evolution of Indian cinema

Evolution of Indian Cinema

Most of us are fond of cinema and many of us have a dream to be part of the industry as a singer, actor, art director or cinematographer. Indian cinema has shown massive growth over the years. Many of us don’t know the history of our Indian cinema but few of us may knowledge themselves in tit-bits but that’s not enough to know. History of Indian cinema is like a journey going on for years and well, as a matter of fact, it’s quite interesting to know. The histories of cinema in India extend back to the beginnings of eras. Therefore, our India cinema has 5 eras till today. 

Enlisted below are the eras of cinema till now 

  • Silent Era (the 1890s-1920s)
  • Talkies (1930s mids- 1940s)
  • Golden Era (the late 1940s-1960s)
  • Classic Bollywood (the 1970s-1980s)
  • New Bollywood (1990s-present)

These are the eras of Indian cinema. It’s been over 100years for Indian cinema. No wonder our cinema had the greatest and the most iconic talents of all the time. We can never forget their contribution to the cinema. commercial cinema and parallel cinema are the two parts of Indian cinema.

First Clips in Cinema

The Lumiere Brothers were the ones, who made their first-ever video clips in Paris in 1895,‘The arrival of the Train’ and ‘leaving the factory’. Showcased in Bombay on July 7, 1896. In 1898 at Calcutta, the first cinema was opened and 2nd in Madras. An Indian photographer made the first motion picture ‘The flower of Persia’ in 1898, Hiralal Sen and the first-ever film shot by an Indian was called ‘The Wrestlers’ in 1899 by H.S Bhatavdekar showcasing a wrestling match in Bombay. The Indian cinema started with the first era called the Silent Era. 

Silent Era (the 1890s- 1920s)

Orchestra accompanied in silent films. 1313 films were made in 22 years but only 15 survived. ‘The flower of Persia’, ‘The Wrestlers’ were all silent-era films or the clips you can say. The first-ever Indian film was ‘Shree Pundalik’, a silent film in Marathi by Dadshaeb Tore in 1921, 18th The Indian motion full-length picture was first shot by Dadashaeb Phalke. The father of Indian cinema was Dadashaeb Phalke. His films were mostly about gods and Indian independence from Britain. This led to the growth of Indian cinema. Phalke’s first-ever film was ‘Raja Harishchandra on 3rd May 1913. This was the first motion picture which was premiered on 21st April 1913. The female characters in the film were played by the male characters. Phalke also made, ‘Shrikrishana Janma’ in 1917, and ‘Kaliya Mardan’ in 1919. 

Talkies Era (the 1930s-1940s)

The silent era came to an end when Ardeshir Irani produced his first talkie named ‘Alam Ara’ on 14th March 1931. Many people know that this was the first Indian movie in the cinema but it was Phalke’s ‘Raja Harishchandra’. This era completely changed the face of cinema. Later in the same year, In addition Irani produced a south Indian film called ‘Kalidas’ directed by H.M Reddy released on 31st October.  But ‘Alam Ara’ was also the first Indian movie with soundtracks. There were many hits that talkies saw, and soon this era became popular in India, and talents in these films were in high demand. Decent amount of money was paid to them for acting. Irani was an attempted colour picture in ‘Kisan Kanya’ in 1937. Also, women were participating but only upper caste. The first upper caste Maratha Hindu woman to become an actress was Durga Khote. She performed with excellence in V Shantaram’s movie named ‘Amar Jyoti’ in 1936. 


