50 Best Naseeruddin Shah Movies and Where to Watch Them

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Naseeruddin Shah has left his mark as the poster boy of ‘80s-era parallel cinema and as the go-to character actor in many a mainstream Bollywood hit. If you are a fan of Shah’s versatile work, then have a look at the maestro’s best movies along with a guide on where to stream them.

Naseeruddin Shah’s Career at a Glance

Born in 1950, in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, Shah embarked on his acting journey with a remarkable debut in Shyam Benegal's endearing social drama Nishant (1975). His foray into cinema signaled the emergence of a formidable talent capable of embodying a diverse array of characters with conviction and authenticity.

Throughout his career spanning over four decades, Shah has fearlessly embraced challenging roles across a spectrum of genres. In the cult satirical comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), he delivered a memorable performance as a photographer embroiled in a political conspiracy, seamlessly blending humor with social commentary.

Shah's versatility shone through in his portrayal of the troubled protagonist in Masoom (1983), a poignant exploration of family dynamics and forgiveness. His nuanced performance of a man struggling to father his illegitimate child, elicited both empathy and admiration from audiences and critics alike.

In the realm of parallel cinema, Shah's collaborations with visionary filmmakers yielded cinematic gems that continue to resonate with audiences. Sparsh (1980), directed by Sai Paranjpye, showcased Shah's ability to delve into the intricacies of human relationships with sensitivity and depth. His portrayal of a visually impaired principal challenged societal perceptions and earned him widespread acclaim.

Paar (1984), directed by Goutam Ghose, provided Shah with another opportunity to showcase his acting prowess. Set against the backdrop of rural India, the film depicted the struggles of a couple oppressed by the feudal system. Shah's portrayal of a disillusioned cart puller captured the essence of despair and resilience with remarkable authenticity.

Shah's commitment to excellence extended beyond traditional Bollywood fare, as evidenced by his collaboration with auteurs such as Govind Nihalani (the anti-caste legal drama Aakrosh), Gulzar (the divorce-centric romantic drama Ijaazat), and Saeed Akhtar Mirza (the urban angst-ridden character study Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai).

In the 2000s, Shah made a detour to Hollywood, playing Captain Nemo in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. While the movie polarised critics and audiences, an aging Shah continued to shine in supporting roles back home.

For instance, the sports drama Iqbal (2005) found him playing a washed-out alcoholic cricketer who becomes an unlikely mentor to the titular protagonist. In the crime thriller A Wednesday (2008), directed by Neeraj Pandey, Shah delivered a riveting performance as a common man driven to extreme measures in the face of injustice. His portrayal of the unnamed protagonist resonated with audiences, elevating the film to cult status.

At the same time, old age didn’t stop Shah from taking on morally complex lead roles in adult dramas. The best example in this case is the Ishqiya franchise in which he played a poetry-writing goon with an affinity for twisted romances. The Dirty Picture similarly found him playing a casanova actor in the sleazy ‘80s film industry.

Why is Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro Naseeruddin Shah’s best movie to watch?

Revolving around the exploits of two photojournalists uncovering corruption in the city, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is a satire that somehow stays relevant with every decade. Shah offers a humorous lead performance along with perfectly-cast co-stars like Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri, and Satish Shah. The film bombed at the box-office but its dark social commentary coupled with slapstick goofiness makes it a cult favourite today.

Where can you stream Naseeruddin Shah’s filmography?

You can stream most of Shah’s works on Netflix, Prime Video, ZEE5, Shemaaro, Jio Cinema, and VI Movies. Arthouse fans can stream many of his critically acclaimed parallel cinema features on Mubi.

Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV
Crunchyroll
Hotstar
Jio Cinema
Zee5
Eros Now
Google Play Movies
MUBI
Sony Liv
YouTube
GuideDoc
Netflix Kids
Tubi TV
Yupp TV
Sun Nxt
Hungama Play
Hoichoi
Alt Balaji
Curiosity Stream
EPIC ON
ShemarooMe
DOCSVILLE
Tata Play
Discovery+
ManoramaMax
Rooster Teeth
MX Player
Spamflix
aha
Spuul
Plex
WOW Presents Plus
Magellan TV
BroadwayHD
Filmzie
Lionsgate Play
MovieSaints
Dekkoo
True Story
DocAlliance Films
VI movies and tv
Eventive
ShortsTV Amazon Channel
Amazon Video
Cultpix
FilmBox+
Takflix
Classix
Amazon miniTV
AD tv
Shahid VIP
Bookmyshow
Lionsgate Play Apple TV Channel
Eros Now Select Apple TV Channel
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  1. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

    Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

    1983

    IMDB 8.3 (14k)

    #1

    Two zanies open a photography studio. They score a partnership with a gossip magazine that suddenly thrusts them into a world of corruption, murder, and hijinks.

  2. Masoom

    Masoom

    1983

    IMDB 8.4 (4k)

    #2

    D.K. Malhotra lives a comfortable lifestyle with his wife, Indu, and two school-going daughters, Pinky and Minni. He works in the office of an Architect. One day while the family is relaxing, D.K. gets a phone call that results in him bringing home a young school-going boy by the name of Rahul. Indu is shocked to learn that Rahul is D.K.'s son from another woman, Bhavana, who is no more. D.K. does his best to make Rahul comfortable, but fails. Rahul also feels that Indu does not really like him, though Pinky and Minni have taken to him in a big way. Finally, D.K. decides to admit Rahul in a boarding school in far off Nainital. Rahul reluctantly goes along with this new-found uncle/friend. It is when Rahul is asked to put his papers together for school that Rahul finds out that D.K. is his biological father. Watch what happens when Rahul disappears from D.K.'s house, and the impact this has on D.K., Indu, and her two daughters.

