Bollywood's Cult Classics

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Cult films or cult classics are films that fail to do so well at the time of the release but over time gets highly devoted fans. Many cult movies have gone on to become classics.

Andaz Apna Apna – This Salman & Aamir starrer which flopped at the time of its release has achieved a cult status among Indian audiences.

Mera Naam Joker – Raj Kapoorr’s Mera Naam Joker flopped at the box office. In later years, however, the film has garnered critical praise.

Lamhe - The movie had a poor box-office response with the Indian mass market because of its supposed incest theme. Over the years the film has been hailed as a cult classic and is regarded as a modern masterpiece and possibly Yash Chopra's finest film.

Kaagaz Ke Phool - The film was a box office disaster in its time but was later resurrected as a world cinema cult classic in the 1980s

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro - The film was not immediately successful at the box office, over time got the cult status and regarded as 'Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films'.

Pakeezah – Meena Kumari’s death contributed to the success of the film, it is regarded as a cult success.

Hera Pheri – The Film did not open well upon release, but picked up later and became a box office success. The film has achieved a cult status among Indian audiences, and is regarded as one of the best Hindi comedy films ever made.

Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein The film was unsuccessful during the time of its release, but over the years it has developed some sort of a cult following among Indian youth.

Agneepath - Agneepath was failure, both at the box office as well as among the critics, however later the movie was declared a Cult film for its treatment of the subject, direction and gold-standard performances

Movies like Jab we Met, Dil Chahta Hai, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam started slow at box office but continued to rise slowing. Even though these movies did good business at the box office, the liking it got after the release on TV, DVD’s etc managed to give these movies the cult status.

These are just couple of movies I could think or found while I was looking for cult films. Which other films in Bollywood have managed to receive the cult classic status? Do share.


Hum Aapke Hain Koun would not be considered a cult hit because it did very well at the box office. I think it is considered one of the highest grossing Bollywood movies of all time. That would be a hit, not a cult hit.

Koyla on the other hand (I know I'm using Madhuri Dixit movies as an example) would be considered more of a cult hit because it did NOT do very well at the box office when it was released. However, over time, it has found a fan following. Especially in England and over seas. But Hum Aapke Hain Koun?


wat abt maine pyar kiya, hum aapke hain kaun, 3 idiots, humtum, kabhi khushi kabhi gham, dil wale dulhanya
le jaye, hum saath saath hain , bobby and the old golmaal. a bit surprised to see jab we met in the list but no doubt it was a good movie.

rehna hai tere dil mein??? how ? it was a nice movie but the second half was predictable as usual! when i watched hera pheri I had no idea how fun it was i was suprised!

Ilove new hrithik's agneepath.Despite of some silly mistakes,movie was a thrill to watch,especially for it's memorable performances.

Sridevi's two films should be here for sure and they are Lamhe and Sadma.These are the best films till date.

Loved Andaz Apna Apna.
Salman & Aamir were great.
But songs were too long.

All of SRK movies are classics and do well enough at the box office!! So don't put them on this list please.

Oh God!!! It appears most of our readers at Pinkvilla, don't understand what a 'CULT CLASSIC' actually is, and some of the comments and suggestions make me LOL. seriously, people. good the word and learn if you don't know.

I agree, SADMA must definitely go on the list. Amazing film, and ending gives me goosebumps till today.

I think Indian audience didn't understand the meaning of 'incest' lol, cause that film LAMHE didn't have any of that. The audience wasn't mature enuff or society wasn't as ''modern'' unlike today. It's one of the best movies of Bollywood and Yash Chopra. Then again what can we expect from AAM JANTA who love films with any item number songs and stupid soft porn in them. They are hard to please bunch. LOL.

You need to have actual taste, intelligence, and understanding for fine cinema to appreciate a film like Lamhe, Aandaz apna apna and Jane bhi do yaaron.

Yes Sadma should be there 1000%. The ending scene makes me cringe even today. How come the movie did not succeed? are Indian audiences that bad?


I agree- SADMA is undeniably a greatest movie ever! Great concept- great characterization- great performances!

You should definitely have included Sreedevi's Sadma,without it the list is incomplete.


Bunty aur Babli

Lamhe and Sadma...

Tue, 2012-05-08 02:03 — Anonymous
NewKal Ho Na Ho. The film didn't do that well at the box office but gained a huge fanbase after it was released on dvd.

Kal Ho Naa Ho did a tremendous business and achieved a lot of awards that year.

JAAAAAAAAAAB WE MET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mohra for definite

Lamhe is truely the finest film of India.


Love the post Zee ! :) I love Andaaz Apna Apna..I wonder why it flopped. Definitely looking forward to its sequel. The Salman-Amir duo will set screens on FIRE ! :)

Lamhe is an all time favourite movie n cult classis bcoz of sridevi n its powerfull script, sadma again for Sridevi n kamal hssan towring performances



Most of sridevi's flop are now classic cult

The failure of lamhe was a disgrace to indian audiance. This is one indian film you can watch 100x withou tgetting tired and the film is not aging but the good thing as at the time of iit release it was a blockbuster abroad. I still cant find an acceptable explanation for it failure in India

This is the best film ever made by Yash chopra and I dont think any of his films in future will be close to it

I agree with the list and would like to add the following


For me its Sridevi-Kamaal Hassaan starer SADMA.

