10 Films That Were Ahead of Their Time

The list follows no particular order

1. Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain 1974    

The film released in 1974 was a thriller. It was directed by Mahesh Bhatt, with Kabir Bedi, Prema Narayan and Gulshan Arora in the lead roles. Before directing this movie, Mahesh Bhatt worked with director Raj Khosla as an assistant.

The directorial debut film was about two fugitives and their relationship with a prostitute. The film was made in 1972, and was initially refused censor certificate and banned by the Censor Board of India for "mocking the sacred institution of marriage", and was thus held up for 14 months. However, after extended delays the Government stepped in, overruled the Board and passed the film. It was finally released in 1974. The film failed badly at the box ofice.

Noted singer Bhupinder Singh composed the music for the film and it had four songs. Dialogues of the film were written by noted theatre director and playwright, Satyadev Dubey.

Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain

2. Doosri Sita 1974

The film was released in 1974, it was directed by Gogi Anand and produced by B S Khanna & J Bubber. The film was about a woman who kills her husband. The cast included A. K. Hangal, Jaya Bhaduri, Lalita Pawar, Romesh Sharma, Mohan Choti, Satyan Kapoo etc.

Sita, played by Jaya, is in love with Ramesh, played by Romesh, but he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, Sita is forced to marry another man who turns out to be a rogue. He not only harasses her but also forces her to provide sex to his friend. Sita ends up murdering her husband. What follows is a court case that keeps dragging because Sita refuses to open up and reveal the truth. It was discovered that Sita is pregnant. Her lawyer fights hard for her and eventually, Sita is released on parole. She delivers a baby and refuses to even touch the baby but persistent attempts by Ramesh makes her thaw. Ramesh realizes that he too is in love with her and is hopeful of securing a release for Sita so that he can marry her. 

Music was composed by R  D Burman and songs were written by Gulzar. This movie is worth watching for Jaya's powerful performance.

Doosri Sita

3. Aavishkar 1974

This is a film based on relationship of a married couple, their differences and expectations. The film was directed by Basu Bhattacharya and starred Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore in lead roles. 

The film beautifully depicts the inner conflicts of a couple who are going through the initial phase of their love marriage. Rajesh Khanna's perfect portrayal of disiilusioned husband and Sharmila's no make up look sensibly goes with the mood of the film. 

Basu's senstivity as a director can be seen in each frame of the movie, which slowly propogates. Neither the writer of the director, at any point of the film, attempts to shed the light on the reason of this disillusionment. The film's music is carefully done and the songs are interspersed. Be it Manna Dey's Hasne Ki Chah Ne Kitan Mujhe Rulaya Hai or Jagjit's Babul Mora Naihar Chhuto Jaaye, th songs create an aura about the film which goes very well with the story.

Even today every married couple can relate to Amar & Mansi.The film won Rajesh Khanna a well deserved Best Actor award.


4. Kagaz Ke Phool 1959

Produced and directed by Guru Dutt, Kagaz Ke Phool was the first Indian film in CinemaScope. Music was done by S D Burman.

The film is an introspective and retrospective journey of Suresh, a once-celebrated film director who is currently going through a bad phase both professionally and personally. He is estranged from his wife and daughter, while Shanti, the leading lady who he had groomed to fame and glory, and had subsequently fallen in love with, has drifted away. He discovers that the studio floors are his last recourse, and seeks refuge there, tracing back his journey. He finally comes to terms with the reality that fame and success are as ephemeral as life itself. By then, however, it is too late to travel back in time and remedy things. 

The film is considered as one of the greatest films of all time. The film failed miserably upon its release and Guru Dutt was so dejected that he refrained himself from directing the films.

Kaagaz Ke Phool

5. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam 1962

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam released in 1962. It was produced by Guru Dutt and directed by Abrar Alvi. It is based on a Bengali novel, Saheb Bibi Golam by Bimal Mitra.

The film is about a platonic friendship between a beautiful lonely wife (Bibi) of an aristocrat (Sahib) and a career-driven low-income part-time servant (Ghulam). The film's music is by Hemant Kumar and lyrics were by Shakeel Badayuni. The film is also noted for its brilliant cinematography by V. K. Murthy. The film stars Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari, Rehman, Waheeda Rehman.

