Rachel Dwyer

Professor, Indian cultures and cinema, SOAS

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Amar Akbar Anthony

1977

Manmohan Desai

Citizen Kane

1941

Orson Welles

Duo, The

1997

Mani Ratnam

Godfather: Part I, The

1972

Francis Ford Coppola

Jungle Book

1967

Walt Disney Production

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

1995

Aditya Chopra

Pyaasa

1957

Guru Dutt

Saint Tukaram

1936

Vishnupant Govind Damle/Sheikh Fattelal

Seven Samurai

1954

Akira Kurosawa

World of Apu, The

1958

Satyajit Ray

Comments

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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