Mahesh Bhatt
Indian Bollywood film director Mahesh Bhatt looks on during an event to announce the first 'Japan Film Festival Indian (JFFI) 2014' in Mumbai on December 2, 2014.STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Mahesh Bhatt is one of Bollywood's finest filmmakers, who is known for expressing his thoughts well in the movies he makes. In a career spanning over four decades, Bhatt has given several cult classics that are relevant even today and launched talented artists like Anupam Kher and Pooja Bhatt.

Bhatt made his debut in the Hindi film industry in 1974 with the movie Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain, but his fourth film – Lahu Ke Do Rang – released in 1979 became his first box office hit and won two National Awards. Three years after Lahu Ke Do Rang was released, he directed Arth and that gave him the much-deserved attention in the industry. He went on to make timeless movies until his retirement in 1999.

As he turns 69 on Wednesday, September 20, take a look at some Bhatt's timeless movies that every movie lover should watch.


Released in 1982, the semi-autobiographical film is based on his extramarital affair with actress Parveen Babi. The film featured Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Smita Patil, Raj Kiran and Rohini Hattangadi in pivotal roles. Shabana Azmi won National Award in the Best Actress category for her performance in the film. Besides its path-breaking storyline, the film had a remarkable soundtrack also.


The film marked the powerful debut of the veteran actor Anupam Kher, who played the role of an ageing father. Saaransh is the story of an old couple struggling to come to terms with the death of their only son in New York. It was India's official entry for the Academy Awards in 1985 in the Best Foreign Language Film category.


Released in 1986, Naam is considered as one of the biggest milestones in the careers of Bhatt, Paresh Rawal and Sanjay Dutt. The film, tells the story of a mother (Nuthan) and her two sons – played by Kumar Gaurav and Sanjay Dutt – who are trying to make ends meet. The heart-wrenching story won audience and went on to become a blockbuster hit at the box office.


Bhatt launched his daughter Pooja Bhatt in 1990 in the film Daddy. The critically acclaimed film, which is one of his best film, is a poignant father-daughter story. The film is also said to be based on Bhatt's real-life battle with alcoholism. Though the it did not get a traditional release,  it is considered a quality film.


Aashiqui is one of Bhatt's finest and commercially successful films. The love story with fresh faces – Rahul Roy, Anu Agarwal and Deepak Tijori – became a hit and received rave reviews from the critics. The songs of the film were a rage and it made the careers of music composer Nadeem Shravan and singer Kumar Sanu.


The dark-shaded film Sadak is another masterpiece from the Bhatt's camp. The film is about a taxi driver (Sanjay Dutt), who falls in love with a woman (Pooja Bhatt) who was forced into prostitution. Sadak became a commercially successful film and is remembered for the late Sadashiv Amrapurkar's performance as a eunuch and the brothel madam.


The film based on a story in the background of religious riots, features Ajay Devgn, Kunal Khemu, Pooja Bhatt, Sonali Bendre and Nagarjuna. It won the prestigious Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and Ajay Devgn won National Award for his performance in the lead role.