Best Bollywood moviesby av-ankur | created - 10 Nov 2012 | updated - 07 Apr 2016 | Public
The finest of Hindi-Urdu movies (or, in other words, Bollywood), from India, across genres and eras; some of them are known, and some of them, even though fine features, are in the realm of unknown.
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1. Ghulami (1985)
199 min | Action
Fight against colonialism, and then fight against feudalism
2. Frozen (2007)
109 min | Drama
This is a touching and somber journey of Lasya, who lives with her father Karma and younger brother Chomo in a remote village in the Himalayas. Pristine snow capped mountains surround their... See full synopsis »
Poetry: a young woman tries to make meaning of life in a village on the border where armies violate the land's sanctity
3. Sanshodhan (1996)
Not Rated | 165 min | Drama
Parmino is a small village in Central India, headed by a Village Committee comprising of all males. When the Government of India notifies the Committee that a third of them must be women, ... See full summary »
Fight for social reforms by a woman who dares to raise voice
4. Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)
Not Rated | 159 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
Goa based Joseph Braganza and his wife Flavy, devout Catholics, are both deaf and mute. He makes a living selling soap bars door to door. Flavy gets pregnant and gives birth to a daughter ... See full summary »
Stunningly beautiful romance, with Goa as the landscape
5. Jagte Raho (1956)
153 min | Comedy, Drama
In hopes of improving his lifestyle, a poor peasant re-locates to Bombay virtually penniless. It is late at night and he is thirsty, and he is unable to find water anywhere. A singing drunk... See full summary »
A beautifully crafted comedy about the absurdity of urban existence. Rivalling, and even surpassing, Jacques Tati in every respect.
6. Aamir (2008)
99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A doctor of Indian origin returning to Mumbai from London is forced to participate in a terrorist plot.
A thriller with terrorism as its background
7. Barfi! (2012)
Not Rated | 151 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Three young people learn that love can neither be defined nor contained by society's definition of normal and abnormal.
Votes: 64,260 | Gross: $2.80M
An irreverent romance
8. Raincoat (2004)
Unrated | 117 min | Drama, Romance
All he wanted was to see her just once. Manu was from a village in the backwoods. Neeru was the girl next door, his lost love.
Poetry: an O'Henry story beautifully adapted to Indian settings
9. Saaransh (1984)
Not Rated | 137 min | Drama
An old couple lend a room on rent after recent death of the bread earner of the family, their only son. A budding actress starts living with them, who is in love with a local politician's only son. The movie shows what later ensues.
A man's fight against corruption, marked by one of the finest acting performances that the world has seen (by Kher)
10. Dil Se.. (1998)
Not Rated | 163 min | Drama, Romance
The clash between love and ideology is portrayed in this love story between a radio executive and a beautiful revolutionary
A love story at its best
11. Dev.D (2009)
Not Rated | 144 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
After breaking up with his childhood sweetheart, a young man finds solace in drugs. Meanwhile, a teenage girl is caught in the world of prostitution. Will they be destroyed, or will they find redemption?
Votes: 24,286 | Gross: $0.01M
A critical, harsh examination of hedonists
12. Nishabd (2007)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama
A man, who has been married for 27 years, falls in love with his 18-year-old daughter's friend.
A film celebrating lust
13. Pyaasa (1957)
Not Rated | 146 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
A talented but indigent poet Vijay struggles for love and recognition in this selfish world.
About the angst of an artist, and how creativity is born from that
14. Maachis (1996)
160 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A realistic, hard-hitting portrayal of terrorism and youth in the Punjab after the 1984 riots.
A critical look at State machinery: why so-called terrorists are born in the first place - and who's right, in reality?
15. Khamosh (1985)
101 min | Mystery, Thriller
When a starlet is murdered on a film location, her detective brother arrives there to solve the mystery.
A low-key suspense thriller, with no let-up in pace
16. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
PG | 174 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A rich brat and a poor chap try to woo a girl, with their rivalry culminating in the most prestigious college event - the marathon cycle race.
