Eye Candy Part 2: Bollywood’s Classic Hunks

Sabrina Mathew’s recent post on cinema’s most beautiful women reminded me that it was time for me to do the second of my eye candy posts. Men again, but this time it’s good old Hindi cinema. As a reader pointed out, early Hindi cinema—the 30’s and 40’s—doesn’t seem to have had too many men who could be classified as hunks, but by the 50’s and 60’s (the period I concentrate upon) we had them in deliciously large numbers. Here goes, more or less in order, with my top ten:

Bollywood's handsomest

1. Shammi Kapoor: Who else? I simply adore this guy in his cleanshaven avatar, between about 1957 and 1966 or so. He’s smart, charismatic, very energetic, and so mind-bogglingly handsome. Ridiculously good looking, especially in films like Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Junglee and Professor.

Shammi Kapoor in Dil Deke Dekho

2. Dharmendra: One of the few actors from the classic era who managed to look good till well into the 70’s—but I think he’s at his best in the mid 60’s. Saira Banu, his co-star in films like Aadmi aur Insaan and Aayi Milan ki Bela, remarked that he looked Italian. One of my readers was of the opinion that no Italian comes even close. I agree.

Dharmendra in Aaye Din Bahaar Ke

3. Dev Anand: A little too skinny in his early films, but wonderfully good-looking during the late 50’s and early 60’s. I do wish, however, that the hairstyle, with that characteristic puff in front, had been a little less exaggerated. And he could’ve done without the mannerisms, too. But despite that, a hunk, all right.

Dev Anand in Bambai ka Babu

4. Shashi Kapoor: Gloriously boyish, with his lopsided grin and slightly crooked teeth. He’s yummy in a way that’s different from his brother Shammi Kapoor, but is similar too (the joie de vivre of films like Pyaar Kiye Jaa is very Shammiesque).

Shashi Kapoor in Sharmilee

5. Rajesh Khanna: Gorgeous through the 60’s, particularly in Aradhana: watch out for his photograph which Sharmila Tagore, as his girlfriend Vandana, carries around. And I think he sizzles in Roop tera mastana – that half open shirt is ooh!

Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana

6. Sanjeev Kumar: No, I don’t mean the overweight version of the 70’s (though his smile and voice continued to be gorgeous even then). I mean Sanjeev Kumar in a few films of the late 60’s, after his early B-grade films. Patently artificial costume jewellery, purple or scarlet velvet and thin moustaches don’t do much for the average man, and they didn’t do much for Sanjeev Kumar. But see him in films like Shikar, Jeene ki Raah, or Saathi, and you’ll see what I mean. Handsome. Very much so.

Sanjeev Kumar in Shikar

7. Sanjay Khan: Even though he tended to be a little wooden, I like this guy’s face. There’s something of the little-boy-lost look about him, extremely appealing—until he grins, when he’s magically transformed into an unmistakable playboy!

Sanjay Khan in Intaquam

8. Parikshit Sahni: Okay, not one of your big time stars, but I saw him in his first film (Anokhi Raat) and nearly dropped off my chair, he’s so gorgeous. That bone structure is superb, and of course (with the genes he has), his acting’s pretty good too.

Parikshit Sahni in Anokhi Raat

9. Joy Mukherji: Not very consistent, really: he’s sort of loose-lipped and flabby in later films like Humsaaya. But Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon and Shagird? Yesss!

Joy Mukherji in Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon

10. Sunil Dutt: I’ve always held that Sunil Dutt was a fine actor, and in films for the art of it—otherwise how could a man so handsome consent to be the buffoon (and a none-too-good looking one at that) in Padosan?
Anyway, proves that even very bushy eyebrows can be overlooked when a man’s face is overall so arresting.

Sunil Dutt in Mera Saaya

And, because I did it for my earlier post, a couple of also-rans:

Manoj Kumar: I don’t at all care for Manoj Kumar as the patriotic hero with the curling upper lip (and, as one of my relatives put it, “that constipated look”), but in some of his more light-hearted roles—in, for instance, Gumnaam, Woh Kaun Thi, Nakli Nawab, or Shaadi, he does look good.

Manoj Kumar in Gumnaam

Premnath: Years ago, in school, a bunch of us teenagers was discussing Hindi cinema’s handsomest men (yes, I started young!) Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand topped nearly everybody’s list, but one friend said, “I also like Premnath”. Disbelief all around: “That fatty?” After which, of course, my pal and I had to clarify: No, not the fatty, but the fatty when he was younger, thinner, and much better-looking. In Aan, or Barsaat, or Naujawan, for instance.

Premnath in Aan

76 thoughts on “Eye Candy Part 2: Bollywood’s Classic Hunks

  1. Ah!

    Dharmendra was always pleasing to the eye when he was playing the cultured man but he was ridiculous in his enemy of the dogs avtaar. Dev Anand was also quite charming, but as you pointed out, the mannerism got in the way.

    I think Guru Dutt was quite handsome, if you are okay with anguish, angst and alcohol.

    I cannot make up my mind about the Kapoor men. I know this will get me banished from your blog but I recently saw Teesri Manzil and Shammi looked as if he was having an epileptic seizure on-screen or maybe he has a coiled spring instead of a spine.

    • acc to me shashi ji was the most handsome kapoor. dev anand was eye candy till guide. me and my sister were discussing about heroes. we said sanjay khan was handsome. then my mother said feroz khan. shammi kapoor was total delight in junglee and professor. i find rajender kumar ji very handsome too. vinod khanna was so handsome in his 70s movies.

  2. wow, what a list!
    but missing dilip kumar! He looked so gorgeous in the early 50s!
    I understand you not taking in Raj Kapoor, but in his non-Chaplinisque avatar, he can be quite charming.
    I know, you are a big Joy fan, but what made oyu put Parikshit Sahni in!
    Thank God tastes are different!
    I know Uttam Kumar was not such a regular Hindi film hero, but he did 2-3 films, didn’t he?
    His smile is so seductive!

