K.V. Reddy's recreation of the Mahabharata was a Telugu-Tamil bilingual featuring the likes of N.T. Rama Rao, Gemini Ganesan, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Savitri, and S.V. Ranga Rao.
Satyajit Ray's directorial debut shone a harsh light upon life in rural India, and also served as the first installment in the Apu trilogy (1955-1959).
Possibly the first feature film to address the Partition, Ritwik Ghatak dived into the life of a family in a Calcutta refugee camp after they have had to flee the newly-created East Pakistan.
K. Asif's fourteen-years-in-the-making historical was unlike any other film, featuring romantic and familial love in equal measure. It starred Madhubala, Dilip Kumar, and Prithviraj Kapoor.
Chetan Anand's multi-starrer was one of the first war films about Independent India, depicting the 1962 conflict with China. It starred Balraj Sahni, Dharmendra, Vijay Anand, Jayant, and Priya Rajvansh.
Directed by Ramu Kariat, the film starred Sheela and Madhu as lovers who violate conventional societal norms in coastal Kerala by carrying on a lengthy romance even after one of them is married. It won a National Award, and also bagged an award each at the Cannes and Chicago Film Festivals.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan announced himself to the world through this story of a couple who choose to marry against their parents' wishes. It was also one of the first Malayalam films to use sync sound and be filmed outdoors.
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