Bollywood movies from 1970 to 1980: The superhit decade

The most influential decade of Bollywood was the 70s. This is the decade when Bollywood produced so many blockbuster hit movies. This is such a decade that is not very old for movie lovers neither too recent to take it for granted. Even if you are a kid from the 90s or post 90s you would have watched most of the movies. You can also say that Bollywood was at its best.

If you look back at the decade of 1970 to 1980 most of the movies featured an angry young man. And where from the concept of the angry young man came into the picture? It started with Amitabh Bachchan’s Zanjeer in 1973. Later in Sholay when Amitabh worked alongside Dharmendra his character had more depth. Jai the character of Sholay played by Amitabh Bachchan was this serious intense character who did not talk much. His character Shines brighter because of the character of Veeru played by Dharmendra. He was the total opposite of Jai. A talkative playful character made the character of Jai more like an angry young man. And people loved him. To be honest, if it was not for Amitabh Bachchan then the concept would not be very popular as it is today. He became the “one-man industry“.

Also, the first superstar of Bollywood Rajesh Khanna was in this decade. Probably this is the chief reason for the 1970s being the hit machine of Bollywood. This is the only decade where Rajesh Khanna Amitabh Bachchan and other significant actors like Shashi Kapoor Rishi Kapoor Manoj Kumar Vinod Khanna and Dharmendra worked simultaneously. Movies became superhit after hit. Making this list of best movies of this decade was very tough. It is tougher to enlist a few among those blockbuster hits.

Movies like Sholay, Deewar, Zanjeer, Anand, and Amar Prem defined this decade. The movies that are not on this list are nowhere less. They also need our special mention for their contribution to Bollywood success. Films like Amar Akbar Anthony, Pakeezah, Bobby, Aandhi are few of such movies that require our special attention. These movies are in a true sense the evergreen movies. Because till date you remember the dialogues of Sholay, Deewar and the songs of Anand and Amar Prem. This is why there is a saying old is gold.


Here is the list of best movies of the decade 1970 to 1979 the decade of blockbuster hits.

1. Sholay (1975)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Ramesh Sippy

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Amzad Khan, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan

IMDb rating: 8.2

sholay

Trivia

This is the only movie that I have probably seen the highest number of times. Because every Sunday afternoon my dad would put Sholay on the TV. And all family photo sit together and watch it keenly. I still remember how my dad would say the dialogue before every scene. And after saying it properly he would look at us with a Shine of pride in his eyes. He would say when Sholay released he and his friends would have competitions of remembering the dialogues. And he still remembers it. This was the impact of Sholay on the audience.

When Sholay released the critics gave very average reviews about it. Even some of the critics give it negative reviews. K l Amladi off India today stated the film as a dead ember. Filmfare stated that it was an unsuccessful mincing of Western-style with Indian milieu making it an imitation Western neither here nor there.

In spite of getting such reviews, the movie becomes a blockbuster hit by audiences response and word of mouth publicity. In the context of its success, the number of awards the film received is way too less. The only Filmfare Award the movie won was the award for best editing that M S Shinde won. Ironically in 2005 during the 59th Filmfare Awards, the judges awarded it as the best film of 50 years. The Famous characters of the movie that still holds a special position in our hearts did not receive such recognition. Even the character of Sambha who only had one dialogue in the whole movie made his place in the mind of the audience.

An Immortal gem of 1970 Sholay is the highest-grossing movie in the history of Bollywood if adjusted by inflation. The movie screened for 5 years in Minerva Theatre Mumbai. The character of these movie e Thakur Basanti Mausi and most importantly Gabbar will always be e fresh in our minds with their dialogues. “Basanti inn kutton ke samne mat naachna”, “Yeh Hath Humko Dede Thakur”, “kitne aadami the” are Such dialogues that are passed on from generation to generation no matter if you are a fan of old movies are not.

