Dev Anand, a legendary actor, producer, and director in the Bollywood film industry is considered one of the most charming and incredible stars in the history of Indian cinema. Dev Anand began his acting career in the 1940s and soon gained popularity for his good looks, unique style and acting talent. He appeared in numerous Hindi films and was known for his roles in romantic and thriller movies. Dev Anand's contribution to Bollywood extended beyond acting.
He co-founded the production company Navketan Films in 1949 along with his brother Chetan Anand. His career lasted for over six decades, and he received several awards and recognitions for his contributions to Indian cinema, including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in the field of cinema. Dev Anand's impact on Bollywood and Indian cinema is undeniable, and he is remembered as one of the industry's true legends. His famous movies include Hum Ek Hain (1946), Ziddi (1948), Afsar (1950), Baazi (1951), Jaal (1952), Taxi Driver (1954), Munimji (1955), Funtoosh (1956) etc. Film Heritage Foundation has recently announced a two-day festival to celebrate Dev Anand’s birth centenary. In collaboration with PVR, the foundation will be showing the best of Dev Anand's films across the country, post which he will be honoured on September 26 with a gala named 'Dev Anand@100- Forever Young'.
The iconic films being shown in the mini-festival have been restored in 4K by NFDC-NFAI as part of the National Film Heritage Mission and if you're a Dev Anand fan, there is no better opportunity to live the megastar's legacy on the bigger screen.
If you can't make it to the showing, however, fret not. Dev Anand's films are just as magical whenever you watch them, and if you're new to his brand of cinema, you can always start with these films.
Here are some of the must-watch Dev Anand movies
1. Baazi (1951)
Baazi is a 1951 film directed by Guru Dutt and produced by Dev Anand. Dev Anand also played the lead role in the film. The movie marked Guru Dutt's directorial debut and is known for its creative storytelling and style. It comes under the genre of crime thrillers and is considered one of the early classics of Indian cinema. The film's plot revolves around a taxi driver named Madan (played by Dev Anand) who gets involved in a high-stakes gambling world and becomes a pawn in a criminal conspiracy. Geeta Bali, Kalpana Kartik, and K.N. Singh were also part of the cast. The film received critical acclaim and played a remarkable role in establishing Dev Anand as a leading actor in the Indian film industry.
2. Jaal (1952)
Jaal is a classic Hindi film directed by Guru Dutt and starring Dev Anand and Geeta Bali in lead roles. The film falls into the genre of crime drama and suspense thriller. The story revolves around Shankar (played by Dev Anand), who comes to a remote fishing village to find his friend Deepak, who has suspiciously disappeared. As Shankar investigates, he discovers a web of deceit, smuggling, and murder. Geeta Bali plays the role of Meena, who assists Shankar in his quest for the truth. The movie is remembered as one of the early successes in Dev Anand's career and contributed to his reputation as a charismatic leading man in Hindi cinema.
3. Guide (1954)
One of the most famous Dev Anand films, Guide follows the story of Raju, a guide earning his living by showing tourists around the historic sites. The film starred Waheeda Rehman in the role of Rosie, his love interest, and was received quite well at the box office. It was in fact also made into an English version and released at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
4. CID (1956)
CID is a detective thriller film directed by Raj Khosla and produced by Guru Dutt. The film features Dev Anand in the lead role as Inspector Shekhar, alongside Shakila, Waheeda Rehman, and Johnny Walker. The film revolves around Inspector Shekhar, who is assigned to solve a murder case. He goes undercover to investigate a smuggling ring and uncovers a web of intrigue, deception, and criminal activities. The film combines elements of mystery, romance, and action, making it a classic of Indian cinema.
5. Kala Pani (1958)
Kala Pani is directed by Raj Khosla and produced by Dev Anand, who also stars in the film alongside Madhubala, Nalini Jaywant, and Niranjan Sharma. The story of Kala Pani centres around a man named Shankar, played by Dev Anand, who is falsely accused of committing a murder and is sent to the infamous Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during British colonial rule. Kala Pani is considered one of Dev Anand's notable works and is remembered as a classic Hindi film.
6. Kala Bazar (1960)
Kala Bazar is a classic Bollywood film directed by Vijay Anand and released in 1960. It stars Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Nanda, and Helen in prominent roles. Kala Bazar revolves around the life of a young man named Raghuvir, played by Dev Anand. He comes to Mumbai in search of a job and finds work in a small store. However, circumstances led him to become a part of the illegal black market, where he started selling cinema tickets in black, hence the title Kala Bazar. Dev Anand's portrayal of Raghuvir and the bond between him and Waheeda Rehman added to its appeal. The movie remains an integral part of Bollywood's golden era of filmmaking.
7. Bombai Ka Babu (1960)
Bombai ka Babu was directed by Raj Khosla and produced by Raj Khosla and Dev Anand, who also starred in the film alongside Suchitra Sen. The story of Bombai Ka Babu revolves around a man named Babu (played by Dev Anand), who is falsely accused of a murder he did not commit. The film explores themes of love, identity, and redemption and is remembered for its engaging storyline. Dev Anand's performance in the film received acclaim, and Bombai Ka Babu remains a classic in Indian cinema.