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Happy Independence Day: 70 Years, 70 Great Films

August 15, 2016 07:00
  1. 01

    Raja Harishchandra(1913)
    Language: Silent
    Director: Dadasaheb Phalke
    Cast: D D Dobke, Anna Salunke, G V Sane

    The film that started it all was based on the legend of a king who sacrifices his kingdom and his family to keep his promise to the sage Vishwamitra. Raja Harishchandra was a hit, and successfully moved audiences from stage to screen. In the absence of actresses, the role of queen Taramati was played by male actor Anna Salunke.

  2. 02

    Achhut Kanya (1936)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Franz Osten
    Cast: Devika Rani, Ashok Kumar

    A masterpiece of the social reformist era, Achhut Kanya dealt with love across caste boundaries and the social status of Dalit women.

  3. 03

    Neecha Nagar (1946)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Chetan Anand
    Cast: Kamini Kaushal, Uma Anand, Zohra Sehgal
    One of the earliest films of the parallel cinema movement, Neecha Nagar examined social and economic divides in society between the rich and the poor. The film marked the debuts of actress Kamini Kaushal and of Pandit Ravi Shankar as a music director. It shared the Best Film award at the Cannes Film Festival, the first Indian film to receive an international prize.

  4. 04

    Do Bigha Zamin (1953)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Bimal Roy
    Cast: Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy

    Bimal Roy's examination of socio-economic conditions in newly independent India through the story of a drought and debt-hit farmer forced to relocate to the city was a trailblazing film. Do Bigha Zamin pioneered the New Wave cinema movement of the 1950s. It was the first winner of the Filmfare Best Film award, as well as the first Indian film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

  5. 05

    Shyamchi Aai (1953)
    Language: Marathi
    Director: P K Atre
    Cast: Vanamala Pawar, Madhav Vaze, Damuanna Joshi
    The film adaptation of Sane Guruji's acclaimed novel, Shyamchi Aai examined the relationship of a mother and her son, their struggle to stick to their ideals in the face of poverty and their relationships with other members of the family.

  6. 06

    Pather Panchali (1955)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Subir Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee, Uma Dasgupta, Chunibala Devi

    Satyajit Ray had never directed anything until he made Pather Panchali, based on Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's story of life in rural Bengal, with an unknown cast and an inexperienced crew. Filming stopped many times as Ray ran out of funds. When Pather Panchali was finally released, it was hailed as a revelation and is now considered not just one of the greatest Indian films, but one of the greatest films ever made anywhere.

  7. 07

    Aparajito (1956)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Pinaki Sengupta, Karuna Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee

    The second film in Satyajit Ray's Apu trilogy, Aparajito traces Apu's journey from childhood to college. It won 11 awards at international film festivals.

  8. 08

    Naya Daur (1957)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: B R Chopra
    Cast: Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Ajit, Jeevan

    In newly independent India, the social and economic order is changing. In Naya Daur, Dilip Kumar plays a tongawallah in danger of losing his livelihood as the industrial revolution creeps in, bringing with it motorized transport.

  9. 09

    Kabuliwala (1957)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Tapan Sinha
    Cast: Chhabi Biswas, Tinku Thakur
    Adapted from Rabindranath Tagore's classic story of the unlikely friendship that springs up between Rahmat, a dry fruit seller from Afghanistan, and Mini, a little Bengali girl, Kabuliwala won the National Award for Best Film.

  10. 10

    Pyaasa (1957)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Guru Dutt
    Cast: Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Mala Sinha

    The story of a struggling poet also deals with the loss of love and identity. Guru Dutt was forced to give the film a happy ending on the insistence of his distributors. Pyaasa is noted for being Waheeda Rehman's first major role, and S D Burman's melodious score.

  11. 11

    Mother India (1957)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Mehboob Khan
    Cast: Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, Raaj Kumar
    The film that took India to the Oscars, Mother India is a melodrama about the sacrifices of a rural woman struggling to bring up her children, finally killing a son who becomes a criminal. One of the most expensive films of the time, Mother India was also a huge hit. A high profile premiere was attended by President Rajendra Prasad and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

  12. 12

    Jalsaghar (1958)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Chhabi Biswas, Padma Devi, Pinaki Sengupta
    Satyajit Ray's first film outside the Apu trilogy tells of the last days of a zamindar devoted to music who neglects his business and family as the zamindari system itself crumbles around him.

