Rachel Dwyer

Professor, Indian cultures and cinema, SOAS


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Amar Akbar Anthony


Manmohan Desai

Citizen Kane


Orson Welles

Duo, The


Mani Ratnam

Godfather: Part I, The


Francis Ford Coppola

Jungle Book


Walt Disney Production

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge


Aditya Chopra



Guru Dutt

Saint Tukaram


Vishnupant Govind Damle/Sheikh Fattelal

Seven Samurai


Akira Kurosawa

World of Apu, The


Satyajit Ray


I struggled to select films for the BFI’s 100 Bollywood films (2005), but picking ten ‘greatest’ films has other challenges, so I decided to be entirely subjective. The first three are safe classics: Kane, Samurai and The Godfather, while the next three are classics in India, some also beyond, made by three of India’s greatest directors: Satyajit Ray’s Apu Sansar; Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa; Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar. Sant Tukaram is a startling presentation of a medieval saint. The next two are personal favourites from the thousands of Hindi films: Amar Akbar Anthony, which shows why Hindi cinema should never try to be Hollywood; and Lovers Will Walk Off With the Bride as the film that initiated ‘Bollywood’ as a new type of Hindi cinema (and allowed me to mention Yash Chopra as producer, as I couldn’t pick a favourite among the films he directed). The Jungle Book was a formative childhood experience.

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