II.3.  INDIA.  Back to Chapter II  Back to Contents

Magadhan Kings (c. 1700 BC - 550 AD)

Shakya Dynasty (c. 650-500 BC)

Nanda Dynasty (424-321 BC)

Mauryan Empire: 321-185 B.C.

Samrat Chandragupta (1958)  --  Indian emperor befriends, but then defeats Alexander the Great, establishing the Maurya Empire (321 - 185 BC)

Samrat Chandragupta (1945)  --  ancient, pre-Islamic India; ruler from 320-298 BC

Chandragupta (1934)  --  founder of Mauryan Empire, originating from Magadha kingdom in modern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal in e. India

Asoka (2001) -- India after the age of Alexander the Great, Emperor Asoka (273-232 B.C.)

Shunga Dynasty (185-73 BC)

Kanva Dynasty (73-26)

Western Kshatrapas

Gupta Dynasty (c. 240-550 AD)


Medieval Period: 711-1526

Pritviraj-Samyukta (1946)   – Prithviraj Chauhan (1168-1192), second-to-last Hindu to rule Delhi & unifier of Rajputs against Muslim invasions, & his wife Samyukta

Islamic Sultanates (1206-1596)

Ambikapathy (1937) – 1083, story of the poet Kambar in the time of Kulothunga Chola (1070-1120) of the s. Indian Chola Empire (300s BC-1279)

Vijayanagara Empire (1336-1660)

Sri Krishnadevaraya (1970)  --  Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529); most famous king of Vijayanagara Empire, presided over the empire at zenith

Joymati (1935)  – in 17th century an Ahom princess is killed for refusing to betray her husband; film calls for cooperation between hills and plains people

Khalsa (1999)  --  Khalsa (Punjabi for "Pure") all baptized Sikhs; founding of the religion & Sikh history

Anokhe Amar Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji (2006)  --  based on Sikh history


The Mughal Period: 1526-1757

Humayun (1945)  --  Mughal emperor Humayun (1530-1539), son of emperor Babar

Jodhaa Akbar (2008)   --  Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1619) and his Hindu wife Jodhabai

Mughal-e-Azam (1960)  --  16th century war between crown prince Saleem and his father, the great Moghul emperor Akbar (1556-1605), over a beautiful court dancer named Anarkali

Anarkali (1953)    --  Shahenshah Jalaudin Akbar, grandson of Babbar and son of Humayun, rules Hindustan justly, but has big problems with a rebellious son  in love with the gypsy Anarkali

Akbar Saleem Anarkali (1978) --  story of Arnakali and Saleem

Noor Jahan  (1931)  --   a Mughal empress (1577-1645), 20th and favorite wife of Emperor Jehangir (1605-27)

Taj Mahal (2005)  --   Moghul ruler  Shah Jahan (1628-1658) builds a monument to eternal love in honor of his deceased wife

X Taj Mahal:  A Monument to Love  (2003)  --   ditto

Ranadheera Kanteerava (1960)  --  Mysore kingdom was a golden age in Kannada .literature;  Mysore royalty’s intrigues & Kannada national chauvinism; King Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar (1638-1659), a devotee of music and literature

Maratha Empire 1674–1818

Bajirao Mastani (1925) --  prime minister Baji Rao I (1719-17400) to the Maratha Empire; extended the empire

Ghashiram Kotwal (1976) – story of Nanasaheb Phadnavis, the prime minister and real power of the Peshwa Maharaja, 1773-1797



British Period: 1757-1947

Clive of India (1935) --  Robert Clive (1725-1774) who secured British rule in India

Jhansi Si Rani (1952)  --  in the 1800s, first native revolt against the British in India

Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players) (1977)  -- a classic in which the British seize the Indian kingdom of Oudh, one of the last independent kingdoms of India

Gunga Din (1939)  -- 19th Century Punjab India, Thuggee cult (followers of Kali)

The Deceivers (1988) 1825 India, with Brosnan as British officer infiltrating Thuggee cult

Sunghursh (1968))  --  Indian film accurately depicting the Thuggee cult

Sabaka (1954)  -- 

 Kranti (1981) – an Indian family fights to drive the British out of India circa 1825 to 1875 AD

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) -- battles between British and Afghan guerillas

