Alam Ara was the first Indian sound film made in 1931 directed by Ardeshir Irani.
Alam Ara debuted at the Majestic Cinema in Bombay on 14 March 1931. The Hindi punchline of the movie was ’78 murde insaan zinda ho gaye. Unko bolte dekho’? The movie had become such a hit that police had to be called to control the crowd. The film was houseful for the next 8 weeks of its release.
The film is a love story between a prince and a gypsy girl, based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David. The Film had 7 songs.
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The shooting of the film was done mostly at night, that is between 1am and 4am. The microphones were hidden near the actors. The studio was near the railway tracks, and the noise of the trains disturbed the shooting during the day. Since Alam Ara was the first Indian sound film, the makers needed actors who knew the language.
There is no known copy of the film today. The National Archives of India says that they do not possess a print and couldn’t locate one as far back as 1967.