Best Bollywood Movies of the 90s

    The 90s gave rise to some of the best memorable movies that created the base for the content that would follow. Some of the movies made in the decade have been so significant that their spell continues to remain unbroken. Needless to say, if these movies were released now, each of them would have made close to 500 crores at the box office.

dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge scene

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge – The movie released in 1995 is rechristened as the Bible of Bollywood Romance. The movie directed by Aditya Chopra had Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol playing the lead pair of Raj and Simran. It narrated the story of a couple with contrasting personalities falling in love while being on a tour in Europe. Though Simran’s marriage is already fixed by her father, she has fallen in love with Raj. Instead of eloping, Raj decides to win over each and every member of his sweetheart’s family. It is on the list of 1001 movies you must see before you die and ran in Maratha Mandir theater in Mumbai for an astonishing 20 years, making it the longest-running movie ever. The movie won ten Filmfare Awards including Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (Farida Jalal), Best Performance in a Comic Role (Anupam Kher) Best Lyricist (Anand Bakshi – Tujhe Dekha Toh),Best Screenplay, Best Dialogue, Best Playback Male (Udit Narayan for ‘Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna’).

hum aapke hain koun scene

Hum Aapke Hain Koun – This seminal movie changed the trend of film-making from mundane action and vulgar songs to meaningful feel-good cinema with frothy romance. It got families back into the theater, a trend that has been on even for now, and may continue for a long time, as nothing sets the cash registers ringing like a family going out for the movies. Hum Aapke Hain Koun was directed by Sooraj Barjatya and had as many as 14 songs. Based on an Indian wedding background, it was the story about a married couple and the relationship between their families. The movie was actually a remake of Sooraj Barjatya’s own low-budget production’Nadiya ke Paar’(1992). The movie was the first movie to touch 1 billion and is still one of the biggest grosser in Bollywood ever (inflation adjusted). The romantic equation between Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit was much appreciated. Hum Aapke Hain Koun went on to win Five Filmfare Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress.

satya scene manoj bajpai

Satya – This movie was the dark-horse of blockbusters in the 90s. The gritty underworld thriller by Ram Gopal Varma is his best movie till date. The movie had screenplay and dialogues written by Anurag Kashyap and Saurabh Shukla. The film starred JD Chakravarthy, Manoj Bajpai, Saurabh Shukla, Urmila Matondkar and Shefali Shah. The story was about an immigrant who comes to Mumbai to look for a job and ends up being sucked into the underworld. He rises fast up the ladder helped by his loyal friend and underworld king Bhiku Mhatre (Manoj Bajpai). The movie focused on gang-wars, the police’s efforts to eliminate the goons and the personal dynamics of underworld gangsters. The masterpiece of a movie went on to win six Filmfare Awards, it is considered one of the best films of the 90s and the best Indian gangster movie of all time. Manoj Bajpai went on to win almost all the awards for Best Supporting Actor including the National Award.

aankhen scene

Aankhen – This is director David Dhawan’s most successful movie and had Govinda giving his career-best performance. The movie was a quirky comic-thriller and had 3 actors in a double-role, Govinda, Chunky Pandey and Kader Khan. The movie was a complete entertainer with a generous dose of comedy and thrilling action. The movie was made with a budget of just 1.96 crore and went on to make 12.46 crore. Aankhen was about two irresponsible sons of a rich-man who take their lives for granted and are always on the mood for practical jokes, till one of these jokes go out of hand.

jo jeeta wohi sikandar scene

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar– This Indian sports-drama is still one of the most popular movies, even now, even more than two decades after its release. Aamir Khan starred as an irresponsible younger brother of the college sports champion, who experiences a turn-around in his life and goes on to become the pride of his college. Besides Aamir Kha, the movie starred Ayesha Jhulka, Marmik Singh, Deepak Tijori, Pooja Bedi and Kulbhushan Kharbanda in lead roles. The movie had fantastic music by Jatin Lalit and launched the career of Farah Khan, who choreographed the song ‘Pehla Nasha’. JJWS went on to win Filmfare Award for the Best Movie of the Year.

saajan scene

Saajan – This movie is the best musical of the 90s. Directed by Lawrence D’Souza, it had Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit in lead roles. Released in 1991, this movie along with Sadak elevated Sanjay Dutt to superstar status. The music (by Nadeem Shravan) has developed a cult following ever since the movie released and continues to be fresh in people’s minds even now.

sadak scene

Sadak – Sadak was a gritty romantic thriller based on the background of prostitution, directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Many argue that this movie is Mahesh Bhatt’s best mainstream movie till date. The movie starred his daughter Pooja Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt and Sadashiv Amrapurkar (in the role of ‘Maharani’). Sadashiv Amrapurkar’s role was so memorable that it is counted as among the top ten negative roles in Indian cinema, he went on to win Filmfare Award for the Best Negative Role.

rangeela scene aamir khan

Rangeela – One of the still-fresh looking movies, Rangeela (released in 1995) was a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ram Gopal Varma and starred Aamir Khan, Urmila Matondkar and Jackie Shroff. The movie went on to win seven Filmfare Awards. A.R.Rahman debuted in Bollywood with this movie and many consider Rangeela among his top five best music scores. Rangeela was singled out for its amazing dialogues, one-liners, emotional sequences and a fantastic performance by Aamir Khan. In fact, many Aamir Khan Supporters felt disillusioned when the Best Actor Award of the year went on to Shah Rukh Khan for Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge instead of Rangeela.

baazigar shahrukh khan

Baazigar –Released on November 12, 1993, this seminal movie starred Shah Rukh Khan turning into a superstar overnight with his powerhouse performance as negative hero. This Abbas-Mustan movie had Shah Rukh Khan playing the dual roles of Ajay and Vicky and going on a murderous spree while reaching the pinnacle of success, as his way of taking revenge on the man who killed his father and brought his family to sheer poverty. Baazigar was a remake of the Hollywoo movie ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ but turned out to be fashionably better than the original.   Shah Rukh Khan went on to win his first of many Filmfare Award as the Best Actor. Kajol achieved her first commercial success and the movie had Shilpa Shetty debuting in a small but powerful role. Baazigar had the famous SRK-Kajol pair acting together for the first time.

ghayal sunny deol

Ghayal – This Bollywood action-thriller directed by Rajkumar Santoshi starred Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Sheshadri in lead roles. Produced by Sunny’s father Dharmendra, this action movie released on the same day at Aamir Khan’s Dil (June 8, 1990) and both went on to become blockbusters at the box office. Ghayal created a star out of Sunny Deol and he was likened to Hollywood’s Sylvester Stallone. Sunny Deol went on to win National Award for his performance.

Honorable Mention

andaz apna apna

Andaz Apna Apna – This 1994 movie (released April 11, 1994) was a comedy of errors directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and starred Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Shakti Kapoor and Paresh Rawal in lead roles. The movie was actually released late, being in the making for many years. There were ego-clashes between Aamir and Salman during the making of the film. Though they are close friends now and go along famously, things were ot so good between them in those days. The movie did average business when it released, eclipsed by hits like Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Mohra. But with time, quite like old wine, Andaz Apna Apna began to get better with every passing year and ended up as the most sought-after comedy movie of the 90s and the decade post the millenium. A cult movie now especially for its comic timing and dialogues, it has also registered the maximum number of DVD sales.