Most depressing movies of all time (sad ending)

Most Bollywood movies have a feel-good ending, after many twists and turns, two lovers always unite. But its a myth that only such movies work at the Indian box-office.

Dont you think sad / depressing movies make a bigger impact and stay with you much longer?

Here’s a list of the top few most depressing / sad / tragic Bollywood movies of all time. You can post your views and list too, go over to the comments section below.

1) Mother India – The 1957 classic is an Oscar nominated film. What do I say? Brilliant performances, role of a lifetime for Nargis. Watch it if you haven’t already.

2) Vaastav – One of the best Gangster films to be produced by Bollywood and what a climax. Tragic, unfortunate, depressing… yet the film lingers in your mind long long after the credits roll.

3) Anand – The whole friendship between Amitabh and Rajesh Khanna, the cancer issue, those dialogues, the death scene, the voice recording scene.. Brilliant. Rajesh Khanna was mind blowing!

4) Tere Naam – This movie is under-rated and its arguably Salman Khan’s best performance this decade. Music is Himesh Reshammiya’s best as a music composer.

5) Sholay – The death scene of Amitabh Bachchan, ensures a sense of profound loss. The film is filled with tragedy and that’s exactly what makes it great. Most believe Sholay to be the best film ever, we disagree. Most definitely one of the best, but certainly not “the best” ever.

That’s it for now. Do post your very own list of sad depressing Bollywood movies, below.


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beena:  (May 25, 2009 at 11:56 am)

ya…it’s sholay,anand…..sadma

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Fathiya:  (May 25, 2009 at 12:06 pm)

In addition, there’re many depressing movies, some of them were funny & romantic but the ending were sad, as listed below:

Heer Ranjaha -- a love story with a very sad ending.
Sohny Mahiwal -- too
Unrao Jaan -- the remake, a sad & a beautiful story
Dil Se -- loved the depth in the script and the ending was sad
Ankahee, sad how the life of family was ruined
Zindagi Rocks -- nice funny and u feel at the end, when the mother sacrifices her life for her son that you should stand for her and take yr hat off
Kal Ho Na Ho -- entertaining movie with a sad ending

Aradhana, one of my favourite old movies which make me weep for many scenes specially in the scene when she delivers her baby and there was a sad song and Sharmila holds her baby face and cries, this scene killed me many times while watching, till today.. Sharmila’s performance was extra-ordinary in this movie and she deserved the award she got.

Bahavna, a mother who sacrifices her reputation, money, health, life for her son
Baghban -- a sad father, a very touching story
Sangam: a guy who sacrifices his life for his beloved and his friend
Do Raaste: Rajesh Khanna’s role, a sad young man who’s unable to marry his beloved because he’s poor and because of family problems.
And the most depressing movie, a nice story, is Rajesh Khanna’s Aap ki Qasam with Mumtaaz.. a man who’s life was ruined because of his suspecious, doubts and he loses his life, career because of all that, specially the scene where the song: Zindagi ek Safar…. what a sad scene

These are what I remembered now, and I’m sure there’re some more

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beena:  (May 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm)

Fathiya…you’ve really nice knowledge….i like it.

in this list i would like more movies.

massom…for shabana azmi’s performance.


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Aslıhan:  (May 25, 2009 at 12:55 pm)

Kal Ho Na Ho
Ram Jaane

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Raji:  (May 25, 2009 at 2:18 pm)

TERE NAAM it’s ending made me tearfull.It is saddest movie

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Lyn:  (May 25, 2009 at 2:21 pm)

Dil Se -- which was more depressing as the ending was pointless and the ‘love’ had been obsession (who really wants a stalker after them?) rather than a real connection as I read it. If he had no life without her he needed to ‘get a life’ rather than making his whole life rise and fall on just that (this is where ‘romance’ and ‘love’ gets twisted in some of these traditional melodramas)
Devdas -- although he needed to get a life too, this one was very powerful and the connection seemed more romantically appropriate if a little ‘Off”
Fanaa -- very powerful and stayed with me.
Kal Ho Na Ho -- sad rather than depressing (there’s a difference) as it was an ending to which something enduring grew out of it and remained.
(I see 3 of those were SRKs -- he has done some heart wrenching ones!