Kal Ho Na Ho. The film didn't do that well at the box office but gained a huge fanbase after it was released on dvd.

I would say HUM TUM. That movie kickstarted the trend of slick, urban rom-coms revolving around just two individuals.... like Salaam Namaste, Anjaana Anjaani, Break Ke Baad, IHLS and many more.

Kabhi kushi kabhi gham!!

Sadma and Lamhe both are the best cult classics.

Qayamat se qayamat tak

All Abhishek movies are classic because they are movies that everybody hates!

He is an classic actor because everybody hate is acting style!

Players is is a film that we all love to hate

LAGAAN is an absolute classic

i would say any emraan hasmi movies before jannat & dirty picture .. his movies were good though too much love making scenes all had nice stories & his character was very interesting , they always had dark gery shades to them,
some movies like
raaz 2
tum mile
& much more
he was very underrated ..

How about Jaani Dushman? Starring Manisha Koirala, Akshay Kumar, a snake, etc...

The movie that everyone loves to hate must surely qualify for some cult movie status? ;)

Agree all movies are classic....good post


Biwi no.1

Raja hindustani biggest hit of 1996

Zubeidaa,fiza,shakti the power,mere jeevan saathi was hit in uk

Lamhe and Sadma

Andaaz Apna Apna...dunno how it flopped?
such an amazing movie..
none of the current comedy movies...can touch this movie...everytime I watch it I LOL!...STILL!...watched it 100000 times.... hahaha...
I love it...
it is THE BAAP of every comedy movies in Bollywood....

Agree that JWM, DCH and HDDCS aren't cult clasics in the strict sense, but rather are iconic, classic movies, which had both critical acclaim and BO success. Awesome movies, btw!

I haven't seen the other ones, so I can't comment....I think some of Kashyap movies are considered cult movies, not necesarily cult classics, like No Smoking: BO flop, mixed reviews, non-mainstream fame with only a limited, but diehard fanbase...

Good post!

Evergreens...DDLJ, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun
Dil Se for me (though others might disagree)

And these even though recent, are movies that have stayed with me which I'd like to watch every couple years
Chak De India
Dil Bole Hadippa

I should rewatch some of the films listed in the post.

what about black and kank?

swdes...would be my choice as a cult movie!

Black for me

I agree dil chahta hai and hum dil de were blockbusters because of their music even before the release...they are not cults. Jab We Met the same - it was just a regular hit film. I can't compare Lamhe to Jab We Met though - way wrong categorizing.

Such a vague and biased choices.

Hathyaar(Jp Dutta)
Khamoshi the musical
Umrao Jaan (Muzaffar Ali)

Dil chahta hai,Jab we met, HDDCS & Hera pheri were box office hits. Now Lamhe & Agneepath were washed out at the theatres for their unconventional storyline.All the other movies were disasters too.Its only now that modern audiences appreciate it.

I'll go with Sridevi's two films,Lamhe and Sadma.

None can match upto the Lamhe.

i would add dil se too

i just dont understand y andaz apna apna flopped at that time. any views anyone?? always wanted to know

you forgot hum tum

Dil Chahta Hai, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and Jab We Met cannot be categorized under "cult films". All the three films were instant hits which is what pretty much "cult films" don't stand for. Agneepath, on the other hand is a huge cult classic as it garnered lots of popularity, fan following overtime and eventually, filmmakers decided to do a remake.

3idiots sholay ddlj hahk are cult claasic films for me

lamhe was a very scary experience!!

Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein is actually really good, I love it!

I love Pakeezah Alot but it was a box office success.

Sridevi's Lamhe and Sadma were both unsuccessful at the box office yet they are both considered cult classics and both are considered the actress's best work.

I remember when Lamhe was released with Ajay Devgan's Phool Aur Kaante in the same day. Lamhe failed at the box office while the other became big hit. Can anybody recall Phool Aur Kaante today? Just go an watch it to see how a cheezy movie it is. While on the other hand Lamhe stood the sand of times and got better. It is indeed the best Yash Chopra movie. IMO Lamhe did not fail, Indian audience has failed that year.

Nice post these films has been like wine and they get better with every viewing.

Mughal e Azam

Seeta aur Geeta

By the way, Jub we met, RHTDM cult classic? really? lol

very nice post :)
well my choice among these option would be
Andaz Apna Apna
Hera Pheri
Jab we Met
dil chahta ha

i dont understand fuss over jab we met

i think DILSE shud be a cult film..

how can you forget black?

I cant believe Hum Aapke Hain Koun is not on there. Also, Bobby.

What about DDLJ?????? :o

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