Hindi cinema has always been loath to turn the corner. Stuck in the status- quo some films have nevertheless dared to dream. A check list of those mainstream films that pushed the envelope and succeeded.
1. Kismet (1943)–India's first 'lost-and-found' film paved the way for the films of Manmohan Desai. It was also the basis for all anti-hero roles played by Amitabh Bachchan in the 1980s. Gyan Mukherjee's Kismet was Indian cinema's first bonafide blockbuster and also one of the most influential films of all times.
2. Awara (1951)–Created a sensation worldwide specially in the Soviet Union where the theme song became an athem, Awara told the story of crime heredity and `karma` that was emulated for decades. Director Raj Kapoor blended drama and sex, music and romance in a social message that audiences found eminently palatable. Raj Kapoor and Nargis became the youth's romantic icons.
3. Mother India (1957)–Mehboob Khan's mammoth melodrama extolling the virtues of motherhood patented the Mother Figure as the Goddess-Sublime, ready to go to any extent to protect her children and society…not necessarily in that order. Nargis' awesome character served as a role-model for cine-'ma's for all times to come.
4. Ganga Jumma (1961)–The ultimate dacoit drama and the precursor to other landmark films like Yash Chopra's Deewaar and Shekhar Kapoor's Bandit Queen, Ganga Jumna's battle between good and evil took Hindi cinema out of stuffy studios for a rollicking drama in the ravines. The chemistry between Dilip Kumar and Vyjanthimala was awesome.