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Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar: 5 all time best movies of the `Tragedy King`

Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar: 5 all time best movies of the `Tragedy King`

Referred to as ‘Abhinay Samrat’ (The Emperor of Acting), Dilip Kumar was one among the very few actors from the 50s-60s who took Indian cinema to new heights with his outstanding contribution as a performer. Born as Mohammad Yusuf Khan in 1922 in Pakistan’s Peshawar, the actor changed his real name to his stage name, ‘Dilip Kumar’ – a name which was given to him by actress and the owner of Bombay Talkies, Devika Rani. Renowned as the pioneer of method acting in Indian cinema, Dilip began his journey as an actor with 1944 black and white drama, ‘Jwar Bhata’. His first major hit, ‘Jugnu’ which came in 1947, established him as the first and arguably, the biggest star of India back then. In a career spanning over five decades, the legendary actor acted in 60 movies. The accidental actor, who never thought of becoming an actor in childhood, ended up becoming one of the finest actors of all time and earned the title of ‘Tragedy King’ after essaying intense and dramatic characters on the silver screen. The actor whose illustrious legacy is celebrated and cherished by his fans and cinephiles even today, Dilip Saab was one of the rarest stars from the Golden Era of Bollywood who inspired actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and many others. As today marks the 100th birthday of the eternal superstar, let’s take a look at some of the biggest hits delivered by Dilip Saab.

Naya Daur

The 1957 social drama, ‘Naya Daur’ stars Dilip Kumar and Vaijayanti Mala in lead roles. Directed by B.R. Chopra, the movie tells the story of a man named Shankar who is a tongawala (Played by Dilip Kumar) and how he and his best friend Krishna (Played by Ajeet), who is a woodcutter; fell in love with a girl named Rajni (Vaijayantimala). Their friendship is mired in misunderstanding and they end up becoming each other’s enemy. From navigating Shankar’s emotional and economical conflicts; the movie tries to highlight how rich and powerful people oppress people from the weaker section of the society. Dilip Kumar won the Best Actor Award (Filmfare) for his powerful performance in ‘Naya Daur’. The Dilip Kumar-starrer movie was later dubbed in Tamil as ‘Pattaliyin Sabatham’. Interestingly, the 2001 Aamir Khan’s blockbuster sports film, ‘Lagaan’ was inspired from ‘Naya Daur’.


This classic 1952 romantic drama features Dilip Kumar along with Nimmi, aka Nawab Bano, Usha Kiran, Lalita Pawar among others in pivotal roles. ‘Daag’ follows a story of a man named Shankar, played by Dilip Kumar, who is the only breadwinner of the family and is unable to make ends meet. Overburdened by debt, he begins drinking alcohol and one day after having an argument with his mother, Shankar leaves home and heads to the city in a bid to earn money. He falls in love with a neighbourhood girl named Parvati (played by Nimmi). After earning a lot of money, he returns home and proposes to Nimmi, but he is being told that her marriage has been fixed with some other guy. Heartbroken Shankar begins drinking once again and turns into a self-destructive person. The legendary actor won the first ever Filmfare Award in the Best Actor category for his phenomenal performance in the film.  

Also Read: Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar: Here are 5 UNKNOWN facts about the eternal superstar


Dilip Kumar’s scintillating performance in ‘Devdas’ not only made him a popular star, but it also helped cement his place as a powerful actor who emotes naturally with ease and flair. The 1955 Bimal Roy directorial is based on Saratchandra Chattopadhyay novella, which navigates the story of a tragic lover Devdas, played by Dilip Kumar. Considered one of the best movies of Dilip Saab, ‘Devdas’ also stars Suchitra Sen as Parvati (Paro) and Vaijayantimala as courtesan, Chandramukhi. Dilip Saab’s performance in ‘Devdas’ was included by Forbes on its prestigious list of “25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema”. In 2002, the blockbuster romantic drama was remade by ace Bollywood actor Sanjay Leela Bhansali which starred Shah Rukh Khan in the titular role along with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Paro and Madhuri Dixit as Chandramukhi.


 Probably the first film to follow the theme of paranormal romance, ‘Madhumati’ is a masterpiece which was directed by Bimal Roy and starrerd Dilip Kumar and Vaijayantimala in lead roles. The movie narrates the story of a man named Anand (Played by Dilip Kumar), who falls in love with a tribal woman named Madhumati, essayed by Vaijayantimala and how they face challenges in their relationship and eventually comes to know about the story of his previous birth. A one of a kind gothic noir from early Bollywood, ‘Madhumati’ is Dilip Kumar’s is one of the commercially successful and influential films of all time.

Also Read: Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar: 5 TOP dialogues of legendary actor on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary


This 1960 epic Indian drama is the epitome of grandeur which sheds light on the glorious days of the Golden era of Indian cinema. Starring Prithviraj Kapoor as Emperor Akbar, Dilip Kumar as Prince Salim and eternally beautiful, Madhubala as Anarkali, it follows the love affair between Salim and Anarkali, who is a court dancer and how their love story leads to a war between father and son. The most popular track of the movie, ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’, still remains one of the most popular love songs of all time. This movie is a must watch if you are a true Dilip Kumar fan. 

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