The 50’s and 60’s era of Hindi cinema holds a special place in the heart of every Indian cinema lover. Just free from the clutches of foreign rule, the period is marked by a distinct voice of the country with a taste of revolution in the air. In fact, the two decades are a treasure trove of masterpieces by stalwarts whose names are forever etched in the history of the Indian film industry.
While Sony MAX2 is commemorating the great talents of that era through Timeless Digital Awards, we are here to let you know the contribution of the movies of that era which gave birth to the many ‘firsts’ of Hindi Cinema, not only in India but also on the global platform.
1. Sangam (1964) – The first movie to be shot abroad
The triangle love story of Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, and Vyjayanthimala, Sangam had various scenes shot in Europe. The cinema lovers at that time turned up in large numbers to watch the movie just to see the foreign locales in a motion picture.
2. Mother India (1957) – India’s first Oscar submission
Mother India was India’s first submission for the Academy Awards in the foreign film category. It is an epic social drama starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, and Rajendra Kumar. The movie was not only nominated but also was in the final five.
3. Pyaasa (1957) – The only Hindi film to make it to TIME’s ‘All-Time 100 Movies’ list and Sight & Sound’s ‘250 Greatest Films’ list.
Starring Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rahman and Mala Sinha, ‘Pyaasa’ trails the life of an unsuccessful poet in an unkind, frigid society. Recently, ‘Pyaasa’ became the first Indian film to be restored by an Indian company for screening at the Venice Film Festival.
4. Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1957) – First Indian film to win the Golden Globe Award
Directed by ace director V Shantaram, ‘Do Ankhen Barah Haath’ was way ahead of its time. It became the first Hindi feature film to bag the prestigious Golden Globe award under the Samuel Goldwyn category.
5. Hanste Aansoo (1950) – First Indian film to receive an A-certificate
Hanste Aansoo featuring Madhubala and Motilal became the first film to receive ‘only for adults’ certification following the amendment of the original Indian Cinematograph Act (1918) in December 1949.
6. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) – First Indian cinemascope film
India’s first cinemascope movie, Kaagaz Ke Phool is a masterpiece, much ahead of its time. This movie is considered as Guru Dutt’s finest film. But sadly, the film was a box office disaster and Guru Dutt never directed a movie again. Kaagaz Ke Phool is also said to be an autobiographical account of Dutt, highlighting his relationship with Waheeda and Geeta Dutt.
7. Yaadein (1964) – The first soliloquy of Hindi Cinema
Inspiration has a knack for striking on unexpected moments only to produce something so exceptional; it’s probably ahead of its time. And the most innovative film of Sunil Dutt’s creative career, Yaadein is an excellent example of this belief. Yaadein made it to Guinness Book of World Records under the category of ‘Fewest actors in a narrative film’, but it sadly didn’t work for the audience.
8. Awaara (1951) – “Awaara Hoon” was the first Indian song which became an international sensation
Composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “Awaara Hoon” immediately struck a chord with audiences from various classes and backgrounds from across the globe. In May 2013 BBC poll, the song was rated the second-greatest Bollywood song of all time.
9. Mughal-e-Azam (1960) was the first trilingual movie
This Bollywood epic was literally shot in 3 languages: English, Tamil, and Hindi! However, when the Tamil version failed, the English version was aborted too. Thus, only the Hindi version was released!
10. Shree 420 (1955) – Most successful foreign film at the Soviet box office
This cult movie featuring showman Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Nadira became the first foreign film to draw the audience of 35 million viewers at the Soviet box office.