Culturally Significant Films of the 1990s

Culturally Significant films are films which reflect society’s likes,lifestyle,choice of films.
Prestige,quality films are different.Sometimes both can mean same,but there is a difference between them.
I am listing the culturally significant films of 1990s.

1. Khiladi

A young handsome boy called Akshay Kumar acted in this film,which is the biggest suspense thriller of the 1990s.He became a big star after Khiladi.Khiladi became Akshay’s signature film and it became a successful franchise.

2. Mohra

The Biggest Action Blockbuster of the 1990s,the Action of the 1970s is successfully adapted to the 1990s,and it became an icnonic film which represented Action.

3. Hum Aaap ke hai kaun

The film that started the market expanison,the biggest blockbuster after sholay,with 140% ticket prices it made 65cr,and established the romance genre which was the dominant genre of the 1990s.

4.Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge

The film which represented the youth,upper class aspirations of the post liberalistion India.
The most popular film of the 1990s,till mid 2000s.
The film which inspired several films.

5.Dil To Paagal hai

Following on the success of DDLJ,DTPH took a new angle on friend,lover relationship.Its a well liked film.

6.Hum Saath Saath hai

After HAHK,suraj barjatya followed it with HSSH,which is a Family Drama,and it looks like a sequal of HAHK with an ensemle cast.

  1. Ritz 11 years ago

    Agree with all the choices Sunil,

    But what about TZP, RDB and SMJ Tv show? do u think it had any impact on indian public ? – either of these I mean

  2. Ritz 11 years ago

    Sorry i missed the title.

    What about Lekin, Prahaar / Karanteeveer OR A Border/ Viraasat ?


    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      krantiveer could be called culturally significant as it was made in response to the bombay riots along with mani ratnams Bombay. Krantiveer inspired some subsequent films with similar themes – veergati,mrityudaata.

      Virasat is a good film but not culturally significant from any angle.

  3. Baba Ji 11 years ago

    Good post sunil and i agree with your definition of Culturally significant films.In the 90s i think broadly there were two classes of audiences – the ones who liked the chocolate boy khan film family entertainers and the others who prefered action/ action drama films and each of the type hated the other πŸ˜€

    I used to like many films from the khiladi series. KKK is not only my favourite akshay film but also it is the most purest action film ever made in bw.Mohra,khiladi are also the movies i liked.

    HAHK and DDLJ are no doubt apt for this topic. There is a whole generation of teenage girls during that time (now aunties) who fancied that someday a “Raj from London” would come and marry her away after seeing DDLJ πŸ˜€

    • Ritz 11 years ago

      For me as far as 90s is concerned ….Prahaar, Vastav, Lekin, Krantiveer, Border, Viraasat etc are culturally significant. And many more like that. Apart from DDLJ and HAHK i dont think any romantic movie made and imact in 90s culturally.

      Khiladi and Mohra? I think u r on a high and joking.


      • Baba Ji 11 years ago

        well to me KKK is . A part of my inspiration in taking up karate as a hobby was due to akshays khiladi films. The action in those films were miles ahead of the overhyped sunny deol and other cringeworthy action films. I used to copy his moves πŸ˜€ Even some ajay devgan films inspired me like Jigar.There are quite a few who got inspired by those films.

        • Ritz 11 years ago

          Bacche, I saw these films too, and know all of these action prowess of Ajay and Akshay – i have seen them grow up with me and seen their movies in theater.

          Doesnt mean that it was “culturally significant” just because it inspired u Baba, its a broad term.

          • Baba Ji 11 years ago

            There was a small but cult following for that series. If you check,none of the khiladi films are big hits. But most are successes (till 90s). None of the films even had great stories.Just about decent.They were all about Akshay.I think that takes care of your “broad term” argument.

      • Baba Ji 11 years ago

        Vaastav did reflect a certain demographic.It could be the story of any young guy brought up in say dharavi or nagpada .

        • Ritz 11 years ago

          “None of the films even had great stories.Just about decent.They were all about Akshay.I think that takes care of your β€œbroad term” argument.”