The sahib is busy with his life and spends his time in the brothels and he never cares for his wife, the bibi, who, tries her best to woo her husband but fails. She finds a solace in Bhootnath, the ghulam. To win her husband back, bibi, starts consuming alcohol and gets addicted to it. 

The cinematography of the film is the highlight and wonderfully done. Abrar won the Best Directors' award for directing this masterpiece.

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam

6. Khamosh 1985

It was murder mystery film directed and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The film starred Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar, Soni Razdan and Pankaj Kapoor.

As the film had an unconventional plot, no distributor bought it. Chopra showed the film to many persons but no one was interested in releasing it. After more than a year, he decided to distribute it himself. He rented Regal cinema hall in Colaba, Bombay and showed the film there. He could afford only one print of the film where it ran for many weeks.

The film s about a film crew who is shooting in Kashmir. The film revolves around few characters of the 'film'. Sony Razdan, who played the role of a struggling actress, commits suicide.  Naseeruddin Shah, starts to investigate the matter and  in the meanwhile few more murders happen. With all the twists and turns the film ends.

The film is engrossing and the great performances by the leading artists' make it even more interesting. The failure of the film disturbed Chopra so much that he left the country to make the films abroad. 


7. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron 1983

It is a dark satire on the rampant corruption in Indian politics, bureaucracy, news media and business. The film was directed by Kundan Shah and produced by NFDC. It starred Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Shah, Satish Kaushik, Bhakti Barve and Neena Gupta.

The film is about two photographers, who, inadvertently capture the murder of a Bombay Municipal Commissioner with their cameras and later discover this when the images are enlarged. They try to bring the culprits to justice but fail and end up in prison.

The film goes through many twists and turn in the most hillarious ways. The leading characters' name – Vinod Chopra and Sudhir Mishra – came from film directors Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Sudhir Mishra, who were assisting Kundan Shah in the movie.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

8. Kitaab 1977

This 1977 film was directed by Gulzar. The film stars Master Raju, Uttam Kumar, Vidya Sinha, Shreeram Lagoo, Keshto Mukherjee and Asit Sen. It was based on Bengali story Pathik by Samaresh Basu. 

Kitab is a story of a 12 year old boy, Babla - and his journey from innocence to maturity. Having been denied the affection and supervision of his sister, Suman and her husband, with whom he was staying and both of hwom were too busy with their own activiies, Babla has to go through the puzzling contradictions of the city life. Thoroughly disappointed, run away from the city for his village. The hardships he faces through this journey makes him a matured boy to face the realities of life.

The film failed at the box office and Gulzar was dispirited. Gulzar wondered if there is any space, for such films, left in the times of action packed films.

The songs were masterfully written, by Gulzar,  and composed, by R D Burman. Playback was also experimented with, as, no popular singers of those times were used in the film. It is a must watch and it really hits the chord!

Kitaab 1977

9. Pyaasa 1957

Pyaas was produced and directed by Guru Dutt, written by Abrar Alvi, and starring Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha.The film tells the story of Vijay, a struggling poet trying to make his works known in post-independence India, and Gulabo, a prostitute with a heart of gold, who helps him to try and get his poems published.

His poetry gets rejected by the publishers. In some dramatic events, the world conceives him dead, and now to mint some money publishers come forward to publish his works. The book becomes popular and Vijay comes back but soon he relaizes the hypocrisy in the world around him and declares he is not Vijay. He then leaves with Gulabo to start a new life.

The music was composed by S.D. Burman and songs were written by Sahid Ludhianvi.

Pyaasa is considered as one of the greatest films of all time. Don't miss it!

Pyaasa 1957

10. Satyakam 1969

This is probably one of the best works of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It was based on a Bengali novel of the same name by Narayan Sanyal. The film stars Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, and Ashok Kumar. The film was scored by Laxmikant Pyarelal. 

The character played by Dharmendra is considered to be among the finest in Indian Cinema. Ashok Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila gave memorable performances including brief but strong role of Tarun Bose. Film tragic end left speechless to viewers and one can feel something missed in his soul.

The story is about a principled man who ventures out to build a new India but fails due to the fragile society and system.It is a beautiful depiction of human relationship and religious philosophy.

Watch it for Darmendra and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. You might end up keeping a DVD for the next generation!


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