Bombay Masala, Lahore Classic

The Pakistani film industry struggles for originality as pirated Indian movies steal the show.

What we today call Bollywood cinema is the common heritage of all those who contributed at one time or another to its growth into what is today the second largest motion picture industry in theworld. Soon after the success of the first indigenous Indian film   Raja   Harishchandra, made by the visionary from Bombay, Dada Saheb Phalke in 1913, aspiring filmmakers all over India plunged into the world of dreams and lamour. Besides Bombay, film productions also star-ted in Calcutta, Madras and Lahore.

The first film from Lahore (now facetiously called "Lollywood" and the base of Pakistani cinema) was The Daughter of Today, made in 1924, 11 years after the release of Phalke's venture. But it was The Loves of a Mughal Prince by the exceptional entrepreneur, Himanshu Rai, that offered Lahore the first real hope of getting into the mainstream cinema market. The film, based on Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj's famous play Anarkali, however, failed to take off. This was because the Imperial Film Company of Bombay churned out a quickie, Anarkali, and released it hurriedly across the country. Rai's movie, although a much superior and original work, was dubbed a copy and it flopped. The Bombay Masala had sealed the commercial fate of the Lahore Classic.

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