    Will post my list tomorrow. I prepared it 2 weeks back already! Wanted to compare it with yours

  3. Sabrina: yes, Guru Dutt was handsome too (especially in Mr and Mrs 55), but all that angst does put me off a bit. And as far as Shammi Kapoor is concerned, I do have that disclaimer – till about 1966 (which was when Teesri Manzil was made). Even though I love the story, the music and the general feel of the film, I do think Shammi was past his prime by then. It was also not a good time for him, since Geeta Bali died while the film was being made…

    harvey: Am looking forward to your list!! I originally had Uttam Kumar in this list too, but then dropped him, probably because two of the main Hindi films he did (Amanush and Anand Ashram) had him looking really pudgy. He was very handsome in Chhoti Si Mulaqat, though. And Parikshit Sahni? You have to watch Anokhi Raat to see what I’m talking about. He’s delectable. ;-)

  4. OMG a big YESSSSS to all your choices. OK not Manoj Kumar – I am prejudiced against the guy, but the rest of them are all great eye-candy material. But no Vinod Khanna?!!! Or does he not fall in the right time-period to be considered for your list? And hey, I like Sanjeev Kumar in fancy dress (when he was slim enough to look swashbuckling). Here’s an example from Nishaan.

    I was watching Dhund a while back and boy, Sanjay Khan has his brother beat in the handsome stakes! And I am so glad you included Parikshit Sahni. He was so handsome but somehow never did become a big star – guess too many other hunks around in the 60s and early 70s in Hindi cinema! I have yet to see Anokhi Raat but he looked super handsome in Pavitra Paapi (which had Balraj Sahni too!).

    OK. I’ll come back for more comments after I am done drooling! :-D

  5. I guessed someone or the other would disagree about Manoj Kumar ;-) I just happen to like him in his lighter moments…definitely not in stuff like Upkar or Purab aur Pachhim, or even Pathhar ke Sanam. No Vinod Khanna because he did only a couple of films in the 60’s (I saw his first film, Man ka Meet, and he really didn’t look that great in it: pretty gawkish). If I was doing a 70’s eye candy post, he’d probably top the list!!

    Oooh, Sanjeev Kumar does look gorgeous in that clip (maybe it’s the missing moochh? I do like him cleanshaven. Feast your eyes on this one: he looks awesome, and the song’s another gem).

    Yes, wasn’t Parikshit Sahni very handsome in Pavitra Paapi? Though I hated the way that film ended – just too sad.

    • i dont like manoj kumar as an actor. his dialogue delivery in RKM. it was let down of the movie. but his dialogues were pretty fine. i sometimes wonder he has a great sense as a writer what happens to him when he is acting. he looked handsome in his early movies of 60s till maximum in mera naam joker. i find him handsome in black shirt and cream pants in MJK where rishi kapoor comes home to give books. my friend says unpay nehru jacket suit karti hain. i will continue to respect him as an writer and director. like for writing woh kaun thi, saving 2 songs from it. naina barsey rhimjhim rhimjhim and lagg jaa galey ki phir yeh hansi raat ho na ho. and for writing first part of mera naam joker. i liked that part very much. full of natural scenes which can happen and no moral policing. he also said es part ki charcha aaj tak hoti hain. i like songs of his movie hai hai yeh mazburi, mere desh ki dharti, om jai jagdish harey. i like miror shots in ek pyaar ka nagma hai. i find it divine. if one watches upkaar lake scene is best. where he and aasha parekh are talking early morning. sun reflection on lake water. i like it very much. and in koi jab tumhara hriday tod dey when saira banu disappears in dark corridors of oxford wearing herself black. it looks awesome. i think its my observation that he was fine actor in last scenes of his movies like neel kamal, anita, woh kaun thi, poonam ki raat. its my observation. just watch last scenes of the movie my observation you may agree. he could have been a villan. i was watching some movie with vjyantimala in it. he was fine in negative scenes. i think he has written another movie for raj khoshla may be or may not. i read his one interview. . don’t remember clearly. he said he has written many movies without giving his name. i think he should tell for better. and for wipers in woh kaun thi. he should not be blamed . in mera saya the servant girl is a mystery. raj khoshla should have been asked. i like him as a writer and director. and common people know that he is a writer and writes very well.

  6. My first intro to Manoj Kumar was Hai preet jahan ki reet sada in Chitrahaar and he did his lip-curling so much that I was put off for life! He isnt bad in Woh Kaun Thi, but I am too confirmed in my anti-Manoj-ism to appreciate anything about him!

    I didnt realise Vinod Khanna had any films in the 60s! For some reason I thought he debuted in Gulzar’s Mere Apne where he was o so dishy! Which reminds me of another of my favorites who just comes into the 60s by one film – Naveen Nischol (imdb lists his first film Saawan Bhadon as a 1970 film but I seem to remember it as a 1969 one).

  7. O ooo, pressed submit before I meant to!

    Pavitra Paapi was pretty sad but the novel it was based on was apparently even sadder. Guess someone wrote a novel for Dilip Kumar and poor Parikshit Sahni landed with the role! lol

    And Dev Anand’s puff was distracting but without it he looked so ordinary. All his manly beauty was contained in that puff, I think! :-D

  8. Yes, I think if anybody’s first memory of Manoj Kumar was Hai preet jahaan ki reet sadaa, I wouldn’t blame them for not liking the guy. Purab aur Pachhim was one of the most jingoistic films I’ve seen; didn’t arouse any patriotism in me at all!

    Interestingly, Man ka Meet had three people making their debuts: Vinod Khanna (as the villain), Leena Chandavarkar and Som Dutt (was that his name? – Sunil Dutt’s very average brother). One of those films where the villain looked better than the hero, but even then, not a patch on what Vinod Khanna was in later films like Sachcha Jhootha… and yes, agree with you completely about Naveen Nischol (am still trying to get hold of a Naveen-Asha Parekh starrer memsaab reviewed some time back: it sounded awesome: Naadaan).

