Mughal-e-Azam

K. Asif

Mughal-e-Azam, the epic directed by K. Asif, which was in the making for decades was finally released in 1960. It featured Prithviraj Kapoor as Akbar, Dilip Kumar as Salim and Madhubala as Anarkali, all of whom gave their best to make the film memorable and an all-time great Indian movie. The confrontation scenes and dialogues between Prithviraj and Dilip Kumar are a treat to watch. No effort was spared in making this masterpiece that the sets built for the famous song sequence ‘Pyaar kiya to darna kya’ cost as much as making a movie at that time. But this labour of love did not disappoint the producer and director, as the movie broke all records and was the highest grosser for many years to come.

Ben Hur

William Wyler

Ben-Hur the 1959 historical drama set in ancient Rome stars Charlton Heston in the title role of a rebellious Jew who takes on the Roman empire during the time of Christ. With the largest sets ever built for a movie, the film was the most expensive at that time. The chariot race which has never been recreated has no match even in this digital age. Apart from this the forts under construction, the battle ships, the rowing on the galleys and the battle at sea were picturised in a grand manner. The film won a record 11 Oscars which was equalled many years later by the Titanic. The film’s grandeur enthrals to this day.

Daana Veera Soora Karna

N.T. Rama Rao

This 1977 Telugu mythological was produced, directed and acted by the legendary Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. The film tries to depict the character of Duryodhan in a positive manner. It was first and probably the only movie in which Duryodhan was shown as an intelligent logical strategist, administrator and ruler. In the confrontations with Krishna, he logically explains and justifies all his deeds. NTRessays the three different roles of Krishna, Karna and Duryodhan. The dialogue penned by Kodaveeti Venkatakavi was delivered by NTR in his typical, chaste Telugu. It remains a jewel in the crowded crown of NTR.

Sholay

Ramesh Sippy

Sholay, the 1975 blockbuster was produced by G.P. Sippy and directed by his son Ramesh Sippy. The simple story of a retired police officer hiring two petty thieves to catch the dreaded dacoit Gabbar Singh has heavily borrowed from many western movies. But this congregation of stars, well-defined roles for every character technical fineness, and great music by R.D. Burman lent credence to the film. It was the first Indian film presented in 70 mm. By many counts, Sholay still remains one of the most successful movie of all times in India.

Enter The Dragon

Robert Clouse

Enter the Dragon is a Bruce Lee starrer directed by Robert Clouse. The Hong Kong martial arts action film was produced by Warner Brothers in association with Golden Harvest (which later made many martial art movies with Jackie Chan). Enter the Dragon is probably the first Hollywood movie, to be based on martial arts and catapulted Bruce Lee to cult figure status. Lee died a week before the release of the movie and did not live to see what a blazing trial he left behind.

Those that almost made it:

Gone with the Wind: Victor Fleming

Guns of Navarone: J. Lee Thomson, Alexander Mackndrick

Gundamma Katha: Kamalakara Kameswara Rao

Pushpak: Singeetam Srinivasa Rao

Mera Naam Joker: Raj Kapoor

S. Prabhakar is a company secretary and lawyer with a Delhi-based hospitality group. A movie addict he loves watching Telugu, Hindi and English movies.

Keywords: Favourite films