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A Year in Hindi Movies 31-35

A Year in Hindi Movies 1931

The year 1931 will be remembered for the year in which the first Hindi talkie was released. The movie was AALAM AARA with the following "P-stats":

Producer: Imperial Movietone, Bombay Director: Ardeshir M. Irani Music: Pirojshah Mistry Lyricist: unknown Screenplay: A. M. Irani Dialogs: Joseph David

 

The main actors were

  1. Master Vitthal as hero,
  2. Zubeida as Aalam Aara, the heroine,
  3. Zilloo,
  4. Prithviraj Kapoor as the villain,
  5. W. M. Khan as the singing faqeer,
  6. Jagdish Sethi (the bad guy in "Phir Subah Hogi," with a typical

Panjabi accent, who bothers Mala Sinha ). Some day, when I have time, I will post the story of the movie! The movie had seven songs and ran for seven weeks. The very first song in the movie was the very first song in any Hindi movie. The whole song is,

"de de khudaa ke naam pyaare taaqat ho gar dene ki, kuchh chaahe agar to maang le mujhse himmat ho gar lene ki."

It was sung by Mr. W. Z. Khan, the first singer of a Hindi movie song. The movie was released on March 14, 1931 in Majestic cinema, Bombay.

A total of 24 talkies were released in 1931, with names like

"Devi Devyaani", "Draupadi", "Harishchandra",

"Heer Ranjha" (which has music by Master Ali Baksh, father of Meena Kumari),

two "Laila Majnu's",

"Romantic Prince" (in which Mehboob was one of the actors),

two "Shakuntalaa's", the Calcutta version having the largest number of songs, 42, so far,

"Sheereen Farhaad" (the second Hindi talkie, released on May 31, along which the audience was treated to the first comedy short film in Gujaraati, "Mumbayi Ni Shethaani"),

"Noorjahaan", a histotical, which was the first Indian film in English,

"Third wife" and

"Trapped" (which had Durga Khote who sang three songs, really sang, not mouthed).

Seventeen of these movies were produced in Bombay (or should I type Mumbai, smiley,) and seven in Calcutta by one producer, Madan theaters.

NOTE: The above info comes from

1. the Encyclopaedia, volume 1, compiled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh "Hamraaz", published by Mrs. Satinder Kaur, his wife,

2. Listeners' Bulletin, a monthly, edited by Hamraaz Saahib and published by the Secretary, the Flying Listener's Club, Kanpur, and

3. Limca Book of Records, 1993 edition, edited by Vijaya Ghose, published by Bisleri Beverages Limited.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.

A Year in Hindi Movies 1932

A total of 60 Hindi talkies were made in 1932. Apart from Calcutta and Bombay, there were movies from Kolhapur, Poona, Lahore and Hyderabad this year. Many famous movies were released. Most famous of these was perhaps the first talkie from Prabhat Film Company, Kolhapur, "Ayodhya Ka Raja" starring Durga Khote and Govind Rao Tembe who also provided the musical score. The Marathi version was the first Marathi talkie. It was directed by V. Shantaram. Another film, "Zarina", directed by Ezra Mir, starring Jal Merchant and Zubeida (the heroine of the first talkie) has the most screen kisses before kissing was "voluntarily" renounced by the movie producers in the mid-thirties on the ground that "Indians do not kiss in public". As everybody knows kissing was restored in Hindi movies by Raj Kapoor in "Satyam Shivam Sundaram" released on March 22, 1978. [Check!] The fabulous K. L. Saigal was introduced in "Mohabbat Ke Ansu" and acted in two more movies, "Subah Ka Tara" and "Zinda Laash". All three had music by R. C. Boral and were produced by New Theaters, Calcutta. And then there was "Indrasabha" which has the distinction of having the largest number of songs, 71. The songs were set to tunes by Wazir Khan and Nagar Das Nayak recorded them for the movie apparently using only harmonium for the purpose. Typical songs:

Challa hamara yaad rakhna, Kati raat maze mein saari, Kab se khadi hun tere dwara, Chaman ko yun mere saqi ne maikhana bana dala, Dil de diya hai unko dekhen wo kya karenge, Maharaj se neha lagaibe, hamaar koi ka karibe.

