“Aaj mere paas bangla hai, gaadi hai, paisa hai. Kya hai tumhare paas? Mere paas maa hai!” You don’t have to be a movie buff to recognize this classic line.
This evergreen dialogue exchange from the 1975 movie Deewar is etched in the minds of a whole generation of Indians forever. And subsequent generations are still familiar with it—even if they haven’t watched the actual movie. That’s what sets a classic movie apart from the plethora of Bollywood movies that are churned out every day.
Some films are famous for their one-liners, some for amazing performances, while others are known for their fantastic storytelling. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 30 such classic Bollywood movies, which we think you should watch at least once in your lifetime. This list is in no particular order.
1) Mother India (1957)
Also, did you know Mother India was the remake of Mehboob Khan’s earlier movie Aurat?
2) Bobby (1973)
The second highest grossing Bollywood movie from the 1970s, Bobby, was about teenage love. The plot line was fresh and it became an inspiration for several movies later on. While parts of the plot line may seem clichéd now, overall, it will still give you that unique feeling of having watched a trend-setting movie.
3) Guide (1965)
Raju (Dev Anand) is a tour guide who falls in love with a married woman, becomes a holy man without meaning to, before finally finding his true spiritual calling. Sounds odd for a plot line? Well, not really. Amazing direction by Vijay Anand, superb acting and a melodious soundtrack makes this movie a must watch!
You should also know that the movie was based on R. K. Narayan’s novel, The Guide.
4) Deewar (1975)
A story about two bothers—one, an honest policeman and the other a criminal—this movie established Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man of Bollywood. The movie is also recognized for showcasing a female lead as a liberated Indian woman, a thing that was rare back in the days.
This is a Bollywood classic for more than one reason. For instance, this is the movie in which Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) has the now famous line “mera baap chor hai” tattooed on his hand.
5) Umrao Jaan (1981)
Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan, starring Rekha, is an epic tale of a famous Lucknow courtesan. Rekha effortlessly brings the role to life and manages to capture your attention totally, pulling you into the character’s life.
This film is based on a 1905 Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada.