100 Years of Dev Anand: 5 Must Watch Films That Define His Career

From India’s first ever noir film Baazi to the heart-aching romance of Manzil, here are 5 timeless films that define Dev Anand’s iconic career. 

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Actor, director, legend. The first Bollywood actor to take the crown as the king of romance, Dev Anand, has a timeless charm that continues to allure audiences long after he’s gone. To celebrate the anniversary of his 100th birthday, we’re tracking down 5 films from his rich portfolio of 100+ films that celebrate his life as an actor, filmmaker, and person of influence. In addition to tracking down his biggest career hits, this list also includes interesting behind the scenes anecdotes that defined his life and changed the trajectory of some of Bollywood’s biggest celebrities. 

Top 5 Dev Anand Films of All Time 

  1. Baazi 

Baazi is India’s first ever noir crime film. The movie stars Dev Anand as Madan, a struggling unemployed man who takes up gambling to provide for his sick sister, and follows him as his career drags him deeper into the life of crime and violence. This is also the second movie to be produced by Dev Anand under his banner of Navketan Films, and the film is directed by Guru Dutt.

Fun Fact: Dev Anand and Guru Dutt became fast friends during their times of struggle in the late 1940’s, the two artists then formed a pact to help each other if one of them achieves success. Dev Anand brought Guru Dutt on to direct Baazi as a part of his long standing pact with the fellow filmmaker. This movie was a breakout success, and formed as a starting point of a long and successful working relationship between the two.

Where to watch: Baazi is currently streaming on Shemaroo. 

  1. Vidya

Directed by Girish Trivedi, Vidya is a romantic family drama starring Dev Anand and Suraiya as two star-crossed lovers. The film revolves around the family conflict that arises when Vidya, the daughter of a rich aristocrat falls in love with a cobbler. 

This is the first time actor Dev Anand and Suraiya were paired opposite each other, the film also marked the start of their relationship. Dev Anand and Suraiya fell in love with each other after Anand saved Suraiya from drowning when their boat capsized mid-shoot. The two stayed together for several years after this and appeared in many films together before they were forced to break things off due to a family conflict. 

Where to watch: Vidya is currently playing on Shemaroo. 

  1. Taxi Driver 

Written and directed by Dev Anand’s brother Chetan Anand, Taxi Driver is a Hindi romantic musical starring Dev Anand as Mangal, a taxi driver with a penchant for saving people from trouble. The story follows Mangal’s will they, won’t they romance with Mala, an aspiring singer who Mangal saves from a group of thugs. The film stars actor Kalpana Kartik as Dev Anand’s love interest Mala, and marks the beginning of the pair's off-screen romance which eventually led to the couple getting married and having two kids.

Where to watch: Taxi Driver is currently streaming on Shemaroo. 

  1. Guide

Touted as one of the best Bollywood movies of all time, Guide, is a romantic drama following the forbidden romance between a struggling tour guide and the repressed wife of a wealthy businessman. The movie is Dev Anand’s first foray into the world of colour cinema, and has received over 9 Filmfare nominations, also winning the actor his first Filmfare award as the Best Actor in a leading role. In addition to its wildly successful box-office run, and cult level Filmfare fame, the movie also went on to get nominated at the 36th Academy Awards under the category of Best Foreign Language Film. 

Where to watch: Guide is currently streaming on Mubi. 

  1. Manzil

Starring Dev Anand opposite Nutam, this 1960’s Bollywood romantic drama is the career defining film that established Dev Anand as the king of romance. The movie follows an aspiring musician’s personal struggles when he’s forced to choose between love and fame. This movie was followed by a string of romantic films such as Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai and Hum Dono, which solidified Dev Anand’s image as the king of romance in the 60’s. 

Where to watch: Manzil is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. 

Dev Anand’s prolific life as an actor and filmmaker could serve as the inspiration for an award-winning film in itself. The actor’s colourful career has been nothing short of incredible, and his success is something that no other actor has been able to replicate ever since. Visit JustWatch to see other evergreen films Dev Anand has acted and/or directed through the years.