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Introduction to Mass Communication

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More activities of foreigners made Bombay the centre of film world right in the beginning. But the
part of the subcontinent which spearheaded in film arts was Lahore. It will not be wrong to say that most
talent in direction, acting and singing was generated in the Lahore film studios before partition.
Here we will talk in detail how the film art flourished in Lahore before partition and how this one
distinguished mean of mass communication fared in Pakistan after independence.

Pakistan film history from 1896-1947

Pakistan shared its film history with India (Bharat) from 1896 to 1947. Lahore produced many films
and a big number of Pakistani artists debuted in this period.

Pakistani artists before 1947

The first silent film from Lahore was The Daughter of Today released in 1924 and the inaugural

Punjabi or talkie film from Lahore was Heer Ranjha in 1932. (Alam Ara was released in 1931, which
means Lahore was going as fast and one top film-home after Bombay in the subcontinent.

Some Memorable Movies from 1913-47

Raja Harishchandra
The Daughter of Today
Alam Ara
Heer Ranjha
Anmol Gharri

First film made with cultural taboos- sans women

Raja Harishchandra was released for public viewing in Coronation theatres, Bombay. The first
Indian motion picture, D. G. Phalke’s mythological boasted of an all-male star-cast. Even the female lead
was played by a man since no woman was willing to be part of the cast.

First ever silent feature film from Lahore

Premier Film Company

The Daughter of Today

Released in: 1924
The first ever silent film from Punjab
Actors: A.K.Kardar, Wilayat Begum, M. Ismaeel, Vijay Kumar, Heera Lal and Master Ghulam Qadir, G.K.
M. Ismaeel started his film career from the first ever Lahore made silent film and he was an automatic
choice in the first talkie film from Lahore too.
Assistant Director: Mian Abdur Rasheed Kardar, was the man who started film making in Lahore. He
was hero in first silent film and director of first talkie film.

Inaugural Urdu/Hindi Indo-Pak feature film

Imperial Film Company Presents

Alam Ara

Urdu/Hindi (124 minutes, black & white)
Released on: Saturday, March 14, 1931 (Capital Cinema Lahore)
India's first talkie film was released at Bombay's Majestic cinema hall. It had seven songs and was 10,500
ft. long and ran for seven weeks. It was a costume drama and romantic film.

Story: A period fantasy that told of the ageing king of Kamarpur, and his two rival queens, Navbahar and
Dilbahar, and their rivalry when a fakir predicts that Navbahar will bear the king's heir. Dilbahar
unsuccessfully tries to seduce the army chief Adil (Vithal) and vengefully destroys his family, leaving his
daughter Alam Ara (Zubaida) to be raised by nomads. Eventually, Alam Ara's nomad friends invade the
palace, expose Dilbahar's schemes, release Adil from the dungeon and she marries the prince of the realm.
Actors: Zubaida (Alam Ara), Master Vitthal (Adil), J. Sushila (as Sushila), Jillo Bai, Prithviraj Kapoor, Elizer,
Wazir Mohammed Khan, Jagdish Sethi and L.V. Prasad
Music: Feroz Shah and B. Irani
Singers: Zubaida, W.M. Khan

First ever Punjabi feature film
Heer Ranjha

Realesed in: 1932
The first ever Lahore made film.
Actors: Anwari Begum, Rafiq Ghazniv, Gul Hameed, Lala Yaqoob, M. Ismael, Fazal Shah, Walait Begum.
Anwari Begum and Rafiq Ghaznavi - the grand parent of Salma Agha - played title roles in this memorable
film. Rafiq Ghaznavi was a famous musician in the 30s and 40s and Anwari Begum appeared in many films,
one of them was Anmol Ghari. Music: Rafiq Ghaznavi

Folk music comes to films

Pancholi Art Pictures


Realesed in: 1941
Actors: Ramola, Naring, M. Ismael, Manorma, Ajmal, Janki Das, Durga Khote
Music: Revolutionary music director Master Ghulam Haidar changed the whole style of film music from
classical Bengali to folk Punjabi music in this mega hit film from Lahore. Master Ghulam Haidar introduced Baby Noor Jehan as playback singer in this film first time. (He also introduced Indian diva Lata
Mangeshkar in film Majboor in 1948).
Mehoboob Production Ltd. (Bombay-Lahore)

