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The first Indian talkie film was Alam Ara (The Light of the World), which was released on March 14, 1931 at the Majestic Cinema in Bombay. It was produced by the Imperial Film Company and directed by Ardeshir Marwan Irani. The film, which was based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David, was a love story between a prince and a gypsy Alam_Aragirl. Alam Ara was a trend-setter in Indian cinema and opened up new possibilities that were hitherto unexplored in Indian cinema.  The film also introduced singing in Indian cinema, when actor Wazir Mohammed Khan (W.M.Khan) gave his voice to the first song of Indian cinema, De De Khuda Ke Naam Par.  As playback singing had not started in Indian cinema, it was recorded live with musical accompaniment of a harmonium and a tabla.

The film’s cast included Prithviraj Kapoor, L.V. Prasad, W.M. Khan, Master Vithal and Zubeida.  The film’s popular Hindustani dialogues and seven songs made it a big hit.  March 14, 2011 marked the 80th anniversary of Alam Ara - the first Indian film with sound.  Unfortunately, currently no original print of the film is available as a result of a fire at the National Film Archive of India at Pune in 2003.

Ghar Ki Lakshmi (1931) was the second talkie of Mumbai, which was followed by an improvised film Shirin Farhad produced by Madan Theatre, featuring Jahan Ara Kajjan and Master Nissar, the popular singing pair of the Urdu Stage. The first talkie film in Bengali was Jamai Sashti.

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