The 70s era of Bollywood laid the foundation of modern Indian cinema. Unlike the years that came before, it perfectly balanced the inspiration from the Western and Eastern cultures and pleased the audience with a proper blend of both cultures. Despite suspense and action movies being in high demand, romance and drama movies were not neglected. The 70s is a decade with immense impact on India’s popular culture. The decade discovered gems like Amitabh Bachchan, Late Rajesh Khanna, Late Vinod Khanna, Amol Palekar and many more.
The 70s is an era that is neither too old for the millennial generation to connect with nor too recent to take it for granted. It marked a monumental shift in the Indian cinema industry. The decade exemplified masala Bollywood movies at an ingenious level. Below is a list of some exciting 70s Bollywood movies that we strongly recommend you should watch.
Mera Gaon Mera Desh - 1971
Mera Gaon Mera Desh is an action-drama movie and one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s. It revolves around Ajit (Dharmendra) trying to free the villagers from a tyrannical dacoit Jabbar Singh (Late Vinod Khanna). The negative role played by the Late Vinod Khanna was highly appreciated by the audience. It is also a known fact that Khanna genuinely bloodied himself with a belt to get into the skin of the character. Mera Gaon Mera Desh is considered one of the most popular 70s movies due to the many hit songs it gave us such as "Apni Prem Kahaniyan'', "Aaya Aaya Atariya Pe Koi Chor", "Sona Lai Ja Re", "Kuch Kehta Hai Yeh Saawan" and "Maar Diya Jaye Dil Chhod Diya Jaye." The movie was later remade in Telugu under the title Manchi Babai.
Watch one of the iconic 70s Bollywood movies, Mera Goan Mera Desh only on YouTube.
Anand - 1971
Learn to live your life to the fullest from one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, Anand (1971). It is a rare masterpiece directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Anand (1971) narrates the story of Anand (Late Rajesh Khanna), who is diagnosed with a rare and incurable type of cancer and dedicates his remaining life to spread joy, and love in the world. It is regarded as one of the most popular 70s movies due to its iconic dialogues like “Babumushoi, zindagi badi honi chahiye...lambi nahin,” “Jab tak zinda hoon tab tak mara nahi ... jab mar gaya sala main hi nahi,” “Yeh bhi toh nahi keh sakta...meri umar tujhe lag jaye” and many more. Anand (1971) also features some of the evergreen songs such as “Kahin Door Jab,” “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” and “Maine Tere Liye Hi.”
Watch Anand (1971), one of the best slice-of-life 70s Bollywood movies, only on Amazon Prime Video.
Guddi - 1971
The Hrishikesh Mukherjee directorial Guddi is one of the best 70s Bollywood movies starring Jaya Bachchan in the titular role. Along with Jaya Bachchan, the movie starred Late A.K. Hangal and Late Utpal Dutt in the lead role. Guddi revolves around a school-girl named Guddi (Jaya Bachchan) who has a crush on and is obsessed with the film star Dharmendra. It was a career-building movie for the actress, and she even earned a Filmfare nomination for Best Actress for the movie. The movie was recognised as one of the most popular 70s movies and was a big hit in the cities. Guddi was remade later in Tamil under the title Cinema Paithiyam (1975) starring Jayachitra and Kamal Haasan.
Watch one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, Guddi, only on Amazon Prime Video.
Haathi Mere Saathi - 1971
Haathi Mere Saathi, released in 1971, is one of the best 70s Bollywood movies with a Disney-like appeal. It was considered one of the biggest hits of 1971 and one of the biggest hits ever made by a South Indian producer in Hindi during that time. Haathi Mere Saathi is one of the most popular 70s movies that narrates the tale of a zoo owner (Rajesh Khanna) and how his love for elephants drives a wedge between him and his wife (Tanuja). Inspired by the Tamil movie Deiva Cheyal (1967), it is regarded as one of the 17 consecutive hit films of Rajesh Khanna. Even after so many years of its release, there is no other children's movie that has matched the success, charm and magic of Haathi Mere Saathi. One of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, it also won a special award from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for its lyrics.
Watch the movie Haathi Mere Saathi here.
Bombay To Goa - 1972
The adventure-comedy movie, Bombay To Goa, is one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s. It stars Amitabh Bachchan, Aruna Irani, Late Mehmood and Shatrughan Sinha in the lead roles. Bombay To Goa is amongst the most popular 70s movies because of its catchy tunes and humorous plotline. It narrates the story of Mala (Aruna Irani) who boards a bus bound to Goa to escape a killer and meets interesting passengers from different cultures on her journey. Bombay To Goa was inspired by the hit Tamil movie Madras to Pondicherry (1966). It was later remade in Bollywood in 2007 under the same title with an ensemble of comedians. Bombay To Goa marked Bachchan’s big break in the Bollywood industry.
Watch Bombay To Goa, one of the hilarious 70s Bollywood movies, only on Amazon Prime Video.