    One film in which Dev Anand’s puff is a little subdued, but he still looks delicious is CID: great film and fabulous music too!

  9. I haven’t put my choice in a row, because if anything is harder than to choose 10 handsome men, then it is to put them in a row.

    Here is my list and I think I’m going to antagonise everybody here.
    Please, pleaaase don’t hate me!

    Here it comes:

    Dilip Kumar
    His good looks and his lopsided smile, who could resist it. Happy, tragic or heroic, he was always handsome.

    Dev Anand
    This suave guy has everything going for him. He is sophisticated, he has this naughty look, he is mysterious, he has something, which tells you it is going ot be dangerous, even if it is a walk through a daylight park.
    AND I love his puff, gives me something to curl around my fingers!

    Shashi Kapoor
    He is the male Moushmi Chaterjee for me. His boyish looks are so charming, even now at his ripe old age.

    Balraj Sahni
    I know, he is not good looking like goooood-looking but… He has this air of something tragic, something worldly, something very benign and a pinch of mystery. Surely a guy, whom you need, after a walk through the park with Dev.

    Ashok Kumar
    Good old Ashok Kumar! He had this rugged, edged face, rather like a raw diamond. He hardly got any roles to play a dacoit or something equally rough. I think some facial hair would have added to his charm.

    Sunil Dutt
    O his lively smile, which is more than reflected in his eyes. I love his anguished look for which he justly became famous for. I think he made bushy eyebrows a fashion trend.

    Sanjay Khan
    What is this thing about this guy, which makes him so desirable? I just don’t know.

    Rajesh Khanna
    For me he doesn’t fit in the 60s, he is more of 70s guy for me. But you can’t deny, that he has more than 5 movies in the 60s. Well, ab kya misaal du me tumhare shabaab ki.

    Chaand aahen bharega, phool dil tham lenge, husn ki baath chali to sab tera naam lenge!
    Aisa chehra hai tera, jaise roshan sanvera….

    Raaj Kumar
    O God, I am expecting lots of brickbats for this. But just think of him without his jaani mannerisms and his own controlled self. This guy had lots of sex appeal. He just has to look. His beauty is something, which you can’t grasp in words.

    Raj Kapoor
    In the early 50s, without his chaplinesque ado, and with his wavy hair and the way he grasps Nargis…. swooooon!

    I have nothing more to add to what dustedoff said.

    Now, I think memsaab and dustedoff will not talk to me atleast for 5 months, since I didn’t include Shammi Kapoor here in the list. Please forgive me, I just don’t find him handsome! :-( I tried, really!
    The best I liked him was with his moustache in his early movies.
    O God, if I go on talking like this, I will be kuchumber in few minutes.

    curious about your response

  10. harvey, yes (and I know memsaab’s going to support me on this!): How can you not have Shammi Kapoor on your list? He is just perfect, in my opinion! But as we said earlier, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder… which is why I’m not going to go yuck, yuck, yuck at your including Ashok Kumar and Raaj Kumar in your list. ;-)

    I do think Balraj Sahni was good-looking in some roles (like Seema, but somehow I always think of him as the paterfamilias of family dramas like Bhabhi or Waqt – and as Parikshit Sahni’s father. That’s one father-son duo where the looks improved!). And Raj Kapoor is bearable in Chori Chori or even in bits of Shree 420 – for instance in Mudmud ke na dekh, where he actually looks good.

    And since you’ve also got Sanjay Khan, Dharmendra and Dev Anand in your list, you’re forgiven! ;-)

  11. dustedoff, you are too kindhearted. I will try again to find Shammi Kapoor handsome!

    And yeah, Balraj Sahni has this paterfamilias look, but that is what makes him so … likeable, even in his looks. He is the guy with both the feet firmly on the ground and no hiccups during the ride!

    *I’m not going to go yuck, yuck, yuck*
    You disappoint me! That is very mean of you! ;-)

    *And since you’ve also got Sanjay Khan, Dharmendra and Dev Anand in your list, you’re forgiven! ;-)*

    Can you imagine a list of handsome guys of indian cinema without the latter two?

  12. You r great Memsaab.

    But I feel personally feel No. 1 position is our Super Star Rajesh Khanna not Shammi Kapoor.

    There are romantic leading men and there are romantic leading men, but very few have taken cinematic love to legendary heights. While there might be other icons but Super-Star- Actor Rajesh Khanna after four decades, he is the ultimate true romantic legend.

  13. dustedoff, how does it feel to be referred to as memsaab? ;-)

    BTW, inspired by you I started on my last train journey the compilation for my list of beautiful actresses of the 50s and 60s and I don’t know whom to exclude. They all looked beautiful except maybe Sandhya. :-0
    I think this will be only a compilation rather than a list.

    Which flower are you using as your icon?

  14. V Manohar: Thanks for the compliment, but the memsaab title is Greta’s, not mine ;-). And as I mentioned to harvey, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder… so I guess Shammi Kapoor is for me (and memsaab!) what Rajesh Khanna is to you. Personally, I like Rajesh Khanna only in his first few films – beyond the mid-70’s, the hairstyle and the mannerisms begin to pall on me.

    harvey: I suppose I should be flattered at being referred to as memsaab! And guess what, I’ve been trying to do a beautiful actresses post too, but picking 10 lovely women from Hindi cinema of the 50’s and 60’s is well nigh impossible! Everybody was so utterly lovely, it seems.
    I have no idea which flower that is – it’s a wildflower, photographed at Hatu Peak near Narkanda (Himachal Pradesh) last year. The summit of the peak is covered with these, along with strawberries and yellow daisies, this time of the year. Very pretty!

    bollywooddeewana: Yes, Jeetendra was nice too in his earlier films, but somehow I wouldn’t put him in the hunk category… something about him is more cutie than hunky. ;-)
    Vinod Khanna, as I mentioned to bollyviewer, is more from the 70’s than the 60’s. If this was a 70’s post, he’d have been top of the list – and would probably have occupied each of the other positions on the list too! Very hot (I saw Inkaar again yesterday, so am on a VK high right now).

