The contribution of Dev Anand to Indian cinema is immense and cannot be measured only in terms of his successes.
He is considered among the Top Three of Indian cinema along with Dilip Kumar and Raj Kumar. Dev Anand’s energy and enthusiasm for medium remained unabated even until his death aged 88 in 2011. For the lovers of old Hindi songs, Dev Anand was an absolute delight with some of the best songs pictured on him, often sung by Mohammed Rafi.
He was always at his best when directed by his younger brother Vijay Anand, the combination producing a number of hits.
Here are five Dev Anand films which reaffirm his top ranking in the world of Hindi cinema..
Cast: Dev Anand, Shakila, Johnny Walker, K N Singh, Waheeda Rehman, Mehmood
Director: Raj Khosla
Produced by Guru Dutt and directed by Raj Khosla, this film was a big hit and its outstanding songs are still heard by music lovers. It also marked the debut of Waheeda Rehman, who went on to dominate Indian cinema.
A slick thriller has a suave Inspector Shekhar (Dev Anand) take on a crime mastermind, getting involved in murder, intrigue and finally getting framed for murders he did not commit.
The setting is Bombay and its underworld and the inspector comes across all kinds of characters before he manages to crack the case.
Kala Pani (1958)
Cast: Dev Anand, Madhubala, Nalini Jaywant, Agha
Director: Raj Khosla
Karan (Dev Anand) comes to know that his father is in jail for a crime he did not commit. Determined to seek the truth, he sets out to free his father.
He lands up in a boarding house whose owner, a journalist (Madhubala), helps him out, at the same time falling in love with him.
Karan has to fight a corrupt defence lawyer, two witnesses, one a dancer, and the real culprit. But the truth lies in a letter which can free Karan’s father.
Kala Bazar (1960)
Cast: Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Nanda, Helen, Vijay Anand, Chetan Anand
Director: Vijay Anand
A film ticket black marketer Raghu (Dev Anand) takes the reform path after he is suddenly struck down with love. But his lady love Alka (Waheeda Rehman) is already engaged to someone else. And she hates black marketers.
When Alka’s family take her to Ooty for a holiday, Raghu follows, determined to win her. Alka eventually falls for him but she is committed to her fiancé.
A disappointed Raghu returns hoping to reform himself and the others. But he gets arrested despite being innocent. But a lawyer defends him in court and gets him off. Expertly handled by Vijay Anand, the muted love story and the world of crime merge into a wonderful tale. The music by S D Burman is captivating.
Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
Cast: Dev Anand, Mumtaz, Zeenat Aman, Prem Chopra
Director: Dev Anand
A man Prashant (Dev Anand) goes looking for his long lost sister after their parents separate in during their childhood in Montreal. He travels to Nepal after he realises that his sister Jasbir, now Janice (Zeenat Aman) has become a hippy and is probably there.
He gets involved with the hippies, drugs and an idol smuggler during his mission. He also falls in love with a shopgirl Shanti (Mumtaz) and that angers the idol smuggler who also fancies her. But Prashant and Shanti elope and the jealous dealer tries to pin the blame on Prashant.
Meanwhile, Prashant find his sister but that ends in tragedy.Zeenat Aman debuts in this film and went on to win awards. The music, this time by R D Burman, is superb as with all Dev Anand films.
Cast: Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Kishore Sahu
Director: Vijay Anand
The Anand brothers collaborated once again to bring one of the best films in India’s cinema history. It was always felt that this film was way ahead of its time but its popularity never diminished.
It deals with the bold subject of a man and woman living together and is handled very delicately by Vijay Anand. It chronicles the story of Raju (Dev Anand), a guide, who falls in love with a married but unhappy woman Rosie (Waheeda Rehman).
She is the daughter of a courtesan and earns respectability after marrying an archaeologist. But the latter does not allow her to pursue her passion for dancing. Rosie meets Raju who is tasked with showing Rosie around while the husband goes for his work.
A complex relationship develops but society does not allow it. Raju finally lands in jail and upon release become a sadhu before tragedy overtakes him.