Indian cinema: 1970-79

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Indian cinema: 1970-79

Title and authorship of the original article(s)

Brief history of Indian cinema By UrooJ,, mid-2000

Bollywood Cinema By h2g2, mid-2000


The Commercial 70s of Indian Films By indianetzone, mid-2000

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M. G. Ramachandran’s Ulagam Sutrum Vaalibhan (1973), set new box office records
Daana Veera Soora Karna (1977/ Telugu) was one of N. T. Rama Rao’s biggest hits

In Bombay, a new group of film makers emerged on the Hindi cinema. Notable amongst them are Basu Chatterji (Sara Akash), Rajinder Singh Bedi (Dastak), Mani Kaul (Uski Roti, Duvidha), Kumar Shahani (Maya Darpan), Avtar Kaul (27-Down), Basu Bhattacharya (Anubhav), M.S. Sathyu (Garam Hawa), Shyam Benegal (Ankur), and Kanthilal Rathod (Kanku). In Calcutta, following the trend set by Ray, Ghatak and Sen, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar also made some note worthy films. (Kabuliwala, Hatey Bazarey, Harmonium, Safed Haathi; Balika Bodhu, Nimantran, Ganadevta, Dadar Kirti).

Down in the South, the new wave cinema originated in Karnataka and Kerala. Pattabhi Rama Reddy's Damskara (70) and Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Swayamvaram (72) were the trend setters in Kannada and Malayalam respectively. This continued with a series of socially conspicuous films like M.T. Vasidevan Nair's Nirmalyam, B.V.Karanth's Chomana Dudi, Girish Karnad's Kaadu, Girish Kasara Valli's Ghatasradha, G. Aravindan's Uttarayanam and Thamp, K. Balachander's Arangetram, Avargal and Apoorva Ragangal, Adoor's Kodyettam, K.G. George's Swapnadanam and P.A. Backer's Chuvanna Vithukal and G.V.Iyer's Hamsageethe.

1970 : Pattabai Rama Reddy’s Sanskara becomes path breaker for low budget Kannada cinema. Devika Rani is the first recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. English gossip magazine Stardust launched. Close Up (no. 5/6) publishes a special number on ‘The Indian film Scene.’ Journal of the Kerala Film Chamber starts. Firoze Rangoonwala comes out with Indian Filmography: Silent and Hindi Films 1897-1969.

1971 : Agreement between the Indian Government and the MPEAA is allowed to expire. The directive to the FFC to sponsor independent film-making is written into its official objectives. Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe starts the New Indian Cinema Movement in Marathi. Deaths of Debaki Bose and K. Asif

1972 : First art house cinema opened by the FFC. First features in Manipuri (Matamgi Manipur) and Coorgi (Nada Manne Nada Koolu). MGR is expelled from the DMK and forms the ADMK. The first co-operative run by technicians, The Chitralekha Co-op, starts production with Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s debut Swayamwaram. The Malayalam film weekly Nana starts. Do Gaz Zameen ke Neeche establishes the Ramsay brothers and the horror genre in Hindi. Deaths of Prithviraj Kapoor, Geeta Dutt and Meena Kumari. Pakeezah goes on to become a big hit after Meena Kumari’s death.

1973 : The FFC becomes channelising agency for import and distribution of raw stock. The Government imposes 250% import duty on raw film. First Haryanvi Film (Beera Shera). Bobby reinvigorates the love story genre. Zanjeer launches Amitabh Bachchan as the ‘angry young man.’ Shyam Benegal’s Ankur is a commercial success starting the middle-of-the-road cinema of the independently financed, commercially designed art-house movie, a genre that soon dominates state-sponsored film and television. Launch of the Bombay based weekly trade paper Film Information providing the most reliable listings of Hindi Cinema.

1974 : Hindustan Photo Films starts limited production of positive colour stock. The Film Festival of India becomes an annual event. The Film Institute of India is registered as an autonomous society and is merged with the TV training centre to become the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

Deewar (1975), the era of the angry young man at its peak

1975 : A new agreement with the MPEAA means that US films can be imported again. Sholay, India’s second film in 70mm stereophonic sound and arguably India’s biggest cult filmCinemaScope and 70mm films is released and breaks box-office records. The other big surprise hit of the year is Jai Santoshi Ma. The Bengali film fortnightly Anandalok starts. Death of S.D.

1976 : Strict censorship of films during the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi. Amrit Nahata’s Kissa Kursi ka, a satire on power politics destroyed. The Committee on Public Undertaking attacks the FFC art-film policy. The journal Film Blaze starts in Bombay. Death of Mukesh.

