First Film In Bollywood History

first movie of bollywood

Raja Harishchandra (1913)


Raja Harishchandra is a 1913 Indian quiet movie, coordinated and created by Dadasaheb Phalke. Usually considered the main full-length Indian element film. Raja Harishchandra highlights Dattatraya Damodar Dabke, Anna Salunke, Bhalchandra Phalke, and Gajanan Vasudev Sane and depends on the legend of Harishchandra, described in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The film, being quiet, had English and Hindi dialect intertitles.

Phalke chose to influence an element to film in the wake of viewing The Life of Christ (1906) at a performance center in Mumbai, some time ago known as Bombay. He went to London for about fourteen days to pick up filmmaking procedures and established Phalke Films. He imported the equipment required for the filmmaking and show from England, France, Germany, and the United States. Phalke shot a short film Ankurachi Wadh (Growth of a Pea Plant) to draw in financial specialists for his wander. He distributed notices in different daily papers requiring the cast and team. As no ladies were accessible to play female leads, male on-screen characters played out the female parts. Phalke was accountable for scriptment, bearing, creation configuration, make-up, altering, alongside film preparing. Trymbak B. Telang dealt with the camera. Phalke finished shooting in a half year and 27 days creating a film of 3,700 feet, around four reels.

The film debuted at the Olympia Theater, Mumbai on 21 April 1913, and had its showy discharge on Saturday, 3 May 1913 at the Coronation Cinema, Girgaon, Mumbai. It was a business achievement and established the framework for the film business in the nation. The film is halfway lost; just the first and last reels of the film are safeguarded at the National Film Archive of India. Some film students of history trust they have a place with a 1917 change of the film by Phalke titled Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra.

The status of Raja Harischandra as the primary full-length Indian component film has been discussed. Some film history specialists consider Dadasaheb Torne’s quiet film Shree Pundalik, discharged on 18 May 1912, the lady Indian film. The Government of India perceives Raja Harischandra as the main Indian component film.


Lord Harishchandra (D. D. Dabke) is indicated showing his child, Rohitashva (Bhalchandra Phalke), how to shoot with a bow and bolt within the sight of Queen Taramati (Anna Salunke). His subjects request that the King go on a chasing campaign. While on the chase, he hears the calls of a few ladies. He achieves a place where the sage Vishwamitra (Gajanan Sane) is playing out the yajna to get assistance from Trigunashakti (three forces) without wanting to. The King accidentally interferes with Vishvamitra amidst his yajna by discharging three forces. To conciliate his fierceness, Harishchandra offers his kingdom. The King visits the imperial royal residence and advises the Queen Taramati of the happenings. Vishwamitra sends Harishchandra, Taramati, and Rohitashva to organize the Dakshina. While estranged abroad, Rohitashva kicks the bucket. Harishchandra sends Taramati to approach the Domb King for a free incineration. On her approach to meet the lord, Vishwamitra outlines Taramati for the murder of the sovereign of Kashi. Taramati faces preliminary, concedes and is requested to be guillotined by Harishchandra. When he raises his sword to finish his errand, a satisfied Lord Shiva shows up. Vishwamitra uncovers that he was inspecting Harishchandra’s uprightness, restores the crown to the King and revives Rohitashva.


Dattatraya Damodar Dabke as Harishchandra

Anna Salunke as Taramati, Harishchandra’s better half

Bhalchandra Phalke as Rohitashva, child of Harishchandra and Taramati

Gajanan Vasudev Sane as Vishvamitra

Different specialists in the film were:

Dattatreya Kshirsagar

Dattatreya Telang

Ganpat G. Shinde

Vishnu Hari Aundhkar

Nath T. Telang


On 14 April 1911, Phalke with his senior child Bhalchandra went to see a film, Amazing Animals, at the America India Picture Palace, Girgaon, Mumbai. Surprised at seeing creatures on the screen, Bhalchandra educated his mom, Saraswatibai, about his experience prior that day. None of the relatives trusted them, so Phalke took his family to see the film the following day. As it was Easter, the auditorium screened a movie about Jesus, The Life of Christ (1906) by the French chief Alice Guy-Blaché instead.While watching Jesus on the screen, Phalke imagined Hindu gods Rama and Krishna rather and chose to begin in the matter of “moving pictures”. After finishing his fourteen day outing to London to pick up filmmaking strategies, he established “Phalke Films” on 1 April 1912.