Romance, sports and teen flick, all in one
17. Saaheb (1985)
150 min | Drama
Mr. Sharma (Utpal Dutt) lives with his four sons (Biswajeet, Vijay Arora, Dilip Dhawan) and a daughter, Geeta or Butlie. Only the youngest son, Sunil (Anil Kapoor) and Geeta are unmarried. ... See full summary »
A poignant look into lower-middle-class India
18. Saudagar (1973)
Not Rated | 131 min | Drama, Family
Moti sells gurd in the market. He collects the raw material and takes them to an older woman, Mahjubhi, who makes exemplary gurd. Moti loves a village girl but is unable to afford to pay ... See full summary »
Man's battle between sublime and earthly
19. Gangster (2006)
Not Rated | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
In Seoul, a gangster's alcoholic moll falls in love with another man.
Romance triangle - don't be misleaded by the title
20. Parinda (1989)
Not Rated | 154 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Two brothers are caught on the different sides of a gang war.
One of the earliest films about the mafia of Bombay, a theme that would prove to be quite productive in later years. A powerful story of how crime never pays - in the end.
21. Umrao Jaan (1981)
145 min | Drama, Musical
In Faizabad, British India, Daroga Dilawar is sentenced to several years in prison after Amiran's dad testifies against him. After his discharge around 1840, he extracts his vengeance by ... See full summary »
A courtesan's story - not to be missed for the diva that Rekha was
22. Angoor (1982)
Not Rated | 131 min | Comedy
Based on Shakespeare's 'A Comedy of Errors', this is a story of identical twins (2 pairs) and mistaken identities.
Shakespeare's comedy wonderfully adapted to Indian settings
23. Woh Chokri (1994 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 129 min | Drama
Tunu lives and spends her time at the Howrah Railway Station, searching desperately for her father Dinesh Roy, a small-time politician. He abandoned her and her mother, Geeta, who is now a bootlegger and prostitute in order to survive.
A disturbing look at Indian politics, civic corruption and urban poverty
24. Mother India (1957)
172 min | Drama, Musical, Family
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.
An epic story, with a strong feminist element early on
25. Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995)
Not Rated | 160 min | Drama, Romance
An estranged couple battle for the custody of their only son.
Remake of Kramer vs. Kramer with modifications: a better story and film than the Hollywood original.
26. The Blue Umbrella (2005)
90 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
Young Biniya lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in the mountainous and snowy region of Himachal Pradesh in India along with her widowed mom and wrestler brother. She entertains ... See full summary »
Ostensibly a children's film, but marked by beautiful shots of the Himalayas and a touching story
27. 1942: A Love Story (1994)
Not Rated | 157 min | Romance, Action, Drama
A young Indian couple, both from wealthy backgrounds, find themselves caught up in the 1940's Indian revolutionary movement against their families whom are under the thumb a sadistic British general.
A bit too ambitious, but the melodrama still works: great music and Manisha Koirala during the peak of her career
28. Aghaat (1985)
138 min | Drama, Crime
Madhav Verma (Om Puri) is a dedicated, honest, and diligent union representative. He represents the majority of the employees in an organization, which recognizes his union. However, there ... See full summary »
Labour issues and corruption
29. Aakrosh (1980)
144 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
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.
A realistic look into Indian society, corruption and judicial system
30. Lamhe (1991)
Not Rated | 187 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
Yash Chopra's most cherished film with soul-stirring music is a story of moments - moments of passion, of ecstasy and of life-changing love.
Romance with elements of incest
31. Khamoshi (1970)
Not Rated | 127 min | Family, Musical, Romance
khamoshi is an intriguing tale of a female nurse trying to maintain a balance between her professional life and her emotions who falls victim to the natural feeling of love and compassion when a person takes care of another person.
Strong feminist film, with minimalistic plot, located within a mental asylum
32. Khosla Ka Ghosla! (2006)
Not Rated | 135 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A Delhi based retired middle class man tries half-heartedly to get his land back from a swindling property dealer with the help of his sons and their friends.
Votes: 17,725 | Gross: $0.03M
A brilliant, sharp comedy, ruthlessly exposing corruption entrenched in every Indian system
33. Highway (I) (2014)
Not Rated | 133 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama
Right before her wedding, a young woman finds herself abducted and held for ransom. As the initial days pass, she begins to develop a strange bond with her kidnapper.
Votes: 21,337 | Gross: $0.53M
A movie of journeys: literal and figurative, outwards and inwards.
