Negentig jaar geleden: de eerste “talkie” in Bollywood

Negentig jaar geleden: de eerste “talkie” in Bollywood

At the Majestic Cinema in Mumbai (then Bombay) on 14 March 1931 the first Indian sound film went into première. It was “Alam Ara”, directed by Ardeshir Irani. The first Indian talkie was a love story between a prince and a gypsy girl (Alam Ara), based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David and was so popular that “police aid had to be summoned to control the crowds.” It included the hit song “De de khuda ke naam per”, which was also the first song of the Indian cinema. It was sung by actor Wazir Mohammed Khan who played a fakir in the film. The film was inspired by the first movie version of Jerome Kern’s Show Boat (1929), released by Universal Pictures. There is unfortunately no known copy of the film today.

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