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Ganga Jumna 1961
Hindi cinema had a love affair with dacoit stories beginning from Mother India, Ganga Jumna and through ‘60s thru to Sholay. Many great movies were made on the life and times of dacoits, roaming the Chambal ravines and other places in the Hindi heartland of India, even to the extent of glorifying them. Movies like ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’ and ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’ also stand out in the crowd. Ganga Jumna was also of the same genre but the difference was that no cinematic liberties were taken while narrating the tale on screen and a village pastoral style and substance was adhered to. It had genuine dialogues in chaste Awadhi/Bhojpuri dialect which the star of the era Dilip Kumar delivered with absolute ease, thus putting him into a different league of actors and is not called a thespian for nothing. This movie belongs to Yusuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar, he gave a spirited perfo ....
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Kismet 1943
This was the first blockbuster hit in the thirty year young Hindi Film Cinema at that time that Ashok Kumar's Kismet first to cross the threshold of Rupees One Crore an unheard of figure for film collection in that era. A record that was broken by Raj Kapoor’s ‘Barsaat’ a few years down the line. If one adjusts that for inflation and take gold as the standard for inflation then that amount would work out to a whooping Rs.1000 crores today (gold rate was Rs.51 per 10 grams in 1943 vs today’s rate of 51k per 10 grams). Kismet was also the first movie to show the hero with negative attributes like continuous smoking, drinking, gambling and of course robbery. The issue of unwed mother was also touched upon, despite these factors which had a shock value in a pre-independence conservative India, the movie still did roaring business and ran for over three years in a single talkies in ....
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Pyaasa 1957
The genius called Guru Dutt who created Pyaasa, was lost to the Indian film Industry at a young age when he committed suicide but not before he had a fabulous body of work to boast about, whatever may have been his reasons but there is no doubt about his craftsmanship not only in direction but also acting, which he took up upon himself when directing one of the movie his hero did not turn up. The ‘50s and the early ‘60s was his time and Guru Dutt gave many hits not only as a director but also as an actor. Due to the tragedy of his death he is seen more related to his depressing tales of unfulfilled desires in both Pyaasa and Kagaz ke Phool. Pyaasa was close to Dutt’s heart and one of the few movies which he directed, produced and acted in. It is considered a classic and was well received by the audience too. There is a bit of a background to the movie Pyaasa, as his team want ....
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Garm Hava 1974
One of the most authentic movie on partition and immediate fallout in post partition India, Garm Hava delves into the lives of the minorities who chose to stay back or one’s who migrated overnight without even informing their nearest ones. The struggle and the atmosphere of suspicion and communal strife prevalent at the time is beautifully captured in the film through the eyes and story of a patriarch of a minority family doing business in the North Indian city of Agra. North India and Uttar Pradesh and surrounding areas in particular were the hub of this dilemma the families faced, to migrate or not. Though depressing in parts the movie ends with a hope for all as the focus changes from the problems of the partition to the problems of survival and earning in the young nation, which has just woken up to the realities of what freedom brings with it, it is time to think ahead and buil ....
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Seeta aur Geeta 1972
Before she did Sholay and put life into Basanti's character in that film, Hema Malini did title role of Seeta aur Geeta, which is also a G.P. Sippy Production's film which was like a precursor to her Basanti. This was a female version of Dilip Kumar’s Ram aur Shyam but had better entertainment value. Seeta Aur Geeta was tale of identical twin sisters separated at birth bought up in different ways which has a bearing on their personality and traits. It also has a later day version with Sridevi named ‘Chaalbaaz’. This was probably one of the movies’ where Hema Malini really let down her hair and played both demure and inconfident Sita and an abuse spitting boisterous Geeta with aplomb so much so that the heroes in the movie are relegated to being the necessary evil for the sake of casting. This movie laid the basis of casting for Sholay as G.P. Sippy wanted to do an action movie ....
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Mausam (1975
MAUSAM appears here in the Retro Gems section due to the sheer sensitivity and the on-screen treatment of a mature subject and also due to the stellar performances by the lead actors Sanjeev Kumar and especially Sharmila Tagore who went on to win the Silver Lotus award at the National Awards that year for her role in the movie. It is Gulzar’s ode of love, he has been credited for writing and directing some of the most sensitive movies of Hindi cinema. Mausam is a work of art. To begin with the most striking sequence is the flashback song picturization of ‘Dil dhoondto hai’ which was novel experiment at that time, literally transporting one individual within the song as a spectator. This movie was released on 29th December 1975 that was the year of some grand hits and revolution of sorts in the Indian cinema side by side with the goings on, on the political scape of INDIA. Mau ....
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Kal Aaj Aur Kal - 1971
As the title suggests this story of Kal Aaj Aur Kal is about three generations which had its footings in the film fraternity itself - the Kapoor family. Prithviraj-Raj and Randhir Kapoors aptly captured on the canvas by Randhir himself. This one is a rare one. A delightfully light movie which had an uncanny parody by Mehmood of this very three generation of Kapoors in the 1970’s Humjoli. Kal Aaj Aur Kal is about the only movie which has all three generations of the same family in it at the same time and playing the same characters in reel life too and that too the premiere Kapoor family for that matter. Released on December 17, 1971, Kal Aaj Aur Kal tells of the rigors of the middle generation which is sandwiched between the traditions of the past generation and the liberties of the next generation and how it tries to balance both by taking the load on itself. Apart from the abov ....
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Purab aur Paschim 1970
Most of the hit movies of sixties and seventies also had the best of music in them and were also recognized for that by the audience. India is a country of folklore and folk dance and music, songs was the way the news and messages were conveyed in olden times. Songs contained the philosophy, contemporary messaging and the ethos of the population. Purab aur Paschim was also such a film with one of the best songs and music which also told the story of the film. It juxtaposed the Indian culture Vis the Western sensibilities. It was the time when Young India was trying make a mark for itself in the world as also a sense of nationality and pride within its people. Released in 1970. Manoj Kumar reprised his role of Bharat a metaphor for our country and its people and for patriotism. Major part of the movie was shot in London when the hippie culture was in full swing. Bharat (Manoj Kumar) is ....
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Aandhi - 1975
Movies are generally a source of entertainment, with some carrying a social or moral message while there are movies which used to be called art movies in late 70’s and early 80’s in INDAIN CINEMA which showed the stark realities of life. Aandhi is one such movie written by Kamleshwar and directed by Gulzar. Though India has changed a lot since then. Now those very art films are termed as contemporary and are not all depressing but also do have a funny take to them. The movies do show the ethos of the Nation at those times and can be instrumental in creating public opinion or at least validating a point of view. Aandhi was a movie of its own kind it was a political commentary on the state of affairs on the back of a very unlikely love story. It is said to have been loosely based on the life of the then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi and though it was released on 13th Fe ....
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Anand 1971
Released on 12th March 1971, Anand is an endearing story of a terminally ill patient who brings joys in the life of complete strangers. It was both funny and tragic. It showed that despite the progress we have made thru science we still have no control on certain diseases where death is a foregone conclusion. Anand was produced and directed by the well-known maker of social and moralistic drama exploring the lighter side of life Hrishikesh Mukherjee or Hrishida as he was fondly called. It was one of the 17 consecutive hits of Rajesh Khanna and his first collaboration with Amitabh Bachchan. That Amitabh was able to hold his own and define his character in the movie laid down the path for him to succeed as superhero after Khanna. It was a runaway hit at the box-office. T This movie Anand, being evergreen is still viewed with rapt attention whenever it is played on TV. It is a movie o ....
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