Although the exact origins of hand painted Bollywood movie poster art are relatively unknown, it is widely believed that the art form was born in the 1920s. The use of printed literature for film publicity dates back all the way to the first full-length Indian feature film, Raja Harishchandra, which was released in 1913. Newspaper adverts and handbills were the predominant forms of print publicity in the silent films era. The use of hand painted Bollywood posters in film publicity gradually began to take shape in the 1920s. The oldest surviving hand painted movie poster in Indian cinema is of the 1924 Marathi movie, Kalyan Khajina. The alluring art of hand painted Bollywood posters has traveled a long way since then – from serving as the primary advertising medium in the golden era of Indian cinema to the present day, where it serves as a subject of much curiosity for art lovers, historians, vintage & antique collectors, Bollywood movie poster aficionados, interior decorators, art galleries, museums and commercial premise owners.
Hand painted Bollywood posters were designed with the sole purpose of grabbing eyeballs and they did precisely that. Loud, over-the-top, unnatural colors typified the kitschy, bohemian appearances of most vintage hand painted Bollywood posters. Another striking characteristic was the use of broad visible brush strokes and 3D styled typography, seen in most hand painted Bollywood posters.
Talented, self taught Bollywood poster artists of the past such as Baburao Painter are credited with inventing the art of designing Bollywood posters completely by hand. Although hand painted Bollywood poster art was no doubt a commercial art stream, several world renowned artists such as India’s Picasso M.F. Hussain made their humble beginnings in this field.
Their brilliant brush strokes infused hand painted Bollywood posters with raw energy and emotion. Sadly, most of the early work of these legendary Bollywood movie poster artists from the 1930s – 1940s has perished.
Very few authentic, original vintage hand painted Bollywood movie poster prints have survived the onslaught of time. Most surviving old Bollywood movie posters have been discovered lying neglected in dingy warehouses, where they were stored decades ago and forgotten.
The visual treat of hand painted Bollywood movie posters was earlier available only via museums and exhibitions. Today, through our online store Bollywood Movie Posters (BMP), we aim to make this beautiful vintage art form accessible to people from around the world. On the BMP store, you will find hundreds of original vintage hand painted Bollywood posters which can be proudly displayed in homes or commercial establishments such as restaurants, cafes, hotels, coffee shops, stores, salons, dance studios, art galleries, etc.
To summarize, the magical old world art of hand painted Bollywood posters has come full circle – from being plastered on walls outside cinema halls in the distant past to being framed and artistically displayed as the center of attention in luxury homes, restaurants, hotels, cafes, etc. today.
Old Indian film poster of the classic Hindi crime drama Bulundi (1980) for sale.
This is an actual surviving hand painted Bollywood film poster of the classic Hindi movie Bulundi that featured actor Raaj Kumar in the lead role along with Danny Denzongpa, Raj Kiran, Kim Yashpal, Asha Parekh and Jeevan as the supporting cast.
Raaj Kumar was one of the most stylized stars that Indian cinema ever produced and is fondly remembered for his deep baritone voice and flawless dialogue delivery. In a career that spanned over four decades. Raaj Kumar, a former police officer, went on to star in over 60 Indian films.
Printed and circulated during the original first release of the film (1980), this old Indian film poster was originally designed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
This vintage Indian film poster was originally designed on a hand painted canvas by a leading art studio based in Bombay and features superbly hand painted portraits of the key characters from the film. A fabulous hand painted portrait of star Raaj Kumar is seen in flames on the top of this old Indian film poster. A smaller portrait of Danny Denzongpa in a karate pose is seen at the bottom. Raj Kiran is seen in a hand painted avatar alongside Danny in this old Indian film poster for sale.
Directed by Esmayeel Shroff, Bulundi’s music was composed by Bollywood’s greatest music director, RD Burman. The film was remade in Tamil as Nermai.
Hand painted original vintage Bollywood poster of the cult Hindi film Guide (1965) for sale.