  13. 13

    Apur Sansar (1959)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Soumitro Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore
    The final film of the Apu trilogy marked the debuts of Soumitro Chatterjee, who played the adult Apu, and Sharmila Tagore who played his young bride. Both actors became favourites of Satyajit Ray. Apart from the awards it gathered, Apur Sansar was also nominated for a BAFTA.

  14. 14

    Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Guru Dutt
    Cast: Waheeda Rehman, Guru Dutt
    Kaagaz Ke Phool was famously a box office disaster when it released, prompting Guru Dutt to declare that he would never direct a film again. It is now a cult classic, noted for the moving performances of Guru Dutt as an alcoholic filmmaker seeking redemption and Waheeda as his muse.

  15. 15

    Sujata (1959)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Bimal Roy
    Cast: Nutan, Sunil Dutt, Lalita Pawar, Shashikala
    A romance between a Brahmin man and an untouchable woman, Sujata also has a parallel storyline of how the central character comes to be accepted by her adopted mother.

  16. 16

    Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Ritwik Ghatak
    Cast: Supriya Choudhury, Anil Chatterjee
    The first film in a trilogy, Ritwik Ghatak's sombre look at a genteel Bengali family forced into a refugee camp by the Partition is possibly his best-known and most-watched film. His expressionist style of filmmaking won Ritwik Ghatak much acclaim both at home and abroad.

  17. 17

    Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: K Asif
    Cast: Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Prithiraj Kapoor, Durga Khote
    Until Sholay came along in 1975, K Asif's sprawling epic - the story of the doomed love affair betyween Salim and Anarkali - was Bollywood's biggest box-office hit. Winner of the National and Filmfare awards for Best Film, Mughal-e-Azam's grand scale was matched by memorable performances from its lead actors and a classic soundtrack.

  18. 18

    Saptapadi (1961)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Ajoy Kar
    Cast: Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Chhabi Biswas
    In an India on the eve of independence, a Hindu medical student falls in love with his Christian classmate. His disapproving father steps in, ending the romance. Many years later, they meet again when she is drunk and passed out in a military hospital. Suchitra Sen won a Best Actress award at the Moscow Film Festival.

  19. 19

    Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Abrar Alvi
    Cast: Meena Kumari, Guru Dutt, Rehman, Waheeda Rehman
    The big-screen adaptation of Bimal Mitra's tragic Bengali novel about the last days of zamindari paralleled by a neglected wife's descent into drunkenness and despair was a critical and commercial hit. Meena Kumari's Performance as the beautiful but lonely Chhoti Bahu remains one of Indian cinema's most powerful performances.

  20. 20

    Bandini (1963)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Bimal Roy
    Cast: Nutan, Ashok Kumar, Dharmendra
    In a career-best performance, Nutan plays an imprisoned murderess torn between two men. Bandini was one of the earliest female-centric movies, and was the last film Bimal Roy made.

  21. 21

    Mahanagar (1963)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Anil Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Jaya Bhaduri
    In 1950s Calcutta, a middle-class housewife becomes a door-to-door salesman and, with financial independence, finds a new identity and sense of self. Mahanagar was the debut of Jaya Bhaduri.

  22. 22

    Charulata (1964)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Madhabi Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee
    The story of a lonely housewife falling in love with her brother-in-law, Charulata was based on a novella by Rabindranath Tagore which may or may not mirror his own relationship with his sister-in-law. Charulata was hailed as being sophisticated and simple at the same time.

  23. 23

    Guide (1965)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Vijay Anand
    Cast: Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman
    Author R K Narayan hated the movie version of his acclaimed novel, but Guide's outstanding performances and beautiful music secured it a place in movie history. Waheeda's performance as the lonely wife who leaves her husband for a dance career and life with Raju the guide is one of her best remembered. Guide made an almost clean sweep at the Filmfare Awards, winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress among others.

  24. 24

    Nayak (1966)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Uttam Kumar, Sharmila Tagore
    Nayak takes place on the train from Calcutta to New Delhi. A Bengali superstar is interviewed by a cynical young journalist. As he tells her the story of his life, warts and all, she begins to empathise. Nayak was Satyajit Ray's only film with Uttam Kumar who was a superstar of Bengali cinema, just like his character.