Some other movies and their distinctions:

Bilwamangal - The first colored Indian film printed abroad. Hathili Dulhan - based on Taming of the Shrew. Heer Ranjha - First talkie by A. R. Kaardaar, made in Lahore. Raadhe Shyam - Rajkumari was a child artiste. Shikari - First talkie for Jairaj. Shyam Sunder - First movie by Shahu Modak, starring as a young Krishan. Shanta Apte was Radha.

This information comes from:

1. The Encyclopaedia, volume 1, compiled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh "Hamraaz", published by Mrs. Satinder Kaur, his wife,

2. Listeners' Bulletin, a monthly, edited by Hamraaz Saahib and published by the Secretary, the Flying Listener's Club, Kanpur,

3. Limca Book of Records, 1993 edition, edited by Vijaya Ghose, published by Bisleri Beverages Limited, and

4. The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats, by Patrick Robertson, published by Guinness Books in 1988.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.

A Year in Hindi Movies 1933

A total of 75 movies were made. The ones memorable for one reason or another are listed below:

Aab-e-Hayat - K. C. Dey's first as a music director.

Aawaaraa Shaahzaadaa - The first movie to have a double role. Shahu Modak played both "Rajkumar" and "Bholaram". Tabla was played by Ahmed Jan Thirakawa.

Chaar Darvesh - Kanan Devi's first talkie. She was given Dadasahib Phalke award in 1976.

Id Ka Chand - The first movie for Sardar Akhtar, wife of Mehboob.

Karma - The first to have an English song,"Now the moon her light has shed", sung by Devika Rani, who got the first ever Phalke in 1969 and this waw also the first movie jointly produced by India and another country, England in this case.

King For A Day - Akhtari Faizabadi (Beghum Akhtar) sang many songs, including, "Wo asire-dame-bala hun jise chain tak bhi na aa sake".

Mirza Sahiban - The first talkie based on the famous story, Bachu was Mirza and Noorjahan (the older one, not the other one who was "Baby" Noorjahan at this time).

Pooran Bhagat - Director Debaki Bose's first Hindi film. Had famous K. C. Dey numbers like, "Kya karan hai ab rone ka" and "Jawo jawo ai mere sadhu". This was music director R. C. Boral's first hit Hindi movie. One day, another music director, Harishchandra Bali, told Boral about a young man, a typewriting machine salesman at Rs. 80/- a month, who wanted to act in the movies. So Boral fixed a date to "test" him. In the meantime he heard a young man singing near a cigarette stall, but could not contact him. Next day, Bali brought his typewriter salesman. Boral was surprised to see that it was the singer he heard the previous day. The whole world knows the young guy, who was hired in the New Theaters Company at Rs. 200/- per month, as Saigal. Boral got the Phalke in 1978. Saigal did not really act in this movie. He came on the stage, sang four songs, "Bhajun main to bhav", "Din neeke beete jat hain", "Awsar beeto", "Radhe rani de daro" while they filmed him.

Sairandhari - The first color film which was developed in India, but the prints were made abroad.

Yahudi Ki Ladaki - First for Pankaj Mullick. Saigal acted and sang, "Nuktachin hai", "Lag gayi chot", "Lakh sahi ab pi ki", "Ye tasarruf alla alla".

Most of the info comes from the following books:

1. The Encyclopaedia, volume 1, compiled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh "Hamraaz", published by Mrs. Satinder Kaur, his wife.

2. Listeners' Bulletin, a monthly, edited by Hamraaz Saahib and published by the Secretary, the Flying Listener's Club, Kanpur.

3. Limca Book of Records, 1993 edition, edited by Vijaya Ghose, published by Bisleri Beverages Limited.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.

A Year in Hindi Movies 1934

The number of movies crosses one hundred, 121 were made this year. Two of them deserve special mention.

The Mill - The story and dialogs were written by the famous Hindi and Urdu author Munshi Premchand. It took one lakh Rupees to make. It was the first Hindi talkie to be banned by the British rulers of India. The ban was lifted and it was reissued as Gharib Parwar and released on May 9, 1936. Munshiji wrote the story and dialogs for another movie Sevaasadan in the same year.