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Mithu Hiranand Sadarangani:  (May 25, 2009 at 3:03 pm)

We can add Ek Duje ke liye, Qayamat se qayamat tak, Baiju Bawra, Laila Majnu, to the list.

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namrata:  (May 25, 2009 at 3:43 pm)

you guys have missed out two important films do watch the both and see how impactful they are
Sadma -kamal hassan and shree devi was in lead roles and 2nd also of actor kamal hassan and rati agni hotri they are both love stories but have total different angle ………. watch it guys

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Fathiya:  (May 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm)

Thanks Beena, if u didn’t watch Shabana Azimi’s Bahavna then goahead.. watch it, it’s one of my favourite movies which touched my heart. It’s a sad movie but nice although it’s old direction, but worth watching. I loved Shabana’s acting in this movie and saw it 4 or 5 times.

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ABD:  (May 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm)

Most of Dilip Kumar’s films were sad in content and had tragic endings. He was a fantastic tragedy actor. Please watch, if you can, the following:
Shaheed, Andaz, Mela, Babul, Deedar, Uran Khatola, Devdas, Insaaniyath, JUGNU, Nadiyaa Ke Paar and Daag.

I found Rajendra Kumar’s Aman and Sangam quite sad as well.

Even a macho man as myself had to grope for tissues in Dev Anand’s Guide, Darmendra’s Sathyakam, Raj Kumar’s and Priya’s Heer Ranja and Ashok Kumar’s Aashirwad.

The whole of Rajesh Khanna’s Amar Prem was very moving and sad. His films Roti, Aap Ki Kasam, Anand, Safar and Avtaar had very sad climaxes.

Big B also succeeded in moving audiences in Deewar, Sholay, Muqadar Ka Sikander, Suhaag, Shakti, Akri Raasta and Hum.

Sad films have a special pull. I have never seen a film that is as sad as Samaj Ko Badal Dalo. Please get this film and witness a mother’s plight.

I shall also always remember
1. Vijayanthi Mala and Dilip Kumar`s tragic end in Ganga Jamna at the hands of his own brother.
2. A mother having to shoot her own child -- Mother India.
3. Rajendra Kumar’s death in Dil Ek Mandir as he fiercely tries to protect his reputation as an impartial doctor.
4. Sunil Dutt and Nutan’s demise in Milan. Same goes for Beiju Bawra -- Meena Kumari and Bharat Bhushan.
5. Waheeda Rehman’s death in Darpan left me angry against humanity for a long time.

The films Bhabhi, Bombay Ka Babu and Samadhi were also very sad.

In the 80’s, sad films were fewer in number. I can remember Akir Kyon, Insaaf Ka Tarazu, Kudrat and Prem Rog and Haste Zakhm. Also Qayamath se Qayamath Takh.

Plots in which children suffer illness and die make me very sad. Anuraag and Dard Ka Rishta are good egs.

Hats off to Manoj Kumar for coming up with the most sad ending ever in Shor. What a sublime tragedy!
Manoj Kumar also moved cinema houses to tears as he and Asha Parekh pined away for each other to death in Do Badan.

It would be silly of me if I were to forget mentioning the classics Anarkali, Mugal E Azam, Sohni Mahiwal and Laila Majnu. The world has been bitterly against true love.

Of late, saddies include Vastav, Veer Zara, Devdas, Fiza, Tere Naam and above all, AAMIR!

There will always be an audience for sad films and tragedies. These will never go out of style.

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Fathiya:  (May 25, 2009 at 10:00 pm)

Further to my previous comment, Shahrabi for Bigb was a sad story with some funny scenes, but the scene where Bigb weeps when Umprakash is dying was a very touching scene as well as some scenes in Khuda Ghawa. Suhagan for Sri Devi was a nice movie, sad too.

Rajendra Kumar’s (Saathi) too was a sad movie as well as the old movie (Dosti).

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Victoria:  (May 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm)

Ek Duje Ke Liye, Kisna, Roti, Umrao Jaan, Khwahish, Dil Se , Vaastav, Sholay, Mother India, Aas Paas, KARAM, Parinda, Benaam Badsha.

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raheeel:  (May 25, 2009 at 11:17 pm)

kabhi alvida na kehna & Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham(spacialy for Mother & Son) both r the most depressing movies ever
Tere Naam ,Dil se and Rand de basanti too

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Indicine Team:  (May 26, 2009 at 12:26 am)

KANK and K3G?? Whats depressing in those films?

