Best Indian films National Film Archive of India

In 1995, FIAF asked National film archives to send lists of films important in Film History, Film and The Other Arts, Film and Reality, and National Productions. This list has all the Indian films nominated by the National Film Archive of India. The first 26 in the first 3 categories, followed by 99 from the National category.
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1.
Aparajito (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Following his father's death, a boy leaves home to study in Calcutta, while his mother must face a life alone. (110 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
2.
The World of Apu (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
This final installment in Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, follows Apu's life as an orphaned adult aspiring to be a writer as he lives through poverty, and the unforeseen turn of events. (105 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
3.
Days and Nights in the Forest (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A group of Calcutta city slickers, including the well-off Asim (Soumitra Chatterjee), the meek Sanjoy (Subhendu Chatterjee) and the brutish Hari (Samit Bhanja), head out for a weekend in the wilderness. (115 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
4.
Daera (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
(139 mins.)
Director: Kamal Amrohi
 
5.
Rat-Trap (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The protagonist is trapped within himself and is unable to comprehend the changes taking place around him. (121 mins.)
 
6.
Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A popular director recruits a new actress to work for his Movie. The popularity of the movie spills... (148 mins.)
Director: Guru Dutt
 
7.
Kaliya Mardan (1919)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
The playmates of Krishna are insulted by a female villager who splashes water on them. They take revenge by stealing butter from her house... (47 mins.)
“ Confirm? ” - PeacefulAnarchy
 
8.
Pather Panchali (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work. (125 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
9.
Sant Tukaram (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
This classic film chronicles the life of Tukaram (17th C.), one of Maharashtra's most popular saint poets... (131 mins.)
 
10.
Siddeshwari (1990 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
(123 mins.)
Director: Mani Kaul
 
11.
Subarnarekha (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man (Abhi Bhattacharya) opposes the love between his sister and the orphan (Satindra Bhattacharya) they adopted years earlier. (143 mins.)
Director: Ritwik Ghatak
 
12.
Tarang (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Sethji is a widowed, a businessman and lives a comfortable life with his only daughter, Hansa, his son-in-law... (171 mins.)
Director: Kumar Shahani
 
13.
Charulata (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The lonely wife of a newspaper editor falls in love with her visiting cousin-in-law, who shares her love for literature. (117 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
14.
Figures of Thought (1990 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
(33 mins.)
Director: Arun Khopkar
 
15.
Report to Mother (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story revolves around the incidents following the death of a young Naxalite, upon whose death his friends travel to the village where his mother lives to inform her of the death of her only son. (115 mins.)
Director: John Abraham
 
16.
Before My Eyes (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
(10 mins.)
Director: Mani Kaul
 
17.
I Am Twenty (1967 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
(17 mins.)
Director: S.N.S. Sastry
 
18.
India: Matri Bhumi (1959 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Divided into four episodes Roberto Rosellini's performs a ritual trip with India covering culture, beautiful... (90 mins.)
 
19.
An Indian Day (1968 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
(57 mins.)
Director: S. Sukhdev
 
20.
Reason, Debate and a Story (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In this quest narrative that makes the Odyssey look like a trip to the mall, four men, each peculiar in his own way, embark on a quest to reason with the estranged wife of the protagonist. (120 mins.)
Director: Ritwik Ghatak
 
21.
Rabindranath Tagore (1961 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(54 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
22.
The River (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Three adolescent girls growing up in Bengal, India, learn their lessons in life after falling for an older American soldier. (99 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
23.
A Ship Aground (1988 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(26 mins.)
Director: Kumar Shahani
 
24.
The Circus Tent (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
(129 mins.)
 
25.
Tibesti Too (1976 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
This documentary draws a sensitive, unsensational portrait of the desert and the people who inhabit it, the Toubous. (40 mins.)
 
26.
A Village in Travancore (1956 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Fali Bilimoria
 
27.
Aakrosh (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A public prosecutor discovers the harsh realities about life of the scheduled tribes in India during 1980s while defending a case of a tribesman charged of murdering his wife. (144 mins.)
Director: Govind Nihalani
 
28.
Aan (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Royal Indian family consists of the Emperor Maharaj (Murad, his brother Shamsher Singh (Premnath) and sister Rajshree (Nadira)... (161 mins.)
Director: Mehboob Khan
 
29.
Achhut Kanya (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An "untouchable" girl and a Brahmin boy fall in love, but the strict caste system and the gossip of the villagers threaten to keep them apart. (142 mins.)
Director: Franz Osten
 
30.
The Stranger (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A well-off family is paid an unexpected, and rather unwanted, visit by a man claiming to be the woman's long-lost uncle... (120 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
31.
Donkey in a Brahmin Village (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A donkey strays into a village dominated by the upper caste Brahmins. (90 mins.)
Director: John Abraham
 
32.
Pathetic Fallacy (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Bimal is a taxi-driver in a small town. His taxi is his only companion and, although very battered, it is the apple of Bimal's eye. The film shows the love of taxi driver Bimal and his pathetic vehicle Jagaddal. (102 mins.)
Director: Ritwik Ghatak
 
33.
Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A man from Mumbai (then Bombay) is angry about various issues in different circumstances. (110 mins.)
 