          Dont talk these thing to a guy who has seen all of it in a C center like Solapur πŸ™‚

          But still, these films by no means are culturally significant. Only film significant in these centers was Vaastav.
          Action is for fun and personal inspiration – not for cultural change. Please……dont insult common people’s intelligence!!…

          • Baba Ji 11 years ago

            “Action is for fun and personal inspiration – not for cultural change.”

            Its not a cultural change,its a cultural reflection. Just because you were not a part of it doesnt mean it didnt exist! πŸ˜›

            Ask you freind ali of ng. he took up kung fu classes after watching Jigar/KKK.same for manish etc.

            I think your definition of culturally significant films is too idealistic. Acc to me ,they are merely a reflection of society or its part.No film can bring a change.Which film brought “cultural change” acc to you?

        • Ritz 11 years ago

          “certain demographic” like nagpada or dharavi??

          It depicted whole of B and C center youth mentality in all over india….jobless guys.

          • Baba Ji 11 years ago

            “Dont talk these thing to a guy who has seen all of it in a C center like Solapur ”
            I dont think the guys in C center would appreciate the action in those khiladi films. They are not that educated for it.They will prefer the sunny deol kind action of flying men.They still do.They get bored of realistic action. Before it was sunny ,now its salman.

  4. Baba Ji 11 years ago

    btw HSSH was crap, not culturally significant by any means. barjatya had exhausted himself by this film.

  5. Ritz 11 years ago

    Ok Baba, its good u think that way (that e B and C center guys were uneducated abt Karate action )

    My last comment on this thread anyways.

    I was just waiting for Sputnik’s take on my comment on D2 songs. and kind of irritated that likes of these stupid threads make to the forum topics and I dont have posting rights.

    This is the second time i felt so. But i think i have to live with it.

    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      your way of thinking is not too far.

      “It depicted whole of B and C center youth mentality in all over india….jobless guys.”

      Likewise,This is just your own personal perception.Not every jobless guy in India in that condition fancies an option of becoming a “Bhaaji Paav waala”.There are many other options available and neither will every guy behave the way sanju or his friend did in the film in that gangster scene. Most would just keep quiet and see through the abuses. It was a dramatic scene and a very good one at that. But Nothing realistic about it.

  6. sputnik 11 years ago

    Khiladi was a very good movie but I don’t think it was culturally significant. The Khiladi name became synonymous with Akshay coz he did a lot of films which had the name Khiladi in them. I don’t think Mohra was culturally significant in any way.

    Agree that HAHK and DDLJ were culturally significant. DTPH and KKHH symbolize the 90s but they worked only because there were lot of people who used to like SRK in that Raj/Rahul avatar.

    Also agree that Krantiveer was culturally significant and that Virasat was a good film but not culturally significant. HSSH was not culturally significant.

    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      I never said Khiladi or Mohra are culturally significant films. I only said I “liked” them.About the khiladi series – I stand by it, it had a cultural significance though a very small one which again i have already mentioned in my earlier comments.

  7. Serenzy 11 years ago

    Not the 90’s Kid but, Out of the 6Movies Mentioned HSSH shuldn’t be there I Feel.

    HAHK and DDLJ Deserve it and Both DTPH/KKHH Deserve Equal Praise as far as Significance goes.

    I Loved these Mohra’s, Gupt’s, Soldier’s and Borders too.

    Yet to See Khiladi and Those Early 90’s Movies.

    Vaastav, Satya were a Good Choice too.

    And Why Not Even a Single Govinda-Dhawan Movie?

    Btw, I Agree with Baba on Copying the Action Scene bit from KKK.
    I Used to Copy that Scene where Akshay Ties his Leg to a Rope and Jums on the Hovercraft.

    Also, the Scene from ‘Ishq’ with Aamir Walking on those Pipes.

    I haven’t Watched Khiladi, Janwaar, Sangharsh yet.

    Janwaar was a BB in Bihar I Believe.