34. Satya (1998)
Not Rated | 170 min | Action, Crime, Drama
An innocent man is embroiled in underworld after being falsely charged and sets out to punish the perpetrators who subjected his life to misery.
A realistic look at the Mumbai underworld
35. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Not Rated | 181 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical
When Raj meets Simran in Europe, it isn't love at first sight but when Simran moves to India for an arranged marriage, love makes its presence felt.
The definitive romantic film of the Hindi cinema
36. Do Bigha Zamin (1953)
131 min | Drama
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.
Rich-poor divide and exploitation
37. Chupke Chupke (1975)
Not Rated | 146 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A newly wedded husband plays a practical joke on his wife's family with full support from his wife and friends.
A heart-warming comedy, which can be seen again and again
38. Tamas (1986– )
297 min | Drama
This TV miniseries ("Darkness" in English) became famous in India in the mid/late 80s for its realistic depiction of the partition of the Indian subcontinent. In 1947, the sub continent ... See full summary »
A rare attempt to understand what happened during the Partition (of India-Pakistan)
39. Filmistaan (2012)
Not Rated | 117 min | Comedy
In Mumbai, affable Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny, who works as an assistant director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star. However, at every audition he is summarily thrown ... See full summary »
Ode to Hindi films in the form of comedy, and a lesson to humanity over what truly matters
40. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
148 min | Musical, Romance
Suresh Sinha, a famous director, discovers star potential in Shanti, a woman he stumbled into one rainy evening, and casts her as the lead in a film. In a twist of fate, Shanti becomes a superstar and Suresh faces a decline in his career.
An artist and his muse - a tragic love story
41. Aavishkar (1974)
107 min | Drama, Family, Romance
Amar and Mansi are in love, and decide to get married. They do so, and still continue to be in love. They get to their first wedding anniversary, and decide to hire a taxi-cab for a day, ... See full summary »
A rare example of some brilliant editing work in a Hindi film, the story is of how a marriage is slowly poisoned as time goes along and ideals are forsaken.
42. Sheesha (1986)
113 min | Drama
The wife of a senior executive must deal with his arrest for attempted rape.
Whose word do people believe? A look at how the judicial system works when it comes to rape
43. Damini (1993)
Not Rated | 175 min | Crime, Drama
After witnessing a rape in her own household, Damini fights for justice for the deceased victim. However, she faces a bunch of challenges until she meets a disgraced lawyer who decides to fight the case and bring the culprits to justice.
A melodrama with rape and fight for justice at its core
44. Raavan (2010)
Not Rated | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
A bandit leader kidnaps the wife of the policeman who killed his sister, but later falls in love with her.
Votes: 3,653 | Gross: $0.71M
Modern-day retelling of Ramayana, but where Raavan is the hero and Ram the villain: stunning locales, great music and fluid structure
45. Haider (2014)
Not Rated | 160 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A young man returns to Kashmir after his father's disappearance to confront his uncle - the man he suspects of playing a role in his father's fate.
Votes: 43,129 | Gross: $0.90M
An Indian adaptation of Hamlet: a world of insecurities and deceptions, with the backdrop of Kashmir and its politics.
46. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
162 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
A young man and young woman fall in love against their feuding fathers' wishes in this version of 'Romeo and Juliet' set in contemporary India.
Two fresh faces playing two teens, and a story of doomed love between them
47. Sholay (1975)
Not Rated | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
After his family is murdered by a notorious and ruthless bandit, a former police officer enlists the services of two outlaws to capture the bandit.
The only Indian Western; not a bad job: great moments of comedy, and one could watch it for Sanjeev Kumar
48. Bawarchi (1972)
Not Rated | 130 min | Comedy, Musical, Drama
Squabbling Sharma family has a dubious reputation of not having any cook last there for more than a few months. Word spreads out about this family to such an extent that no person wants to ... See full summary »
A gem of a comedy, which also slips in many lessons about how to live
49. Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986)
Not Rated | 136 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Charandas lives a poor lifestyle in a small town in India along with his older brother, Bhajandas, and Bhabhi. He is unemployed and commits himself to be a wrestler with Ustad Mastram ... See full summary »
Bubbly little comedy
50. Thodasa Roomani Ho Jaayen (1990)
160 min | Drama, Musical