20 Greatest Bollywood Movies of 1950s You Must Watch Once in Life

Devdas (1955)

dilip kumar as devdas

Devdas is 1955 romantic tragedy film directed by Bimal Roy. Based on the novel of the same name written by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the film stars Dilip Kumar in the titular role, whereas Vyjayanthimala plays Chandramukhi and Suchitra Sen debuts as Parvati (Paro).

The film earned the title of Tragedy King for Dilip Kumar after receiving huge accolades from critics and fan spread across the country.

C.I.D. (1956)

CID Suspense Thriller

C.I.D. is a crime action drama directed by Raj Khosla and produced by Guru Dutt. The film stars Dev Anand in the lead role as CID Inspector Shekhar, whereas Shakila plays the female lead in the film.

Waheeda Rehman, K.N. Singh, and Johnny Walker also play important characters in the film. Despite being an action drama, the film is also known for its great songs composed by O.P. Nayyar and penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and Jan Nisar Akhtar.

Mother India (1957)

Mother India Poster

Mother India was released in 1957 and it set a benchmark for Indian cinema as it became the first film from India to be nominated at the Oscars.

Yes, this epic drama starring Nargis Dutt in the titular role was not only India’s first submission at the Oscars but it also got nominated and lost by one vote for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. This movie is still one of the finest Woman-Centric films of Hindi Cinema.

Pyaasa (1957)

Pyaasa Gurudutt Classic movie

A typical Guru Dutt film, Pyaasa was also released in 1957. The film tells us the story of struggling poet who finds help and solace from a prostitute in the post-independence India.

Besides directing the film, Guru Dutt also stars as the main protagonist of the film, whereas Waheeda Rehman plays the female lead in the film.

Naya Daur (1957)


Naya Daur is a 1957 Indian drama film starring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala in the lead roles. The film tells us the story set in the post-independence India where industrialization is slowing entering the country.

Dilip Kumar plays a tonga-wallah, who challenges the landlord Jeevan’s bus service and eventually the final race between the tonga and the bus becomes the highlight of the film. The film evolved the trend of rich and poor, ultimately becoming a trendsetter for blockbuster films like Amitabh Bachchan’s Coolie.

Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1957)

Do ankhen Barah Hath Hindi
A Still from Do Ankhen Barah Hath

Here’s another V.Shantaram film that makes it to our list of best Bollywood films of the 50s. V. Shantaram also stars in the film as the Jail warden who experiments with six of his prisoners released on parole.

His idea is to turn these notorious murderers into persons of virtue by diverting them to farming and proper guidance. Since its release in 1957, the film has been one of the best Bollywood movies for inspiration and motivation.

Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)

Chalti ka naam Gaadi Movie 1958

Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi is a 1958 Hindi comedy film starring three real-life brothers as brothers onscreen as well.

The film is directed by Satyen Bose and features Kishore Kumar, Ashok Kumar, and Anoop Kumar in the lead roles, whereas Madhubala plays the female lead in the film.

Besides playing the lead in the film, Kishore Kumar also lent his voice for many songs in the film composed by S.D. Burman and penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

Madhumati (1958)

Madhumati Dilip Kumar Movie on reincarnation

Madhumati is a 1958 Hindi drama featuring Vyjayantimala in the titular role. Directed by Bimal Roy, the film focuses on the reincarnation theme and is also one of the earliest films to deal with this idea.

The film stars Dilip Kumar as the male lead opposite Vyjayantimala, who plays not a double but triple role in the movie. The film went on to become one of the most successful and influential films of all time winning loads of awards that year. Even Shah Rukh Khan’s 2007 film Om Shanti Om used some plots from this 1958 film.

Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

Kagaz Ke Phool Guru Dutt

Kaagaz Ke Phool is another film starring Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman as the lead pair. Released in 1959, the film is directed by Guru Dutt, whereas the music is composed by the legendary S.D.

Burman and the lyrics were penned by Kaifi Azmi. Despite being a box office disaster, Kaagaz Ke Phool went to attain cult classic when it was resurrected in the 1980s.

Anari (1959)

Raj Kapoor in Anari

Anari is a 1959 romance drama featuring Raj Kapoor and Nutan as the lead pair. Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the film is about a young man who leads an honest life and eventually falls in love with the niece of his employer.

However, he ends up in prison as he becomes the prime suspect when his landlady is found murdered by poisoning. The rest of the story is about how he saves himself from the false conviction and unites with the love of his life.

Over to you!

Here’s our list of Best Bollywood Movies of 50s. However, there are chances that your favorite film from the 50s era isn’t listed here. Feel free to let us know your favorite films from this era using the comments section below.

Rajeesh Nair is a true Gizmofreak and an addictive movie buff. He blogs at LifeBlender.com – a lifestyle Blogzine which focuses on general life related topics of the 21st Century.


  1. Most of these so called popular movies are so boring, below average that one wonders why are they termed as best. Average music mostly in gherwa thaika, poor acting, average photography, boring predictable stories!
    However there were some exceptions!