This is an actual surviving handmade Bollywood poster of the 1965 film that featured the evergreen superstar of Indian cinema, Dev Anand in the lead role opposite Waheeda Rehman.
Guide is the first film in the history of Indian cinema to sweep the Filmfare Awards by wining all major award categories (Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress), making this very rare hand drawn Bollywood poster highly collectible!
Printed and circulated several years after the first release of the film (somewhere in the 1970s), this hand drawn Bollywood movie poster was printed for publicity of the re-release of the film in the 1970s but never ended up being used.
This poster was originally designed in hand painted oil on canvas format by an art studio in Kolkata, using a line drawing technique to paint the faces of the actors. Bright colors (a combination of orange and red) along with line drawn faces of the stars give this original handmade Bollywood poster a very striking appearance.
In this hand drawn Bollywood poster, the artist depicts actress Waheeda Rehman in her iconic dancing pose on the right and in a more serious brooding pose on the left. The intricate details of her jewelry appear striking with the line drawing technique used by the artist in this hand painted Bollywood poster.
Guide is a 1965 cult Hindi film starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman in lead roles. The film is an adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel, The Guide, by R. K. Narayan and is widely considered to be one of the finest masterpieces of Indian cinema.
Guide was initially planned to be an Indo-American co-production – to be shot simultaneously in Hindi and English. The lead actress Waheeda Rehman was reportedly even tutored on her diction of English in preparation for the same.
The music for this film was composed by ace music composer Sachin Dev Burman. Songs of the film went on to become the biggest blockbusters of the decade and find place among the greatest soundtracks ever made in Indian cinema till today.
“Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai” and “Piya Tose Naina Laage Re” sung by Lata Mangeshkar went on to become a rage throughout the nation. “Gaata Rahe Mera Dil” sung by Kishore Kumar is a timeless classic and continues to be played till today.
A shortened 120-minute US version of the film was screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, 42 years after the original release of Guide.
Hand drawn Bollywood poster for sale of the classic Hindi film Apradh (1972).
This is an actual surviving vintage Bollywood movie poster of the 1972 classic action thriller produced and directed by Feroz Khan. The film starred Feroz Khan, Mumtaz, Prem Chopra, Iftekhar, Helen and Madan Puri.
Feroz Khan was often referred to as the “Clint Eastwood of the East” and the “Steve McQueen of India.” Apradh was Feroz Khan’s debut as a producer and a director and was the first Indian movie to depict car racing in Germany, making this hand drawn Bollywood poster highly collectible!
The film is famous for the Indian funk-rock song composed by Kalyanji Anandji and sung by Asha Bhosle, “Ae Naujawan Hai Sab.” This song is believed to be the basis of inspiration for the Grammy award winning hit released by The Black Eyed Peas in 2005, “Don’t Phunk with My Heart.”
Printed and circulated during the first release run of the film (somewhere in the early 1970s), this hand drawn Bollywood movie poster was originally designed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
Feroz Khan is seen kissing actress Mumtaz on her cheek on the center of this hand drawn Bollywood poster. A doodled car racing sequence is seen in the background. The use of bright shades of yellow, red and blue give this retro hand drawn Bollywood poster a very catchy appearance.
Rajinikanth movie poster for sale of the classic Hindi film Meri Adalat (1984).
This is an actual surviving Rajinikanth movie poster of the 1984 Hindi film that featured the “highest paid actor in Asia,” superstar Rajinikanth in the lead role.
Printed and circulated during the first release run of the film (somewhere in the early 1980s), this Rajinikanth movie poster was originally designed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
Superstar Rajinikanth is seen wearing a police uniform pointing animatedly in a brilliant hand painted avatar in this Rajinikanth movie poster. A line drawn portrait of actress Zeenat Aman and a black and white photographic cut paste of Mohnish Behl and Sonia Sahini is seen at the bottom. This Rajinikanth movie poster is set against a blue background, giving it a very catchy appearance.
Original vintage hand drawn Bollywood movie poster of the Raj Kapoor film, Ab Dilli Dur Nahin (1957) for sale.
