Choosing top 20 movies from 80s is almost an impossible task. Should you go with the mega hits from mega stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar, or should you go with the artistic movies supported by Naseeruddin Shah, Samita Patil, Shabana Azmi? The list below is not perfect by any means, but a good mix of the both styles. Depending on your tastes, likes and dislikes, the choice may vary, but here are the top 20 movies from 80s, arranged in a chronological order, by the year of movie-release date:
1. Aakrosh (1980): This is an acclaimed art film. The star power comes from all around brilliant acting of Naseeruddin Shah, Samita Patil, Om Puri and Amrish Puri. The movie is a satire on the corruption in the Indian judicial system, and power abuse of the rich against the poor.
2. Qurbani (1980): A very entertaining family movie, also known for an ensemble of super-stars, excellent music and many ever-green songs. The film stars Feroz Khan, Vinod Khanna, Zeenat Aman, Amjad Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Aruna Irani, Amrish Puri and Kader Khan. Enough said.
3. Sparsh (1980): Not a movie for uplifting atmosphere, but if you are looking for a flick with realistic acting, this is the one for you. It stars Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi playing the characters of a blind principal and a teacher in a School of the Blind.
4. Kranti (1981): “Bolo Kranti, Kab Aayegi Krant?” This movie about India’s freedom fight is among the most popular films of the 80s. Produced and directed by Manoj Kumar, it stars Manoj Kumar along with a mega cast of Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, Parveen Babi, Sarika, Prem Chopra, Madan Puri and Paintlal.
5. Lawaaris (1981): This is a super-hit movie of the 80s – a story of an orphan in search for his parents – with twists and turns. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Zeenat Aman and Raakhee Gulzar.
6. Chakra (1981): This is very complicated movie with storyline revolving around the life in the slums, taking on lovers for money and testing the human willpower to survive in the real world. The film stars Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.
7. Jaane Bhi Do Yaroon(1982): The flick is a satire on the widespread corruption in all walks of Indian life – politics, bureaucracy, news media and business alike. The superb acting comes from Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri; rest of the cast includes Ravi Baswani, Pankaj Kapur and Bhakti Barve.
8. Nikaah (1982): B.R Chopra exposes the Sharia laws of divorce and its misuse among the Indian Muslim society. The film stars Raj Babbar, Deepak Parashar and Salma Agha.
9. Bazaar (1982): This film highlights the tragedy and exploitation of young girls being sold by needy parents to affluent Indians in the Gulf. The movie delivers some of the best acting from a hand-picked cast of Naseeruddin Shah, Farooq Shaikh, Smita Patil and Supriya Pathak.
10. Shakti (1982): An entertaining family movie with quality acting, great storyline depicting complex family relations and responsibilities. Directed by Ramesh Sippy, the flick stars Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Raakhee, Smita Patil and Amrish Puri.
11. Ardh Satya (1983): Om Puri delivers one of the best performances of his life in this acclaimed cop-drama. It is a story of a policeman struggling with the evils around him and with his own weaknesses. The film also stars Amrish Puri, Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah
12. Sharaabi (1984): Amitabh Bachchan displays his acting skills of an alcoholic and a spoilt brat, but with a good heart. The melodious songs and dance numbers are unforgettable. The other stars include Jaya Prada, Pran, Om Prakash, Bharat Bhushan and Ranjeet.
13. Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985): Produced and directed by Raj Kapoor, the movie stars Mandakini and Rajiv Kapoor – Raj Kapoor’s youngest son. Great music and fluid storyline carries this mega-hit movie. It was Raj Kapoor’s last film.
14. Mirch Masala (1985): Superb acting and brilliant cinematography separate this movie from rest of the pack. A very artistic film. Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Om Puri, Deepti Naval and Mohan Gokhale lead the cast.
15. Nagina(1986): One of the best dance choreographed film of that era. The soulful music is exceptional, not to forget the dance scenes. Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor, Amrish Puri and Jagdeep play the lead.
16. Mr. India (1987): This is a light and fun family flick. Anil Kapoor and Sridevi made a memorable onscreen match-up. The pet phrase of “Mogambo Kush Huya” was heard among the Indian communities all around the world.
17. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988): Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’s music, romantic storyline, and young actors deliver much needed refreshing looks in the 80s. This is one the most popular flicks of its time starring Amir Khan and Juhi Chawla – the pair went on to deliver many more memorable movies after this.
18. Salaam Bombay! (1988): This is one of the critically acclaimed films from Mira Nair. The story revolves around the day-to-day life of children living on the streets of Mumbai. A touching display of human dreams lost in the world of drug-pushers, pimps and prostitutes.
19. Tezaab (1988): This blockbuster movie became famous for its music. This was the breakthrough movie for Madhuri Dixit. Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher are the other main stars.
20. Maine Pyar Kiya (1989): One of the super-hits of 80s, the movie was a breakthrough for Salmaan khan. It has some of the most memorable songs of late 80s. Salmaan Khan, Bhagyashree, Laxmikant Berde and Alok Nath are the main actors.
Honorable mentions: Disco Dancer, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla, Hero, Satte Pe Satta, Shehanshah.. are some other memorable films from the era.
What did I miss? Mogambo Kush Huya? Feel free to share your picks by commenting below.
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