8 Hollywood Movies that were shot in India  

Written by Amrita Gupta

The most watched movies in Bollywood is when movies are shot abroad as they portray the exotic ambiance and create a different mark on the mind of the audience. This concept is equally reverted when it comes to Hollywood movies. However, very few of the movies in Hollywood have touched India. This is because India had never been a popular destination for Hollywood filmmakers until late 2000. Since then, Hollywood has been keenly interested in how the American movies look on Indian grounds. The natural scenic beauty, the diversity has got international film makers interested in shooting more movies in India.

Let us dive deep into the history of Hollywood in India!

Among the most famous Hollywood movies that were shot in India, few took away the awards and accolades. All of them have hit the box office with millions of dollars. Among the endless list of these movies, many have had Indian Bollywood actors in the cast. The top 8 of these Hollywood blockbusters that were shot in India are listed below.

Gandhi (1982) – Despite being an American movie, the movie “Gandhi” depicted the life of an Indian superhero, Mahatma Gandhi. However, this had been a dream for Richard Attenborough as he wanted his hands on this marvellous project. The movie starred Ben Kingsley in the lead role of Mahatma Gandhi, who portrayed the life of Gandhi from 1893 till his assassination and funeral in 1948. Winning eight Academy Awards, this movie did justice to the entire shoot done in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, and Udaipur.

Octopussy (1983) – The thirteenth movie of the James Bond series, Octopussy, has been a magical move in the American film industry. Roger Moore was the star for the sixth time in this movie as James Bond. This movie shows off the beauty of Udaipur, where the majority of the film was shot. Since much of the movie was filmed in Udaipur the areas that were shot were the Monsoon Palace, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Shiv Niwas Palace. This was one of the earliest Hollywood movies that were shot in India and also one of the very few that were shot in the early 80’s. When released it was known as “one of the snazziest, wittiest productions,” and did well at the box office.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – This entire movie was set and filmed in India, depicting the story of a boy named Jamal Malik. The movie shots were from Juhu slums in Mumbai. This British crime movie was a loose adaptation of the celebrated novel Q & A. Produced by Christian Colson, this movie bagged a budget of $15 million and won several awards and accolades. This movie was not only successful but also a gaudy and gorgeous rush of motion, sound, and color. The screenplay, music and casts, all did wonders in this movie, creating a mark on the year.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) – The first-ever, live-action venture of the famous director Brad Bird was shot in Mumbai starring Tom Cruise. This was the 4th movie of Mission: Impossible, and also showcased Indian talent- Anil Kapoor as Brij Nath.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) – The famous novel, “These Foolish Things,” written by Deborah Moggach, was made into a different script where characters from the old novel were taken in order to make a romantic comedy in the form of the film, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” The ensemble casts of this movie took it to heights of interest for the audience. Different cities of Udaipur and Jaipur were selected as the primary shooting spots for this movie. Ravla Khempur, the hotel selected in the film, was, in reality, a palace of a tribal chief, in Khempur, India.

Life of Pie (2012) – This American survival drama depicted the novel of the same name by Yann Martel. Ang Lee directed this movie, casting Suraj Sharma in the lead role of Pi Patel. Supporting characters in this movie has known Bollywood faces like Tabu, Irrfan Khan, and Adil Hussain. Not only did this movie win four Academy Awards, but it also brought different places Puducherry and Kerala under the American limelight. Moreover, the film bagged an estimated amount of 60.9 crores USD.

Million Dollar Arm (2014) – This movie is based on a true story and is an American biographical sports drama. Basket Ball pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel were once discovered by J. B. Bernstein after bagging the championship in a reality show competition. This entire scenario was well crafted by Craig Gillespie. Walt Disney Pictures chose different regions of Mumbai to show the reality of the two sports personalities. The music of the movie was provided by A.R. Rahman an Oscar winning Indian music director.

Lion (2016) – Garth Davis portrayed this biographical film pretty well, based on the incredible non-fictitious words of Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose. Grabbing countless awards and nominations from different grounds, the ensemble stars carved out a beautiful story along the roads and lanes of Kolkata, Bengal India. Apart from this, this movie has also seen the remake of the superhit Tamil song by A. R. Rahman, ‘Urvashi Urvashi.” This realistic Australian movie touched millions of hearts and inspired many souls.

These are among the most appreciated Hollywood movies that touched the Indian grounds and made a different history in the books of American films. Not only did these movies take up India as their location for shooting, but also implemented Indian talents to bring out the Indian heritage and culture in the movies.