A Tribute To The ‘Firsts’ Of Hindi Cinema

The very mention of the word ‘Bollywood’ evokes a billion thoughts – drama, romance, songs, cliché, Shah Rukh Khan, hysteria, and much more. In its 100+ years of existence, Bollywood has not just entertained and enthralled the cine goers but has also massively influenced lives and the society in general. In what we could like to call a tribute to Bollywood, we took a dig to find out the firsts in Hindi movie. Some facts were outright startling and others a revelation.

First Colored Movie – Kisan Kanya (1937)

Kisan Kanya 1937 Movie
Source: Cinematerial

The movie directed by Moti B. Gidwani highlighted the plights of an Indian peasant. It bombed at the box-office, but, nonetheless, it etched itself in the history of Indian cinema for being country’s first color film.

First Movie Series – Hunterwali (1935) & Hunterwali Ki Beti (1943)

Hunterwali Movie 1937
Source: Mensxp

Bollywood is quite infamous for making movie series’. But, the first series ever made was a hit. Hunterwali, which marked the debut of the Fearless Nadia, not just became a blockbuster but gained a cult status. The sequel too performed well at the box-office.

First Film with a Dream Sequence – Awara (1951)

Awara Movie
Source: Hindustantimes

The Raj Kapoor and Nargis Dutt starrer, at the time of its release, was hugely popular in the Indian subcontinent as well as in the Soviet Union, China, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Romania. The classic had the first-ever dream sequence in the song ‘Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi’ and the video was quite surreal for its time.

First Movie to be Shot in Overseas Location – Sangam (1964)

Sangam Movie
Source: Pinterest

Yet another Raj Kapoor classic, Sangam, was a trendsetter.  The use of foreign locations from Paris, Switzerland, and Venice was a cynosure of the Indian eyes. The practice has since then become an integral part of shooting song sequences.

First Film with Only One Actor in a Narrative – Yaadein (1964)

Yaadein Movie
Source: Cloudfront

A one-of-a-kind movie starring Sunil Dutt has found its entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the fewest actors in a narrative film. The film entirely shot on Sunil Dutt features Nargis Dutt in a silhouette in the climax scene.

First Movie to Win a National Award – Mirza Ghalib (1954)

Mirza Ghalib Movie
Source: Cineplot

Based on the life of the renowned poet Mirza Ghalib, the film stars Bharat Bhushan as Ghalib and Suraiya as his courtesan lover. The critically acclaimed film, not just won the President’s Gold Medal for Best Feature Film at the 2nd National Film Awards but also won special applause from the former Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru after the special screening of the movie in Rashtrapati Bhawan, said, “You have brought back Ghalib to life.”

First Movie to Have Dolby Sound – 1942 A Love Story (1994)

1942 A Love Story Movie
Source: Youtube

What an irony the film was. Whilst it brought an end to the glorious career of the legendary musician, R. D. Burman, it became the first film to embrace the new sound technique, Dolby.

First Film to be Screened at the United Nations – Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

Lage Raho Munnabhai Movie
Source: Scoopwhoop

The Munna Bhai – Circuit, (played by Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi) duo tickled every Indian’s bones with their supreme comic timing and brilliant chemistry. It is no surprise that the film was screened at the United Nations for it propagates Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies of non-violence.

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Girish Kannan

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