I had just gotten started on Dev Anand movies prior to this by watching Hare Rama Hare Krishna, and so was totally thrown for a loop by Guide at first - I was all primed to deal with a lot more one-note heavy-handed preaching, and instead this film was so nuanced and shaded and wonderful! Super impressive and very absorbing, not to mention visually gorgeous.
Being just an occasional tourist of Indian Movies I cannot speak with any authority about this film. Nevertheless, any film that mixes Bollywood with R K Narayan is worth a look in my book. Even though I saw the short version with really bad subtitles (I do not speak Hindi) I still found the locations, sets, music and especially the cinematography (Fali Mistry) quite marvelous.