34.
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Three brothers are separated and united after many years - one is brought up a Hindu, another a Muslim and the last (and most memorable) a Christian. Hilarity and adventure ensues. (184 mins.)
Director: Manmohan Desai
 
35.
Amrit Manthan (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
This classic opens with a sensational low-angle circular track movement as Chandika cult followers meet... (155 mins.)
Director: Shantaram
 
36.
Anand (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The story of a terminally ill man who wishes to live life to the full before the inevitable occurs, as told by his best friend. (122 mins.)
 
37.
Andaz (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Nina is the rich and spoiled daughter of a rich businessman. One day while horse-riding she loses control... (148 mins.)
Director: Mehboob
 
38.
Anuradha (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A lonely housewife, who gave up her promising singing career to marry an idealistic village-doctor, begins to regret her decision. (141 mins.)
“ ? ” - PeacefulAnarchy
 
39.
Aradhana (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Dashing pilot Arun romances Vandana Tripathi, and both in love with each other, become very intimate... (169 mins.)
Director: Shakti Samanta
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40.
Guest (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: K.P. Kumaran
“ ? ” - PeacefulAnarchy
 
41.
Avvaiyyar (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
(174 mins.)
 
42.
Awaara (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Raju lives as a derelict as a result of being estranged from his bitter father, a district judge, who threw Raju's mother out of the house years ago... (193 mins.)
Director: Raj Kapoor
 
43.
Baiju Bawra (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young singer, in the time of Emperor Akbar the Great, sets out to avenge his father, killed in a disturbance... (165 mins.)
Director: Vijay Bhatt
 
44.
Baishey Shravana (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
(110 mins.)
Director: Mrinal Sen
 
45.
Bandini (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
During the British Raj of the 1930s, a prison-doctor falls in love with a convict who eventually reveals the story of her past and her connection to a freedom fighter. (157 mins.)
Director: Bimal Roy
 
46.
Bangaru Papa (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(183 mins.)
Director: B.N. Reddi
 
47.
Mother India (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In this melodrama, a poverty-stricken woman raises her sons through many trials and tribulations. But no matter the struggles, always sticks to her own moral code. (172 mins.)
Director: Mehboob
 
48.
Bhavni Bhavai (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
(135 mins.)
Director: Ketan Mehta
 
49.
Bhumika (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Coming from a poor and destitute family, Urvashi is encouraged by her mother, Shanta (Sualbha Deshpande)... (142 mins.)
Director: Shyam Benegal
 
50.
Bhuvan Shome (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Bhuvan Shome is a lonely widower, a proud old man and a strict disciplinarian. Looking back on the trodden path... (96 mins.)
Director: Mrinal Sen
 
51.
Bidyapati (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Classic celebration of Mithila's King Shiva Singha's (Bannerjee/Kapoor) love for his wife while chronicling... (141 mins.)
Director: Debaki Bose
 
52.
Boot Polish (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Preteen brother and sister, abandoned by their father to care of an abusive prostitute aunt, survive life in an Indian squatters' camp, aided by a friendly cripple, by learning to shine shoes instead of begging. (149 mins.)
Director: Prakash Arora
 
53.
Brahmachari (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Of unknown parentage, as he was abandoned as a child, calling himself Brahmachari (Shammi Kapoor) lives in a heavily mortgaged house... (157 mins.)
Director: Bhappi Sonie
 
54.
Chandra (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
(207 mins.)
Director: S.S. Vasan
 
55.
Chemmeen (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
(140 mins.)
Director: Ramu Kariat
 
56.
Chinnamul (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A group of farmers from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) who were forced to migrate to Calcutta because of the partition of Bengal in 1947. (117 mins.)
Director: Nemai Ghosh
 
57.
C.I.D. (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A newspaper editor, Shrivastav, is killed when he was about to expose the underworld links of a very rich and influential person... (146 mins.)
Director: Raj Khosla
 
58.
Devdas (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Devdas (Saigal/Barua), son of a zamindar, and Parvati (aka Paro)(Jamuna), his poor neighbour's daughter... (139 mins.)
Director: P.C.Barua
“ ? ” - PeacefulAnarchy
 
59.
The Goddess (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young woman is deemed a goddess when her father-in-law, a rich feudal land-lord, has a dream envisioning her as an avatar of Kali. (93 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
60.
Dharti Ke Lal (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of a family in Bengala, who is forced to abandoned their land and his journey to Calcut (125 mins.)
 