Golden Age (the late 1940s-60s)

  • This era was the most remembered era of Indian cinema, as it has given a drastic change in Indian cinema. This era gave the industry directors of all the time. The golden age became more of family drama and entertainment instead of political or social issues. Interestingly, the Indian audience liked the films made in the golden era with the immense use of music and dance. This age became famous in the late 50s-60s with fairytale romantic stories and historical romance. This era had the biggest film called ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ in 1960. This era had many popular movies which gave the industry a sliver turn. Some of the movies of the golden age are 
  • Panthee Panchali: directed by Satyajit Ray, and was nominated for best film in 1958 BAFTA awards. 1956 it was nominated for the best human document award in the Cannes film festival.
  • Aparajito: also directed by Satyajit Ray in 1956, nominated for best film and best foreign actress at BAFTA awards in 1959.
  • Mother India: Mehboob khan directed the movie in 1957. This movie was nominated in Oscars in 1958 for the best foreign language. Also, the film was published by empire magazines in a list of “greatest film of all the time”.
  • Mughal-e-Azam: it was directed by K.Asif in1960, starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala. The movie was firstly shot in black and white but later with colour techniques, the movie was printed again in colours. It was the greatest movie of the golden era and no wonders, no movie can compete with this till now even.
  • Awaara: Raj Kapoor directed the movie in 1951, the film was nominated for the grand prize in 1953 at Cannes Film festival.
  • Do Bigha Zameen: directed by Bimal Roy in 1953 starting Nirupa Roy, Rattan Kumar. It was the international prize winner and also nominated for the grand prize in 1954 at Cannes. 

Classic Bollywood (1970s-80s)

This was the era of vibrant colours, styles, full of songs, dance and pure entertainment with full drama. No doubt, this era bought a fashion in this span. Fashion, colour full shirts, bell-bottoms, and fancy lace were the origin of his era. As of now, this fashion is back in trend and now Vogue of today’s time. Also, 70s age, give a good story, action, romance, and comedies hits. Manmohan Desai gave a classic Bollywood hit Amar Akbar Anthony while on the other hand, Hrishiekh Mukherjee gave classic comedies hit such as, chupke chupke(1975) and Golmaal(1979). 

Not forgetting about evergreen songs by Kishor Kumar and R.D Burman who enormous hits. No matter, we all have a 70s era playlist in our collection of songs. That’s why our elders criticize the deteriorating quality of music today as they have heard and seen the era of the 70s. This era had 2 big superstars together. For this, Rajesh Khanna who gave 15 consecutive solo hits of romance and, on the other hand, there was an angry young man Amitabh Bachchan. This is the best time of cinema, Bollywood has ever seen. Famous movies from this era are: 


  • Anand(1971)
  • Chupke chupke(1975)
  • Deewar (1975)
  • Don (1978)
  • Mr.India (1987)
  • Mera naam joker (1970)
  • Sholay (1975) 
  • Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) 

New Bollywood (1990s-present)

It was the period of new romantic hits, stories, and fantasies. Some old school romance was showcased by directors such as Yash Chopra we still dream of it. 90 kids have all grown up watching movies on their television set hoping the same will happen in real life. Teenage love was widely noticed in this era. We all have done that ‘palat’ technique like raj from DDLG to check if he/she loves us back or not, dancing in yellow saree in rain just like Raveena tendon and what not.

Heroes at this age gave us a lesson of love, romance, and family. Like the king of romance Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sunil Shetty, Akshay Kumar, amir khan, Ajay Devgan and many more. The vital element was music which made us go “la la la”. Songs like tip tip barsa pani, kate nahi katte, phela nasha, and many more. Famous 1990s movies with their famous songs are: 

  • Andaz Apna Apna (1994): yeh raate yeh doorie 
  • Dil toh Pagal hai (1997): Bholi si surat 
  • Jo hi jeeta vo hi Sikandar (1992): phela nasha 
  • Baazigar (1993): yeh kaali kaali aankhen 
  • Pardes (1997): yeh dil deweena
  • Asshique (1990): Nazar ke samne 
  • Sangarash (1999): dil ka qarar
  • Kuch kuch hota hai (1998) 

Present Era

Bollywood got the most iconic movies in 90s. Trends were changing at a quick pace for Bollywood. The new Bollywood (present era) has changed over the years. Comparing to the 90s, now movies are different with emerging use of technology, fashion, and other cinematography techniques. Movies like ‘koi mil gya (2003) and Ra.one (2011) technical advancement was introduced. These kinds of movies have put large importance on visual effects. This was the evolution of Indian cinema and how our cinema changed within time and technology.

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