How old is Bollywood?

Bollywood turned 100 years old in 2013.

Bollywood, the word is the mixture of Bombay’s ‘B’ + Hollywood. It is not a physical place, but rather a representative term for popular Hindi films. The Father of Indian Cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke, released the first full-length film in 1913, which was a silent film, called Raja Harishchandra. Bollywood’s first talkie movie, Alam Ara, was released in 1931. The film industry is most popularly known for its dance, music and love stories.

According to the first hindi movie release, Bollywood is 100 years old. In 1899, H. S. Bhatavdekar shot India’s first short documentary. ‘The Wrestlers’ was screened at the Hanging Gardens in Mumbai and showcased a wrestling match. India’s struggle for independence in the 1950s finally parted the curtain on the Golden Age of Indian cinema. This historic period provided a strong impetus to the industry, with the focus changing to social issues that were relevant at the time. The movies were previously entertaining but now they could also be used as a potent medium to educate the masses.

The Golden Age, i.e. 1950s and 1960s was the time when acclaimed films and the actors' memorable acting made a place in everyone’s heart. The most popular and well-known actors from this time period in Bollywood were Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Guru Dutt and many more. The era also started the trend of romantic films which showcased love and romance, something that Bollywood is known for to this day 

The ultimate ‘masala movie’ erupted onto the screens in the 1970s. ‘Sholay’ first hit the screens in 1975, and was pegged as the greatest story ever told and the greatest star cast ever assembled. Thirty-nine years later (as per the year 2014), nothing has changed. In 1980s, several woman directors such as Aparna Sen, Meera and many more rose and showed their talent in movie-making. It was also the decade when sultry siren Rekha wooed audiences with her stunning performance in Umrao Jaan (1981).


In the late 1980s and 1990s, the romantic musicals, comedy films and action movies gave a new twist to the industry. Movies like Qayamat se Qayamat tak, Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Apke Hai Kaun, and many more increased popularity for romance. On the other hand, Khiladio ke Khiladi showed the popularity of action.  For so many years after that, and even now, ‘love is the air’. Though the trend changes with different genres like action, comedy, dance, drama and many other things, love will be the first priority in the Bollywood movies.

Finally in the 21st century, Indian cinema became very popular all over the world. It reached out further to the international spectators. The film industry is most popularly known for its dance, music and love stories. The audience usually expects catchy music in the form of song and dance woven into the script. A film's success often depends on the quality of such musical numbers. It is also no longer restricted to making movies in just Hindi, and has included the English language as well as famous English phrases in the movies.

Dadasaheb Phalke released India's first unabridged Bollywood film in 1913; hence it is proved that Bollywood is 100 years old. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's most prestigious cinema award for lifetime contribution to the Indian Cinema. 

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