Plot

Police officer Thakur ( Sanjeev Kumar) is hunting for Gabbar the dangerous Dacoit. Gabbar had killed his full family when he was not at home. He also has cut his hands off. The government have kept a reward of rupees 50000 in return for Gabbar. But retired police officer Thakur hired two prisoners Jai and Veeru and offer them 20000 more to bring Gabbar alive to him. They chased away the bandits when he came to the village to rob. Jai and Veeru’s friendship is something to cherish in this movie. There is also some romantic connection happening in the movie. Jai falls in love with Thakur’s widow daughter in law Radha, while Veeru is after Basanti another feisty, talkative character who drives a horse cart.


2. Deewar (1975)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Director: Yash Chopra

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy

IMDb rating: 8.1

deewaar

Trivia

The era of an angry young man is still going on. And Vijay from Deewar is a prime example of an angry young man. The 70s was the time when Bollywood movies had masala in them. But what was the masala? Movies of this time had action drama crime thriller romance and comedy all together in them. Another crypt from the writers of Sholay Salim Javed and under the direction of Yash Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor acted as Brothers in this movie. The storyline of this movie is very similar to the movie Ganga Jamuna where the brothers choose a different path. One chooses the path of law where he leads his life with honesty and integrity. and on the other hand, The Other brother chooses the path of crime. But the LimeLight is on the brother who is on the other side of the law.

Deewar was critically and commercially successful. The movie received appraisal for its screenplay story and music for stop the performance of the actors especially Bacchan Kapoor and Roy’s performance was phenomenal. It is also a ground-breaking cinematic Masterpiece. The scenes of the movie still fresh as new in our mind. When Bacchan asked Shashi Kapoor “tumhare pass kya hai” and in return when he said “mere paas Maa hai” the audience went emotional. It touched the heart of millions. And to date, it is one of those cold dialogues of Bollywood that will remain immortal.

In the movie the scene where Bacchan climbs up to the stairs of a temple and has a conversation with God and says “Aaj Khush to bahot hoge Tum?” The audience admired him in spite of blaming God for his sorrows. There are many seen in this movie that makes this movie an Immortal gem of 1970.

India Times went Deewar among the top 25 must-see Bollywood films. It is one of the three Hindi films to be included on the list of 1001 movies you must see before you die. It is one of those usual movies where uh and anti Hero vigilant character fascinated the audience thanks highlighting Bachchan’s angry young man image. The spell had of great impact on Indian society with its anti-establishment themes.

the film won the Filmfare Award for Best film best director best-supporting actor best story best screenplay best dialogue and best sound. However, Amitabh Bacchan was nominated for best actor in Filmfare Awards but he did not win it.

Plot

The movie is about two brothers Vijay and Ravi. Their father was a hardworking honest man who to lift his life with integrity. But unfortunately, a corrupt businessman blackmails him for his protest and defames him as a thief. Hence he left the town and his co-workers kidnapped his son Vijay and tattoo and his arm with “Mera Baap Chor Hai” which means my father is a thief. After that their struggle starts Vijay starts working as a boot polisher. Then he works at a dockyard. Somehow he becomes an underworld don.

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In contrary to that Ravi who is an intelligent student becomes a police officer. When he returned from there he found out his brother is now a criminal and he is on his list of criminals to arrest. The two brothers have conflict. At some point in time even though Vijay wants to lead a straight life leaving behind his past, destiny has something else decided for him.


3. Anand (1971)

Genre: Drama, Musical

Director:

Cast: Rajesh Khanna Amitabh Bacchan Sumita sanyal

IMDb rating: 8.3

anand

Trivia

Anand is one of those out of the box movies that the audience loved for its uniqueness. Taking a different path from the conventional movies of the 1970s this movie is neither a crime nor a romantic movie. This is one of the last movies among the 17 consecutive box-office success of Rajesh Khanna between 1969 to 1971. Fans also say this from this movie Rajesh Khanna mate Amitabh Bachchan the next superstar taking the backseat himself.

The film portrayed the emotional character Anand’s agony through his liveliness. People fell in love with Anand way of looking at life. The film teaches us that no matter what comes up in your life you should live your life to the fullest. The call of Anand to his dearest friend Bhaskar as Babu Moshai made us happy every time we listened to it. He is cheerful and vibrant nature leaves us in a that how a person with such incurable disease can be so optimistic. They become good friends.

