Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 20, 2018-Tuesday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Cinema @ 100

HT City salutes Hindi cinema by taking you past milestones in Bollywood over the last 100 years.

bollywood Updated: May 03, 2012 12:54 IST
Hindustan Times

1912 Dadasaheb Torne’s Pundalik — first Indian movie released in India at Coronation theatre, Mumbai

1913 The first full-length motion picture — Dadasaheb Phalke’s silent film Raja Harishchandra

1917 Dadasaheb Phalke’s Lanka Dahan — India’s first box-office hit

1920 Ardeshir Irani’s Nala Damayanti — first international co-production (with Italy)
Suchet Singh’s Shakuntala — first Indian film to cast a foreigner (Dorothy Kingdom)
Suchet Singh’s The Cremation of Lokmanya Tilak — the first optical newsreel

1925 Baburao Painter’s Savkari Pash — the first attempt to provide realistic treatment to the story of a peasant exploited by moneylenders
Fatma Begum — first woman director-producer

1931 Mohan Dayaram Bhavnani’s Lafanga Langoor — first animation film
Ardeshir Irani’s Alam Ara — first Indian talkie film. This was a breakthrough in Indian cinema because earlier, the British had tried marketing their films here, and this was the first successful Indian attempt on talkies or a motion picture with synchronised sound

1932 This phase also saw the beginning of the now established ‘Bollywood musical’. Madan Theatre’s Indrasabha, with over 70 songs, holds the world record for the most number of songs in any musical

1933 J L Freer-Hunt’s Karma — first film to be made entirely in English

1934 Bombay Talkies was set up. The first public limited film company — it introduced a Western-par level of technical standard in terms of soundstages, editing rooms, and preview theatres
Jayant Desai’s Toofan Mail — first major success in the stunt film genre
Devika Rani, Bombay Talkies’ most successful actor, was the first Bollywood ‘Diva’. A cultural icon, and member of National Academy of Dance, she was the first actor to win the Dadasaheb Phalke award

1935 Nitin Bose’s Dhoop Chaon —introduced playback singing.
P C Barua’s Devdas — was not melodramatic with theatricality of dialogue and acting, but brought the Bengali sensibility of understated tragedy. Though it was Bengali film, it was highly successful throughout the country, proving that there was a market for an alternative type of cinema

1937 Kisan Kanya by Ardeshir Irani — first colour film. He continued to create milestones by introducing the first colour film, and filmmakers in South India rapidly followed suit.

1943 Gyan Mukherjee’s Kismet — first thriller to be released in India. This film also saw the patriotic fervour among Indians, and the lyricist of the song, Door Hato O Duniya Walo had to go underground, and the Brit tried their best to ban the film

1946 Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar — first Indian film to win Grand Prix at Cannes. This started the ‘new wave’ in Indian cinema
The setting up of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (ITPA), an art movement which pioneered ‘realism’ in Indian cinema, that mainly focussed on Bengali films, but also produced Hindi films such as Mehboob Khan’s Mother India and Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa
Mother India — first Indian film to be nominated at the Academy Awards (1957). Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa credited with intensifying the ‘Indian realistic’
Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zameen, first Indian film to win an international award (at the Cannes Film Festival)

1954 Sohrab Modi’s Mirza Ghalib — first hindi film to win a National Award for Best Film
Dilip Kumar (The Tragedy King) rose to fame with films such as Deedar (1951) and Devdas (1955). Kumar holds the Guinness World Record for having won the maximum number of awards by an
Indian actor
The Era of the Showman: The 1950s also saw the rise of legendary actor, Raj Kapoor, the Showman. Shree 420 was his first film that got critical praise. His delivered several hits thereafter, over the next two decades
Emergence of Satyajit Ray — films like the Apu Trilogy (1956) came into prominence. He was such a great visionary that filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s E.T is suggested to have been inspired from his script Alien (which was never made). In his 1955 film Pather Panchali, Ray developed his unique style of lyrical realism in films
Rise of the bevy of Bollywood Beauties — still known for their classical good looks as well as their meaningful contribution to Indian Cinema. Madhubala, Nargis, Meena Kumari
Deccan Dreams — South Indian actors make it big in Bollywood. Trend started with Vyjanthimala, went on to include Waheeda Rahman, Hema Malini, Rekha, and Sridevi
V Shantaram delivered entertainers including Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), and Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957). He was so talented that even Charlie Chaplin praised him for his Marathi film Manoos

1958 Satyen Bose’s Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi saw actors Ashok Kumar, Anoop Kumar and singer-actor Kishore woo the audience

1959 Guru Dutt’s Kaagaz ke Phool — first Indian Cinemascope film

1960 K Asif’s Mughal-E-Azam — first large-scale movie in terms of cinematography and art direction. This also kick-started the trend of romantic movies
Emergence of the Superstar — Rajesh Khanna with films such as Raaz (1967), Ittefaq (1969) and Aradhana (1969). He was the first superstar of Indian cinema, hugely popular with girls. He would get mobbed wherever he’d go. “He needed police protection when he was in public. I had never seen anything like this before,” actor Sharmila Tagore, and Khanna’s co-star in many of his films was once quoted as saying
Sadhana Shivdasani, the actor, who turned a fashion icon introducing the fringe cut that’s still called the ‘Sadhana Cut’

1965 Vijay Anand’s The Guide — considered a masterpiece of Indian Cinema

1967 First appearance of a woman in bikini — Sharmila Tagore in Shakti Samanta’s film, An Evening in Paris

1969 Asit Sen’s Khamoshi — black and white experimental cinematography by Kamal Bose
Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome — Amitabh Bachchan’s debut in films, but as a voice narrator. This film also launched the ‘New Cinema’ movement of India
Mani Kaul’s Uski Roti – a key film of the new wave genre
The Yahoo Days — Shammi Kapoor ushers in a fresh dose of energy and youthfulness in Indian films
India’s Gregory Peck — Dev Anand spreads his charm on the Indian screen

