While our parents’ generation may not have had the privilege of OTT, but they definitely had some really heartwarming comedies that were refreshing, feel-good and simple. They were blessed to have filmmakers like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee, who were so talented at their craft that their humorous and comical take on the human nature turned out to be really good.
So, here are 20 such slice-of-life simple comedies that stood the test of time and are much better than many junk comedies of today!
1. Chashme Buddoor (1982)
Starring Farooque Sheikh, Deepti Naval, Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani in the lead role, this is an evergreen romantic comedy. The movie is based on a boy and a girl from the same locality falling in love, while the boy’s flatmates trying really hard to sabotage the romance. The film got a cringeworthy remake by David Dhawan in 2013. But, lets not talk about it.
2. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983)
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is a 1983 satirical black comedy directed by Kundan Shah. This dark satire focuses on the rampant corruption in Indian politics, bureaucracy, news media, and business. With stellar performances by Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Shah, Satish Kaushik, and Neena Gupta, this movie is a must-watch!
3. Gol Maal (1979)
This masterpiece doesn’t need any introduction. One of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s most famous comedies that made Amol Palekar a household name. The movie is not about a stereotypical hero, who fights villians. Rather, its about a man, whose shameless lies to beat the life situations, often land him into deeper holes.
4. Angoor (1982)
Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, this movie stars Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma both in double roles. Directed by Gulzar, this movie shows two pairs of the Sanjeev Kumar-Deven Verma duo roaming around in the same city leading to multiple incidents of mistaken identities and a lot of chaos.
5. Bawarchi (1972)
Bawarchi – a family-oriented comedy-drama explored the highs and lows of living in a joint family. The movie is about a mysterious domestic help who * subtly puts the fragmented joint family together, one member at a time. The movie doesn’t rely on obscenities, crass jokes, or melodrama to get the point across and make you laugh. Do you know the film was one of the biggest hit of that year!
6. Rang Birangi (1983)
Power-packed performances by Amol Palekar, Parveen Babi, Deepti Naval and Farooque Sheikh, this movie is a must-watch. After a workaholic husband ignores his wife, his lonely wife plays a prank on him. She re-enacts Pati, Patni Aur Woh with the help of his husband’s secretary and her boyfriend.
7. Chhoti Si Baat (1975)
Much like Will Smith’s Hitch, Basu Chatterjee’s Chotti Si Baat showed Ashok Kumar as a ‘date doctor’ to Amol Palekar, who tries hard to win over his lady love (Vidya Sinha). The movie also stars Asrani, who plays Amol Palekar’s ‘rival’ for the leading lady’s attention.
8. Shaukeen (1982)
Breaking the stereotype of sad old men, the three characters (played by Ashok Kumar, Utpal Dutt and A K Hangal) have a ball in their 60s. They come across a much younger woman, who happens to be their driver’s (played by Mithun Chakraborty) love interest and vie for her attention
9. Kisi Se Na Kehna (1983)
Another masterpiece that stars Farooq Shaikh, Deepti Naval, and Utpal Dutt. This light-hearted comedy is perfect for family nights. Utpal Dutt for some reason hates the ‘new age Indian woman’ who wears western clothes and speaks in English. So, he seeks to find an ‘Indian bahu’ for his son (Farooque Sheikh). But the problem arises as the son is already in love with Deepti Naval’s character, who is Doctor by Profession. To please and win her father-in-law over, Deepti Naval’s character has no other choice but to act like an illiterate.
10. Pati, Patni Aur Woh (1978)
A comical take on extra-marital affairs sees Sanjeev Kumar resort to Casanova antics, as he lies to his secretary about a terminally ill wife only to lure her into an affair. Once he gets busted in front of both the women, the proverbial hell breaks loose.
11. Naram Garam (1981)
The movie is about a man (played by Amol Palekar), who illegally gives shelter to his partner and her father in a house that he is renovating for his boss (played by Utpal Dutt). What follows next is a bunch of characters that keep falling fo the beauty of Amol Palekar’s partner including his very own boss.
12. Manoranjan (1974)
This is a remake of Jack Lemmon-starrer Irma La Douce, that focuses on the story of an unemployed man who ‘rescues’ a woman from prostitution by pretending to be royalty. Directed by Shammi Kapoor, this movie stars Sanjeev Kapoor, Zeenat Aman and Shammi Kapoor himself.
13. Khubsoorat (1980)
Not just comedy, this movie had family values and romance too. The story focuses on a young girl who changes the stern and sensible matriarch of a family. Fantastic performances by actors like Rekha, Ashok Kumar, and Rakesh Roshan added to the charm of the movie.
14. Namak Halaal (1982)
One of the famous comedies of all time, Namak Halaal stars the superstar duo of Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. Directed by Prakash Mehra, the movie is about a heir, who is being protected by his Namak Halaal aide against all odds. The movie also stars the superhit song pag ghungroo.
15. Chupke Chupke (1975)
Starring Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bhaduri, Asrani and Om Prakash, Chupke Chupke is definitely one of the funniest movies ever.
16. Padosan (1968)
Starring Mehmood, Sunil Dutt, Saira Banu and Kishore Kumar in the lead roles, the film needs know introduction. Bhola (Sunil Dutt) has fallen hopelessly in love with Bindu (Saira Banu), but he lacks the money and charm necessary to win her over. Instead, he comes up with a scheme with his friend Guru (Kishore Kumar), a successful vocalist: Bhola pretends to serenade Bindu, but in actuality, he’s only lip-synching to Guru’s singing. The plan works, and Bindu, enthralled by Bhola’s supposed singing ability, falls for him, until one day she discovers the ruse.
17. Katha (1983)
The film revolves around a love triangle, consisting of Naseeruddin Shah who is in love with Deepti Naval, but is too shy to express his feelings to her. Then, comes Farooque Sheikh who becomes a threat for Naseeruddin’s character and pushes him forward to express his love!
18. Pushpak (1987)
Starring Kamal Haasan, this silent comedy is about an unemployed man, who dreams of living it large. He finds a rich man drunk and lying in the sewer. Things take a turn when he imprisons him and takes his identity to get a taste of his lifestyle.
19. Bombay To Goa (1972)
Starring Amitabh Bachchan and Aruna Irani in the lead roles, this movie is about Mala, a young woman, who witnesses a murder and boards a Goa-bound bus to escape the killer. On the journey, she meets exciting people from different cultures and a young man who will not leave her side. The movie is known particularly for its catchy tunes.
20. Baton Baton Mein (1979)
Amol Palekar and Tina Munim starred in this romantic comedy about two lovers battling every-day problems, commitment issues, and interfering parents. The movie, that is also remembered fondly for its melodious (and still popular) soundtrack, falls into the category of one of those classics where sappy endings and smiles are guaranteed. Those were the days, they don’t make films like those anymore.