Bollywood First Movie: Whether you have watched a Hindi movie or not, the term ‘Bollywood” is something you would definitely know. In 1913, Bollywood had sown its first seed with the silent feature film Raja Harishchandra. The first Bollywood movie ever shot was Raja Harishchandra, directed and produced by Dadasaheb Phalke. Phalke is also known as the father of Indian cinema as he was solely responsible for introducing the Indian audience to the Magic of cinema.
Bollywood First Movie
Raja Harishchandra was released on May 3rd, 1913 for a runtime of 40 minutes and was shot on four reels. The film was shot as a silent film and was a black and white film. On 21st April 1913, the movie was screened for the press and famous guests in Olympia Theatre, Grant Road in Mumbai. Coronation Theatre in Girgaon was the first theatre to showcase the movie to the rest of the audience. Phalke, with his family, shortlisted a few options for the film he wanted to produce as they wanted to retain the Indian culture in the movie. These were the legends Savitri and Satyavan, Krishna and Harishchandra. He went for Raja Harishchandra because his neighbors called him so, by selling everything except the Mangal sutra that belonged to his wife, for the dream of filmmaking.
The plot of the movie revolves around a noble, mythological King Harishchandra. A king, this honest and virtuous, that he sacrificed his everything for keeping a promise. On a hunting expedition, King Harishchandra fortuitously interrupted the yajna performed by the sage Vishwamitra. To pacify his wrath, the king offered Vishwamitra his kingdom. He later sends the king, his wife Taramati, and his son Rohitashva in exile. Rohitashva dies while they were in exile. Going back to the kingdom for asking the Dom king for arrangements for Rohitashva’s cremation, Taramati is framed for the murder of the prince of Kashi. Taramati faces trial, argues blameworthy, and is requested to be decapitated by Harishchandra. When he is about to complete the task, Lord Shiva appears. It all ends with Vishwamitra revealing that he was testing Harishchandra and returns the crown. Rohitashva is also brought back to life by him.
The cast of the film includes Dattatraya Damodar Dabke portrayed the role of Harishchandra, Anna Salunke can be seen as Taramati, Harishchandra’s wife, Bhalchandra Phalke can be seen as Rohitashva, son of Harishchandra and Taramati, Gajanan Vasudev Sane can be seen as Vishvamitra
- Since acting was not considered a respectable profession at that time, casting was a concern for the producer. All the female characters in the movie are also played by males.
- It took seven months and twenty-one days to complete shooting for the film. It was Phalke’s wife who took care of the whole cast and crew during the shoot.
- The film was also released in London, Colombo, and Rangoon.
- Shree Pundalik almost took the title of the first film From Raja Harishchandra, but since it was the recording of a play that was produced in London, it took away the Indian fact out of it.
- National Film Archive of India has preserved the first and last reel for the movie.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
No.1: Which was the first Bollywood movie?
Ans: The first Bollywood movie is Raja Harishchandra.
No. 2: In which year, was the first Bollywood movie released?
Ans: the first Bollywood movie was released in the year 1913.
No. 3: What was the production company for the first Bollywood movie?
Ans: Phalke film company was the production house for the first Bollywood movie.
No.4: Who is known as the Father of Indian Cinema?
Ans: Dadasaheb Phalke is known as the Father of Indian Cinema.