The character of Anand was an inspiration from Raj Kapoor who used to call Hrishikesh Mukherjee Babu Moshai. The film was also a tribute to Raj Kapoor. The plot of the movie came into the mind of Kapoor when Kapoor was seriously ill and Mukharjee thought he may die.

In today’s era we somehow still look up to the characters like Anand and idolize them. When Anand took his last breath in the movie e we all had a drop of tear in our eyes. Even the songs of the movie e were so famous and superhit. “Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye”, “Maine Tere Liye”, “Jindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” Such song still defines the meaning of life to us.

Plot

Anand is a man suffering from cancer but he wants to live his life to the fullest before the end comes. Where as Bhaskar played by Amitabh Bacchan is an Oncologist who treats people for free. After seeing Bhaskar he finds out that he is in the last stage of cancer. But he is in an awe seeing Anand’s perspective towards life. he is a happy go lucky man and makes everyone happy around him. Even though Bhaskar is a serious person and does not appreciate Anand neglecting his health condition he is charmed by his personality. Soon they become very good friends. And Anand calls his as Babu Moshai.

Bhaskar likes a girl named Renu and Anand helps his to approach her. And they fall in love. Anand’s jolly and always cheering nature gets him many friend. He would make up some stories to random persons from street and make them friend later. After they both start laughing on Anand’s joke. But Anand only has six months left.

His condition deteriorates but he refuses to stay at a hospital. His bond with Bhaskar becomes stronger and his friends become more fond of him. He says poems, and dialogues with Bhaskar and record them on tape recorder. During his last few breathes his friends gather around. Bhasker went out to fetch medicine for him but at that exact time Anand left the world. Bhasker returns and breaks down in tears. Only after that Anand’s voice from the tape recorder starts playing, where he says “Babu Moshai, we are mere puppets in the game of life and death. Whatever happens here, we do not know for it is all in the hands of the Almighty”.


4. Amar Prem (1972)

Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance

Director: Shakti Samanta

Cast: Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, Sujit Kumar

IMDb rating: 8.2

amar prem

Trivia

Amar Prem is an adaptation from Bibhutibhusan Bandhopadhyay’s short story “Hinger Kachori”. There is already a Bengali movie named Nishi Padma and Amar Prem is a remake of that movie. But the dialogues of both the movies are the creation of Arabinda Mukherjee. He was a Bengali and did not know Hindi properly. So Mukherjee wrote the dialogues in English and Ramesh Pant the writer translated them into Hindi. Fun fact: he translated all the dialogues only except the line “Pushpa I hate tears”. And this particular line becomes so famous that still now we see people using it. It is a part of pop culture now. The storyline of the movie was very unique as well as controversial for the 70s Indian Society.

The film portrayed the life of a prostitute. It’s not that having a prostitute character in the Hindi movies. But having that character as the main lead was new in the Hindi film industry. Portraying the character as a golden-hearted person, with a kind heart, and pure emotions gave another dimension to the film.

Also, the lead male lead character of the movie played by Rajesh Khanna was against the norms. Where in Indian society being an alcoholic and seeing prostitution moreover falling in love with her was taboo, the Anand Babu (Rajesh Khanna) had all of these virtues. Whereas people connected with both of them and surprisingly the evil character was a housewife who didn’t like a prostitute living in her area.

The movie is also one of the evergreen movies because of its songs. The movies have great singers like S. D Burman, Lata Mangeskar, and Kishore Kumar. Who sang songs like “Kuchh To Log Kahenge”, “Chingari Koi Bharke”, and “Raina Beeti jaye”. Which is still our favourite and will remain so.

The acting of Sharmila Tagore in such a controversial character but which she played with so much grace was recommendable. Also the first superstar of Bollywood Rajesh Khanna and the little boy Nandu who stole the audience’s heart with his innocent love for Pushpa.

Plot

The plot of the movies shows the misery of having a prostitutes life, even though you are forced into it. Pushpa a girl whose husband left her and married another woman. He bet her up and abandoned her. Then she comes to her mother but she also disregards her. But she somehow ends up in a brothel because of a man from his village. Who actually sold her in the brothel. There she met Anand Babu who was an unhappily married sad man seeking love. He sees Puspa and falls in love with her. With time he creates a strong bond with her.