Amid his London trip, Phalke had put in a request for a Williamson camera and Kodak crude movies and a perforator which achieved Mumbai in May 1912. He set up a preparing room and trained his family to puncture and build up the film. Though Phalke was sure of his concept of filmmaking, he couldn’t discover any financial specialists. Along these lines, he chose to make a short film to exhibit the strategies. He planted a few peas in a pot, put a camera before it, and shot one casing multi day for over multi month. This brought about a film, enduring a little more than a moment, of the seed developing, growing, and changing into a climber. Phalke titled this short film Ankurachi Wadh (Growth of a Pea Plant) and indicated it to specific people. Some of them, including Yashwantrao Nadkarni and Narayanrao Devhare, offered Phalke a credit


In his Marathi dialect magazine Suvarnamala, Phalke had distributed a story Surabaichi Kahani (A Tale of Sura). The story, which portrayed the evil impacts of liquor addiction, was the main he considered for shooting. In the wake of viewing a few American movies screened in Mumbai, he watched they included puzzle and sentiment which the groups of onlookers enjoyed. Relatives proposed the storyline should interest working class individuals and ladies and ought to likewise feature Indian culture.

Subsequent to considering different stories delineated in Hindu folklore, Phalke’s family shortlisted legends of Krishna, Savitri and Satyavan, and Harishchandra. At the time, a play in light of the legends of Harishchandra was prevalent on Marathi and Urdu stages. Friends and neighbors had regularly called Phalke “Harishchandra” for having sold every one of his things, with the exception of his better half’s Mangala sutra, to satisfy his filmmaking dream. So, Phalke settled on the legends of Harishchandra and composed the content for his component film.


Phalke distributed promotions in different daily papers like Induprakash requiring the cast and group required for the film. It was generally welcomed and immense number of candidates came in for the tryouts. Since he was making a quiet film, Phalke enabled quiet specialists to try out. In spite of a developing reaction to the ad, he was not happy with the entertainers’ abilities. He ceased the ads and chose to scout for the craftsmen through theater companies.

Padurang Gadhadhar Sane and Gajanan Vasudev Sane were among the main craftsmen to join Phalke Films. The previous was assuming female parts in the Natyakala theater organization; the last was performing in Urdu plays. Both joined for a pay of ₹ 40 every month. Gajanan Sane presented his colleague Dattatraya Damodar Dabke. Phalke was inspired with his build and identity and offered him the lead part of Harishchandra.

In light of the ad, four whores tried out for the part of Taramati. Phalke rejected them for not having acceptable looks and modified the ad to peruse: “Just attractive ladies should want interview.” Two more whores tried out yet left following two days. A young woman with “acceptable appearance”, who was a courtesan, tried out and Phalke chose her for the female lead. She practiced for four days. Be that as it may, on the fifth day, her lord protested her working in the film and took her away. In give up, Phalke likewise visited Mumbai’s red-light zone on Grant Road in Kamathipura. He was requested that either pay a high compensation or to wed the woman. One day, while having tea at an eatery on Grant Road Phalke saw Krishna Hari assumed name Anna Salunke, a delicate young fellow with thin highlights and hands. Salunke was functioning as a cook or server at the eatery on a month to month pay of ₹10. He consented to work in films when Phalke offered him a raise of five rupees.

Phalke tried out numerous young men for the part of Rohitashva, child of Harishchandra and Taramati, yet none of the guardians would enable their kids to work in the film as the character would need to live in the backwoods and was to kick the bucket. At long last, Phalke’s senior child Bhalchandra was doled out the role. He turned into the primary youngster on-screen character in Indian cinema.


Phalke contracted around forty individuals for his film studio known as a production line in those days. Since working in films was an unthinkable, Phalke exhorted his specialists to tell others they were working in the plant of a man named Harishchandra. Phalke viewed a few outside movies to find out about screenplay composing and afterward finished the content for Raja Harishchandra. The film had an all-male give a role as no lady was accessible to play female leads. After going to the studio, male on-screen characters assuming female parts were requested to wear saris and do ladies’ errands like filtering rice, and making flour to encourage Phalke’s better half, Saraswatibai. Though a few performing artists were related with theaters, the majority of the cast did not have any earlier acting knowledge. Phalke ran a few practices with the performing artists. Regularly, he needed to wear a sari himself and showcase the scene. various photos from English periodicals indicating different outward appearances where hung up in the practice studio. Every one of the performing artists needed to experience a required exercise where they were requested to make comparative faces.

