The movie Raja Harishchandra was Indian's first feature film. Raja Harishchandra was a silent movie. In the movie, the main character King Harishchandra (portrayed by D. D. Dabke) is sent on a hunting expedition by his Queen. Raja Harishchandra was directed and produced by Dadasaheb Phalke who was Indian's first cinema mogul (Grant, 2018).
The Begining of Bollywood
In the early 1920s production companies started to form. As these production companies started to form the Bollywood industry was created. Many films were based on Indian's classic and mythological literature.
Movies on the Rise
In 1927, 108 Bollywood movies (Grant, 2018) were produced that year. This number would continue to increase in upcoming years.
Bollywood Movie Increase in Production
By 1931 the production on Bollywood movies had increased from 108 from 1927 to 328 (Grant, 2018).
The Release of Alam Ara
In 1931 India got it's first ever talkie! Alam Ara was the first Bollywood movie to have talking and singing in its film. Joseph David adapted a play into the silver screen script for Alam Ara. In the film the titled character, Alam Ara discovers she is the daughter of the King of Kumarpur and she goes on a journy to find her father.
Indian's First Dream Girl
In 1936 the movie Achhut Kanya was released starring Devika Rani. Achhut Kanya started the Devika's career and made her a bombshell in India. Devika and her husband Himanshu Rai created Bombay Talkies, which was one of India's first well-equipped studios. Many considered Devika to be Indian's, first lady. Devika was loved and paved the way for several more strong female actresses to join the industry.
World War 2
With the start of WW2 the movie industry saw a decrease in movie productions. Goverment mandate rules were put in place to control running time and conntent seen in the movies (Grant, 2018).
After the Independence of India from the British Empire over 100 Hindi films were released that year (Grant, 2018). The modern day film was created leaving the classic and mythological tales behind.
Featuring the Lower Class
At the beginning of the 50s movies started to shift their focuses to relatable topics. Many film makers started to create stories that focused on the lower class of India because it was a large target audiance.
The movie Awara starring and directed by Raj Kapoor became a classic in Indian film history. The movie is about a young man who leaves home and falls into a life of crime. The movie is known for it's songs and dream sequences.
India's First Film Festival
The International Film Festival of India is an annual award showing of short films and feature films. The first IFFI took place over six weeks. The IFFI showed 40 featured films and over 100 short films (Pandya, 2017).
The Golden Age
The 60s were considered the Golden Age for Indian cinema. It saw the rise of several famous Indian movie stars like Dev Anand, Mala Sinha and Sharmila Tagore. The action film, the melodram and comedy started to become more popular films to create.
Mughal-e-Azam took over a decade to create before being released. Still, to this day it is considered one of India's biggest films. During the 12 years of production coloured film was introduced, so the director K Asif added some coloured scenes along with the black and white film.
Phool Aur Patthar
Phool Aur Patthar was one of India's most famous action films. The movie established the career of Dharmendra as a leading man. The movie also had a very famous shirtless scene which was scene as provocitive.
The Begining of Colour
In the 70s colour film came to stay and along with it came the Bollywood the world knows and loves. The 70s saw the beginning of colourful fashion and sets. Singing also grew very popular for films.
The Birth of the Masala Film
A Masala Film is an Indian film that is a mix of different genres. These movies are usually a mix of action, romance, drama, etc. The director Manmohan Desai was considered the father of the Masala film (Bhatt, 2017).
Here comes a cult classic! Sholay is a very popular film still to this day in India. It has a very loyal fan base to it and receives a lot a praise for its acting. The movie played for 5 years after its release in movie theatres.
Sridevi was one of Indian's most beloved actresses. Her career startd in the 80s with her movie Nagina. The movie was well recieved and she became a house hold name.
The Cringe Worthy or Pop Classic?
As Bollywood entered into the 90s the movies started to shift with the times. More cheesy romantic movis and comedys were created so the whole family could enjoy the movies. Many people today may cringe at the storyline or find it crazy that the Bollywood film industry would go from dramatic classics to family films. Though many people today still enjoy the films from the 90s.
Liberalism began in India in 1991 and as the economy shifted, so did the film industry. As a result of the economic reform the public spending power increased significantly. Studios and their actors started to get paid bigger salaries, so more movies were being produced as a result (Grant, 2018).
Bombay was one of Bollywoods most loved movie of the decade! All of India was in love with the story of Shekar (Arvind Swamy) and Shaila (Manisha Koirala) relationship. After the ending of the Bombay Riots (1992-1993) India needed a love story to help prove that coming together in song for love is all you need.
Lagaan Nominated Best Foreign Film at the 74th Academy Awards
At the 74th Academy Awards Ashutosh Gowariker's film Lagaan was nominated for best foreign film. It ended up losing to Danis Tanović's No Man's Land. Though not winning the award having Lagaan being aknoweged as a quality film by Hollywood proved that India was not too far away to show off their productions.
Though not an original Bollywood movie as it is a British film directed by Danny Boyle it owned the style and vibe of what Bollywood movies are famous for. The movie was set and filmed in India. The movie was praised for it's plot and music. Slumdog Millionaire went on to win 8 Academy Awards in 2009, including Best Picture (Grant, 2018). Slumdog Millionaire helped to bring Indian culture to Hollywood.
Directed by Dev Benegal, Road Movie was the first every Bollywood film to be sold for international distribution before it was sold in India (Thapliyal, 2011). This helped to boost the moods of Bollywood film makers as it made them feel that they were producing quality cinema that the whole world wanted to see.
Priyanka Chopra started her career staring in Bollywood films, but then she moved to Hollywood. Priyanka is the star of ABC's tv show Quantico. Priyanka is one of the first actresses to work both in Bollywood and Hollywood and gain a good salary.
The Death of Sridevi
Bollywood was shocked by the death of one of their beloved actresses, Sridevi. Sridevi passed away from cardiac arrest (Whiteman, 2018). Indian's Prime Minister acknowledged her death by tweeting his condolences. Sridevi was one of Bollywood's first real stars and her passing was devastating.