Nandu a small boy recently moves to her locality with his father and stepmother. He also is deprived for mother’s love as his sept mother does not love him and his father is always out busy at work. Puspa finds out about his condition and starts taking care of him. Nandu also finds a motherly figure in her and starts calling him mother. Bur nandu’s family did not like him meeting with Pushpa and tried their best to keep him away from her.

One day they left the town and while leaving Nandu planted a night flowering Jasmine tree in her courtyard as a token of love. Several years later Nandu came back to the same town in search of Pushpa but fails. However, in the end with the help of a doctor who once treated him as a child, reunites with Pushpa and Anand Babu also.


5. Golmaal (1979)

Genre: Comedy Romance

Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Cast: Amol Palekar, Bindya Goswami, Deven Barma

IMDb rating: 8.6

golmaal

Trivia

Golmaal is a 1979 Hindi comedy film that means messed up. The movie was one of the craziest comedy movies you will see. The movie had no conventional superstars with no dramatic plot but pure comedy and humour. The original title of the movie was Golmaal but later they changed it to Hanky panky. If you are a fan of Ajay Devgan’s Golmal and the Golmaal series then you should know that dialogue with this Golmaal will make you laugh more than that. The dialogue Sab Golmaal hai used in the film Hera Feri was taken from this movie.

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However, the movie is an inspiration from the Bengali movie Kancha Meetha. The movie was filmed almost only in around 40 days at his own bungalow in Bandra. The song Golmaal Hai Sab Golmaal hai was a sample song that was remixed by Gudaloop.

Also, the 2012 movie Bol Bachchan directed by Rohit Shetty was an inspiration from Golmaal. In the original movie, we can see Amitabh Bachchan only in one particular scene. And in the latter movie, he was there in a promotional video again doing a cameo.

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Golmaal was a great success not only because there were not many comedy movies being produced at the time in Bollywood. But also because of the phenomenal acting of Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt. Amol Palekar got the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for this movie. Also, Utpal Dutt received Filmfare best comedian award and Hrishikesh Mukherjee was nominated for best director.

Plot

The storyline of the movie shows a simple man with a big name Ramaprasad DharmaPrasad Sharma aka Lakshmanprasad aka lucky is looking for a job. He is a qualified CA. He goes to Bhavani Shankar the owner of Urmila traders and asks him for the job. In the interview, he tells him about his qualities of sports music singing and acting. Bhawani Shankar does not like the youth who wear modern clothes and he also has a beard hatred towards men without a moustache. However, luckily Ramprasad has all of the trades and he gets the job.

One day Ramaprasad takes leave by saying that his mother is his and goes to watch a hockey match. Bhawani Shankar also went to see the same hockey match and found Ramaprasad there. The next day he asked him how was the hockey match and Ramaprasad convinced him that it was not him but his identical twin lucky who is with no moustache. Moreover, Bhawani Shankar hires lucky to teach her daughter Urmila to Sing.

Urmila is completely different from his father and she falls in love with lucky. The small lie I told casually just to save his job Ramaprasad is now in big trouble. As he has to constantly change his character from lucky to Ramaprasad and Ramaprasad to lucky. There is a big Circus going on in his life. But Bhavani Shankar starts doubting that lucky and Ramaprasad both are the same person. And he starts spying on him finally leading him to change lucky and Ramaprasad everywhere which is hilarious to watch. So does Bhavani Shankar finds out the truth or he cannot question


6. Chupke Chupke (1975)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Director: Upendranath Ganguly

Cast: Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bacchan, Jaya Bacchan

IMDb rating: 8.3

chupke chupke

Trivia

Another superhit comedy movie starring the superstars of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan Dharmendra Sharmila Tagore Jaya Bachchan is Chupke Chupke. It is a 1975 movie directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee again. This is an adaptation from Upendranath Ganguly’s Bengali story Chaddobeshi. The movie became a blockbuster hit because of the phenomenal acting of the legendary actors but also because of its release year full stop on 1975 Sholay was released in the same year Chupke Chupke released. The audience had loved the Jay Veeru from Sholay and both the stars were here in the movie Chupke Chupke but doing a completely different character of a completely different movie genre.