  15. Harvey, thats a nice list, too. Most of them would make it to my list as well. Agreed young Dilip Kumar was strikingly handsome (though I find that his “acting” rubs me up the wrong way) and I find Balraj Sahni and Ashok Kumar very handsome too (though I agree with Dustedoff that they arent really hunk category). But I must go *yuck* at Raj Kapoor and Raj Kumar! The first, to me always looked like a very lecherous Uncle – even in his very young days. The second was sooooooo annoying that when I first saw Alec Guiness’s marked resemblance to him (The Bridge On The River Kwai) I almost didnt like him either!

    Dustedoff, isnt Inkaar awesome? As to VK’s hotness, I’ve just been watching Raaj Mahal – a costume swashbuckler – and boy could that guy give Stewart Granger a run for his money. I wish VK had done more sword-fighting movies! And yes, a list of 10 most beautiful actresses from any decade would be impossible to compile – you have to make it 10 favorite actresses, instead. I cant recall any less-than-attractive looking actresses at any time in Bollywood, though there were plenty of irritating ones and ones who couldnt act!

  16. Yes, Inkaar is awesome! I like the story, the interesting police procedure bit, and the entire way the film’s put together: very good. And Vinod Khanna is absolutely delicious! Thank you for the Raaj Mahal tipoff: I haven’t seen that one, but a swashbuckler with Vinod Khanna in it? Any day!
    You’re right; I’m going to have to specify, whenever I do my Bollywood beauties post, that these are my favourite actresses, not necessarily the most beautiful… I can’t think of any plain women in Hindi cinema ever! Even the supremely wooden Vimmi, though she couldn’t act to save her life, was pretty enough.

  17. I read somewhere in the net, that Inkaar was nearly frame to frame rip off of a Kurosawa film.

    Jeetendra gets so much on my nerves, I forget to look at his face.

    bollyviewer: Dilip Kumar was hot wasn’t he?
    And I agree completely with you, that Raj Kapoor and Balraj Sahni ar eno hunks but do we have really hunks in hindi cinema of the 50s and 60s? maybe Premnath, but he hardly covers the meaning of the word. Well, when I say hunk, then someone like Hrithik Roshan springs in my mind!
    *Raj Kapoor … looked like a very lecherous Uncle*
    but in his earlier movies like Baanwre Nain and Awara he had something, but hten he had to go and take up this chaplinesque image.
    As for Raaj Kumar, have you seen him in Dil Apna aur Preet Parai, he is subdued and looks so hurt all the time. And for e.g., Dil Ek Mandir as well. I would also have preferred him to Rajendra Kumar if I were Meena Kumari. But agian he had ot develop this jaani mannerisms. Andhe was well built. There is this very sexistic song with Leena Chandavarkar in ‘Dil ka Raja’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wGy1O-v52s) Check it. Not the song but Raaj Kumar, but be sure to turn of the awful song (Unfortunately, Pancham had his awful moments as well)

    dustedoff: the flower is beautiful, looks likes an anemome or a poppy.
    To choose 10 favorite actresses is a hard task as well. Shashi Kapoor listed in a mid 80s the Illustrated Weekly of India his list of beautiful indian actresses. Unfortunately I lost the copy, when I left India. My parents threw it away

  18. Yes, I read that about Inkaar too. Never mind; it’s still worth a watch!

    I’m okay with Jeetendra in some of his early films, like Ek Naari Ek Brahmachari or Farz, but by the 70’s (except in Parichay, he’d started to get on my nerves!

    Okay, conceded: Raaj Kumar does look good in some films. And in Dil ek Mandir he’s definitely much better than Rajinder Kumar (frankly, anybody would be!), but still… not my idea of a hunk. I so agree with you: hunk is sort of synonymous with Hritihik Roshan!! ;-)

    Yep, I think the flower is an anemone of some sort. I’m pretty sure it isn’t a poppy; the leaves weren’t poppy-like, and it wasn’t a tall plant.

  19. I had to go off and think about this one for a while :-) Naturally Shammi is at the top of MY list too (but harvey I don’t mind if you don’t agree cause it’s just more of him for ME). And Dharmendra has to be number two!

    But I have to admit I would definitely put Feroz there instead of Sanjay—I just find Sanjay creepy, but Feroz…now he’s a MAN! :-) And the Mukherjee boys never do much for me, and I cannot abide Manoj K :-))) I would probably have put Guru Dutt and Ashok Kumar in there instead. Totally on board with Rajesh, Shashi, Sanjeev K., Sunil Dutt and Premnath though! Dev Anand leaves me sitting on the fence. Not comfy.

  20. Ah, well – let’s agree to disagree! I can’t bear Feroz Khan (he’s just too louche and somehow creepy for me), and Ashok Kumar isn’t a hunk in my lexicon, so… but you’ve got to see Parikshit Sahni: too bad he did so few films in his slim and handsome days.

  21. You know who fits into the definition of “hunk” in the 60s more than anyone? Dara Singh! His acting and dialogue-delivery may leave a lot to be desired, but physically at least he could be in the Hrithik-hunk category!

  22. I love that the Kumars – Manoj and Sanjeev – made your list! Most people would not agree, so I’m glad to find I’m not the only one who thinks they were very attractive on their best days! Another Kumar, Ashok, would make my list – I think he was very good-looking in his prime. Oh and yet another Kumar, Dilip, I also find extremely attractive.

    Dharmendra would definitely be my hands-down pick for the prime position, though! He did look wonderful in the 60s, but sometimes a little ‘too’ overwhelmingly beautiful for me (LOL)… I personally like his looks from when he was a little more mature and more comfortable in his skin… for me he was at his best in the early to mid 70s.

  23. I’m so glad you agree with Sanjeev Kumar and Manoj Kumar being on this list! I put Manoj Kumar in with much trepidation, but then thought: “Hey, this is my blog!” He does look fabulous in some of his pre-patriot films: I adored him in Woh Kaun Thi and Nakli Nawab, for instance.

