Google’s masthead image for March 14 has morphed to celebrate the screening of India’s first motion picture with sound – Alam Ara ( 1931).
Rediff.com reports: It was 80 years back on March 14, that Indian cinema achieved a landmark in filmmaking when director Ardeshir Irani made, Alam Ara, the first ever-Indian film with sound. The film also marked the beginning of filmy music in the Cinema.
Alam Ara was first screened at the Majestic Cinema in Bombay on March 14, 1931 the movie ran for two hours and four minutes, and used a Tanar Sound System to record the dialogues.
Director Ardeshir Irani recognized the importance that sound would have on the cinema, and raced to complete Alam Ara before several other contemporary sound films. The film was based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David. David later served as a writer at Irani`s film company. The film starred master Vithal, Zubeida, LV Prasad with Prithviraj Kapoor in the lead and gave a new direction in Indian cinema.A period fantasy, it was about an ageing king of Kamarpur, and his two rival queens, Navbahar and Dilbahar, and their rivalry when a fakir predicts that Navbahar will bear the king's heir.
Both the movie and its music were widely successful, including the hit song De de khuda ke naam per, which was also the first song of the Indian cinema, and was sung by actor Wazir Mohammed Khan who also essayed the role of the fakir in the film
The sad part about is that the film may be lost forever as 3 years back in 2008; Information and Broadcasting ministry official srevealed that no prints were available with the National Archives of India Even The last existing prints were destroyed in a fire at Pune's National Film Archives in 2003. A search was conducted across the country but no print of Alam Ara could be found.
Full Rediff report: http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/alamara-80-aniversary/20110314.htm
Wikipedia on Alam Ara: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alam_Ara
March 14 2011