61.
Diamond Queen (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
(155 mins.)
Director: Homi Wadia
 
62.
Do Bigha Zamin (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In the hope of earning enough money to pay off his debts and save his land, a poor farmer becomes a rickshaw puller in the Calcutta and faces many difficulties. (131 mins.)
Director: Bimal Roy
 
63.
Scorching Winds (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In post-partition India, a Muslim businessman and his family struggle for their rights in a country which was once their own. (146 mins.)
Director: M.S. Sathyu
 
64.
The Home and the World (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When the movie opens, a woman is recalling the events that molded her perspective on the world. Years ago... (140 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
65.
The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
Goopy wants to sing, and Bagha wants to play the dhol. They meet accidentally and are helped by King of Ghosts... (132 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
66.
Guide (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A tour guide falls in love with a married woman, and helps her rediscover her love for dance. (183 mins.)
Director: Vijay Anand
 
67.
Haqeeqat (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A platoon of Indian soldiers encounters harsh realities while fighting in the Sino-Indian War of 1962. (184 mins.)
Director: Chetan Anand
 
68.
Howrah Bridge (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Rakesh lives with his brother, Madan, and his dad in Rangoon. Madan has fallen into bad company and steals the family heirloom... (153 mins.)
Director: Shakti Samanta
 
69.
Jagte Raho (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In hopes of improving his lifestyle, a poor peasant re-locates to Bombay virtually penniless. It is late at night and he is thirsty... (153 mins.)
 
70.
The Music Room (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Depicts the end days of a decadent zamindar (landlord) in Bengal, and his efforts to uphold his family prestige even when faced with economic adversity. (100 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
71.
Jewel Thief (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Police Commissioner's son comes under suspicion for being a jewel thief. (186 mins.)
Director: Vijay Anand
 
72.
Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Dancer maestro Mangal Maharaj wants his son, Girdhar, who is a dancer par excellence, to enter the once-in-ten-years Nateshwar Utsav dance competition... (143 mins.)
Director: V. Shantaram
 
73.
Jogan (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An atheist falls in love with a married devout woman who has forsaken materialistic life. (116 mins.)
Director: Kidar Sharma
 
74.
Junglee (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A humorless and pompous businessman goes wild when he falls in love. Now if only his domineering mother could understand his new lease on life. (150 mins.)
Director: Subodh Mukerji
 
75.
Kalpana (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
(160 mins.)
Director: Uday Shankar
“ ? ” - PeacefulAnarchy
 
76.
Khayal Gatha (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
(103 mins.)
Director: Kumar Shahani
 
77.
Kismet (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A former theater owner and his crippled daughter live in poverty until a chance encounter with a young... (143 mins.)
Director: Gyan Mukherjee
 
78.
A Soft Note on a Sharp Scale (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A highly critical look at the role of "progressive" art and artists in a changing society. (134 mins.)
Director: Ritwik Ghatak
 
79.
Kummatty (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(90 mins.)
 
80.
Kunku (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
(162 mins.)
 
81.
Madhumati (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
While driving his car on a rainy night, Anand's car breaks down, and he goes to seek shelter in a nearby house... (110 mins.)
Director: Bimal Roy
 
82.
Mahal (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young lawyer is involved with a ghostly woman in his new house, where the builder and his fiance died shortly after it was built. (165 mins.)
Director: Kamal Amrohi
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83.
The Big City (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Life at home changes when a house-wife from a middle-class, conservative family in Calcutta gets a job as a saleswoman. (131 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
84.
Maharani Yesubai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
85.
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Kishen Kumar Chaudhary and Karan are family like friends, when Kishen's wife Mrs. Kaushalya gives birth to a baby boy Prem... (192 mins.)
 
86.
Malliswari (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(194 mins.)
Director: B.N. Reddi
 
87.
Manoos (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A love tragedy featuring a policeman, Ganpat (Modak) and a prostitute, Mainal (Hublikar). Ganpat saves... (160 mins.)
Director: V. Shantaram
 
88.
Maya Darpan (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(107 mins.)
Director: Kumar Shahani
 
89.
The Mirage (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
(120 mins.)
 
90.
Meera (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
(136 mins.)
“ ? ” - PeacefulAnarchy
 
91.
The Cloud-Capped Star (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A selfless young woman (Supriya Choudhury) sacrifices her own happiness for her unappreciative family. (126 mins.)
 
92.
Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Inspired by true events, a 16th century prince falls in love with a court dancer and battles with his emperor father. (197 mins.)
Director: K. Asif
 
93.
Mukhamukham (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
(107 mins.)
 
94.
Nayak: The Hero (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
En route to Delhi to receive an award, a Bengali film star reevaluates his success through his fellow passengers, dreams and past experiences. (120 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
95.
Pakeezah (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The story of a prostitute, with a pure heart (PAKEEZAH), and grand dreams... (126 mins.)
Director: Kamal Amrohi
 
96.
Parasakthi (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
"Parasakthi" narrates the misfortunes that befall the members of a Tamil family. The youngest sister... (188 mins.)
 
97.
Patala Bhairavi (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A poor man, in love with a princess, is persuaded by an evil sorcerer to help him get the blessing of a Goddess. (195 mins.)
 
98.
Prem Sanyas (1925)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
This adaptation of Arnold's 1861 Orientalist epic opens with documentary shots of tourists in Bombay watching street performers... (97 mins.)
 
99.
Badi Bahen (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(153 mins.)
Director: Nitin Bose
“ ? ” - PeacefulAnarchy
 
100.
Prithvi Vallabh (1924)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Seminal silent historical film, the story features King Munja, ruler of Aranti, famed warrior and patron of the arts...
Director: Manilal Joshi
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