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Reader's Choice: Greatest Hindi Film of All Time

July 26, 2013 09:30 IST

Reader's Choice: Greatest Hindi Film of All Time

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Jab pyaar kiya toh darna kya?, declared a defiant, dazzling Madhubala in the lavishly picturised romance anthem of K Asif's magnum opus. And viewers continue to shower the same 'pyaar' on the film even after half a century.
 
The immortal classic, which released in 1960 and re-released in 2004 in coloured, digitally restored skin, took more ten years to complete and ranks among masterpieces of Indian cinema.
 
At the recently conducted poll by Eastern Eye, a British Asian weekly Mughal-e-Azam was chosen as the greatest Hindi film of all time to commemorate 100 years of its cinema.
 
We asked you, dear readers, to share your favourite. And the verdict is out.
 
Here are your pick of the Top Five films that qualify as Bollywood epics.
 
5. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
 
Traveling from London to Swiss Alps to Punjab's bright yellow mustard fields, Raj and Simran's innocent, idealist love story struck an indescribable chord among viewers spanning all age groups and continues to delight even after countless viewings.
 
From turning Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol into superstars, breaking records for running maximum number of weeks in theatre to inspiring an entire generation of romances to follow, Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge has done a world of good.

Image: Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge


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4. Pyaasa

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Guru Dutt's exceptional knowledge of his craft and insightful understanding of setting stories around unique individuals against self-seeking society led to many a gems.
 
With Pyaasa, his most accomplished creation, Dutt examines the futility of materialistic virtue with an intensity that is both heartbreaking and astute. Also noteworthy is his chemistry with screen muse Waheeda Rehman, which accentuates the beauty of unconditional, non-judgemental devotion like never before.

Image: Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman in Pyaasa


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3. Mother India

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Mehboob Khan's Mother India marks Nargis's tour de force in a role designed to showcase her artistry in the role of a woman who relentlessly suffers but doesn't compromise on her values. Even when it results in the ultimate sacrifice, earning her the title of Mother India.
 
The actress in her career best delivery embodies woman power on screen and off it. Her success in an author-backed role set the benchmark for strong women protagonists in powerful subjects.

Image: Sunil Dutt, Nargis and Rajendra Kumar in Mother India


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2. Mughal-e-Azam

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In K Asif's Mughal-e-Azam, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala inject the screen with their golden chemistry as doomed lovers engaged in a forbidden romance. He's the crowned Prince. She's a mere courtesan. Love, true one at that, knows no bounds and dares to defy the seething Emperor Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor).

 With its glorious dialogues, resplendent sets and magnificent soundtrack, Mughal-e-Azam is understandably noted as the greatest and grandest of Hindi cinema.

Image: Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in Mughal-e-Azam


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1. Sholay

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Gabbar Singh's menace appears to be a larger draw among our readers who voted Sholay as their pick of the Greatest Hindi film of all time.
 
There is an exhaustive amount to adore about Ramesh Sippy's classic. Its superstar cast addressed by the characters they portray -- Jai, Veeru, Basanti, Gabbar, Thakur, Radha, Soorma Bhopali, Angrezon Ke Zamane Ke Jailor, Kaalia, Samba, Mausi, and fellow Ramgarh-walahs. Its quote by the second dialogues. Its superlative sets, cinematography, action, background score and pitch perfect direction by Sippy, there's an awful lot to praise about this beloved classic.
 
Sholay is greatness. Sholay is entertainment. Sholay is Bollywood's larger-than-life spirit.

Image: Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay


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