Cult Classics Of Bollywood-III

Written By Aditi Dasgupta, Bollywood Story

Another Friday it is and we bring you some pages from the history of Indian cinema. Modern and experimental cinema will always find their roots in classics in terms of plots and direction. With a fresh perspective, here are the five most popular classics revisited yet again:

  • RAM AUR SHYAM (1967)

    Ram Aur Shyam

    Released in the late 60s, this film recorded Dilip Kumar’s most memorable performance in a double role. Tapi Chanakya had roped in all the bigwigs of Bollywood for this film and casted Pran, Mumtaz and Waheeda Rehman for this Dumas’ The Corsican Brother’s remake. The plot was fresh and new then- twins switched at birth and growing up into individuals who had different dispositions. Later remakes of this film were Seeta aur Geeta, Chaalbaaz and Kishan Kanhaiyya. Seems the formula worked.

  • JEWEL THIEF (1967)

    Jewel Thief

    The case of impersonation by the protagonist , Jewel Thief defines the classic phenomena at its best. Dev Anand’s production house made this crime thriller that still keeps its audience sitting on an edge and going through an occasional nail-biting experience. S. D Burman’s music, Ashok Kumar’s impeccable acting and Vyajayantimala, Tanuja and Helen’s mind-blowing performances, this film is definitely a Bond-film for Bollywood. Tanuja’s innocence at its best fetched her a filmfare nomination too.

  • ANAND (1971)

    Anand

    Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand brought Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan under the same frame. This film, extremely poetic and philosophical, narrates the human conditions and death in a nuanced manner. A dying man changes a doctor’s (Amitabh’s) thinking, has successfully created a cult in Hindi films. The full of life Anand teaches us all to play our parts and leave the rest to the almighty. Remember-“Babu moshay, zindagi aur maut to uparwale ke haath hain jahapana…hum sab to rangmanch ki kathputlyan hain jinki dor upar wale ke haath me hai…”?

  • PAKEEZAH (1972)
    Pakeezah

    This film smells cult, cult, cult from every angle. A Lucknow tawaif’s character rendered beautifully by Meena Kumari, this film took nearly 14 years for its completion. Many intricate issues such as Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari’s marriage, Meena Kumari’s terminal illness that leads to her death weeks after the movie is released and change of characters during the making of the film- this film was a flop right after it was released but it slowly went on to preserve itself as a success in the pages of historical cinema. So many deaths surround this film- the composer Ghulam Mohammed dies during his involvement with Pakeezah and Meena Kumari too was fatally ill and most of her dance sequences are body doubles of dancers. The aura of this classic still haunts us in the present with some path-breaking music. Cinema- life, and blood..did somebody say?

  • ZANJEER (1973)

    Zanjeer

    Prakash Mehra brought the angry young man to celluloid. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Pran, Bindu, and Ajit- this action super-hit was fantastically different from the usual romantic films back then. The classic avenge of parents’ murder after 20 years, this film placed the action in mainstream cinema. A refreshing and welcoming change after Pakeezah, reportedly collected Rs 5 crores back then at the box office. Unbelievable? Believe it! Mona ne loot liya sona!

The classic cults will continue as we will discuss the treasures of Hindi cinema and the cults that are in the making. Let every Friday be a reveling in the marvels of cult films. Coming up is the new edition Cult Classics IV. Loving the series, are you?

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