    Overwhelmingly beautiful? Hmmm… I’ll have to think about that! ;-). I don’t much care for Dharmendra in his first couple of films (Shola aur Shabnam, Shaadi, etc), but I do like him in the bunch he did opposite actresses like Asha Parekh and Saira Banu. And he’s awesome in Tum Haseen Main Jawaan! I could go on drooling at him in dress uniform: he’s just sooo yum.

  24. My choice. (not in any particular order)
    -I belong to the group of Raaj Kumar lovers. :-D

    -Guru Dutt. He does something to me whenever he moves his brow :-/

    -Dilip Kumar. In Aan he was unbelievably sexy. That wicked smile when he modestly turns his back on Nadira running around with her blouse ripping off, and gets caught on something – he has that slight smile, as he sets it free. *I’ve melted into a puddle*

    -Rajendra Kumar *blush*
    How could I not find him not attractive after Mere Mehboob?

    – Manoj Kumar *blush* *blush*
    I liked him when he wasn’t being patriotic. Even in Himalay ki godmein.

    -Rehman. Can’t really say why. There is an aura of sex appeal somewhere there. In his entire personality, perhaps? I just can’t lay my finger on the exact spot.

    -Shammi Kaoor (not because I want to stay in the good books of dustedoff and memsaab ;-), but really really.

    -Parkshit Sahni – yesss! I wonder why he didn’t succeed :-(

    -Sunil Dutt. He was that gentle sexy kind. Very attractive.

    -In some films like Mere Mehboob, Ashok Kumar looked sooooo good. Sometimes Rajesh Khanna too.

  25. Please ignore the second *not* in the description of Rajender Kumar.
    It should read;
    How could I not find him attractive after Mere Mehboob?

  26. Ignored ;-)

    Yes, maybe I’d stretch it for Rajender Kumar in Mere Mehboob, but then I don’t know… I’ve always held that just about anyone can look good in an achkan!

    Guru Dutt? I thought he was fabulous in Udhar tum haseen ho from Mr and Mrs 55, but otherwise somehow all that angst and pain didn’t go towards making him one of the hunks.

    And hey, I agree with you about Rehman – but only in places. Have you seen Chhalia? In the first scene where he meets Nutan, he looks so good I could hardly believe it was him! But yes, he sort of went down the drain rapidly after that in other films…

  27. I haven’t seen Chhalia. I’m thrilled to find out there is an interesting film of Rehman out there. :-)

    Will get it as soon as possible. Thanks.

  28. Warning: Chhalia is not recommended if you’re not a Raj Kapoor fan! And Rehman’s character isn’t very likeable, even though he isn’t a villain or anything of the sort. But if you just want to feast your eyes on him looking really good, then this is the film for you! :-)

  29. Oh, I’m completely neutral about Raj Kapoor, when he’s not doing the ‘smiling when sad’ type of roles.

    Though I prefer watching films where he’s not.
    But this one, I have put on my list. :-)

  30. Oh dear! ;-) Chhalia has RK playing the `smiling when sad’ role to the hilt. But never mind, Rehman looks awesome, Nutan is lovely, and the songs are pretty good.

  31. Naturally Shammi would have topped my list too followed by Dharmendra, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Dilip Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Joy Mukherjee, Sunil Dutt and Ashok Kumar.
    I really liked Manoj in his early non-patriotic movies. Joy Mukherjee, though not in many great movies, I felt got some most romantic songs to feature in (and same for Biswajeet) and he was very handsome, especially in Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon and Shagird.
    Ashok Kumar was not a hunk, but I still find him very good looking. And Parikshit Sahni, I haven’t seen any of his movies of his early days, but I really like him. I feel he looks great even now.
    I just realized that I’ve spent my Valentines eve drooling over the men (Hollywood and Bollywood) whom I truly adore. Thanks for giving that link to Eye Candy list in your latest post! ;-)

  32. I’m glad you’ve spent Valentine’s Eve profitably! I’ve spent it in a similar way too – watching Tyrone Power play the role of Juan Gallardo in Blood and Sand. He looks absolutely, totally awesome in that. If for nothing else, the film’s worth watching for anybody who wants an eyeful of Power. He’s drop-dead gorgeous in it. :-)

    Biswajit I find a little too feminine – but he certainly had some fabulous songs picturised on him!

  33. Good list, but what do you think of Dilip Kumar in his early years ? I mean, in Mehboob Khan’s ‘Andaz’ (1949) he is just gorgeous ! And as you included the dashing Prem Nath (here, just great : http://picasaweb.google.com/shift431/Villians#5217410288549435922), I also think that another to-be villain was not ‘so bad’ … Prem Chopra (he debuted in the 60’s.) Look at this : http://picasaweb.google.com/shift431/Villians#5217409247280467346 & http://picasaweb.google.com/shift431/Villians#5437110033636442306.

    And as we talked of some Bengali actors (the handsome Joy Mukherjee & the legendary Uttam Kumar), I can propose you another name : actual ‘Bengali SRK’ Prasenjit Chatterjee’s father, Biswajit Chatterjee (look : http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_BVDkeT5FLmQ/SjPQVurumrI/AAAAAAAAAuU/jaIIP0haT3s/s400/yrpna_biswajeet.jpg)

    So a good list, even If Feroz Khan, Dilip Kumar or – in some movies – Rajendra Kumar can be included.

    By the way, nice blog.

    From France with love.

  34. Thank you for dropping by, AA – and for your kind words! Do come again.

    I do like Dilip Kumar, but somehow the decidedly tragic feel of so many of his films (Andaaz included) puts me off. I can appreciate a tragic hero for his acting (and Dilip Kumar’s acting is faultless, mostly) – but somehow I find it difficult to admire their looks when covered over with a three-day beard and droopy eyes!! But yes, he did look great in Aan, especially when he smiles – mmmm.

