The Era Of Indian Cinema Before Independence

The history of Indian Cinema always had been a wonderful topic for discussion and has always sought the attention of many film lovers.

The growth of the golden era in Indian cinemas has seen a great evolving change with time. The world has witnessed a variety in it. The way it did change from normal cinemas to a huge Bollywood industry is an appreciable proof.

indian cinema before independence

With over 1600 plus films being produced every year in various languages in India, Indian films have got a major impact and fame all throughout the world.

It all had started in the 19th century.

In 1897, a stage show of a short moving picture film named ‘Flower Of Paris‘ was held By Professor Stevenson. It screened his journey to Paris assisted by Hiralal Sen who later became the first Indian film maker and producer too.

Save Dada, the still photographer whose full name was Harischandra Sakharam Bhatavdekar got inspired by the Lumiere Brothers’ production. He ordered a camera from England and shot his first film at the Hanging Garden in Mumbai, known as ‘The Wrestlers‘. It became India’s first motion picture released in 1899. It only screened a simple recording of a wrestling match.

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indian cinema before independence

Hiralal established Royal Bioscope Company and continued releasing up to 42 short movies till 1913. Advertisements like Jabakusum Hair Oil, Edwards Tonic, etc. and short films like Alibaba and forty thieves and one of India’s first patriotic movie were also released.

Later, in 1920 Jamshedji Framji Madan started the second Indian film company named Elphinstone Bioscope Company which later collaborated with Madan Theatre and turned into a production house.

The Second Phase (The initial growth of commercial films and beginning of Bollywood changed the screen of Indian Cinema before independence)

The father of Indian cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke released the first ever silent movie ‘Raja Harishchandra‘ in 1913 which became a commercial success. He altogether released 23 films from 1913 to 1918.

indian cinema before independence
Image From The Film ‘Raja Harsihchandra’

Keechaka Vadham’ a Tamil movie by R. Nataraja Mudaliar soon arrived in 1916 and various other mythological and historical films like Mahabharata(1920), Ramayana(1920), Dhruva Charitra(1921), etc. were also released.

It marked the beginning of many film companies and studios in Mumbai and Bengal with glamour.

The Third Phase (Marked the beginning of talkies)

The release of India’s first ever talkie ‘Alam Ara‘ by Ardeshir Irani in 1931 started a new beginning of Bollywood. It was the first sound film in India. India’s first song was also recorded for Alam Ara was ‘De De Khuda Ke Nam Par‘.

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indian cinema before independence
Image From The Film ‘Alam Ara’

This all started with the increase in film production rate and significant growth of huge movie halls and number of audiences.

Many regional films like the Bengali movie ‘Jamai Shashthi‘(1931), the first Tamil talkie ‘Kalidas‘(1931) were also released. Regional movies in languages like Assamese, Oriya, Telugu, Punjabi were also released.

Till then, new talented actors like Dilip Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor gained name and fame.

After the successful release of the film ‘Acchut Kanya‘ Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar became the first-star couple of Indian cinema. Devika Rani soon became the first lady superstar in Bollywood.

This was all about the pre-independence history of the Indian cinema and till then various new releases were done and new actors started coming on screen. The Indian Film Industry started becoming an important part of the entertainment trend and had already started creating major impacts on the mind of the audience.

It then started boosting its path into the new era of Bollywood.

Ronit Dey

Written by Ronit Dey

A blogger by passion with love for reading and writing. Am here at BlogPoke, to bring the best content updated daily to you.