Google.com pleasantly surprised many in India today with Alam Ara, first Bollywood movie with sound, as its new Google doodle on the homepage.
Alam Ara was released on March 14, 1931, exactly eighty years ago. The movie is significant in Bollywood history because it was the first ever Hindi movie that had sound in it. So from being just moving images, the movies became more lifelike and real after Alam Ara was released.
Alam Ara movie is a love story between a prince and a gypsy girl, based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David. The story revolves around a king and his two wives, Dilbahar and Navbahar. Imperial Movietone produced the movie in India and Majestic cinema hall in Mumbai was one of the first to showcase it.
But while we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the release of the movie, irony lies in the fact that no known copy of the movie now exists with the National Archives of India. In a fire at Pune’s National Film Archives in 2003, the last known prints were destroyed in a fire and no other print has been found for the movie yet!