    That Prem Chopra photo is great, too, though Biswajeet doesn’t appeal to me (too feminine) and neither does Feroze Khan (I’ve never liked him; there’s something too louche about him). Rajendra Kumar is another no-no for me!

    But hey, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. I have plenty of friends who don’t agree at all with my list!

  35. hey,,,where is amitji guys??? that 6 and half , dark haired , square jawed, oiled, absolutely well dressed, doon schooled,all rounder…maybe he is also nowadays seen in small time ventures….but i dont think that anyone comes even half of the way the praise and fame he has enjoyed throughout his life….sorry if i sound stupid…but its a fact ….ummmm isnt it???

  36. Well, Salim Khan: the reason why Amitabh Bachchan isn’t listed here is that this blog restricts itself to films upto the 60’s – not beyond. True, some of the men listed here did appear in the 70’s (Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra, for example), but I think they were at their best in the 60’s. Bachchan Sahib, as far as I know, made only two films in the 60’s but came into the limelight only in the 70’s, so if he were to be included in an eye candy list, it would have to be a 70’s (or after) one.

    Somehow, though, I wouldn’t classify Amitabh Bachchan as handsome: his screen presence is undeniable, but I’d say his looks are striking without being exactly drop-dead gorgeous.

  37. About Dilip Kumar, I think that he gained years very badly … he has always been handsome, but the young Pathan is more goodly presented in his first hit-movie ‘Jugnu’ (1947), for instance ; he is just gorgeous !

    But I totally agree about Big B … in fact, I think that from the 70′, because of the political turnoil at the moment, the hero changed from the ‘romantic-heartrob’ to the ‘angy young men’ ; and, in this transition, Amithab Bachchan gained a lot with his tall & unusual looks (and poor Rajesh Khanna lost all !.) This trend is even perceptible in Hollywood with Sylverster Stallone, and in both cases, it is more the whole ‘attitude’ than the good-looks which are appreciated by the masses. But, of course, it do not means that Big B is ‘ugly’ ; he can be very handsome (I like him in ‘Zanjeer’ personally) but he is not a ‘hunk’, for sure.

    You also mentionned the early years where there were not so many hunks in Bollywood compared to Hollywood, and I agree, because cinema was just less recent, and because of cultural values, it was very hard to go into cinema … do not forget that even Vinod Khanna, who came later, had a father who wanted to kill him if he joined movies … the only exception was Prithviraj Kapoor, the ‘tall, dark & handsome’ man can be – without shame – compard to Errol Flynn or Clark Gable (<3) But, yes, K.L. Saigal, Motilal or Sohrab Modi are certainly not in the 'hunks' category … ^^"

    N.B. : Sorry, I had a lot to say. :o) Thanks for the reading !

  38. Don’t be sorry for that long comment – I enjoyed reading it! And I agree with you on just about everything, from Bachchan not being ugly, but not a hunk – to the sheer handsomeness of Prithviraj Kapoor. I remember seeing a very brief clip of Sikandar years ago, and being completely bowled over! He was gorgeous.

    I didn’t know Vinod Khanna’s father was so opposed to him joining films. Thank heavens Vinod Khanna persevered! Through the 70’s, he remained one of my favourite actors – and an indubitable hunk.

  39. Salâam-Namaste!

    About Vinod Khanna, the man concerned will be more ‘eloquent’ (from ‘The uncensored Vinod Khanna’, Times of India) : “… I was game but my father held a gun to my head and said he would shoot me if I ever entered Bollywood. Finally, my mother convinced him to allow me to join the industry …” And keep in mind that even Abhay Deol (Greek god’s nephew, and himself not so bad) and Mukesh’s handsome grandson Neil Nitin Mukesh were not able to stay outside at nigh … do not even argue about having a girlfriend ! And these guys are from filmi family, which we would think as a bit more ‘liberal’ !

    But I personally think that this attitude is more apparent in North India, especially amongst the Punjabis, who ironically gived the most illustrous actors (on your list, apart from n. 6,7 & 9, they are all from the Punjab), because British modernism has not fully penetrated the region as it has with, for instance, the Bengal (Calcutta) or the Maharashtra (Bombay.)

    Returning to the list, I’m also glad that you included Manoj Kumar (a Rock Hudson-like charisma !) and Sanjeev Kumar, who looked divine in their youth ! But the second, as Shammi said of his own family, had the bad habit of eating like a Pathan ! And to continue about the Kapoors, I ‘discovered’ that Prithviraj had a brother but – more interestingly – he was an actor who played in over hundred movies, and in many as a hero : Trilok Kapoor. I have not seen a single photo. of the guy, but if beauty is really hereditary amongst the Kapoors (male ? :p), perhaps we’ve got another hunk of the 30’s ? ^^’

  40. Thank you for all that trivia, AA! And very especially for that information on Trilok Kapoor – this was the first time I’d heard of him, but if he had the Kapoor genes, he probably had the looks too. ;-) Now I’ve got to go search him out! The imdb page on him lists a lot of films in which he acted, though through most of the 50’s and 60’s, he seems to have specialised in B grade mythologicals.

  41. For me looks is important but also the good qualities. For me, sunil dutt tops the list because i can sense goodness in him. the others are “raaj kumar (young)”, sanjeev kumar (young) , bharat bhushan (young) manoj kumar (young)

  42. What about Shyam-the actor from the 40s movies who died a tragically early death? I believe he was cast alongside Suraiyya in a very hit movie..He was definitely handsome in my books…
    I agree Raj Kumar was more charismatic than good looking..

