10 Best films of Rajesh Khanna – The Original Superstar of Bollywood

No doubt Rajesh Khanna is one of the most talented and popular actors of Bollywood all-time – The first superstar of Indian cinema, and the actor who showed what real stardom is. He showcased his talent as a romantic hero onscreen, yet he tried a few action oriented roles as well. Definitely he owned maximum number of female fans among all Bollywood stars, though many superstars have born after him too. If we list his best 10 performances/movies, which movies can find a position in the list, let us see. I am not giving number to his popular movies. I would like to list 10 among his best movies, though I may miss a few. 

1. Aradhana (1969) – The movie made Rajesh Khanna a star overnight, and proved to be the milestone movie of his career. The movie which established him as a romantic hero also marked his super stardom apart from his amazing chemistry with Sharmila Tagore on silver screen for the first time. Later they worked together for the movies – Raja Rani, Daag: A Poem of Love, Amar Prem, Safar and Aavishkar.

aradhana songs

Mere Sapnon Ki Rani – The iconic song changed the destiny of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar, and of course R. D. Burman too, who completed the composition work of his father

Surprisingly Aradhana was a woman-centric film, but it was Rajesh Khanna who gained popularity giving a new image to romantic heroes onscreen. May be his gimmicks, charm, magic or acting talent, he had a huge fan following crowd soon after the release of the film, and he showed to others, what real stardom is! He delivered 15 consecutive solo hit films in the period 1969 to 1971, a record still to be broken. Aradhana was only his fifth film in his career, and there was no turning back after that. Indeed the actor didn’t have to struggle too much to find a place among the elite list of actors. Also many well-established romantic actors of 1960s couldn’t survive too long on the silver screen with the new decade of 1970s.


2. Anand (1970) – The second film that comes in my mind is Anand, and the movie is regarded to be one among his best performances as an actor in his career. The movie also earned him his first Filmfare award for best actor. It may be a co-incidence, years later similar to his character in Anand, this actor too left the world struggling with cancer. 

anand rajesh khanna

Zindagi Kaisi Yeh Paheli from Anand

3. Amar Prem (1972) – It seems the alphabet ‘A’ has been lucky to the actor. This movie is also regarded as a milestone in Rajesh Khanna’s acting career. He excelled in his role as an unhappy married husband and drunkard role, and similar to his role in Anand it was philosophical.
amar prem songs

Kuch To Log Kahenge – The iconic song composed by R. D. Burman

4. Safar (1970) – This movie also definitely finds place in my list. After the super success of Aradhana, Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore shared screen space for the second time for the movie, Safar. It’s a striking co-incidence that in the major hits of this Jodi – Safar, Aradhana and Amar Prem, though they played romantic pair onscreen, they never got married! The only exception is the love triangle – Daag: A Poem of Love, the movie with a ‘something different’ ending. They finally united in the movie,Raja Rani, which was not a big hit comparing the other big movies of this amazing online screen couple.
5. Ittefaq (1969) – Rajesh Khanna has worked in less number of thrillers, and among his movies belonging to this genre, Ittefaq definitely requires a special mention. The movie was directed by B. R. Chopra, and earned him a Filmfare nomination for best actor as well.
6. Raaz (1967) – I would definitely like to include this movie in my list. Raaz was only his second release, and his first film in a dual role. Later he played dual role in Aradhana, Sachaa Jhutha and Humshakal also.
raaz movie songs

Akele Hain Chale Aao song sung by Mohammed Rafi

7. Kati Patang (1971) – He was paired with Asha Parekh for this film, and though a woman-centric film similar to several Shakti Samanta movies, Khanna too showcased his talents as a romantic hero through this movie. The movie was one of the major hits of his career.
kati patang

Pyar Deewana Hota Hai song rendered by Kishore Kumar

8. Daag: A Poem of Love (1973) – Yash Chopra magic known for its unique and unconventional ending, Rajesh Khanna shared screen space with Sharmila Tagore and Rakhi Gulzar. The movie was declared a super hit on the day of its release itself. 
kishore duets

Hum Aur Tum – popular duet of Kishore and Lata


9. Do Raaste (1969) – The movie was a blockbuster hit of Bollywood, and established Mumtaaz as an A-grade actress also. Since then they have shared screen space for the movies, Roti, Dushman, Apna Desh, Aap Ki Kasam etc which became major hits at box office.

mumtaz hit songs

Bindiya Chamkegi – Melodious solo of Lata Mangeshkar


10. Bawarchi (1972) – The movie is one among his best works, in terms of performance. Khanna has experimented with different types of roles, and Bawarchi is one such where he gained accolades. It is one of the rare succeeded films of Khanna, where the actor doesn’t have any love interest/a romantic plot.

Aap Ki Kasam, Red Roses, Souten, Avatar, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Babu, Namak Haram, Dushman, Aavishkar, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Haati Mere Saathi, Sachaa Jhutha, Roti, Ajnabi, Baharon Ke Sapne, Khamoshi etc are a few more. It is not easy to measure a versatile and super successful actor in terms of 10 film roles. Yet it was my humble tribute to my favourite Bollywood star, on the eve of his fourth death anniversary. A big salute to this Bollywood hero who stole millions of Indians’ hearts!

Read my childhood memories associated with Aradhana, the movie which made Khanna an overnight star.

Read a few more topics on Rajesh Khanna, the charismatic hero and the first super star of Indian cinema. Here is the page link. Click on the images to read. 
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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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