Although Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan both were renowned and very popular by the time they agreed to do small roles compared to their previous roles. When the heart that Hrishikesh Mukherjee was directing this claims they instead to act in this claim and without even any fee. While Mukherjee kept insisting that this role is too small for them Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya accepted it as a Goodwill measure.

The legendary scene of the movie where Dharmendra tells that why he does not like English. Also because of the super hit songs “Ab Ke Sajan Savan Mein” “Chupke Chupke Chal Re Purvaiya” Sang by Lata Mangeshkar Mukesh and Mohammad Rafi made the movie successful.

Plot

Parimal Tripathi played by Dharmendra is a botany professor who falls in love with a student from his college Sulekha Chaturvedi. However, they get married soon after that but without telling anyone. Parimal in spite of being a professor is a funny man and loves to do a prank on people. He decides to prank Sulekha as an intellectual brother-in-law (Jijaji). Har Jijaji Mr Raghavendra is looking for a good Hindi speaking driver.

Parimal sees this as a perfect opportunity of pranking him so he goes as imposing as driver Pyare Mohan. Hence the comedy of errors starts. At first, they put across the impression that Sulekha’s new husband is very boring and he is a professor of English literature. Moreover, they tried to portray that Sulekha is having an affair with Pyare Mohan. The character of the Boring lecture played by Amitabh Bachchan portrayed him as a very serious boring character which is the total opposite of Parimal. The movie becomes a laughter show with Payare’s extensively refined Hindi and his habit of correcting Jijaji Hindi language. He also asked Jijaji to teach him English.

However, the pretending comes to an end when his sister in law suspects fake Parimal and finds out the truth. Fake Parimal or Sukumar Sinha falls in love with Vasudha and they get married in a temple. The whole drama surfaces up later and Jijaji admits that he was truly fooled.


7. Zanjeer (1973)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Director: Prakash Mehra

Cast: Amitabh Bacchan, Jaya Bacchan, Pran

IMDb rating: 7.6

zanjeer

Trivia

Jangir is the first Hindi movie that introduced us to the one and only angry young man of the industry Amitabh Bachchan. The film was written by Salim Javed and directed produced by Prakash Mehra. The film was a great success because it resonated with the then circumstances in India. At that time people were facing corruption issues and low economic growth. The common man was frustrated and they had stacked up anger against the system. They liked movies related to Social Justice. Bacchan became the hero who stood up against all the wrongdoings of society in his films.

This also became the turning point of the Hindi film industry where more action-packed violent and aggressive movies were being produced. This also saved the path of future Tamil superstar Rajinikanth. The South Indian film industry also started to make such films as Zanjeer.

Also one can say that this movie became the turning point in Amitabh Bachchan’s career. After this movie screenwriter duos, Salim and Javed started writing scripts exclusively for Amitabh Bacchan as the lead role. They cast him in many movies later on such as Deewar and Sholay. And that’s how a new superstar was born in the Hindi film industry with one of the best classics to date.

Salim and Javed received the Filmfare best story award and also the Filmfare Best screenplay award.

Plot

the movie starts with small kid Vijay his parents are shot dead in front of him. But he cannot see the face of the murderer clearly. The only thing he could see was the Zanjeer he was wearing in he is waste. This gives him immense trauma and he lives his life as a scared child having nightmares and isolating himself full stop several years later Vijay becomes a police officer. While handling the criminal activities in his area he sees All The Underworld connection tracking back to a Gang Leader called Teja.

Strangely every time a crime was to happen a man calls to the police station and inform Vijay about it. One time she informed Vijay about a traffic accident happen. This led to the death of several children. The only witness was Mala who previously was bribed by the gang member. But after Vijay took him to the morgue to show the dead bodies of the children there was a change of heart. She told everything to Vijay.

Meanwhile, Teja framed Vijay for taking a bribe and he went to jail for six months. After release from jail, he was out on the hunt for Tezaab. Mala by the time started having feelings for Vijay and she asked Vijay to get married. But before their marriage Vijay again got tracks of these are by a half-insane man. And he tracked him down then found out that Teja killed his parents. In the end, Vijay takes Revenge by killing Teja.

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