The Bengal Brigade (1954) -- British work to thwart the Sepoy rebellion in India -- 1857

King of the Khyber Rifles  (1953) --  a native Afridi deserter from the Muslim fanatic Karram Khan attacks Capt. King & his escort on his way to the Northwest Frontier; later he gets the assignment to get Khan

X   Storm over Bengal (1938)  --  battles between the British and Indians in Bengal (currently unavailable)

The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey (2005)  --  hero of an uprising against the British, the Sepoy Mutiny c. 1857

Brigand of Kandahar (1965)  -- British army fights off an uprising in the 1850s

North West Frontier (a.k.a., Flame over India) (1959)   --  1905, fighting between Muslims and Hindus & trying to safe an important young Hindu Prince

A Passage to India (1984) - 1920's clash between English racist colonialism and the native Indians

Cotton Mary (1999)  --  racism and its effects in post-colonial India

The Jewel in the Crown (1984)  --  set against the final years before India gained independence

The Far Pavilions (1984)  --  mini-series about forbidden love between a British cavalry officer and an Indian princess

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India  (2001)  --  Hindi movie about the effect of British injustices on a small Indian village of peasants

Immadi Pulakeshi (1967)  --  actor Dr. Rajkumar film

The Rains Came (1939)  --   British colonial love stories set against floods in Boroda, India, 1938

The Long Duel  (1967)  --  1920s India where the British Raj still rules India; a British lawman squares off with a freedom-backing sultan

The Drum (Drums) (1938)   --  in the time of the British Raj, Indian Prince Azim tries to warn the prejudiced British about a coming revolt



Gandhi -- 1915 onward; arrested in 1922 for civil disobedience against British rule

The Making of the Mahatma (1996)  --  Gandhi's politically formative years in South Africa

Lage Raho Munnabhai ("Carry on, Munnabhai") (2006)  -- to impress a woman a Mumbai thug pretends to be an expert in Gandhian philosophy

Anand Math (1952)   --  Indian resistance to colonial rule

Kisna: the Warrior Poet (2005)  --  love story between British girl and Indian boy set in 1940s Indian Independence Movement

Lord Mountbatten -- The Last Viceroy (1986)  --  helps bring independence to India

Laaj (2003)  --  Hindu girl with a Muslim boy equals problems; set in the 1930s; the Pashtoons of India's northwest frontier turned against the ruling British Raj

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005)  --  Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945) a Bengali leader who favored violent means to liberate India

Shaheed-e-Azam  (2002)  --  Bhagat Singh; celebrated martyr of Indian independence movement; hanged by the British March 23, 1931

The Legend of  Bhagat Singh (2002)  --  Bhagat Singh

23rd March 1931:  Shaheed  (2002)  --    Bhagat Singh

Pagadi Sambhal (“Hold fast to your turban”) (1992)   --  Bhagat Singh

 X  Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja (2009)  --  fight for Indian independence

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (2000)  --  leader of India's dalits ("untouchables")

Nine Hours to Rama (1963) -- events leading up to assassination of Gandhi in 1948

Staying On (1981)  --  a British colonel and his wife decide to remain in India after the departure of the British in 1947

Jinnah (1998) -- Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan

Earth (1998)  --  love story set against religious violence following Indian independence in 1947

Train to Pakistan (1998)  --  ethnic violence between Hindus, Muslims & Sikhs in Punjab after British left in 1947

Hey! Ram (2000) – bloody civil war between Hindus and Muslims that ultimately led to the neo-Islamic state of Pakistan

Shakespeare Wallah (1965)  --  a fast fading family acting troupe reflects the loss of British influence in India

Sardar: The Iron Man of India (1993)   --  a biopic of Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first home minister and deputy prime minister

Pukar (1983)  --  after 1947 a boy who sees his father shot by a "revolutionary" fights to kill all revolutionaries in Goa, but earns the hatred of almost every Goan 

Bandit Queen (1994) -- Indian film about female Indian outlaw Phoolan Devi (Seema Biswas), 1980s

Last Day of the Raj (2007)  --  dealing with the division of India into Pakistan and India

Matir moina (The Clay Bird) (2002) – set in 1971, India intervenes on the side of the Bangladeshis against Pakistan, whose forces surrendered and Bangla Desh ("Country of Bangla") was established





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