Anmol Gharri (Urdu/Hindi)
Released in: 1946
Actors: Noor Jehan, Surender, Surayya, Zahoor Raja, Leela Mishra, Anwari Begum, Bhudo Anvari, Murad
Director: Mehboob Khan, one of the greatest film director in the history, was not formerly educated. This
film is special because it brought almost a revolution in subcontinent film world.
Music: One of the most memorable and melodious film by Noushad Ali from the 40s. Naushad Ali is
regarded as one of the greatest Music Directors of Indian Cinema.
Assistent: Ghulam Ahamd (Pakeeza fame)
Lyrics: Tanvir Naqvi was a relative of Madam Noor Jehan and a very successful lyricist....
Singers: Noor Jehan was the most impressive film personality in the Indo-Pak film history. She was
dominating since her debut as a child star (1935).

Surayya was another famous singer/actress from the 40s and 50s. Born in Lahore, she debuted as a child
star with Taj Mahal (1941).

Shamshad Begum was the first generation of top Punjabi film singers (followd by Zubaida Khanum (in
the 50s) and Madam Noor Jehan (from 40s-90s), respectively). One can’t forget Shamshad's mega hit
Punjabi songs as:
- Batti baal ke Banerey utte rakhni aan
- Meri lagdi kise na wekhi, te tutdi nu jugg janda
- Ni tutt jaye Rail Gadiye, too rok leya Chann mera
- Jutt Kurdian toon darda mara

Mohammad Rafi and Surindra – all from Punjab, Lahore.

Film songs:

Tera Khilona tuta Balik, hai qismat ne tujh ko... Mohammad Rafi
Aaja meri barbad mohabbat ke sahare ... Madam Noor Jehan
Mere bachpan ke saathi mujhe bhool na jana... Madam Noor Jehan
Jawan hai mohabbat, haseen hai zamana... Madam Noor Jehan
Kya mil geya Bhagwan tumhe dil ko dukha ke… Madam Noor Jehan

The Last Big "Pakistani" film before partition

Shoukat Arts Productions


Released on: 1947
This film was the last big film by Madam Noor Jehan and her husband director Shaukat Hussain Rizvi
before partition. It was a big musical and romantic film. Madam Noor Jehan was on peak of her film career
as singer and film heroine. Dillip Kumar and Mohammad Rafi got breakthrough from this film.
Actors: Dilip Kumar - the acting legend - got breakthrough from this mega hit film. He was born in
Music: Feroz Nizami, completed hat trick of three great musical film, first Jugnu in 1947, then Chann We
in 1951 and Dopatta 1952 - all with Noor Jehan, & G. A. Chishti was a legendry musician in Punjabi films.
He dominated Pakistani film music until the beginning of the 70s.
Singers: Madam Noor Jehan, Shamshad Begum.

Mohammad Rafi was a legend and he left behind a rich legacy of songs in Urdu/Hindi, Punjabi and many
other languages. Started his singing career from Lahore...

Roshan Ara Begum was acclaimed the best exponent of Kirana gharana style of khayal singing in the