Pakeezah - 1972
Pakeezah (1972) is a fantasy created for the silver screen; it is like a poetry depicted on screen. It is one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, well-known for Late Meena Kumari’s last performance. Director Kamal Amrohi, known for his perfection, made this movie as an expression of his love for his wife Meena Kumari. Pakeezah (1972) narrates the story of a courtesan Sahibjaan (Late Meena Kumari) and a forest ranger (Late Raaj Kumar), who fall in love with each other. The movie is one of the most popular 70s movies because of Meena Kumari’s enchanting portrayal of a courtesan, Raaj Kumar’s dialogue delivery and storyline. Pakeezah (1972) also features some unforgettable melodious songs such as “Inhi Logon Ne,” “Chalte Chalte Yun Hi Koi,” “Thare Rahiyo O Banke Yaar,” “Mausam Hai Ashiqana” and many more. It is a larger than life movie, a magnum opus and one of the most beautiful 70s Bollywood movies.
Watch Pakeezah (1972) only on Amazon Prime Video.
Sholay - 1975
Sholay movie is one of the best 70s Bollywood movies that every Indian knows by heart. The unforgettable characters of Jai, Veeru, Basanti, Thakur, and Gabbar are often remembered by each one of us. Directed by Ramesh Sippy, Sholay movie is an epic tale of small-time criminals Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra), hired by an avenging retired cop (Late Sanjeev Kumar) to help capture Gabbar Singh (Late Amjad Khan), a feared dacoit. Sholay movie is considered amongst the best Hindi movies of 1970s due to its iconic and memorable dialogues like “Kitne aadmi the,” “Basanti inn kutto ke saamne mat naachna,” “Yeh haath humko dede Thakur,” “Yunki, Yeh Kaun Bola'' and many more. It was also India’s first 70 mm movie with stereophonic sound. Sholay movie was titled the ‘Film Of The Millennium’ in 1999 by BBC. The characters Jai-Veeru are inspired by Hollywood's Western bounty hunters and Gabbar, a villain out to terrorize the townspeople. The spirited addition of the loudmouth Basanti takes the Sholay movie to another level.
Watch one of the popular 70s movies, Sholay, only on Amazon Prime Video.
Aandhi - 1975
Aandhi (1975) is a political drama directed by Gulzar. It narrates the story of Aarti Devi (Late Suchitra Sen) and J.K. (Late Sanjeev Kumar), who give their marriage a second chance after years of separation. Aandhi (1975) became one of the popular 70s movies due to its ban at the time of emergency. It is also alleged that the movie was loosely inspired by the life of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Aandhi (1975) is one of the most meaningful 70s Bollywood movies well-known for its music compositions by R.D. Burman. Its songs “Tere Bina Zindagi Se,” “Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noor Aa Gaya Hai” and “Is Mod Se Jaate Hain” are evergreen.
Watch one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, Aandhi (1975), only on YouTube.
Don - 1978
Do we really need to say anything about this one? Don (1978) is one of the best 70s Bollywood movies and the third highest-grossing movie of 1978. It is also one of the movies that stimulated Amitabh Bachchan towards stardom. Bachchan plays a double-role in the movie as a slum-dweller and an underworld boss. Don (1978) narrates the story of Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan), who takes on the identity of Don (Amitabh Bachchan) and acts as an informant of the police to track down the criminal organisation. One of the most popular 70s movies, it also features some of the all-time hit songs such as “Main Hoon Don,” “ Khaike Paan Banaras Wala” and “Yeh Mera Dil.” Don (1978) also initiated the Don sequel under which Farhan Akhtar created a remake Don: A Chase Begins (2006) and its sequel Don 2 (2011). The movie also inspired several South Indian remakes.
Watch one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, Don (1978), only on Amazon Prime Video.
Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki - 1978
Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki directed by Raj Khosla and Sudesh Issar is inspired by the Marathi novel ‘Ashi Tujhi Preet' by Chandrakant Kakodkar. One of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, it stars Asha Parekh in the titular role along with Late Nutan, Late Vinod Khanna, Vijay Anand and Deb Mukherjee in prominent roles. Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki revolves around Sanjukta (Late Nutan), who raises her husband’s illegitimate child, Ajay (Late Vinod Khanna), with her son, Pratap (Deb Mukherjee) and the problems that arise when the children grow older. The movie marked Raj Khosla’s comeback amongst the box office hits. Laxmikant-Pyarelal yet again mesmerised everyone with soulful songs such as “Chhap Tilak Sab” and “Yeh Khidki Jo Band Rehti Hai.”
Watch Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, one of the best 70s Bollywood movies, only on Amazon Prime Video.
Gol Maal - 1979
The comedy movie Gol Maal (1979) directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee is a treat to watch. It is a timeless classic and one of the most humourous 70s Bollywood movies. Gol Maal (1979) revolves around Ram Prasad Sharma (Amol Palekar) who creates the story of a fake brother Lakshman Prasad Sharma (Amol Palekar) to hide a lie he told his boss Bhavani Shankar (Late Utpal Dutt). It is considered one of the most popular 70s movies because of its hilarious plotline and dialogues that will leave you in splits. Gol Maal (1979) was remade in many other languages such as in Tamil as Thillu Mullu (1981), in Kannada as Aasegobba Meesegobba (1990), in Malayalam as Simhavalan Menon (1995), and in Sinhala as Rasa Rahasak (1988).
Watch one of the best Hindi movies of 1970s, Gol Maal (1979), only on Amazon Prime Video.