The Indian Express 75 Movies That Celebrate The Journey of India

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a.k.a. Shubhra Gupta’s pick: Across 7 decades, 75 films that celebrate the journey of India.

As a celebration of her platinum jubilee, here’s my movie map of India that I’ve drawn through 75 films. If you were to see these movies, reflecting as many themes and genres I have been able to include, you would get an idea of the journey of the nation, as it has lurched and progressed through these decades. Some films draw an unerring bead on intractable societal problems. Some show us just what was considered the acme of entertainment at the time they came out. Some are unabashed mainstream blockbusters. Some are strictly arthouse. And they all tell stories.

Most of these films are in Hindi, because that’s the cinema I know best: I have also tried to include iconic films from other languages. Of course, there will be omissions. Please do overlook those, and take me up on the commissions. Here we go:

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  1. 1 new

    Chandralekha

    1948, in 1 top list Check
  2. 2 new

    Nagarik

    1952 — a.k.a. The Citizen, in 0 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Do Bigha Zamin

    1953, in 4 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Pather Panchali

    1955, in 21 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Devdas

    1955, in 1 top list Check
  6. 6 new

    Jagte Raho

    1956 — a.k.a. A Night in the City, in 2 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Mother India

    1957, in 9 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Naya Daur

    1957 — a.k.a. The New Age, in 0 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Pyaasa

    1957, in 9 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Sujata

    1960 — a.k.a. Untouchable Girl, in 2 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    Junglee

    1961, in 2 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam

    1962 — a.k.a. King, Queen and Slave, in 3 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Mahanagar

    1963 — a.k.a. The Big City, in 4 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Haqeeqat

    1964, in 1 top list Check
  15. 15 new

    Chemmeen

    1965, in 2 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Guide

    1965, in 3 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Bhuvan Shome

    1969 — a.k.a. Mr. Shome, in 4 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Sara Akash

    1969 — a.k.a. The Big Sky, in 1 top list Check
  19. 19 new

    Uski Roti

    1970 — a.k.a. Our Daily Bread, in 5 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Samskara

    1970 — a.k.a. Funeral Rites, in 2 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Anubhav

    1971, in 0 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe

    1971 — a.k.a. Silence! The Court Is in Session, in 0 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    Ankur

    1974 — a.k.a. Ankur: The Seedling, in 4 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Garm Hava

    1974 — a.k.a. Scorching Winds, in 2 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Aandhi

    1975 — a.k.a. Storm, in 1 top list Check
  26. 26 new

    Deewaar

    1975 — a.k.a. I'll Die for Mama, in 3 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Sholay

    1975 — a.k.a. Embers, in 14 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Kissaa Kursee Kaa

    1978, in 0 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Agraharathil Kazhuthai

    1977 — a.k.a. Donkey in a Brahmin Village, in 1 top list Check
  30. 30 new

    Ghatashraddha

    1977 — a.k.a. The Ritual, in 2 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    Aakrosh

    1980 — a.k.a. Cry of the Wounded, in 2 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Elippathayam

    1982 — a.k.a. Rat-Trap, in 3 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    Umbartha

    1982, in 1 top list Check
  34. 34 new

    Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

    1983 — a.k.a. Who Pays the Piper, in 2 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    Maya Miriga

    1988 — a.k.a. The Mirage, in 1 top list Check
  36. 36 new

    Party

    1984, in 0 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Damul

    1985 — a.k.a. Bonded Until Death, in 1 top list Check
  38. 38 new

    Nayakan

    1987, in 0 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai

    1987 — a.k.a. The Catastrophe, in 1 top list Check
  40. 40 new

    Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak

    1988, in 0 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Ore Oru Gramathile

    1987, in 0 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Piravi

    1988 — a.k.a. Birth, in 1 top list Check
  43. 43 new

    Maine Pyar Kiya

    1989, in 1 top list Check
  44. 44 new

    Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro

    1989, in 0 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Unishe April

    1994, in 1 top list Check
  46. 46 new

    Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!

    1994, in 1 top list Check
  47. 47 new

    Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

    1995, in 5 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Bombay

    1995, in 2 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Zakhm

    1998, in 0 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

    1998 — a.k.a. Something Is Happening, in 2 top lists Check
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Last updated on Aug 18, 2021; source