Indian Cinema witnessed a revolutionary change during 1950s and 1960s. The films made during this time period achieved a fine balance between artistic sensibilities and pertinent social message. Each department of film-making was acutely aware of the responsibility vested in them and they produced some enviable work in these decades, be it innovative cinematography, songs laced with emotional undercurrents, stories which not only connected but also represented the existing condition of the society.
Whether the current crop of filmmakers consider these classics as their reference points remains a matter of debate. Nevertheless, we bring you the list of top Hindi classic movies from that era that will remain timeless for ages. You can also watch online some of these classic Bollywood movies on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
1. Pather Panchali (1955)
Satyajit Ray’s first in the Apu Trilogy depicts the desolate consequences of debilitating poverty. ‘Pather Panchali’ is a story of a poverty-stricken family, struggling to make ends meet and its members trying to find joy in little things and events. For instance, Grandma’s face glows up when she finds a guava in her fruit basket, Apu runs with all his might to witness magic unfold in front of his eyes, i.e. a whistling train, and people of the village derive extreme happiness by getting drenched in the first rains of the season. ‘Pather Panchali’ offers few moments of innocent happiness here and there, but largely it remains true to its central theme – depiction of stark reality of most of the families in India just after Independence – destitution. Despite being a difficult watch for some, ‘Pather Panchali’ remains a rare achievement in film-making, a feat accomplished with shoestring budget and amateur actors.
2. Pyaasa (1957)