Hail the very first “talkie” of Indian film industry – Alam Ara! Yep, as you can see the ad it was All Talking, Singing and ofcourse, Dancing. Obviously, you could not only hear them talk, but also sing.
Imagine a hunk of an actor, wooing a pretty girl and whispering sweet nothings in her ear…can you imagine not hearing a full-typical-bollywood-style orchestra in the background? Alam – Ara, which means, Light of the Universe (personally I think it should mean sound too) was a landmark film in that people would, for the very first time hear a movie too. This was in 1931, fifty years before I was born. Wow. And thank god.
As a matter of fact, the movie had more singing than dialogue. And it was so eagerly awaited that when released at Majestic Cinema in Mumbai, the police had to to be called in to control the crowds! Where do DDLJ and Sholay stand now? Ha!
And get this – because there were no soundproof recording studios that time, Director Ardeshi Irani had to conduct shooting mostly at night to avoid daytime noises. I wonder what they did in the day time.
Facts like these really astound me. To think how easy things have been made for us by technology! And to what lengths these great people went to entertain us! Can you visualize today’s actors/actresses doing the same? This is not to say that we don’t have dedicated artists nowadays. Only some.
One final trivia – When the National Archives of India, Pune was destroyed by the fire in 1993, it also destroyed the last available original print of this film, and so, sadly enough, this film no more available in its original print. 😦