Seeta - Prithviraj Kapoor was Rama, Durga Khote was Seeta, Govind Ram Tembe was Balmiki and Mukhtar Beghum was Dharatimata. S. D. Burman sang a few songs. Director was Debaki Bose and music was by K. C. Dey. This was the first film to win an international award. It won the Gold Medal at the Third International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art in Venice, Italy in 1935. Other notable movies were:

Amrit Manthan - The first talkie to celebrate silver jubilee. The first silent movie to do so was "Kapaal Kundala" in 1925.

Chandidas - Another hit from R. C. Boral. Saigal, Uma Shashi and Pahadi Sanyal sang the nine beautiful songs. Unfortunately, only two are generally available. "Prem nagar mein banaungi ghar" by Shashi and Saigal and "Tadpat beete din rain" by Saigal. [Check!]

Dharti Kamp - It has the traditional song, "Sanwariya re kahe mare najariya". Music was by Moolraj Kapadaia and Sagir, but in spite of monumental efforts by "Hamraaz" the singer remains unknown. The song was sung later in "Panna" released in 1944, by Rajkumari under the musical direction of Amir Ali. This is the version that many of us enjoyed so much in the "recent" movie Mirch Masala, in which Nasiruddin Shah and his wife acted.

Rooplekha - Saigal sang a Surdas bhajan, "Sab din hot na ek saman".

Sant Tulasidas - Professor G. N. Joshi was hero and Gajanan Jagirdar, B. A. provided the lyrics.

Shahar Ka Jadu - Motilal's first movie [Check!].

Vaaman Avtaar - The future music director Jaidev was Nard Muni in this movie. His first as an actor.

Veer Bharat - Jaidev acted and sang two songs, "Rakkho jo aag daman mein" and "Prayi peed jane veer bharat ho to aisa ho"

Noor Mahal - One of the earliest movies in which Jeewan, the villain in many Dev Anand movies acted. He was known as O. K. Dar Kashmiri or simply Dar Kashmiri in those days.

Most of the info comes from the following books:

1. The Encyclopaedia of Hindi Film Songs, volume 1, compiled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh "Hamraaz", published by Mrs. Satinder Kaur, his wife.

2. Listeners' Bulletin, a monthly, edited by Hamraaz Saahib and published by the Secretary, the Flying Listener's Club, Kanpur.

3. Limca Book of Records, 1993 edition, edited by Vijaya Ghose, published by Bisleri Beverages Limited.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.

A Year in Hindi Movies 1935

152 movies are produced this year. Three deserve special mention.

(Note: I have been using the transliteration as given in the Encyclopaedia, which is copied from the one given by the producers of the movie. It is quite arbitrary, ad hoc and confusing. From now on in all my postings, as much as possible, I will use the transliteration scheme of Avinash Chopde, a scheme which is simple, logical and sensible. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everybody adopts it?)

1. The movie "dhuup chhaa.Nv or bhaaGY chakr"

Produced by New Theaters, Calcutta, directed by Nitin Bose. Music by R. C. Boral and Pankaj Mullick, lyricist Pandit Sudarshan. There were 10 songs, 5 by K. C. Dey:

baabaa man kii aa.Nkhe.n khol terii gaTharii me.n laagaa chor aaj mero ghar mohan aayo jiivan kaa sukh aaj prabhu mohe a.ndhe kii laaThii tuu hii hai

(The last two were also recorded by Saigal as "version" songs.) But playback singing was introduced with the chorus song

mai.n khush honaa chaahu.N, khush ho naa sakuu.N

sung by Parul Ghosh (wife of the famous flutist Panna Lal Ghosh and a sister of Anil Biswas), Suprova Sarkar, Harimati and others. In the movie the song was presented as a stage song of a Drama company.

