watch the trailer here: Filmistaan – Trailer
23. Shahid (2013)
Shahid is a biography film based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi. The film is mainly focused on two main cases of lawyers: 2006 Mumbai train bombings and 2008 Mumbai attacks. The film won the National Film Award for Best Actor (Rajkumar Rao) and Best Director (Hansal Mehta) at the 61st National Film Awards ceremony.
Watch the trailer here: Shahid Official Movie Trailer
24. Margarita, with a Straw (2015)
Margarita, with a straw starring Kalki Koechlin, is a story of a bi-sexual woman suffering from Cerebral Palsy. Laila, played by Kalki, uncovers her own self during the film.
Watch the trailer here: Margarita With A Straw Trailer
25. I Am Kalam – 2010
A boy was inspired by former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam and he decided to change his name to Kalam. In the know, the village boy also dreams of meeting the visionary once in his lifetime. Child actor, Harsh Meyer got the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for this film.
Watch the trailer here: I am Kalam – Movie Trailer
26. Park Avenue (2005)
A film by Aparna Sen is a story of Meethi, played by Konkona Sen Sharma, suffering from schizophrenia. The film draws the relationship of Meethi with her elder sister Anjali, played by Shabana Azmi. Directed by Aparna Sen, the film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English.
Watch the trailer here: 15 Park Avenue Trailor
27. Rockford (1999)
The story of Rockford, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor portrays the journey of 13-year-old boy Rajesh, who is sent to Rockford Boys’ High School. He gets to experience the joy and pain of living in the boarding school, learning to defend for himself without the shell coverage of his parents.
Watch the trailer here: Rockford(1999) Trailer
28. Raincoat (2004)
In the afternoon of the rainy season, a lonely wife meets a man with whom she was once engaged. Both have their own level of difficulties, still, try to help each other out. This film by Rituparno Ghosh won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
Watch the trailer here: Raincoat Trailer
29. The Blue Umbrella (2005)
Vishal Bharadwaj’s film is based on the novel by Ruskin Bond with the same name. This is the story of a girl who finds blue-colored Japanese umbrella and is fascinating with its beauty. The umbrella then goes missing and the girl is heartbroken and by that following her search for the thief.
Watch the trailer here: Blue Umbrella trailer
30. The Last Lear (2007)
The Last Year is a story of an aging theatre actor of Shakespeare, Harish essayed by Amitabh Bachchan and directed by Rituparno Ghosh. The film surrounds the story of Utpal Dutt’s semi-autobiographical play Aajker Shahjahan.
Watch the trailer here: The Last Lear 2007
31. Sankat City (2009)
This movie is a group of narrow-minded car thieves who unknowingly enters the bad books of a merciless gangster. This film was directed by Pankaj Advani and has dark shades of humor.
Watch the trailer here: Sankat City (2009) – Trailer
32. Monsoon Wedding (2001)
Directed by Mira Nair, the film has achieved the status of a cult in the last few years. Set in the background of marriage, this movie highlights various characters and their stories. Issues like child abuse are also dealt with in the film. The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
Watch the trailer here: Monsoon Wedding Trailer (2001)
33. Hey Ram (2000)
This semi-fiction film pinpoints the partition of India and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. Kamal Haasan is the writer, director, and producer of the film and he also starred in the film as a hero. This movie was simultaneously made in Tamil and Hindi.
Watch the trailer here: Hey Ram – Trailer
34. Mastram (2014)
Mastram shows the fictional biography of an unenthusiastic pornographic writer who wants to be a scholar and is popularly known by his pen name (a fictional name used by the author instead of the actual name), Mastram. The film collected positive reviews from the critics and managed to create the curiosity factor.
Watch the trailer here: Mastram Hindi Movie Official Trailer 2014 HD
35. Ship of Theseus (2013)
Anand Gandhi’s film turns inside out the questions of identity, justice, beauty, meaning, and death. The title of the movie refers to the paradox of Theseus, i.e. whether the ship that has been restored by renovating it with new parts remains the same old ship or not. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film of the Year.
Watch the trailer here: Ship Of Theseus Official Teaser Trailer (2013)
36. Samay: When Time Strikes (2003)
A film by Robby Grewal where Sushmita plays the role of a cop as ACP Malvika Chauhan who is in the hunt of serial killers. This Underrated movie won a National Film Award for Best Editing.
Watch the trailer here: Samay: When Time Strikes
37. Haasil (2003)
This film is about the student politics at university takes a dirty turn in Allahabad. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, this film has achieved the status of a cult in the last few years. Irrfan Khan’s stellar performance will surely steal your heart.
Watch the trailer here: Haasil trailer
38. Ek Hasina Thi (2004)
Ek Hasina Thi is a neo-noir film directed by Sriram Raghavan, a story of a woman (Urmila Matondkar) who joins with a man (Saif Ali Khan), who has set her up for the crime she has not committed. Then she goes for revenge by setting him up.
Watch the trailer here: Ek Hasina Thi trailer
39. Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid (2012)
A film directed by Nila Madband Panda stars Harsh Mayar (of I am Kalam fame). This film focuses on the issue of female feticide. The film also won the MIP Junior Kids Jury Award in October 2012.
Watch the trailer here: Trailer of ‘Jalpari The Desert Mermaid’
40. Raghu Romeo (2003)
A film directed by Rajat Kapoor, Vijay Raaz in the lead role. Raghu Romeo is the story of an employee in a strip club, who kidnapped his favorite actress to save her from crowded hit men. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
Watch the trailer here: Raghu Romeo trailer
41. Lahore (2010)
Directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, Lahore is essentially a sports movie set on Indo-Pak background. The story is of a cricketer who turns into a kickboxer to take vengeance for his brother’s death.