This is an original Bollywood poster of the 1957 film produced by the “Showman of Indian cinema” Raj Kapoor, starring Motilal, Jagdeep, Nand Kishore, Yakub, Anwar Hussain and Amjad Khan.
The soundtrack of Ab Dilli Dur Nahin is fondly remembered for the popular song “Chun Chun Karti Aayi Chidiya” sung by legendary singer Mohammed Rafi and composed by Hasrat Jaipuri.
Amjad Khan (Gabbar Singh of Sholay fame) made his debut at the age of 17 in the film Ab Dilli Dur Nahin.
Printed and circulated during the first release run of the film (late 1950s), this rare Raj Kapoor movie poster was originally designed for publicity of the movie but never ended up being used.
This hand painted Bollywood poster features hand drawn portraits of the actors set against prominent landmarks of Delhi sketched at the bottom.
Old Amitabh movie poster of the hit Hindi film Bunty Aur Babli (2005) for sale.
This is an actual surviving Amitabh Bachchan poster of the 2005 Hindi movie that was based along the lines of the great American classic, Bonnie and Clyde.
Bunty Aur Babli was the first film to feature Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek Bachchan together, making this poster highly collectible!
Printed and circulated during the original first release of the film (somewhere in the 2000s), this matt Bunty Aur Babli poster was originally designed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan is seen holding two wanted photographs of Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji in this Bollywood movie poster.
One of the songs from the film, “Kajra Re” featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan along with a stunning guest appearance by Aishwarya Rai became a rage throughout the nation. Penned by master lyricist Gulzar and sung by Alisha Chinoy and Shankar Mahadevan, the song is fondly remembered and played till today.
Reissue Bollywood movie poster of the epic Hindi film Sholay (1975) for sale.
Featured here for sale is a reissue Sholay film poster circulated during a very recent screening of the greatest film ever made in Indian cinema. Printed and circulated very recently, this Sholay film poster was originally designed for publicity of a recent re-release of the film but never ended up being used.
Sholay has an unbeaten record for running for over five consecutive years after being released. The film enjoys a cult following in India and its dialogues are often quoted in various media. It is widely believed that Sholay is the highest grossing Indian film of all time when adjusted for inflation, making this Sholay film poster highly collectible!
Yeh Dosti (This Friendship) was one of the most popular songs from the epic Bollywood movie Sholay. This Sholay movie poster features a photo still from the song. Amitabh Bachchan & Dharmendra who play the characters of Jai and Veeru respectively, are seen riding on the iconic Sholay sidecar motor bike in this Bollywood movie poster.
Sholay is the highest grossing film of all time in Indian cinema and unanimously regarded as the greatest film ever made in Bollywood. Declared as the “Film of the Millennium” by BBC India in 1999, Sholay is an unforgettable classic that has become almost synonymous with 'masala' in Indian cinema. Its characters such as Jai, Veeru, Basanti, Thakur & Gabbar Singh have been etched into history.
Sholay holds a record of 60 golden jubilees across India, and was the first film in India to celebrate a silver jubilee at over 100 theaters. Sholay was the longest running film in Indian cinema until Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) broke its record of 286 weeks in 2001. In January 2014 a 3D version of Sholay was released.
The soundtrack of the film composed by R. D. Burman became a stellar success. Songs such as “Yeh Dosti” and “Mehbooba Mehbooba” are fondly remembered and played till today.
Reissue Bollywood poster of the historical Hindi film, Noor Jehan (1967) for sale.
Featured here for sale is a reissue Bollywood movie poster circulated during a very recent screening of the old Hindi film Noor Jehan (1967). Printed and circulated very recently, this Bollywood poster was originally designed for publicity of a recent re-release of the film but never ended up being used.
Noor Jehan featured Meena Kumari in the lead role. Popularly known as the “Tragedy Queen of Bollywood,” Meena Kumari starred in over 90 films in her career that spanned three decades and is often remembered as the Cinderella of Indian cinema.
