Hindi classics that defined the decade: 1960s Bollywood was frothy, perfectly in tune with the high spirits of the swinging times

By | October 31, 2017

Written by Shaikh Ayaz
| Mumbai |
Printed:October 31, 2017 6:00 am

The 1960s revelled in color, optimism and flamboyance. The carefree freedom and devil-may-care angle of the Swinging Sixties gave many younger and proficient filmmakers a platform to experiment and put themselves on the market.

In Hindi cinema, the 1960s was a decade of unbounded hedonism, of livewire romance epitomised by Shammi Kapoor, of the completely snow-clad Shimla, bouffant-sporting heroines and the emergence of a beforehand unseen modernity. If the 1950s Bollywood expressed the angst and aspiration of a newly Unbiased India and was largely a nation-building train, the 1960s revelled in color, optimism and flamboyance. The carefree freedom and devil-may-care angle of the Swinging Sixties gave many younger and proficient filmmakers a platform to experiment and put themselves on the market. Whether or not it was Vijay Anand’s Hitchcockian noirs, Shakti Samanta’s travel-fuelled romcoms (earlier than Rajesh Khanna occurred to him) or Nasir Hussain’s frothy cappuccinos, the final temper within the 1960s was mild and breezy.

The last decade had no place for Guru Dutt’s misanthropy and struggling. Observe how in lower than ten years, Pyaasa’s (1957) poetic diatribe in opposition to the fashionable consumerist world had grow to be out-dated, as Bollywood moved to the hill stations with a singing and dancing hero who had shopped his personal costume throughout his European sojourn and a Western-leaning heroine, normally a product of affluence. It’s telling that the last decade started with Ok Asif’s historic behemoth Mughal-E-Azam and ended with Aradhana, marking Rajesh Khanna’s superstardom. From Dilip Kumar to Rajesh Khanna, the Hindi movie hero had travelled an awesome distance.


Within the second of our essay sequence ‘Hindi classics that outlined the last decade,’ The Indian Categorical seems to be again on the 1960s itemizing down 10 revolutionary classics from a decade that was youthful and buoyant in tone with no time for something bleak.

Mughal-E-Azam (1960)


Ok Asif’s grand epic Mughal-E-Azam is the final word story of doomed love. Prithviraj Kapoor performs Emperor Akbar who makes use of all his would possibly to suppress the “illicit love” between his son, heir-to-the-Mughal-throne Prince Salim (Dilip Kumar) and a lowly courtesan known as Anarkali (Madhubala). Anarkali’s fearless defiance of Akbar offers Mughal-E-Azam a few of its most iconic confrontational moments. Dilip Kumar underplays methodically, making the poetic Prince Salim an ideal foil to Prithviraj Kapoor’s theatrical pitch and a love-struck Madhubala’s passionate efficiency that has made Mughal-E-Azam her crowning glory. “Mughal-e-Azam is a tribute to the creativeness, onerous work and lavishness of its maker,” Filmfare wrote in a evaluation of the movie. The identical may very well be mentioned about its unrivalled star solid and Naushad’s stellar music.

Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960)

Chaudhvin Ka Chand

The final of Guru Dutt’s nice works, Chaudhvin Ka Chand is a lavishly mounted Muslim social drama set in Lucknow. Two greatest mates fall in love with a veiled magnificence – Jameela performed exquisitely by Waheeda Rehman. On floor, that appears like boilerplate. Writer and Guru Dutt skilled Nasreen Munni Kabir even described Chaudhvin Ka Chand as Dutt’s “most typical” story and remedy. However what if we informed you that one man falls in love along with his greatest pal’s spouse? Although Guru Dutt didn’t formally direct Chaudhvin Ka Chand, the frames bear his unmistakable stamp. The movie’s title tune is used even in the present day to explain Waheeda Rehman’s traditional magnificence and female grace.

Junglee (1961)


Did modernity arrive in Hindi cinema on the actual second when an Elvis Presley-esque Shammi Kapoor slid down the snow-capped hills of Shimla roaring “Yaahoo”? The reply could not veer in direction of the affirmative however Junglee was undoubtedly a cry for freedom not seen in Hindi cinema earlier than. In Junglee, Kapoor, maybe Bollywood’s first dancing star, broke the shackles of his domineering mom to enterprise out to search out love and freedom. For Kapoor who introduced joie de vivre into the cinema of the 1960s, a easy interpretation of Junglee may very well be – this man’s going to interrupt all guidelines. And he did.