  25. 25

    Aakhri Khat (1966)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Chetan Anand
    Cast: Rajesh Khanna, Indrani Mukherjee
    Aakhri Khat, the story of a toddler left alone in a city after his mother dies, was remarkable for the way it was filmed. For the most part, the film is the story of the child who wanders around, eating whatever he can find. Chetan Anand shot these sequences by the simple expedient of letting his 15-month-old actor loose in Mumbai and following him with a camera.

  26. 26

    Bhuvan Shome (1969)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Mrinal Sen
    Cast: Utpal Dutt, Suhasini Mulay
    This landmark film tells the story of an uncompromising civil servant who takes a holiday that leaves him and his worldview irrevocably changed. Bhuvan Shome won the National Award for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor.

  27. 27

    Deiva Magan (1969)
    Language: Tamil
    Director: A C Tirulokchandar
    Cast: Sivaji Ganesan, Jayalalithaa
    Deiva Magan was a triple whammy with Sivaji Ganesan playing three roles - a father, and his twin sons. He was widely praised for all three performances - the father unable to bear the sight of his scarred son, the timid brother and his angst-ridden twin.

  28. 28

    Samskara (1970)
    Language: Kannada
    Director: Pattabhi Rama Reddy
    Cast: Girish Karnad, P Lankesh
    The film adaptation of U R Anantamurthy's novel deals with a society governed by a strict adherence to religious principles through the story of a Brahmin leader conflicted by the question of cremating a lapsed Brahmin.

  29. 29

    Anand (1971)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
    Cast: Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Sumita Sanyal
    Imbued with writer and lyricist Gulzar's poetic touch, Anand follows the final days of a terminally ill man who inspires a young, disenchanted doctor with his optimistic outlook on life. Anand won the National Award for Best Film and a slew of Filmfare Awards.

  30. 30

    Sharapanjara (1971)
    Language: Kannada
    Director: Puttanna Kanagal
    Cast: Kalpana, Gangadhar
    Sharapanjara was hailed for its progressive critiquing of society's emphasis on the chastity of women as well as attitudes towards mental illness.

  31. 31

    Swayamvaram (1972)
    Language: Malayalam
    Director: Adoor Gopalakrishnan
    Cast: Madhu, Sharada, Adoor Bhavani
    A pioneer of the new wave movement in Malayalam cinema, Adoor Gopalakrishnan's first film deals with the trials of a newlywed couple who are eventually defeated by unemployment and financial dire straits. The film won four National Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress.

  32. 32

    Pakeezah (1972)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Kamal Amrohi
    Cast: Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar, Ashok Kumar
    Meena Kumari's swan song is a brave and beautiful tale of a courtesan seeking legitimacy. The making of Pakeezah was a rocky road, with a long gap in filming when Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi's marriage ended. Composer Ghulam Mohammed died midway through filming and Meena Kumari herself died just a few weeks after the film released, having been so ill on shoots that most scenes showed her lying down.

  33. 33

    Garam Hava (1973)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: M S Sathyu
    Cast: Balraj Shani, Farooque Shaikh, A K Hangal
    Perhaps the most powerful and moving cinematic look at the Partition, Garam Hawa's central character is a stubborn Muslim patriarch who refuses to leave his ancestral home in Agra and migrate to Pakistan. The film, a landmark in the Art cinema movement, was never seen by its star Balraj Sahni who died the day after he finished dubbing the film.

  34. 34

    Ankur (1974)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Shyam Benegal
    Cast: Shabana Azmi, Anant Nag
    Ankur was the debut film for its director as well as actors Shabana Azmi, who won a National Award, and Anant Nag. Ankur gained a measure of notoriety because of a whipping scene and profane language. The story of a love affair between a Dalit woman and the landlord's son, Ankur explores the themes of caste, social and economic boundaries, alcoholism and religion.

  35. 35

    Deewar (1975)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Yash Chopra
    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, Parveen Babi, Neetu Singh
    The film that marked the rise of the Angry Young Man, Deewar shattered stereotypes with its dramatis personae – the anti-hero central figure of the brother who becomes a smuggler, his girlfriend who smokes, drinks and gets pregnant, the mother who rejects him for his criminal lifestyle, and the younger brother who becomes a police officer on the trail of his elder sibling.