2. The movie "talaash\-e\-haq"

Produced and set to music by Jaddanbai for her own company called Sangeet Films and directed by C. M. Luhar. Another name for the movie was "Search for Truth". Jaddanbai was a popular and renowned singer of her day. She thrilled her listeners with her thumris and daadraas over the Radio and through gramophone records. In 1918, she was admitted for an operation in Lucknow, where she met a brilliant medical student from Rawalpindi, Uttamchand Mohanchand, and, folks, this is 1918!, they fell in love! He was converted to Islam by Maulana Azad and married her. Their daughter called Fatima Rashid was born on June 1, 1929 in Calcutta. With the screen name of Baby Raani, she appeared in this movie, which turned out to be the first movie in the whole world to have a female music director [This is now known to be false. It is Ishrat Sultana Sound and Music in Hindi Talkies]. The baby grew up to debut in Mehboob's "taqdiir" at the tender age 14, with the name Nargis, against her wishes. She really wanted to be a doctor like her father. But the movie was so successful that etc. etc.

3. The movie "devadaas"

This is by all accounts Saigal's best movie. Produced by New Theaters and directed by P. C. Barua, this movie debuted the music director Timir Baran. The lyrics were by Kidar Sharma. It had Saigal, Jamuna, Rajkumari (kalkattewali, the other one is banaaraswaali), K. C. Dey, Pahadi Sanyal, Nemo and Sitara. There were 10 songs, 3 by K. C. Dey, Saigal and Sanyal each, one by Rajkumari.

According to Kidar Sharma, these two famous songs were set to music by Saigal himself, even though they are generally credited to Timir Baran:

baalam aae baso more man me.n duHkh ke din ab biitat naahii.n

The songs were, however, recorded by Timir Baran Bhattacharya, who died on March 29, 1987 at age 83. Saigal also sang a thumri

piyaa bin aavat naahi.n chain

without any accompanying music. Timir Baran learnt sarod from Ustad Amir Khan and Ustad Allaudin Khan and was awarded the Sangeet Natak Academy prize in 1950. In 1939, on a request from Subhash Chandra Bose, he set "Bande matram" (which, incidentally is our national song) to music in Rag Durga. This was broadcast from The Radio Station Singapur. He gave music in about 10 Hindi and some Bengali movies.

Some other movies released in 1935 are:

"After the Earthquake" or "inqlaab" Raj Kapoor's first movie; he was a child actor at age 11. In the lead were his father and Devika Rani.

"anaarkali" First time this name was used for this famous story.

"Barrister's wife" Possibly the first filmi qawwali "nazariya tane hai tiir kamaan, jaane legi yah kis kis kii jaan" written by Pandit Narayan Prasad Betaab, music by Rewa Shankar Marwadi and Banne Khan, fimed on Noor Mohammad "Charlie" (clone of Chaplin) and friends.

"dharam kii devii" First complete film by Anil Biswas alone. He acted as a beggar and sang three songs. His first ever is "kuchh bhii nahi.n bharosaa duniyaa hai aanii jaanii"

"javaanii kii havaa" Saraswati Devi's first film. She missed out being the first female MD, but as far as I can tell, she is the second female MD in the world [Check!].

"majnuu.n 1935" Harold Louis's movie after which he was universally known as majnuu.n. He made many movies with I. S. Johar in the tradition of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. "Children" may remember the Shammi Kapoor vehicle "ham sab chor hai.N" (1956), in which the pair performed the famous "yogi dance" and mouthed the Rafi-Durrani number "hamako ha.nste dekh zamaanaa jaltaa hai".

"naagaanand" The first movie of Ramchandra Narhar Chitalkar as an actor. His first as an MD was the Tamil movie "jayagu.Dii", date unknown. He played harmonium in "pukaar" (1939) and his first Hindi movie as an independent MD was "sukhii jiivan" (1942). The first song he ever set to music as an independent MD was Iqbal's famous, "saare jahaa.n se achhaa", which, by the way, is a very famous patriotic song.

"nigaah\-e\-nafarat" Shobhana Samarath (Nutan's mom) debuted.

It is clear from the length of this file (about 6k) that I will some times have to split the coming years into at least two parts.

Most of the info comes from the following books:

1. The Encyclopaedia, volume 1, compiled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh "Hamraaz", published by Mrs. Satinder Kaur, his wife.

2. Listeners' Bulletin, a monthly, edited by Hamraaz Saahib and published by the Secretary, the Flying Listener's Club, Kanpur.

3. Limca Book of Records, 1993 edition, edited by Vijaya Ghose, published by Bisleri Beverages Limited.

4. The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats, by Patrick Robertson, published by Guinness Books in 1988.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.  

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