Indian cinema has always been extremely vibrant and diverse, right from the beginning, even. Thrillers are always extremely interesting to us, and when it comes to retro thrillers, there is a different element to it, something that makes you stay glued to your seat. Indian thrillers, that too retro ones are exceptional. Here is a list of the best old Hindi thriller movies you will definitely like.
One of the best old Hindi thriller movies is B. R. Chopra’s 1960 Hindi-language film Kanoon. Rajendra Kumar, Nanda, Ashok Kumar, Mehmood, Shashikala, Jeevan, and Om Prakash all appear in the movie. The movie makes an argument against the death penalty by stating that witnesses might actually be duped, and as a result, their unintentionally misleading evidence might unjustly send someone to the hangman. Rajendra Kumar played the judge’s future son-in-law, who is the defence attorney in a murder case in which he accuses his future father-in-law. The movie was a courtroom drama. It was the second songless talkie produced in India. The first was a Tamil film called Andha Naal. Salil Choudhury’s instrumental music is featured in the film’s inventive Indo-Western ballet performance.’
The 1962 Indian psychological thriller movie Bees Saal Baad was made in Hindi. Biren Nag served as the film’s director, and Hemant Kumar served as its producer. He also wrote the music and performed some of the songs. Starring Biswajeet, Waheeda Rehman, Madan Puri, Sajjan, and Asit Sen, the movie represents Biren Nag’s feature film debut. The movie is a loose version of the popular Bengali thriller Jighansa (1951), which was largely based on Hemendra Kumar Roy’s novel Nishithini Bivishika and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. The movie was a “great smash” when it topped the box office rankings in 1962.
3. Woh Kaun Thi
Another gut-wrenching old Hindi thriller movie, Raj Khosla’s 1964 Indian mystery-thriller Woh Kaun Thi, with Sadhana, Manoj Kumar, and Prem Chopra, was made in the Hindi language. Despite the fact that Dhruva Chatterjee wrote the screenplay, Manoj Kumar participated actively in the later rewriting of certain sections. The strength of this film was the music by Madan Mohan. At the box office, the movie was a success. Due to its success, Khosla went on to helm Sadhana in two additional suspense dramas, Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967).
Raja Nawathe’s 1965 Indian Bollywood thriller Gumnaam, which translates to “Unknown or Anonymous,” stars Manoj Kumar, Nanda, Pran, Helen, and Mehmood. The movie is a loose version of Agatha Christie’s mystery novel And Then There Were None from 1939. When the Hindi-Urdu phrase “Jaan Pehechan Ho,” which roughly translates to “we should get to know each other,” appeared in the opening credits of Ghost World and was featured in the 2011 Heineken commercial “The Date,” the movie gained further recognition in the English-speaking world. Mohammed Rafi, a legendary singer in Bollywood, sang the song. Laxmi Chhaya played the lead dancer in the song as it was filmed for the movie.
A 1969 Indian mystery-thriller movie titled Ittefaq (English: Coincidence) was produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by his brother Yash Chopra. Nanda and Rajesh Khanna play key roles in the movie, which also stars Sujit Kumar, Bindu, Madan Puri, and Iftekhar, and includes music by Salil Chowdhury. At the box office, the movie was a “semi-hit.” The 1965 American film Signpost to Murder, which was previously turned into the Gujarati drama Dhummas starring Sarita Joshi, served as the inspiration for the movie. After Naujawan, Munna, and Kanoon, it was the fourth Bollywood movie without any songs.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who also produced the movie, directed the thriller Khamosh in 1985. Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar, Soni Razdan, and Pankaj Kapoor all acted in the movie. The actors Palekar, Razdan, and Azmi playing fictionalised versions of themselves in the movie made it famous. Khamosh easily qualifies as one of the best old Hindi thriller movies.
Jyoti Swaroop directed the 1971 Indian psychological thriller movie Parwana (also known as Moth). Amitabh Bachchan, Navin Nischol, Yogeeta Bali, and Om Prakash play the film’s main characters, and Shatrughan Sinha makes a cameo appearance. Amitabh Bachchan portrays a smitten lover who turns murderous in this movie, which marks his first negative portrayal.