Gunga Jumna (1961)

Gunga Jumna

When Amitabh Bachchan claims that he has learnt extra about performing from this Dilip Kumar traditional than every other movie it makes you surprise in regards to the place that Gunga Jumna occupies in Hindi cinema. For starters, Bachchan’s obsession with Gunga Jumna has extra to do with Kumar’s near-perfect mastery of the Awadhi dialect. A self-confessed fan of the thespian, the UP-born Bachchan has expressed awe and shock as to how “a person who’s not from Allahabad and Uttar Pradesh” might get all of the nuances of Awadhi so proper. Bachchan could also be speaking purely as a fan, a few movie and efficiency that has spoken personally to him, however Gunga Jumna’s actual affect could be felt on writers Salim-Javed who really took that inspiration proper into the guts of their scripts. The outcome? Deewaar and Trishul.

Bandini (1963)


Was Bimal Roy a feminist filmmaker? He would definitely be described as one if he have been working in the present day. Roy’s highly effective ode to freedom, love, beliefs and future, Bandini is extensively hailed as his swansong. Kalyani (Nutan) is a C-class inmate serving a homicide time period. In opposition to the backdrop of her haunting previous, Roy interweaves a parallel story of a jail physician (an idealistic Dharmendra) who falls in love with Kalyani. Nutan who delivered a career-defining flip in Roy’s Sujata in 1959 outclasses herself right here in a efficiency of such chic and easy magnificence that Bandini is now held as some of the definitive feminine roles in Hindi cinema.

Waqt (1965)


Misplaced and located was invented by Gyan Mukherjee in Kismet (1943), starring Ashok Kumar and perfected three many years later by Manmohan Desai in Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). However few can deny that the system was patented by Yash Chopra in Waqt. A multi-starrer at a time when solo hero movies dominated the marquee, it’s Chopra’s third and one in all his most private movies. Led by Balraj Sahni because the patriarch, Waqt is a narrative of a household destroyed and displaced by an earthquake (some critics have interpreted the pure catastrophe as a metaphor for Partition, a theme that the Lahore-born Chopra had championed earlier than formally turning into Bollywood’s romance king) and all actors, together with stalwarts like Raaj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore and Madan Puri, get noteworthy roles. The massive household reunion does happen on the finish, resulting in a cheerful ending.

Information (1965)


Vijay Anand’s Information begins with symbolic visuals of Dev Anand heading in direction of his unsure future. Raju Information (Anand) has simply been launched from jail. As SD Burman’s Wahan kaun hai tera rings within the title, Information has already made you a promise of a extremely philosophical and non secular journey of this lowly vacationer information, ensnared by the charms of Rosie (Waheeda Rehman), essentially the most unconventional of all Bollywood heroines. Though primarily based on R Ok Narayan’s Information the ultimate movie isn’t something just like the guide. The explanation? Vijay Anand’s distinctive and private interpretation of the textual content full with the superior musical sensibilities of SD Burman and Shailendra.

Teesri Manzil (1966)

Teesri Manzil

Legend has it that after Dev Anand turned down Teesri Manzil, directed by his thriller-specialist brother Vijay Anand (primarily based on a Nasir Hussain script), the movie landed miraculously on Shammi Kapoor’s lap. Again in 1957, Dev Anand had turned down one other movie known as Tumsa Nahin Dekha, famend for making Shammi Kapoor into an in a single day star. “I created my largest rival. With each movie I let go, he (Shammi Kapoor) shot to fame,” Anand as soon as quipped, regretting his choice to stroll out of Teesri Manzil. A homicide thriller, Teesri Manzil has all of the traditional Vijay Anand hallmarks – fast-paced story, homicide, intrigue, whodunit and to not point out, the unforgettable songs.

Jewel Thief (1967)

Jewel Thief


Vijay Anand’s most Hitchcokian of thrillers, Jewel Thief has all of the elements of a well-made and fascinating thriller – the well timed thrills and twists, the drama, intrigue and unpredictable characters. After which, there are the songs, majestically and imaginatively shot the best way solely Vijay Anand – known as the grasp of tune picturisation – might have. The movie begins with a montage of reports clippings a few infamous jewel thief whose mysterious methods have baffled the police and set panic among the many public. From the early scenes, the viewers is being made to guess in regards to the identification of the jewel thief and all hints level in direction of Vinay (Dev Anand), Bombay police commissioner’s son who Shalu (Vyjayantimala) and her elder brother Arjun Singh (Ashok Kumar) accuse of being the duplicitous Amar.

Upkar (1967)


A lot earlier than Akshay Kumar, Sunny Deol and the likes wore their nationalistic hearts on their sleeves there was Manoj Kumar aka Mr Bharat. Upkar, a significant runaway success, is Kumar’s avowed declaration of his love for India. Impressed by Lal Bahadur Shastri’s well-known Jai Jawan Jai Kisan slogan, Upkar is an instance of a extra muscular model of nationalism that couldn’t have been misplaced in in the present day’s India. With Upkar, Kumar perfected his patriot persona, each on display screen and off it.

(Shaikh Ayaz is a author and journalist primarily based in Mumbai)

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