  8. shan 11 years ago

    Agree with HAHK and DDLJ. Mohra, Khiladi and DTPH were well-made and enjoyable films but hardly culturally significant. HSSH is a total misfit in the list. IMO, Satya/Vaastav (underworld stories), Roja/Bombay (terrorism/riots), Darr/Baazigar (negative hero), Border (war saga), Krantiveer(mass awakening) and Aankhen/Raja Babu/Coolie No 1 (timepass comedy) were much more culturally signifcant. Each of these movies had some impact on the way movies were perceived or made. For eg : Darr/Baazigar saw the anti-hero become the main protagonist with widespread audience acceptance for the first time. Roja/Bombay showcased anti-social elements with realism effectively for the first time. David Dhawan-Govinda comedies made the concept of going to movies to have an entertaining time a norm. HAHK brought family audiences back to cinema halls. DDLJ made NRI romances with an Indian heart a new genre. Each of these, perhaps with the exception of Roja/Bombay, either spawned similar movies or broke some erstwhile barrier in the next few years.

    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      its interesting that you took the names of those Govinda comedies. Mostly ppl confuse culturally significant films with prestige/quality films which is wrong.Those Govinda films did have some relevance culturally. Also agreed on Baazigar and Darr making “anti-hero” look cool. Before Satya,there was Parinda which started trend for gangster films.

  9. Serenzy 11 years ago

    Yes Shan… That wud be Totally Perfect.


  10. sunil 11 years ago

    Khiladi,Mohra represented the Thriller,genre of the 1990s.They were popular films.I havent included any sunny deol,govinda films.Sunny deol’s action films were more or less rehashed.
    As for krantiveer,vaastav I think they are mumbai based films.They could be called prestige films.
    HSSH represened the family drama genre of the 1990s.I dont like hssh,as its a bourgeis film,with fake values.
    kkhh can be be included.I dont think anyother film makes it to the list
    This is the list for the 1990s.2000s list will come later.

  11. Aditya007 11 years ago

    Yeah agree with most of this list but Dont think HSSH has any place in list of most Significant movies of 90’s.
    Although , KKK was Cult Classic Action Oriented Movies. And agree with @Sunil ,Mohra & Khiladi [Abbas-Mastan] Represent the Action thriller gener.

  12. Yakuza 11 years ago

    Well if you are talking about 90’s .. i will start from 1990.

    1990 : Ghayal, Shiva and Agneepath. Brings back the anger on screen.
    1990 : Aashiqui … return of musicals.
    1991 : HUM .. youth went crazy over jumma chumma and Suraj bartajya inspired from its family setting in second half for HAHK (admitted in interview).
    1992 : Deewana .. gave industry next superstar in SRK.
    1993 : Darr and baazigarr .. return of Anti hero. Damini for dhai kilo ka hath.
    1994 : HAHK
    1995 : Rangeela and DDLJ (both for return of romance)
    1996 : Khiladiyon ka khiladi (Akshay marks big with this, also first ever based on WWF)
    1997 : Border (Puts the screen on fire. Brings back patriotic feel)
    1998 : Satya … Anger bounced back.
    1999 : None ..

    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      good list yakuza. Agneepath is said to be loosely based on the real life of two gangsters – Manya Surve and Vardarajan mudaliar.

      Hum is an excellent film . I think it was last film where amitabh had serious angry man role.surprised that barjatya took inspiration from its second half πŸ˜€

      Ashiqui started the trend of Nadeem shravan signature music and they dominated bw throught the early 90s.

    • Manish 11 years ago

      Akshay marked big with 1994 where he had 4 movis amongst the top 10 movies of the year – mohra , MKTA ,Yeh dillagi and suhaag and moderate suceess like elaan and jai kishan …

      i think mohra was biggest opening that year he followed that in KKK with another big opening .. i dont remember SBK opening so kipped that part …

  13. Reddemon 11 years ago

    I would like to add ‘avatar’ and ‘swarg’ in this list which were culturaly more significant and are liked very much by family audience and kids.

  14. sauravjha 11 years ago

    Agree wid most but wud like to see a Darr/Baazigar also Sarfarosh can be a good addition i feel !

