According to the sources, the Indian Ministry has asked for a nation wide search for at least one print of the first “talkie” movie of Bollywood Alam Ara which is an important part of the history of movies.
The last prints of the movie were destroyed in a fire in 2003 in Pune due to which the Ministry had to take such drastic actions. But no success has been achieved yet as no usable print of the movie has been found yet.
Alam Ara which means “The Light of the World” was released in 1931 and is remembered in the public memory as the first movie which introduced sound to the public. In fact when it was released, the Police had to be deployed to keep the public under control. The movie was directed by Ardeshir Irani. Another important fact to remember about this movie is that the concept of playback singing was introduced in Bollywood through this movie’s “De de khuda ka naam” song which was a raging hit. It starred Prithviraj Kapoor and Zubeida and was inspired by Jerome Kern’s “Show Boat”.
Hopefully beginning from this movie the authorities will keep better care of prints and other valuables which are in important part of our history.