About a similar time, the Rajapurkar Natak Mandali show organization visited Mumbai. A significant number of the organization’s shows depended on Hindu folklore. Phalke made the associate of the organization’s proprietor, Babajirao Rane, and clarified his concept of indigenous film creation. Rane was awed by the thought and offered his help by loaning his performing artists and their outfits. Phalke chose to utilize material like Harishchandra’s crown, wig, swords, shields, and bows and bolts in the film. Phalke’s brother by marriage claimed two dramatization organizations, Belgaokar Natak Mandali and Saraswati Natak Mandali. He offered comparable help, however Phalke considerately declined as most of the cast and group were finalised. Phalke outlined the ensembles and stage scenes in view of the works of art of Raja Ravi Varma and M. V. Dhurandhar. He painted the scenes for the royal residence, wilderness, mountains, fields, holes himself on draperies. Painter Rangnekar was procured for the month to month pay of ₹60.

Phalke imported the equipment required for the filmmaking and display from England, France, Germany, and the United States from makers including Houghton Butcher, Zeiss Tessar, and Pathé. This included negative and positive movie stocks, cameras, lights, Film research center hardware, printing and altering machines, negative cutting devices, and movie projectors. He chose to assume on the liability for the scriptment, bearing, generation configuration, make-up, altering, and film handling. He asked Trymbak B. Telang, his beloved companion from Nashik, to come to Mumbai. Telang was functioning as a cleric at the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple. Phalke had instructed him still photography as a youth hobby. After his landing, Phalke prepared Telang in the task of the Williamson camera and made him the film’s cinematographer.


Phalke experienced issues getting a venue for screening as feedback of his work had just begun. He chose to demonstrate the film to a select group of onlookers and organized a debut at the Olympia Theater, Mumbai on 21 April 1913 at 9:00 PM. The invitees included Bhalchandra Bhatavdekar, R. G. Bhandarkar, Vima Dalal, Justice Donald, daily paper editors and agents alongside a few intelligent people and conspicuous identities from Mumbai. As Phalke’s newborn child girl, Mandakini, was sick with pneumonia, his senior sibling, Shivrampant, prompted him to delay the debut to another day. But, the solicitations had just been sent and the performance center was accessible just on 21 April, Phalke couldn’t change his decision.

Bhatavdekar presented the debut recognizing Phalke for his “challenging”. Equity Donald noticed the film would enable Europeans to take in more about Hindu folklore. Anant Narayan Kowlgekar of Kesari in his audit said that “Phalke has stupendously conveyed his ability to the notice of the world.” The Times of India in their survey noticed the scenes portrayed in the film are “just superb” and “it is extremely a delight to see this bit of Indian workmanship”. With the great audits created, Nanasaheb Chitre, Manager of Coronation Cinema, at that point called Coronation Cinematograph and Variety Hall, communicating his craving to screen the film.


The film had its dramatic discharge on Saturday, 3 May 1913 at the Coronation Cinema, Girgaon. The show incorporated a move by Irene Delmar, a comic demonstration by McClements, foot-juggling by Alexandroff, and Tip-Top comic things taken after by the film. The show’s length was one-and-half hours with four shows planned multi day at 6:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 10:00 PM, and 11:45 PM. An ad for the film distributed in The Bombay Chronicle had a note included toward the end that the ticket rates would be twofold the standard rates. The film had an overfull kept running for seven days, and it was stretched out for twelve more days. An uncommon show was booked on 17 May for ladies and youngsters just at half rates. At first, 18 May was promoted as the last show, yet the film proceeded with its keep running because of prominent demand. It ran ceaselessly for twenty-three days until the point when 25 May and was re-kept running at the Alexandra Theater on 28 June.

News of the film’s achievement in Mumbai spread crosswise over India and there were requests to screen the film in different areas. As there were no film merchants back then, Phalke needed to move the film, the projector, an administrator, and a few collaborators from place to put. At the point when the film was screened for seven days at the Nawabi Theater in Surat, Phalke consented to an impermanent arrangement for half association with the auditorium proprietor. Regardless of publicizing the film, at its first demonstrating the film met with a tepid reaction. Frustrated by the profit of just ₹ three, the proprietor requested that Phalke either drop the show, increment its length, or diminish ticket costs. Phalke affably dismissed these suggestions.The advancement had the coveted impact and profit expanded to ₹ 300. Later, the film was likewise screened at Pune, Colombo, London, and Rangoon. The Bombay Chronicle in its issue of 5 May 1913 specified that “this superb dramatization is magnificently spoken to by the organization of performing artists” and commended the “magnificence and resourcefulness” with which Phalke prevailing with regards to introducing the film scenes.

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