Pakistani artists started their film careers before 1947

A.R.Kardar (actor/director) Daughters of Today 1924
M. Ismael (actor) Daughters of Today 1924
Rafiq Ghaznavi (musician) Heer Ranjha 1932
Ghulam Mohammad (actor) Madhuri 1933
Zahoor Shah (actor) Majnoo 1935/1933
Mukhtar Begum (singer/actress) Naveli Dulhan 1933
Noor Mohammad Charlie (comedian) Nadra 1933
A. Shah Shikarpuri (comedian) Fadaye Toheed 1934
Nazir (actor/director) Aab-e-Hayyat 1934
Master Ghulam Haidar (musician) Sanjog ki Seerhi 1935
Najmul Hassan (actor) Jawani ki hawa 1935
Noor Jehan (singer/actress) Pind di Kurri 1935
S.M. Yousuf (director) Bharat ka Laal 1935
Rekha (actress) Neela 1935
Kumar (actor) Hamari Betian 1936
Ajay Kumar (actor) Mard ka Bacha 1936
G.A.Chishti (musician) Sohni Mehinwal 1937
Agha Salim Raza (actor) Gul Bakawli 1939
Ajmal (actor) Gul Bakawli 1939
Khursheed Anwar (musician) Kurmai 1940
Gul Zaman (actor) Mard-e-Punjab 1940
Najam Naqvi (director) Puttar Millan 1940
Zahoor Raja (actor) Pooja 1940
Majeed (actor) Sandesa 1940
Ragni (actress) Himmat 1940
W.Z. Ahmad (director) Ek Raat 1942
Masood Pervez (actor/director) Mangti 1942
Shoukat Hussain Rizvi (director) Khandan 1942
Hamaliya Wala (actor) Kis ki Bivi 1942
M. Sadiq (director) Namastey 1943
Sheikh Iqbal (actor) Champa 1945
Sharif Nayyar (director) Laila Majnu 1945
Rasheed Attre (musician) Sheerin Farhad 1945
Meena Shori (actress) Rutt Rangeeli 1945
Asha Posley (actress) Champa 1945
Renuka Devi (actress) Ghulami 1945
Feroz Nizami (musician) Ammar Raj 1946
Master Inayat Hussain (musician) Kamli 1946
Luqman (director) Hamjoli 1946
Nisar Bazmi (musician) Jamna Paar 1946
Nashaad (musician) Dildar 1947
Nasreen (actress) Ek Roz 1947
Shah Nawaz (actor) Elan 1947
Sudhir (actor) Farz 1947
Santosh (actor) Ahensa 1947
Rehana (actress) Saajan 1947
Talish (actor) Saraye ke baad 1947
Ilyas Kashmiri (actor) Malka 1947
Tufail Farooqi (musician) Dekho Jee 1947
Fateh Ali Khan (musician) Director 1947

First Color film:

Ardeshir Irani's Kisan Kanya (1937) was the first color film. Sohrab Modi's Jhansi Ki Rani (1953) was the
first Techni-color film shot in India.

After partition

Inaugural Pakistani film.

Teri Yaad (Urdu)
Teri Yaad became the first ever released film but not the first film production in Pakistan. It was completed
in a record time. Lahore was the third biggest film center in sub-continent - after Bombay and Calcutta -
and there were many films under production in 1947
Released in: Perbhat (Sanober) Cinema, Lahore on August 7th, 1948. It was an Eid-ul-Fittar Day.
Teri Yaad was a dead flop film and the only attraction was film hero Nasir Khan, who was brother of the
legendry Dillip Kumar. Asha Poslay was introduced as heroine, but she never became a successful film
heroine. Her father Nath, was music director of this film.
Music: Inayat Ali Naath
Lyrics: Qateel Shafai became the first film poet in Pakistan. He had a long and successful film career...
Singers: Munawar Sultana, Asha Poslay & Ali Bakhsh Zahoor


First Silver Jubilee Punjabi Film.
The first ever Punjabi and the sixth film in the list of released Pakistani films celebrated a great success in
cinemas. Veteran Producer and Director Nazir got the honour to become the first Silver Jubilee film maker.
He was also the only choice as hero in 1949.
Pakistans first ever produced Punjabi film Pheray was a re-make of Nazirs Indian urdu/hindi film "Gaon ki
Gori" (1945)
. It was a big musical hit and the Music Director G. A. Chishti wrote, composed and recorded
six songs of this film in a single day! Chishti was also the most productive Music Director in the first 25
years of Pakistan.
Music: G. A. Chishti
Singers: Munawar Sultana & Inayat Hussain Bhatti

Changes the films brought

􀂃 Entertainment.
􀂃 Cinema houses - a new business.
􀂃 Jobs in thousands for acting, direction, music, sets, lighting, recording, cinematography etc.
􀂃 Billboards all over in so much color - landscape changed.
􀂃 Manifested culture and in return influenced culture – dresses, languages, living style, harmony etc.
􀂃 Strong expression against hated figures in society, oppressors- at least can see on screen.
􀂃 Boldness, vulgarity, obscenity – the dark side of films.

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