    My list would echo yours for the most part-I’d include a very young Premnath, Prem Chopra, Rehman, the aforementioned Shyam, Balraj Sahni, even a young Motilal…but definitely young Dilip Kumar..In fact, of all the 3 main stars of that generation (Raj, Dilip and Dev), Dilip Kumar holds a special place for me…esp in movies where he’s very young and very fun….It pained me to see him die so horribly in Andaz…and I loved him in his early scenes flirting with Nargis…(Sigh!)…

    • Wasn’t Shyam the same person who acted in Samadhi? If that’s the one you mean, then yes: he was certainly very good-looking. I think I read (perhaps on another blog) that he died fairly young, or at least after having ruined his looks drinking. Don’t remember now exactly what the circumstances were…

      Oh, yes – Dilip Kumar is definitely one of the best-looking stars of his era. Certainly better than Raj Kapoor, at any rate (I still can’t imagine how Nargis’s character chose Raj Kapoor’s over Dilip Kumar’s in Andaz!) ;-)

  43. Came to this post only because I saw you had commented on it in ‘Recent Comments’ – boy! am I glad I did! So much eye-candy!
    My preference would be:

    1.Shammi Kapoor
    2. Dilip Kumar
    3. Dev Anand
    4. Raj Kapoor (Don’t shoot me!)
    5. Shashi Kapoor
    6. Sanjeev Kumar
    7. Rajesh Khanna
    8. Balraj Sahni
    9. Sanjay Khan
    10. Parikshit Sahni

    And Madhu, the reason that Dev Anand had that silly puff was because he was in love with Suraiyya and she had a crush on Gregory Peck. (In fact, Peck, when he came to India, had a midnight rendezvous with her – when he learnt that India’s biggest singing star had a soft spot for him – all very innocent, actually, since she was chaperoned by her grandmother and manager and…. :) Anyway, young Dev was supposed to resemble Gregory Peck (the resemblance is quite marked, if you ask me) and he decided to style his hair the same way so he would be even more appealing to a woman who was already in love with him. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her. Unfortunately, her family objected, and she did not have the courage to leave them and go with him. Of course, she also never married.

    :( Sad end to a really decent love story!

    • Yes, my parents had pointed out the Dev Anand-Gregory Peck resemblance to me when I was quite small. I think probably before I had ever even seen a Peck film, though I had seen CID. I remember them showing me a magazine that had photos of them, shot from similar angles… startlingly alike. But Peck’s hairstyle somehow manages to give him a rakeish look, not this contrived puff that Dev Anand adopted. :-(

      Heh. I don’t mind Raj Kapoor’s looks, actually – I actually think he’s quite good-looking in films like Shree 420 (in that tux!), or Sangam, for instance. What I don’t like is his ‘lovable tramp’ persona and the mannerisms associated with that. It irritates the hell out of me.

  44. mm… Sanjay Khan. What a pity that the web has such a paucity of pictures of him in his prime. The ONLY thing I remember from the picturization of the Rafi classic “mai.n ye sochakar usake dar se uThaa thaa” from Haqeeqat is that Sanjay Khan is in the frame (he’s not the one the song is picturized on, just hanging around). Drop-dead gorgeous, a complete dreamboat.

  45. I also think that Guru Dutt should be on the list…he’s not much of a “hunk” as such (Lack of muscles), but in the roles like Mr. And Mrs. ’55, 12 O’ Clock, and Aar Paar, you have to admit, there’s just this aura about him. The way his eyes move, just…
    Perhaps he shouldn’t be included on the hunk list, but definitely one of the handsomest actors I’ve seen.

    And I’m glad Shashi and Shammi are on that list :)

    • Guru Dutt was on my shortlist, but eventually got edged out by the others. :-) But I agree with you about there being an aura about him – he can be very attractive. In all the films you’ve mentioned, and (for me) very specially in Udhar tum haseen ho idhar dil jawaan hai. For a man to be so mesmerising while sharing screen space with Madhubala is quite an achievement!

  46. On this sad day of Rajesh Khanna’s demise, millions of his fans like me are dumbstruck with grief.
    His songs sung mostly by the evergreen Kishoreda are permanently etched in every film goers mind..
    Please do a good tribute post to the superstar of the 70s when Music was the food of love,,



  47. -hides self behind table-

    I’m gonna get beaten up for this, but I think Raaj Kumar was VERY handsome in Hamraaz. The scene where Sunil Dutt finds him in the hotel room! :D

    But Dev will top my list anyday. So. Handsome. He makes my legs turn to jelly.

    Shammi will figure no matter what. Loved him in the early 60’s and late fifties. And Joy Mukherjee is very handsome. :D I think Manoj was awesome in Woh Kaun Thi, and thank God I haven’t seen his patriotic stuff.

    Rajesh Khanna, OF COURSE. Gorgeous. And okay, don’t kill me, but I watched Mere Mehboob (a bit) and Rajendra is handsome. :B Sanjay Khan is quite good-looking too! Shashi as well! And Dharmendra too!

    I’d say Dilip when he was young, and Raj Kapoor in Shree 420. :D Will you hit me if I say Guru Dutt is kind of handsome too?

    • Raaj Kumar has never appealed to me, but I did think he looked all right in films like Dil Ek Mandir and Ardhangini. And yes, Dilip Kumar in his early films (Kohinoor, for example; or Aan). Raj Kapoor, I think I like in some avatars, and definitely not the ‘lovable tramp’ ones. I thought he looked great in a tux in Shree 420, and I liked him through all of Chori Chori. It’s a wonder what a smile can do to make people look better! :-)

      Guru Dutt? No, I won’t hit you. I don’t usually think of him as outright handsome, but he does have a certain attractiveness that can make him awesome at times. Here, for instance, in Udhar tum haseen ho (where, in addition to looking great, he also has fantastic chemistry with Madhubala):

  48. According to me, Manoj Kumar was way too handsome in Woh Kaun thi and Pathar ke sanam and some other movies . He looked very attractive to me. And yes I remember Sanjay khan’s Ek phool do mali. He was good in that. But Manoj kumar is my favourite. I don’t know why but i don’t find him constipated thats an insult. I would say Thats his style. I simply love Manoj Kumar. *sigh* I wish I could meet him.No matter he his old. He was once handsome. My respect to Manoj Sir.