Rocky:  (May 26, 2009 at 3:18 am)

what about devdas

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Ana:  (May 26, 2009 at 4:58 am)

user 1- Kal Ho Na Ho, Devedas, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Tere Naam & Kiyun ki

user 2 -- Kyun Ki, Jannat, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Tere Naam & Kal Ho Na Ho

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spiderman:  (May 26, 2009 at 8:03 am)

yaadgar -- kamal hassan


babu -- rajesh khanna


muqaddar ka sikandar -- amitabh


qurbani -- feroz khan, vinod khanna

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spiderman:  (May 27, 2009 at 6:40 am)

oh yes, i forgot to mention the following films as well:


anand (really sad)

deewar (amitabh)

khuddar (amitabh)


kabhie haan kabhie naan


mother india




kranti (manoj kumar)

and two recent films that were very sad, and i can’t believe most people missed these two out:

rang de basanti


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Mithu Hiranand:  (May 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm)

How come the movie Arth is not included in this list. Also there was another movie Pet, Paap aur Pyaar which was too sad.

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ABD:  (May 28, 2009 at 9:22 pm)

Hey guys, is it not curious that all four of our industry’s Superstars, i.e. Dilip Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and SRK, rose to the status of Superstar only after they took on films in which their characters died at the end?
Why is this so?

Dilip Kumar died in almost all his early films. Rajesh Khanna rose to Superstardom after Anand and Safar. Similarly, Big B became a cult figure only after Deewar and Sholay. Even SRK was solidified after his deaths in Baazigar, Anjam and Darr, a trend which he then reinstituted in Dil Se, Kal Ho Na Ho and Devdas.
Why are tragedies and death so dear to the public?
Even Aamir Khan’s demise in his first film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, confirmed his place in the industry. Same for Kamal Haasan with Ek Dujhe Ke Liye. It seems Rajiv Khandelwal made a wise choice by taking on Aamir as his first film in which his death left a lump in our throats. Even Hrithik with Kaho Na Pyar Hai and Fiza fits into this trend.

I would appreciate your input here as I have always wondered why death = success?

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spiderman:  (May 29, 2009 at 6:22 am)


its true. what u said.
the death of the protagonist makes us feel for the character even more. we develop a sense of love for the character. we start liking the actor who plays the character very much…….thereby putting him highly in our esteem….the actor therefore becomes very popular with the public…….we are eager to go and see him again in his next film……we thereby catapult him to stardom. its true, very true. the death leaves a lasting impression of the actor in our minds.

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kanishka:  (May 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm)

It is highly arguable which are the most tragic films.My list would include Mother India,Rang de basanti,sadma,arth ,vaastav,anand ,tere naam for sure.As for sholay, it was a complete package of everything,one can’t call it a tragedy just because amitabh dies in the film.Among SRK’s films, I find kal ho naa ho tragic only.Aamir has lots more with RDB,DCH,ghajini and 1947 Earth.Akshay has none in his belt.Salman Khan probably gave his best in the tragedy tere naam.

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Fathiya:  (June 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm)

Amar Prem.. was also a sad movie.

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Mohan:  (August 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm)

Hey Guys. Theres a lot of difference between Depression and Sad firstly. Secondly we need to understand why should you watch a depression movie. Let me name a few. KHNH is a sad ending movie not a depression. Even Veer Zaara is a sad ending movie. Now depression movies are those which lasts in your memory for ever lets say Fanna is in fact a depression movie. So please name a few movies in this genre not sad ending movies. And i really didn’t understand KANK and K3G wat is there in the movie to be sad of, please guys grow up and use ur brains.

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Fathiya:  (August 17, 2009 at 11:47 am)

Mohan: I agree with what u said.. depression’s meaning is dfferent, and the movies which u mentioned weren’t sad.. specially Kal Ho Na Ho.. a very funny interesting movie but with sad ending.

Examples for some depression movies are: Omkara..most of Ram Gopal Varma’s movies, Sarkar & Sarkar Raj and some of his thriller horror movies e.g. Darna Mana Hai and Nishabad, generally, RGV’s movies all are depression movies except Rangeela.

I can say: Bandit Queen too. I’m sure there’re some more, but can’t remember. In Hollywood.. there’re lots of depression movies, more than it’s in bollywood

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