1972 Conrad Rooks’ Siddhartha starring Shashi Kapoor and Simi Garewal — first film to be banned from distribution because of Garewal’s nude scene
Kamal Amrohi’s Pakeezah tells the story of a tawaif played by actor Meena Kumari

1973 Raj Kapoor’s Bobby first introduced the themes of teenage romance and rich-vs-poor, in Bollywood
Angry Young Man — Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer, which gave Amitabh Bachchan the ‘Angry Young Man’ image that became the hallmark of his career and of popular Bollywood films ever since

1975 Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay — the film with the biggest cult status — a formula which was repeated by countless filmmakers
Yash Chopra’s Deewar — a ground-breaking film in terms of heroine liberation (smoking, drinking), and violence

1976 Shyam Benegal’s Manthan — Indian submission to Oscars under Best Foreign Film. It won the National Award, and rediscovered the genre of socially relevant cinema
Hrishikesh Mukherjee — films such as Anand (1971) and Abhimaan (1973) won over the audience’s hearts
Yash Chopra — Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Trishul (1978), and Kaala Patthar (1979) became super hits
Smita Patil emerged out as one of the leading actors of parallel cinema with her films such as Bhumika and later, Mirch Masala

1981 The Disco Dancer era of Bappi Lahiri and Mithun Chakraborty. Bappi Lahiri popularised disco music in films such as Disco Dancer (1982), Namak Halaal (1982), and Sharaabi (1984)
Yash Chopra’s Silsila — one of most ‘talked-about’ films that had the famous Holi number Rang Barse ... It was one of the first films to use scenic locales
Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan starring Rekha won critical acclaim
Govind Nihalani’s Aakrosh won the Golden Peacock for the Best Film at the International Film Festival of India. His Ardh Satya also won critics’ praises

1982 Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth — brought in a new wave of films with emphasis on the heroine
Bhanu Athaiya — first Indian to win an Oscar for costume direction of Richard Attenborrough’s film, Gandhi

1983 Bapu’s Wo Saat Din that saw Anil Kapoor for the first time in a lead role

1984 Jijo Punnoose’s Chota Chetan —the country’s first 3D film

1985 Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili — changed the entire portrayal of women with bold scenes, sensuality, and Mandakini’s famous wet sari

1987 Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala

1988 Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay, and Aamir Khan’s debut Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak

1989 Yash Chopra’s Chandni — one of the most successful films of Indian cinema — noted for its music which started a new trend altogether
Mani Ratnam, a South Indian filmmaker, introduced new techniques of cinematography, art direction and lighting

1992 Abbas Mustan’s Khiladi – spawned a series of masala-fare action movies of Akshay Kumar
Comedy films: Govinda-David Dhawan collaboration –Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aankhen (1993), Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Hero No. 1 (1997), Deewana Mastana (1997), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999), and Jodi No.1 (2001) left the audience in splits and entertained
The Rise of the Khan Empire — Salman Khan wooed Bollywood with films such as Saajan (1991), Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), Karan Arjun (1995), Judwaa (1997), Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) Shah Rukh Khan mesmerised all with Darr (1993), Baazigar (1993), and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993)

1995 Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge — longest running Hindi film (16 years)

1996 Deepa Mehta’s film, Fire, set off a flurry of public dialogues around issues such as homosexuality and freedom of speech

1998 Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya showed the dark gangster culture of Mumbai in a realistic manner

1999 Subhash Ghai’s Taal — relevant for its beautiful cinematography, music by A R Rehman, characters, and ethereal charm
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam discovered the acting prowess of Aishwarya Rai
2001 Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding got a Golden Globe nomination, and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival
Advent of young filmmakers such as Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali, Vishal Bhardwaj, and Farhan Akhtar

2003 Dil Chahta Hai changed Bollywood’s perception and depiction of urban sensibilities
Rajkumar Hirani’s Munnabhai MBBS
The Candyfloss Romance era — Kunal Kohli’s Hum Tum (2004), Siddharth Anand’s Salaam Namaste (2005) etc

2006 Omkara, Rang De Basanti, Khosla Ka Ghosla changed the dynamics of Indian cinema, bringing in a fresh approach

2007 Aamir Khan’s directorial debut Taare Zameen Par struck a chord

2008 Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday packs in a punch in the face of all those who think it’s only the hero’s prerogative to do all the gallant stuff
n Blurring of Lines between Mainstream and Alternative Cinema with films like Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D (2009), Peepli Live

(2010), Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
* Coming of Age — 3 Idiots (2009), Turning 30 (2011), The Dirty Picture (2011), Delhi Belly (2011), and more

It’s no small achievement for Indian Cinema to have completed 100 years. I feel proud to be associated with it
Ekta Kapoor,filmmaker

It’s an honour to be a part of this fraternity. I’ve been in the business for 10 years, may it continue to entertain generations
Bipasha Basu, actor

My tribute would be a promise to keep trying to make content cinema that becomes a part of our heritage
Onir, filmmaker

It’s a pride. I would want to see more cinema, which will not just make good money but also shape a sensible audience
Neetu Chandra, actor

It’s a great moment for us. Our journey from silent films to contemporary cinema has been amazing
Madhur Bhandarkar, filmmaker

Cinema has always highlighted the morality of the society. The younger generation is now holding the megaphone well
Javed Akhtar, poet-lyricist

Thanks to my father that I feel like a film child. Would love to study the archives to know more about our film industry
Tusshar Kapoor, actor

Get Connected
Which is your favourite decade of Indian cinema, and why? Tell us on

First Published: May 02, 2012 18:00 IST