The many ‘Firsts’ of the 50s and 60s era Hindi Cinema that every fan must know
The 50’s and 60’s era of Hindi Cinema holds a special place in our hearts. The cinema of the 50s is marked with a distinct voice of the country just free from the clutches of a 200-year foreign rule. Spirits were running high and there was a taste of revolution in the air. These were the glorious years of some of the landmark films in history, which went forward to gain national and international fame.
The two decades are a treasure trove of masterpieces by stalwarts whose names are forever etched in the history of our Hindi film industry. Be it the charismatic Dev Anand who serenaded his heroines with soulful songs, the enchantress Madhubala with the most beautiful smile that had many heroes forget lines for they couldn’t take their eyes off the celestial beauty or the ever romantic Guru Dutt whose cinematography made us watch films with a different lens. This, along with many more reasons why the 50s and 60s era of Hindi Films will inspire us till time immemorial. That’s why we call them Sadabahar.
While Sony MAX2 is commemorating the great talents of that era through Timeless Digital Awards season 3, it is pertinent to acknowledge the contribution of the movie marvels who gave birth to the many ‘firsts’ of Hindi Cinema, not only in India but also on the global platform.
Here is a list of 10 such facts that will make you extremely proud of the industry lineage.
1. Mughal-e-Azam’ was the first trilingual movies
This Bollywood epic was literally shot in 3 languages: English, Tamil and Hindi! However, when the Tamil version failed, the English version was aborted too. Thus, only the Hindi version was released!
2. Sangam – The first movie to be shot abroad
Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar and Vyjayanthimala’s tri-angle love story, Sangam had various scenes shot in Europe. The cinema lovers at that time turned up in large numbers to watch the movie just to see the foreign locales in motion picture.
3. Mother India – India’s first Oscar submission
The epic social drama starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar was India's first submission for the Academy Awards in the foreign film category. The movie was not only nominated, but also was in the final five. The Oscar jury strongly connected with the protagonist of the movie because of the storyline.
4. First Indian cinemascope film: Kaagaz Ke Phool
India’s first cinemascope movie, Kaagaz Ke Phool is a masterpiece, much ahead of its time. This movie is considered as Guru Dutt's finest film. But sadly, the film was a box office disaster and Guru Dutt never directed a movie again. Kaagaz Ke Phool is also said to be an autobiographical account of Dutt, highlighting his relationship with Waheeda and Geeta Dutt.
5. Yaadein (1964) – The first soliloquy of Hindi Cinema
Inspiration has a knack for striking on unexpected moments only to produce something so exceptional; it's probably ahead of its time. And the most innovative film of Sunil Dutt's creative career, Yaadein is an excellent example of this belief. Yaadein, made it to Guinness Book of World Records under the category of 'Fewest actors in a narrative film', but it sadly didn’t work for the audience.
6. Pyaasa - The only Hindi film to make it to TIME’s 'All-Time 100 Movies' list and Sight & Sound's '250 Greatest Films' List
Starring Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rahman and Mala Sinha, ‘Pyaasa’ trails the life of an unsuccessful poet in an unkind, frigid society. Recently, ‘Pyaasa’ became the first Indian film to be restored by an Indian company for screening at the Venice Film Festival.
7. Hanste Aansoo - First Indian film to receive an A-certificate
Hanste Aansoo featuring Madhubala and Motilal became the first film to receive 'only for adults' certification following the amendment of the original Indian Cinematograph Act (1918) in December 1949
8. Shree 420: Most successful foreign film at the Soviet box office
This cult movie featuring showman Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Nadira became the first foreign film to draw audience of 35 million viewers at the Soviet box office
9. Do Ankhen Barah Haath: First Indian film to win the Golden Globe Award
Directed by ace director V Shantaram, Do Ankhen Barah Haath was way ahead of its time. It became the first Hindi feature film to bag the prestigious Golden Globe award under the Samuel Goldwyn category
10. Awaara: “Awaara Hoon” was the first Indian song which became an international sensation
The composition of Awaara Hoon by Shankar Jaikishan immediately struck a chord with audiences from various classes and backgrounds from across the globe. In fact, in May 2013 BBC poll, the song was rated the second-greatest Bollywood song of all time.