    • Chill. Everybody has their own opinions, and there’s no point getting het up if somebody’s opinion doesn’t match yours. I agree that Manoj Kumar looked great in films like Shaadi or Gumnaam or Woh Kaun Thi?, but I do draw the line at stuff like Shor.

  49. Hm, I agree with some of your list but not most of it. The language is somewhat quaint. Please don’t take offense. It is a generational and cultural difference, I think. It just reminds me of how much differently we modern young women discuss men. I have never heard any young woman use the word ‘handsome’ or ‘hunk’ – the way we talk about men is much more sex-oriented. The word ‘handsome’ sounds so clinical to my ears!

    Here are some of mine to add:

    Dilip Kumar – I am surprised and I admit a little disappointed to see his absence. Very, very sexy man, my favourite of the whole lot. Not very classically handsome I admit but something about the melancholy, the brooding presence, the crooked smile, but also the fact that he seems so *proper* most of the time, that you want to bring out the animal in him. Yum.

    Guru Dutt – Again, not very classically handsome, and the tragic artist type bothers some people. But he had a brooding sensuality that was just irresistable. And he made beautiful films.

    Raj Kapoor – I understand that he is super unpopular on the female blogosphere, for some or other reason. Understandable when it comes to his post-’50s appearance…but not before that. *That* man was beautiful to look at. An “homme fatale” as someone put it…there was something fey about those grey eyes (like in Aag) but then there was also this seething sexuality. And, not to put too fine a point on it, but he seemed like the kind of man who would pull your hair, spank you and throw you on the bed. Insanely appealing, if you like that sort of thing.

    Raaj Kumar – Gosh, Raaj Kumar in Waqt. I don’t understand how Sadhana could pick Sunil Dutt over Raaj Kumar, and I actually find Dutt attractive. But that intensity…and those cheekbones could cut glass.

    Bharat Bhushan – I haven’t found out if this man could act, but by gosh, he was beautiful!

    Now from your list I can agree with Shashi Kapoor (boy, and *do* I agree…hubba hubba), Dev Anand (oh yes), Dharmendra (too much he-man for my taste but yes he was good-looking), Sanjeev Kumar (oh god, he was just too attractive) and Sunil Dutt.

    I’d strike off everybody else, though. In the category ‘wet blankets’ are Manoj Kumar and Joy Mukherjee. Didn’t Sanjay Khan beat up Zeenat Aman? I can forget asshattery to a certain extent but not domestic violence. What a creep. Premnath’s look is rather…ape-like to me. Not appealing and all.

    And you’re going to ban me from your blog for this, but I don’t understand the appeal of Shammi Kapoor at all outside of the teenage girl demographic. :-) He was very handsome in his late 1950s avatar, as a young rocker (but more Frankie Avalon than Elvis IMO!). But the energy he exuded was IMO very youthful, *too* youthful for me…and in the 1960s he just looked bloated, but with the same youthful energy, which rather gave off the impression of an overgrown baby, IMO.

    • Ah, well. To each their own. As they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Of your list, a yougn Dilip Kumar appeals to me – the type in Aan. By the time Aadmi or Ram aur Shyam came around, he was just looking too tired. RK, in a couple of places – especially in a suit – does look good, but on the whole, I’m not a fan of him, whether of his acting or his looks. Raaj Kumar is bearable in early films like Ardhangini or Dil Ek Mandir, as long as he keeps his mouth shut.

      • Yes Dilip looked too old and tired by 1958 already. I would not even go so far as ‘Ram Aur Shyam’! :-) But in the late ’40s and early ’50s he was perfect.

        I just realised I forgot Rajesh Khanna. I can agree with you that he looked very good at a certain stage, mostly the late ’60s and early ’70s (especially ‘Amar Prem’). But when he married Dimple, that just catapulted him to ‘creepster’ for me. A man in his 30s marrying a 16-year-old? Just no. And he looked like a sleazeball by the mid ’70s. In my opinion the 1970s were good to nobody.

        Most of the Bollywood men aged horribly IMO. The only one who who looked very good for a long time was Shashi Kapoor.

        • Another man, I think, who managed to look pretty good for quite a while was Vinod Khanna. I’ve always liked him – and he acted in some really good movies.

          Rajesh Khanna had a very short period of time in which he looked good, no? He came in at the fag end of the 60s, and a decade later, was already looking pretty over the hill. And his marriage to Dimple – oh, I agree with you. Cradle-snatching, almost!

  50. I wonder why Jeetendra does not get a mention here, with looks to die for. He looked so hot opposite Rajshree, Babita and Asha Parekh back then. My mates and I had a massive crush on him during our childhood and would religiously read the Filmfare mag to stay current on all the goss to do with him!

  51. Thank God Raj Kapoor is not here, I always wonder why people call him Showman, in my sight he is irritating but I feel sorry for Manoj Kumar, infact he is one of the most handsome hero of all time, atleast for me.

    • Hehe! Where were you when RK fans were lambasting me on my Shashi Kapoor songs post?! Seriously, I cannot stomach that man either. I have really liked him only in one film – Chori-Chori (though there are a couple of other RK films – like Teesri Kasam and Shree 420 – which I also like, even if he personally doesn’t appeal to me very much). I cannot understand this fascination for him. But to each his/her own, I suppose.

      I think Manoj Kumar was really good-looking in the early to middle 60s. Then his hairstyle began to get really weird, and those mannerisms got exaggerated,,, but in films like Nakli Nawab, Shaadi or Woh Kaun Thi?, he’s delectable.

      • hey! same is the case here.I also don’t like Raj Kapoor, infact I don’t like the Kapoors, with the exception of Shammi Kapoor (he is one of my fvrt).

        Manoj Kumar was good looking but when he makes that constipated type look, it annoys me :D

        BTW its a good list and I am happy to see Shammi and Dharemdra at the top.

  52. According to me and my mother sunil dutt and rajender kumar ji were gentlemen. sober, well mannered and soft spoken in their movies. and they were favourites of sadhna ji too. i love both of them. joy mukherjee i liked him in his rom com movies.

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