  36. 36

    Sholay (1975)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Ramesh Sippy
    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan
    Bollywood's defining mainstream movie broke box office records and immortalized the character of Gabbar Singh, celebrated friendship with Jai and Veeru, created a strong female character in Basanti the tangewali, and set the trend for epic potboilers.

  37. 37

    Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Satyajit Ray
    Cast: Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Richard Attenborough, Amjad Khan, Shabana Azmi
    Set in the period leading upto the Mutiny of 1857, Shatranj Ke Khilari is the story of two devoted chess-players unable to focus on or cope with the clash of cultures and collision of political and social events taking place around them. Satyajit Ray was so impressed by Amitabh Bachchan's baritone that he used him as the film's narrator, unable to find another role for the then-struggling actor.

  38. 38

    Bhumika (1977)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Shyam Benegal
    Cast: Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Amol Palekar, Anant Nag, Amrish Puri
    Based on the memoris of Marathi actress Hansa Wadkar, Bhumika stars Smita Patil as the actress Usha and follows her journey from free-spirited teen to bitter middle-aged woman. Bhumika won the Filmfare Award for Best Film, and Smita Patil's performance fetched her the National Award.

  39. 39

    Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Manmohan Desai
    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Parveen Babi, Rishi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Neetu Singh, Pran Preaching religious tolerance, Amar Akbar Anthony is a landmark in mainstream Bollywood - a masala movie with a message. The heartwarming story and memorable characters are matched by Laxmikant-Pyarelal's fun score.

  40. 40

    Junoon (1978)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Shyam Benegal
    Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Jennifer Kendal, Shabana Azmi, Nafisa Ali, Naseeruddin Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
    It's 1857 and Indian soldiers have mutinied against the British. Escaping a massacre, a British mother and daughter are forced to live in the house of a local feudal chieftain, navigating domestic routine to survive.

  41. 41

    Gol Maal (1979)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
    Cast: Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt, Bindiya Goswami, Dina Pathak
    This much-loved comedy serves up a double helping of Amol Palekar pretending to be two different people, to counter his employer's wholly unreasonable dislike of clean shaven men.

  42. 42

    Bhavni Bhavai (1980)
    Language: Gujarati
    Director: Ketan Mehta
    Cast: Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Mohan Gokhale, Om Puri
    The story of a king who wants his stepwell filled with water for which a human sacrifice is required, Bhavni Bhavai is told in through the idiom of folk music and dance. The film is punctuated with footage of India's freedom struggle, and there are references to caste riots and drought in Gujarat.

  43. 43

    Aakrosh (1980)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Govind Nihalani
    Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Amita Patil
    In Govind Nihalani's debut film, the protagonist - played by Om Puri - does not speak at all, and is only heard twice, screaming. The film is a scathing dissection of the Indian judicial system as perceived by a peasant whose wife is raped and who is then framed for a crime by the rapist.

  44. 44

    Elippathayam (1981)
    Language: Malayalam
    Director: Adoor Gopalakrishnan
    Cast: K Janardanan Nair, Sharada
    A chronicle of the last days of feudalism in Kerala, Elippathayam tells the story of a middle-aged man and his three sisters struggling to cope with the changing times and social conditions.

  45. 45

    Arth (1982)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Mahesh Bhatt
    Cast: Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
    Based on Mahesh Bhatt's relationship with actress Parveen Babi, Arth took a long, hard and unforgiving look at an extramarital affair that led to the breakdown of a marriage. Shabana Azmi's performance as the wronged wife won her the National and the FIlmfare awards for Best Actress.

  46. 46

    Moondram Pirai (1982)
    Language: Tamil
    Director: Balu Mahendra
    Cast: Sridevi, Kamal Haasan, Silk Smitha
    Left with the memory and intelligence of a child after an accident, young Bhagyalakshmi ends up in a brothel from where she is rescued by Srinivas who takes her home and looks after her. He succeeds in having a doctor cure her of her memory loss but as she regains her long term memory, she loses all recollection of the past few months, forgetting Srinivas and their life together.