  15. Manish 11 years ago

    Khiladi is surely culturally significant .. it was the first thriller from abbas mastan which paved way for THRILLER SERIES (SYNONYMOUS WITH ABBAS MASTAN) and also was the first MOVIE which Associated the KHILADI tag to Akshay – Axn hero…

    Khiladi was in no way small franchise .. it wasnt a s big as romance or family drama genre which was the flavour of 90s after the masala axn of 80s , But surely it was big enough
    Khiladi was 10th biggest hit (and also the movie which marked first big success for akshay )
    MKTA was amongst top 10
    SBK and KKK were also amongst top -10 .. yes later with Mr and mrs khiladi , International khiladi the image took a dip but in no way it was a small franchise( i didnt consider khiladi 420 as it came in 2000s)


    Mohra i dont think can be included as culturally significant movie .. it was big axn blockbuster but even before that rajiv rai made similar successful movies – Tridev and vishwatma


    HAHK though howsoever i hate it today opened the market and brought back family audience .. changed the way most of the theatres used to be .. ABOVE ALL it brought back in vogue the culture of big fat wedding


    DDLJ again started the genre NRI romance which also paved way for SRK to become romance ka badshah


    KKK again the cultural significance lies in the fact that ask the people attending the Judo-karate classes of that time to know what significance it held that time , also it was absolutely favourite amongst the kids with WWf wrestlers in a bollywood movie nd yes many kids used to emulate those axn except maybe padhaku types

    Darr/baazigar – Akshay rejected Baazigar thinking that it wd affect his female following , and srk lapped up the opportunity and followed it up with darr to make anti hero popular in bollywood .. same was followed by akshay in 2000s with ajnabi


    Border brought back the jingiostic feeling completely agree with yakua on that thing it was a must watch on every independence day when it used to be air and also paved way for movies like LOC , Gadar (it has huge jingoistic feel), ATHWS

    I would pur satya rather parinda /shiva to bring back movies on underworld and gangster in vogue .. parinda ( i loved it ) myt be critically acclaimed but a commercial failure however satya with no established star was critically successful and commercial successful did more than srk’s duplicate .. tells the magnitude of sucess considering it has no known hero and even urmila matondkar was covered in clothes πŸ˜›

    Govinda – dhawan combo brought SLAPSTICK comedy in fashion which is working even today but there is slight modification (rtohit shetty style get mixed in that )


    Rangeela i remember was more popular for URMILA SKIN SHOW rather than heroes of the movie or romance so i dont think it can be actually credited with that

    HSSH is actually nmothing but an extension of HAHK or explotation of its suceess


    DTPH again i odnt think has cultural significance

    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      Good comment manish. Mostly agree with what you said.Not to forget khiladi series had been instrumental in improving the standards of action in bw big time. Because of stars like akshay and ajay,other stars also started giving importance to fight scenes and physicality.
      Rangeela was I think first film where the leading actress exposed without inhibitions for its time πŸ˜€

      • Manish 11 years ago

        yes else we wd have seen even today actors fighting like those 80s axn movie .. however we are seeing that today via south axners .. hope better sense prevail …

        yes without any inhibitions πŸ˜€ haye rama song ko to bhula hi nahi jaata πŸ˜€

  16. Serenzy 11 years ago

    Good Comment Manish.

    And, Nice Point Yakuza abt the Jingoistic Movies, Gangster Dramas and than Romance and Action.

    Baba, Yakuza,

    I am Highly luking forward to Shootout at Wadala.

    Huge Starcast, Gangster Drama in Commercial Mode, Ekta’s Backing and Real Life Characters with evry1 from Dawood, Manya Surve, Chotta Rajan, Isaaque Bagwan etc.

    The Entire 70/80’s Underworld.

    I just Love Political Thrillers and Gangster/Underworld Dramas.

    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      I liked shooutout at lokhanwaala a lot. vivek oberoi was in top form . Sanjay dutt was very good. rest of the cast were also good except amitabh who was hamming.

    • Manish 11 years ago

      shootout at lokhanwala is the only reason for me to look forward to shootout at wadala .. i remember i saw it in a SS theatre of ludhiana as i was in ludhiana that time nad thoroughly enjoyed it …

  17. Serenzy 11 years ago

    Me too Lubbbeeedd SAL a lot!

    VO’s Maya Dolas was EPICness!

  18. FS 11 years ago

    When did “Gunda” released? It was virtually significant to IMDB users.

  19. hithere 11 years ago

    I think (if you say culturally)
    1. DDLJ
    2. HAHK
    3. to certain degree Satya and Baazigar

  20. FS 11 years ago

    I think Ritz should get posting rights as well…

    • Ritz 11 years ago

      No its better this way. For me as well as for sputnik.and the site πŸ™‚

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