Watch the trailer here: Lahore The Movie – Official Trailer
42. Salaam Bombay! (1988)
Mira Nair’s directorial movie narrates the day-to-day life of the children living on the streets of Mumbai. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Watch the trailer here: Salaam Bombay! Official Trailer
43. B.A. Pass (2012)
B.A. Paas, a neo-noir film, directed by Ajay Bahl is based on a short story, The Railway Aunty by Mohan Sikka. The story looks at the deadly promise of a new life. When Mukesh meets Sarika at a kitty party, then he knows very little about the city and its ways and means to survive. As follows, there is a twist of fate, a kind of story that appears in the tabloids as ‘heinous acts of crime’.
Watch the trailer here: B.A. Pass Official Trailer HD
44. Black Friday (2007)
Based on the 1993 Bombay bombings, this Anurag Kashyap film was so controversial that it did not get certification for 3 years from the censor board. Finally, in 2007, the film was released when the Supreme Court allowed it following the verdict in the ’93 Bombay blast case was finally delivered by TADA court.
Watch the trailer here: Black Friday trailer
45. Shor in the City (2011)
Shor in the city, a beautiful film directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK essays the story of five central characters facing challenges in the crime-laden Mumbai depicted in the movie.
Watch the trailer here: Shor In The City Official Trailer
46. Phas Gaye Re Obama (2010)
This satirical film is directed by Subhash Kapoor starring Rajat Kapoor and Sanjay Mishra. This film is about a near-bankrupt American kidnapped by the desperate gangsters in India.
Watch the trailer here: Phas Gaye Re Obama – Official Theatrical Trailer
A complete and perfect amalgamation of direction, writing, acting, humor, yet poignant and emotional film. A heart-touching film portrays the story of Newton Kumar who is a rookie government clerk, sent on election duty in the encounter-ridden forests of Chhattisgarh, under the control of the naxals. Regardless of the obstacles against them, Newton Kumar does his best to organize a proper voting process in this area.
Watch the trailer here: Newton Official Trailer
Pink is a powerful subject oriented film based on the old-fashioned mindset of India, where men and women are judged by a different standard. Three Delhi girls – Minal (Taapsee), Falak (Kirti) and Andrea (Andrea) are on the run after one of them escapes a molestation attempt by a stubborn, powerful guy, Rajveer (Angad). Minal ends up injuring Ranveer seriously with a bottle. See the movie to see the hassle of three girls!
Watch the trailer here: PINK Official Trailer
Talvar is a real-life story of a teen girl Shruti Tandon and house servant Khempal are murdered – but who did this? And when the truth is resolved, what else happens?
Watch the trailer here: ‘Talvar’ Official Trailer
50. Udta Punjab
Udta Punjab depicts the story of four side-by-side characters of Punjabi Rockstar, Tommy Singh (Shahid), a Bihari migrant, Kumari Pinky (Alia); A Sikh police, Sartaj (Diljit) and a doctor, Preet (Kareena) in Punjab address the rebellion of the drug menace. Their lives are sometimes associated with each other but generally not.
Watch the trailer here: Udta Punjab Official Trailer
51. Dirty Picture
Reshma (Vidya Balan), a small town girl, dreams of name and fame, comes out of Chennai with nothing in hand but her passion. After a period of conflict and rejection, she breaks it as an item girl, who has taken the most erotic steps in the city. It does not take a long time to blow up the box office as Silk, a sex symbol that is making the whole generation crazy with her liveliness. He lovers increase in multiple folds. Will bonehead Silk will be able to survive the harshness of a heartless workplace that rejects you faster than it accepts?
Watch the trailer here: The Dirty Picture – Official Trailer
The story completely captures you and leaves you at a dramatic high. Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman fly all the way from London amidst a festive Kolkata; searching for her mysteriously missing husband in the side street and crowded vulnerable place of the City of Joy. Only to be told he doesn’t exist.
Watch the trailer here: Kahaani 2012 Movie Official Trailer
53. A Wednesday
A Wednesday is an intelligent criticism against terrorism, which has been packed freshly in the form of a racing thriller, which reminds of the Die Hard series of Hollywood.
Watch the trailer here: A Wednesday Official Trailer 2008
Dangle manages the audience to engage with wrestling tournaments and bring out patriotic feelings and amongst the top Bollywood films. The story showcases the journey of Mahavir Phogat, a wrestler, who after facing the loss at winning a gold medal for the country, promise himself to achieve his dream through his daughters by training them for the Commonwealth Games despite societal pressures.
Watch the trailer here: Dangal Official Trailer
55. Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
A story of an Indian athlete who is a seven-time national ski jump champion, Paan Singh Tomar, who after his retirement becomes one of the most feared dacoits in Chambal Valley.
Watch the trailer here: Paan Singh Tomar Official Trailer 2012
56. Do Dooni Chaar (2010)
The film surrounds Delhi following the life of a middle-class family whose dream is to buy a car which is directed by Habib Faisal. The film won the National Film Award for Best Hindi Feature Film.
Watch the trailer here: Do Dooni Chaar 2011 Trailer
57. 3 Idiots
A superb film by Rajkumar Hirani. A story about three prominent characters, Rancho, Raju, and Farhan who enters the Imperial Engineering College, only to learn lessons of life that cannot be taught through books and classrooms. 3 idiots is inspirational and one of the best Bollywood movies of all time. A must watch movie!