  47. 47

    Umbartha (1982)
    Language: Marathi
    Director: Jabbar Patel Cast: Smita Patil, Girish Karnad
    The story of a woman in search of her identity through a career at the risk of alienating her family, Umbartha was also made in Hindi with the same cast as Subah.

  48. 48

    Ardh Satya (1983)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Govind Nihalani
    Cast: Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri, Sadashiv Amrapurkar
    This hard-hitting cop film examines many bitter truths surrounding crime and policing, through the story of a Mumbai sub-inspector dealing with his own frailties as well as the injustices around him. Om Puri won the National Award for Best Actor and an award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for his performance as Sub Inspector Anant Velankar.

  49. 49

    Masoom (1983)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Shekhar Kapur
    Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Jugal Hansraj, Urmila Matondkar
    Broadly based on Erich Segal's Man, Woman And Child, Masoom is the story of a husband and wife divided by the discovery of an illegitimate son.

  50. 50

    Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Kundan Shah
    Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Bhakti Barve, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Shah, Neena Gupta
    India's most important satirical film, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro took a farcical look at corruption. Made on a shoestring budget and featuring an ensemble cast, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro was a hit when it released and later achieved cult status.

  51. 51

    Saraansh (1984)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Mahesh Bhatt
    Cast: Anupam Kher, Rohini Hattangadi, Soni Razdan
    All of 29 years old, Anupam Kher won plaudits for his first big role playing the stubborn old man, a former teacher, grieving for a dead son while challenging a powerful politician. Anupam Kher won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor, and the movie has been hailed as one of Mahesh Bhatt's finest.

  52. 52

    Paar (1984)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Goutam Ghose
    Cast: Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri
    In rural Bihar, a labourer and his pregnant wife return to their village after becoming fugitives. To earn their fare, they must drive a herd of pigs across a wide river. Both Naserrudin and Shabana won the National Award for Best Actor and Actress for their performances.

  53. 53

    Paroma (1984)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Aparna Sen
    Cast: Raakhee, Deepankar De, Mukul Sharma
    Aparna Sen's unflinching tale of an extra-marital affair was remarkable for its strong women characters - Paroma the married middle-aged wife and mother who succumbs to glamour, and her daughter who refuses to condemn her when the affair is exposed and Paroma suffers a nervous breakdown.

  54. 54

    Nayagan (1987)
    Language: Tamil
    Director: Mani Ratnam
    Cast: Kamal Haasan, Saranya, Karthika
    Mani Ratnam's examination of the life of South Indians in Mumbai centers around Velu, a smuggler who deals out a brutal form of justice and is hailed as a savior by the residents of the slum he lives in. The role of Velu, based on real life Mumbai gangster Varadarajan Mudaliar, fetched Kamal Haasan a National Award.

  55. 55

    Mirch Masala (1987)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Ketan Mehta
    Cast: Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Suresh Oberoi, Deepti Naval
    In her last film appearance, Smita Patil plays the strong willed and beautiful Sonbai, a village woman evading the clutches of a cruel subedar in pre-independent India.

  56. 56

    Pushpaka Vimana (1987)
    Language: Silent
    Director: Singeetham Srinivasa Rao
    Cast: Kamal Haasan, Amala
    This silent black comedy of mistaken identity was an unexpected blockbuster. Noted for its re-inventing of the silent film genre, the film won a National Award.

  57. 57

    Salaam Bombay! (1988)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Mira Nair
    Cast: Shafiq, Hansa, Raghubir Yadav, Nana Patekar, Anita Kanwar
    The second Indian film to make it to the Oscars, Salaam Bombay! is a chronicle of the lives of Mumbai's street-urchins. It won the National Award and any number of international awards. Salaam Bombay! was remarkable for its cast of children who were drawn from the streets rather than being junior artistes. Actor Irrfan Khan made his first appearance in the film, although his small role did not survive the edit room.

  58. 58

    Bandit Queen (1994)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Shekhar Kapur
    Cast: Seema Biswas, Nirmal Pandey, Manoj Bajpayi, Govind Namdeo
    A gritty and hard-hitting biopic of Phoolan Devi, Bandit Queen shocked with it's explicit language and scenes. The film won the National Awards for Best Film and Best Actress.