1978 : The Orissa Film Development Corporation announces the financing of ‘Janta Cinema Houses’ in rural and semi-urban areas. Panorama of Indian Cinema at the Carthage Film Festival. The Malayalam film journal Chitrabhoomi is started by the owners of the mainstream daily Mathrubhoomi.


Mera Naam Joker (1970)

This film was the most ambitious project of Raj Kapoor and was really three films in one, narrating as it did, the story of an eternal clown who makes the world laugh while he himself weeps silently within. The film was too long, loosely scripted and had two intervals. The film which was six years in the making was a disaster at the box-office. After Joker Raj Kapoor had a string of big hits as director, but Joker was his last as the romantic lead.

Pakeezah (1971)

This was the last film as a heroine of the great actress Meena Kumari. The music by Ghulam Mohammed was a great hit, as were the background songs by Naushad. Upon its release, this lavishly produced CinemaScope film was received well among educated audiences, Urdu-lovers and lovers of good cinema--i.e. it had made a small profit. A few weeks after its release the film's leading lady, the legendary actress Meena Kumari, by then a 'senior citizen' of Indian cinema and not a current star, died. This drew the interest of mass audiences in the film, which became a raging hit and went on to be the second highest grossing Hindi-Urdu film of the year.

Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971): The film was the first one to be shot n Nepal which portrayed the lives of hippies who came in hoardes to India in those days. The film also featuring Mumtaz and Zeenat Aman was a musical hit scored by RD Burman.

Abhimaan (1973): AbhimaanThe film by Hrishikesh Mukherjee was an inside view on the lives of celebrities and the envy between a husband and wife. The film will be remembered for its brilliant performance by Jaya Bhaduri and beautiful music by SD Burman. Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri tied the knot soon after the film.

Zanjeer (1973): This was the first film which totally changed the image of Amitabh Bachchan. The sober-looking actor of films like Abhiman and Mili began to develop the aura of the angry young man.

Bobby (1973): Director Raj Kapoor hit back with a vengeance with this film, which launched Dimple Kapadia as an actress. The huge success of this film wiped out all the losses and bad memories of Mera Naam Joker.

Namak Haram (1973): Namak HaramOne a superstar while the other a star in the making. Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee managed to bring Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan together once again through this film after his earlier attempt in Anand made in 1970. The film was received well due to its simpler storyline. But after the release of the film the two could never be paired again as the status of the two actors changed dramatically with Amitabh`s career soaring high with a string of hits and Rajesh Khanna finding himself on a downslide.

Aandhi (1975): AandhiThe offbeat film on a political theme by Gulzar featuring Suchitra Sen in the lead role was banned by the Government of India during the emergency as her character was said to be modelled on the Prime Minister.

Deewar (1975): The film propelled Amitabh Bachchan to dizzy heights of popularity and gained him the tag of angry young man. It was the major turning point of his career.

Jai Santoshi Maa (1975): The film made on a relatively small budget competed with Sholay, the all time hit of those days. It became a craze due to its music and Santoshi Maata`s immense devotion prevailing at the time.

Kabhie Kabhie (1976): kabhie-kabhiehis was the first film of Yash Chopra, after he separated from his elder BR Chopra, as director under his own banner Yashraj Films and it was musical hit with artistes like Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh and Waheeda Rehman in lead roles.

Sholay (1977): SholayThe mother of all hits, Sholay is the landmark film of Indian cinema as it created history at the box-office. It was the first biggest multi-starrer and brought in big screen entertaiment with its stereophonic soundtrack and 70 mm format.

Kissa Kursi Ka (1977): The film which was banned during the Emergency and later destroyed by fire was remade but failed to enthuse the audience despite the controversies surrounding it.

Amar Akbar Anthony (1977): Amar Akbar AnthonyThe formula film or masala films came into existance with this one. Manmohan Desai took up the task of narrating the lost and found drama with remarkable conviction and the film appealed to all sections of the audience.

Indian cinema: historical outline Covers the era before the first Indian feature film

Indian cinema: 1913-20

Indian cinema: 1920-29

Indian cinema: 1930-39

Indian cinema: 1940-49

Indian cinema: 1950-59

Indian cinema: 1960-69

Indian cinema: 1970-79

Indian cinema: 1980-89

Indian cinema: 1990-99

Indian cinema: 2000-09

Indian cinema: 2010-19
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