Kab? Kyoon? Aur Kahan? is a Bollywood thriller that Arjun Hingorani directed in 1970. Dharmendra, Babita, and Pran are the film’s main actors. The bathtub sequence, as well as the rest of the movie, are all influenced by the 1955 French masterpiece Les Diaboliques. An impeccable old Hindi thriller, it keeps you guessing till the end.
9. Plot No. 5
The 1981 drama-thriller film Plot No. 5 was written and produced by Jerooant Yogesh and directed by Yogesh Saxena. Under the auspices of Visual Productions, this movie was released on January 23, 1981. It was released following the passing of Uttam Kumar, one of the movie’s main performers.
10. Teesri Manzil
The 1966 Indian musical-thriller movie Teesri Manzil was produced by Nasir Hussain and directed by Vijay Anand. Shammi Kapoor, Asha Parekh, Laxmi Chhaya, Premnath, Iftekhar, Helen, K. N. Singh, and Salim Khan were among the cast members. At the box office, the movie was a success. This film is regarded as one of the best presentations and a breakthrough in R.D. Burman’s career, with the music and songs breaking records. For its tremendously foot-tapping music and songs, which are still very famous today, Indiatimes Movies lists the film as one of the Top 25 Must-See Bollywood Films.
A 1967 Indian suspense thriller called Hamraaz (transl. Confidant) was produced, directed, and written by B. R. Chopra and Akhtar ul Iman. Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kumar, Mumtaz, Vimi, Sarika, Madan Puri, Iftekhar, Balraj Sahni, Jeevan, and Helen are among the film’s notable cast members. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote the lyrics, and Ravi composed the music for the movie. At the box office, the movie was a huge success. The movie took home the National Film Award for Best Hindi Feature Film.
In the 1964 Indian thriller-horror film Kohraa (The Fog), Waheeda Rehman, Biswajeet, and Lalita Pawar feature. The film is directed by Biren Nag. The film is based on the 1938 novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which Alfred Hitchcock previously adapted into the Oscar-winning Rebecca (1940). However, numerous supernatural aspects were added to the story, including some from the film Psycho. This version is renowned for its surprising conclusion, which deviates greatly from the novel. Kohra has a cult following of its own and is definitely one of the best Hindi thrillers.
13. Mera Saaya
Raj Khosla directed the 1966 Indian thriller Mera Saaya in Hindi. Raja Mehdi Ali Khan wrote the lyrics, and Madan Mohan composed the music. Sadhana and Sunil Dutt are the movie’s stars. After Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962) and Woh Kaun Thi?, this is filmmaker Raj Khosla’s third movie with Sadhana (1964). The movie was a financial success. The Marathi movie Pathlaag was remade for this one (The Chase).
Manohar Ambedkar received the Filmfare Best Sound Award for it. Superhit tunes were “Jhumka Gira Re,” “Naino Mein Badara Chhaye,” and “Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega.”
14. Jewel Thief
The 1967 Indian spy thriller heist film Jewel Thief was helmed by Vijay Anand. Tanuja, Helen, Faryal, and Anju Mahendru play four bond-girl-like actresses in the film, which also stars Ashok Kumar, Dev Anand, and Vyjayantimala. Nazir Hussain and Sapru play supporting roles. Navketan Films, the production company owned by Dev Anand, produced it. The main character of the film is a jeweller (Anand), who teams up with the police to apprehend a legendary gem thief while completely misrepresenting their true identity. The film was a financial success. Tanuja was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, while J M Barot won the Filmfare Best Sound Award.
15. Aamne Samne
Suraj Prakash produced and directed the 1967 Hindi mystery film Aamne Samne. Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Prem Chopra, Rajindernath, and Madan Puri all appear in the film. Kalyanji Anandji wrote the music for the movie. Aamne is one of the most amazing old Hindi thriller movies for sure.
Basu Chatterjee is the director of the Indian thriller Ek Ruka Hua Faisla, which was released in Hindi. It is a remake of the Golden Bear-winning American film 12 Angry Men (1957), which was directed by Sidney Lumet and was based on Reginald Rose’s 1954 teleplay of the same name. Twelve jurors argue vehemently about a murder trial. One juror in particular believes the defendant is innocent and makes an effort to persuade the other jurors of this.
These old Hindi thriller movies are amazingly crafted and stay true to the spirit of Indian cinema and its diversity. We hope this helps you uncover some new favorites and leave you with some edge of the seat mystery.