  3. A Wednesday

    A Wednesday

    2008

    IMDB 8.1 (82k)

    #3

    A retired police commissioner recounts the most memorable case of his career, wherein he was informed about a bomb scare in Mumbai.

  4. Nishant

    Nishant

    1975

    IMDB 7.6

    #4

    A man whose wife is abducted seeks to have the culprits prosecuted for their crime, but no one will help him. Meanwhile, the wife—abused and berated by her abductors—cannot bring herself to face her husband.

  5. Aakrosh

    Aakrosh

    1980

    IMDB 7.9 (1k)

    #5

    Allegedly based on a true incident reported on page 7 of a local newspaper, the film was a scathing satire on the corruption in the judicial system and the victimization of the underprivileged by the able and the powerful.

  6. Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai

    #6

    'Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Ata Hai' revolves around the Pintos and the people connected to them. There's Albert who's pretty much angry at everybody. His brother Dominic who thinks it's better to be jobless than to work an underpaid job, his patient sister Joan who works at a sari shop, his independent girlfriend Stella who feels under-appreciated by her boyfriend, his father and his colleagues, client and Stella's family. The film is very much a social commentary about Middle-class life in Bombay during the late ’70s and the conflicts arising in the labour force because workers were getting severely underpaid.

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  7. Katha

    Katha

    1983

    IMDB 7.7 (1k)

    #7

    A modern retelling of the classic folktale about the hare and the tortoise. Rajaram P. Joshi is a middle-class Clerk living in a chawl in Bombay. He is secretly in love with his neighbor, Sandhya Karnik but is unable to disclose his love for her. Rajaram's fast-tallking friend, Bashudev comes for a visit and makes himself at home. Bashudev starts wooing Sandhya and soon her parents decide to marry Sandhya and Bashudev, much to misery of Rajaram. But on the day of the engagement, Bashudev disappears, leaving behind a devastated, and pregnant Sandhya. Will Rajaram accept Sandhya?

  8. Maqbool

    Maqbool

    2003

    IMDB 8.0 (11k)

    #8

    The Scottish tragedy 'Macbeth' set in the contemporary underworld of India's commercial capital; two corrupt, fortune telling policemen take the roles of the weird sisters, and "Duncan" is Abbaji, the head of a crime family.

  9. Ishqiya

    Ishqiya

    2010

    IMDB 7.3 (10k)

    #9

    While on the run from goons, a man and his nephew fall for a kidnapper's seductive widow.

  10. Mandi

    Mandi

    1983

    IMDB 7.5

    #10

    The denizens of a brothel deal with internal drama, as well as pressure from greedy land developers and an anti-sex work politician to leave town.

  11. Iqbal

    Iqbal

    2005

    IMDB 8.1 (17k)

    #11

    This is all about chasing your dreams, no matter what the obstacles. The story involves a young deaf and dumb boy who is crazy about cricket.

  12. Junoon

    Junoon

    1978

    IMDB 7.6

    #12

    Set during the 1857 War of Independence, an obsessed Indian Nawab desires to wed a young Anglo-Indian woman, but the girl's obstinate mother stands between them.

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  13. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

    #13

    Three friends who were inseparable in childhood decide to go on a three-week-long bachelor road trip to Spain, in order to re-establish their bond and explore thrilling adventures, before one of them gets married. What will they learn of themselves and each other during the adventure?

  14. The Crossing

    #14

    When a Dalit wins the elections for mayor in his small village in northeastern India, deadly rioting forces an impoverished couple to escape to Calcutta where they can hopefully find work. Instead, they end up sleeping on the streets until they have a chance at earning a little income -- a man has asked them to take his herd of pigs across a fast-moving river. The current is dangerous, and worse, the wife is pregnant and this would not be an easy task even if she were not. Undaunted and desperate, the couple accept the job and enter the river to face their destiny.

  15. That Girl in Yellow Boots

    #15

    An Anglo-Indian woman works in a seedy Mumbai massage parlor while trying to find her long-lost father.

  16. Waiting

    Waiting

    2016

    IMDB 7.1 (1k)

    #16

    While visiting his comatose wife in the hospital, a serene old professor befriends a vibrant young woman whose husband has also fallen into a coma.

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  17. The Dirty Picture

    The Dirty Picture

    2011

    IMDB 6.6 (10k)

    #17

    After running away from home in search of movie stardom, a village girl rises to become a prominent sex symbol.

  18. Sparsh

    Sparsh

    1980

    IMDB 8.0

    #18

    Anirudh Parmar is blind, but he does not let this impairment bind him down. He runs a school for the blind as a Principal. He meets with the recently widowed Kavita. Kavita is attracted to him, and he slowly also gets attracted to her. When marriage is proposed, both agree to marry each other. Then Anirudh starts having doubts whether this marriage is going to succeed, as he feels he is being patronized, and pittied.

  19. Ijaazat

    Ijaazat

    1987

    IMDB 8.3 (1k)

    #19

    An estranged couple accidentally meet in a railway station's waiting room and revisit their past.

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  20. Bazaar

    Bazaar

    1982

    IMDB 7.4

    #20

    Najma is in platonic love with Salim Akhtar but cannot marry him until he is financially stable. An elderly Shakir promises to help Akhtar set up his business in exchange for Najma finding a suitable bride for him.