Sure the movies are great today but have you experienced the era that started it all? Imagine sitting through a classic and being in awe of the sheer visionary brilliance of the filmmakers, who, despite technological limitations, crafted timeless masterpieces. Point worth mentioning here, the music produced for the movies of this era was recorded live during the performance of the actors as well and a live band was used to orchestrate a performance in the background as the recording went along. So now, let’s take a trip down memory lane and pay homage to pioneers of Bollywood by exploring the top old Bollywood movies.
Popular old Bollywood movies which continue to grow in our hearts
1. Sholay (1975)
Not only the leads but every character in Sholay, even the ones that appear in a short role, has been written and performed so well that it is still considered a statement in today’s industry. Sholay is a movie where every gunshot, every villain, every hero is timeless and the iconic duo of Jai and Veeru didn't just ride horses; they rode straight into our hearts.
No doubt it was a record-breaking blockbuster even at that time and proved to be the longest-running movie in theatres for more than 5 years. If you want to witness peak Bollywood cinema, we suggest you watch this movie immediately and it to your watchlist of the best old Hindi movies on Amazon Prime.
2. Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
This film didn't just break box office records; it shattered the notion of epic romance. Anarkali and Salim's love story wasn't just a tale of passion; it was a movie where cinematic history was created. The classic tale of romance between Salim, a Mughal prince and Anarkali, his court dancer, which his father is determined to end in any way possible. This timeless masterpiece is a household name in Indian cinema and is truly an epic by every standard. So, if you’re still one of the rare people who have missed out on this fine film, add this to your weekend binge.
3. Mother India (1957)
This old Bollywood movie is a classic. Being a simple story of a woman working in her field and earning wages, touching on the issues faced by farmers of that time, this movie appeals to all ages alike. The famous actress Nargis leads as the character Radha and it has proved to be one of the best performances by any actress in Bollywood to date. This movie is also known amongst the best patriotic movies from Bollywood as it includes many elements that show our nation's backbone of that era, the agricultural sector in full bloom and yet farmers facing so many issues. A must-watch with family!
4. Anand (1971)
A big reason why we all keep going back to old Bollywood movies is because the simple and effective storytelling somehow heals us. Anand is that kind of a movie, a cinematic gem, which goes beyond entertainment. The narrative follows an honest doctor who is frustrated with his job due to a lack of resources to be able to heal everybody in the world and comes across the lively spirit of a man, who has to stay at his house due to unforeseen circumstances. As the film progresses we see how he influences the doctor to enjoy the little things in life.
This movie is a true masterpiece and an old hit Amitabh movie. It taught us all a saying which should be spread everywhere for eternity as they are words to live by - “Babumoshaye, Zindagi badi honi chahiye, Lambi nahi".
5. Padosan (1968)
A story of a man who lives across from a beautiful woman but is too scared to tell her. This movie is one of the best old comedy Bollywood movies filled with romantic drama and goes to show that a little help and encouragement can help two lovers come together. The legendary singer Kishore Kumar comes on the big screen and delights us with his presence as the Guru Ji who helps the man win his dream girl's heart. The twist comes when the girl’s music teacher and Guru ji end up in a feud. A must-watch for all comedy lovers and Kishore Kumar fans.
6. Chupke Chupke (1975)
A comedic masterpiece that challenged the talent of legendary actors Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. Here their characters interchange roles as two professors and they have to learn about their respective subjects and teach them while maintaining the ruse that they have caught themselves in the middle of. No wonder the amount of problems, the audience sure did have a laugh every couple of minutes as the chaos just got funnier and funnier. Of course, with a beautiful ending this old Bollywood movie will surely impress any person right away!
7. Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
Just like a puzzle, a family of 5 gets separated because of bad times and look at the masterplan created by some deity, they all reunite after years as adults. The twist is that all three brothers are from different religions and are not aware of being siblings. It all comes to know after they all donate blood to a dying old woman who just happens to be their mother. A very twisting and turning story for sure but wholesome to the end. A feel-good old hit Amitabh Bachchan movie to be watched with the whole family or alone too if you’re in the mood for a good tale.
8. Golmaal (1979)
Amol Palekar, the legendary Bollywood actor has given many hit classics but this one movie made him and this movie's cast immortal in old Bollywood movies. This movie’s storyline and execution were so good that it already has two remakes that exist in Bollywood and the tally for other industries is also high. The phenomenal characters portrayed in this movie are loved by millions across the country and outside. Their phrases and key dialogues are still used in references today and are recognizable instantly. The movie is based on a classic twin drama where a man plays it like he has a twin brother to save himself when his strict boss catches him at a football game. If you love comedy this is another best old comedy Bollywood movie.
9. Aradhana (1969)
A timeless old Bollywood movie which shows that love can sometimes form relationships stronger than blood relations and that being part of a family does not mean you get all the support and the things that are right for you. A story about a little boy whose mother passed away when he was very young and a woman who lives across the street from him, this movie progresses showing how the little boy is thrashed every day by his stepmother but he gets care and love that he seeks from the woman across the street. The man portrayed by Rajesh Khanna is a frequent visitor to the woman next door and often brings presents for the little boy. Soon after we see that the boy has all grown up and now he wants to find her. Will he be able to? A beautiful ending to a beautiful film. Be sure to see it with your family or friends if you find emotional and wholesome movies cute!