Alam Ara (1931)

 ●  Hindi ● Running Time: TBA

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The story centres on an imaginary, historical royal family in the kingdom of Kumarpur. The main characters are the king and his two warring wives, Dilbahar and Navbahar. Their rivalry escalates when a fakir predicts that Navbahar will bear the king's heir. Dilbahar, in a fit, attempts to have an affair with the kingdom's chief minister, General Adil (Prithviraj Kapoor). The affair goes sour and a vengeful Dilbahar imprisons him and exiles his daughter, Alam Ara (Zubeida). In exile, Alam Ara is brought up by Gypsies. Upon returning to the palace at Kumarpur, Alam Ara meets and falls in love with the charming young prince (Master Vithal). In the end, Adil is released, Dilbahar is punished and the lovers marry.
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Did you know? The film has long been lost and was not available as far back as 1967 according the National Film Archive of India, Pune. Read More
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Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Black & White
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
'Alam Ara' was mostly shot at night to avoid modern daytime ambient sounds.

A costume fantasy with seven songs it had Master Vithal, Zubeida, Prithviraj Kapoor and WM Khan, who sang ’De De khuda ke naam pe’ – the first song of the talkies. The music directors were Pirojshah Mistry and B Irani. Indian silver screen sang.

Actress Zubeida, who played the lead female role in the movie, saw her mother Begum Fatma Sultana, create history by becoming the first woman in India to produce and direct a movie, and when she made the fantasy film ‘Bulbul-e-Paristan’ in 1926,

Maganlal Dresswala founded by Bhagwanjibhai in 1926 provided the costumes for the talkie ‘Alam Ara’. Their third generation are still operating successfully and have seven outlets across Mumbai.

It created history in the Indian movie industry by becoming the first Indian sound film.

Irani recognised the importance that sound would have on the cinema, and raced to complete 'Alam Ara' before several contemporary sound films.

'Alam Ara' debuted at the Majestic Cinema in Mumbai (then Bombay) on 14 March 1931. The first Indian talkie was so popular that "police aid had to be summoned to control the crowds.

The film has long been lost and was not available as far back as 1967 according the National Film Archive of India, Pune.

The film is a love story between a prince and a gypsy girl, based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David. David later served as a writer at Irani's film company.