interfere with their rule. Thus, unlike today, scenes depicting kissing and
lovemaking were not considered as taboo. The earliest kissing scenes were
depicted in films like Pati Bhakti (1922), A Throw of Dice (1930) and
Karma (1933).
     Among the important actresses of the 1920s mention may be made of
Patience Cooper, Sinora Minelli, Sulochana (Ruby Meyers), Sita Devi
(Renee Smith) and Tara. D. Billimoria, Sampat, Himansu Rai, Charu Roy,
V. Shantaram, Gohar and Raja Sandow were among the important male
leads of Hindi cinema.
Era of Indian Talkies
     The first Indian talkie Alam Ara produced by the Imperial film
company and directed by Ardershir Irani was released on March 14, 1931
at the Majestic Cinema in Bombay. Alam Ara was the genesis of the talkie
feature films. The movie is significant because it gave Indian cinema its
first singer, W.M. Khan. The film’s popular Hindustani dialogues and
seven songs made it a big hit which resulted in other filmmakers to raise
the number of songs in their films till it reached a whooping 71 in
Indrasabha. Film songs soon became a Pan-Indian phenomenon. Ghar Ki
Lakshmi (1931) became the second talkie of Bombay. A substantially
improvised talkie film emerged later in that year in the form of Madan
Theatre’s Shirin Farhad.
     The talkie had brought revolutionary changes in the whole set up of
the industry and completely over-shadowed the silent movies at a time
when they were at a peak. However, it also brought into focus many
peculiar problems which needed to be tackled – there were no dialogue
writers or lyricists and songs had to be sung during the filming as
prerecording facilities were not known. Minimum instruments were used,
as the instrumentalists had to be camouflaged behind the singer. But the
talking film had come to stay. Many of the early talkie movies were
created by Bengali producers. The era of the talkies brought about social
awareness as they focused on themes like practice of human sacrifices,
women’s liberation and arranged marriages.
     The 30s saw the emergence of three big banners in Indian cinema –
Prabhat, Bombay Talkies and New Theatres – which took the lead in
making serious films with gripping     social themes meant for all classes of