This Bollywood poster for sale features a stunning hand painted rendition of Meena Kumari holding a rose. A large hand panted side profile of actor Pradeep Kumar is seen in the background. The title of the film is seen in interesting 3D typography at the bottom of this reissue Bollywood poster.
Vintage Bollywood poster for sale of the old Indian snake movie Shubh Din (1974).
This is an actual surviving vintage Bollywood poster for sale of the 1974 old Hindi movie that starred Shashi Kiran in the lead role.
Printed and circulated during the original first release of the film (somewhere in the early 1970s), this vintage Bollywood poster was printed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
This vintage Bollywood poster was originally designed using a combination of both hand painted as well as photographic techniques.
Set against a light gradient background hand painted with broad visible brush strokes, this Bollywood poster features a woman lying on a bed folding her hands in front of a snake. A small black and white photographic still of a man with a mustache is seen on the bottom right hand corner of this vintage Bollywood poster.
Vintage Bollywood poster for sale of the old Hindi film Rootha Na Karo (1970).
This is an actual surviving old Bollywood poster for sale of the 1970 Hindi film that starred Shashi Kapoor and Nanda in lead roles.
Printed and circulated during the original first release of the film (somewhere in 1970), this vintage Bollywood poster was printed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
Rootha Na Karo was a romantic thriller that featured the most handsome actor in Bollywood, Shashi Kapoor as the lead protagonist.
This old Bollywood poster was originally designed in hand painted oil on canvas format by one of the most sought after Bollywood poster artists of his time, C. Mohan, making it highly collectible.
Bollywood poster artist C. Mohan’s signature style of using minimalist design techniques coupled with stunningly realistic hand painted portraits of the actors is seen in this vintage Bollywood poster. Set against a plain white background, the poster creates an immediate visual impact owing largely to its minimalist design.
Artist C. Mohan’s original signature appears on the bottom right of the poster.
Bollywood poster for sale of the old Indian mythology movie Veer Arjun (1977).
This is an actual surviving original Bollywood poster of the 1977 Hindi film that was based on the legendary story of Prince Arjuna from the ancient Indian epic of the Mahabharata.
Printed and circulated during the first release of the film (somewhere in the late 1970s), this old Bollywood poster was printed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
This old Indian mythology poster features an interesting combination technique in the design of its artwork. Still photographs have been over painted with deep colors, giving this old Bollywood poster a vivid appearance.
In this Bollywood poster, Arjuna is seen taking the blessings of Lord Shree Krishna while a battle ensues in the background.
Bollywood poster for sale of the highly acclaimed Hindi film, 1942: A Love Story (1994).
This is an actual surviving old Hindi movie poster of the 1994 film directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra starring Anil Kapoor, Manisha Koirala, Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa and Pran in pivotal roles.
Printed and circulated during the initial first release of the film (early 1990s), this old Hindi film poster was originally designed for publicity of the film but never ended up being used.
This old Hindi film poster features a stunning image of actor Jackie Shroff engaged in battle.
1942: A Love Story is a landmark film in Indian cinema, making this old Hindi movie poster highly collectible!
The period film was set in the year 1942, at a time when India was under British rule. The award winning, timeless music of the film was composed by one of the greatest music directors in the history of Indian cinema, Rahul Dev Burman (RD Burman aka Pancham Da).
1942: A Love Story was released after the demise of master music composer RD Burman. He was awarded posthumously for his brilliant compositions in the film, winning his third and last Filmfare Award. The film was the first Bollywood movie to use Dolby Sound and became a milestone in sound engineering, paving the way for use of the format in subsequent films.
The film’s highly acclaimed music composed by music director R.D. Burman with lyrics by Javed Akhtar bagged several Filmfare Awards. Songs from the film, most notably “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh” and “Kuch Na Kaho” are fondly remembered and played till today.
1942: A Love Story was one of the first Bollywood films to be given a U/A rating as it featured a kissing scene, which was deemed by the censor board as inappropriate for young children.