am an American of Indian origin who went to India as a kid and know the culture pretty well. Let me say that half the movies in this lineup were pretty laughable. The first movie Dulhalane Dilwale Jaye with Shah Rukh Khan was a watchable piece of fluff which was similar to comedy central mastercheese theater movie with one difference. It was 3 hours long and it is inexplicably one of the biggest hits in India.
Rangeela, quite frankly, was a big joke. It was the type of movie that would not have looked out of place on Telemundo.
What's a shame is that there were at least two or three movies that fit in well with the TCM theme of movies - Awaara and Pyaasa. These are two movies that don't need the excuse of a bollywood festival to be shown on TCM. TCM blundered by showing these two movies later in the festival at some ungodly hour. Two movies that visually look very similar to some of our older movies. And Mother India, while it dragged on too long in parts after the kid grows up, was really preferable to some of those old Hollywood movies about some indian boy and an elephant or similar stuff. Dil Chatha Hai was good, but should have been edited for a foreign viewing. I would have chopped out most of it's songs and made the movie a 2 hour movie.
Still it is the kind of movie that would have been better suited to Starz or Bravo.
Sholay was really a B movie for us. The problem is a lot of the villain's dialog doesn't get translated well into English subtitles. Otherwise it was not a bad movie.
Ismail Merchant made for a boring host. He kept rambling on without giving us much insight into the movies themselves.
It would have been nice if they showed Teesri manzil with shammi kapoor instead of Junglee. Teesri Manzil is sillier and has a song similar to the Ghost World opening song.
There are also many Dev Anand movies from the 60s they could have chosen that would have worked a bit better for american audiences.