  59. 59

    Unishe April (1994)
    Language: Bengali
    Director: Rituparno Ghosh
    Cast: Aparna Sen, Debashree Roy, Prosenjit
    Based on Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata, this winner of the National Award for Best Film was noted for the performances of its female leads - Aparna Sen as the dancer who alienates her daughter to focus on her career, and Debashree Roy as the resentful, bitter daughter.

  60. 60

    Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Aditya Chopra
    Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol
    Boy meets girl on trip around Europe, girl's stern father whisks her away to rural Punjab to marry his friend's son, boy follows girl, wins over her family and all ends well as a train chugs out of the station bearing the now united lovers. DDLJ remains the longest-running Indian film, and holds the record for the most number of Filmfare Award wins with 10.

  61. 61

    Kathapurushan (1995)
    Language: Malayalam
    Director: Adoor Gopalakrishnan
    Cast: Vishwanathan, Mini Nair, Aranmula Ponamma
    Winner of the National Award for Best Film, Kathapurushan traces Kerala's political history through the life of its protagonist whose left-wing ideals take a beating from harsh life experiences.

  62. 62

    Thaayi Saheba (1997)
    Language: Kannada
    Director: Girish Kasaravalli
    Cast: Jayamala, Suresh Hublikar
    Winner of the National Award for Best Film, Thaayi Saheba features a strong, central female character - the eponymous Thaayi Saheba - left to run a household after her husband is jailed for protesting against the government. She is forced into a difficult situation when her adopted son falls in love with his father's illegitimate daughter, legally his sister. Thaayi Saheba must choose between letting her son follow his heart and saving herself from being jailed for supporting a legally incestuous relationship.

  63. 63

    Satya (1998)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Ram Gopal Varma
    Cast: Chakravarthy, Manoj Bajpayi, Urmila Matondkar, Saurabh Shukla
    The first film in RGV's gangster trilogy, Satya is a realistic portrayal of an man who comes to Mumbai seeking employment and is sucked into the maelstrom of crime and gang wars.

  64. 64

    Vanaprastham (1999)
    Language: Malayalam
    Director: Shaji N Karun
    Cast: Mohanlal, Suhasini Mani Ratnam
    Winner of the National Award for Best Film and Best Actor, Vanaprastham is the story of a Kathakali dancer who is rejected by his upper caste father and prevented from seeing his son.

  65. 65

    Lagaan (2001)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
    Cast: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh and ensemble
    A group of villagers in colonial India organize themselves into a cricket team, play the British officers in their cantonment and defeat them. Their prize - the cancellation of taxes for the whole province for three years. The movie became the third Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar, and was one of the year's biggest hits.

  66. 66

    Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Farhan Akhtar
    Cast: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Akshaye Khanna, Dimple Kapadia
    This coming-of-age film follows the lives of three friends as they transition from being young and irresponsible to mature adults. It won the National Award for Best Film and a host of popular awards.

  67. 67

    Dweepa (2002)
    Language: Kannada
    Director: Girish Kasaravalli
    Cast: Soundarya, Avinash
    Winner of the National Award for Best Film, Dweepa dealt with the theme of displacement with the story of a priest's family who refuse to leave their home on a disappearing island because the government's compensation can buy them food and shelter but not the love and respect they enjoy on the island.

  68. 68

    Munnabhai MBBS (2003)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Rajkumar Hirani
    Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Gracy Singh, Boman Irani
    The role of good-hearted gangster Munnabhai resurrected Sanjay Dutt's career, restoring him to leading man status from character actor. The blockbuster film was an upbeat look at trials of daily life, and won a slew of awards including the National Award for Best Popular Film.

  69. 69

    Maqbool (2003)
    Language: Hindi
    Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
    Cast: Pankaj Kapoor, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah
    Vishal Bhardwaj's desi version of Shakespeare's Macbeth won him international acclaim for his tempering of tragedy with comic elements.

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    Shwaas (2004)
    Language: Marathi
    Director: Sandeep Sawant
    Cast: Arun Nalavade, Ashwin Chitale, Amruta Subhash
    Hailed as a turning point in modern Marathi cinema, Shwaas tells the tale of a young boy with retinal cancer who must lose his eyesight in order to live, and his grandfather who struggles to accept this.

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