Valentina Vitali presents the history of Bombay action film, posing new questions about the relationship between movies and their socioeconomic context. She considers how action gained prominence as an ingredient in film narrative and as a means to make and means films. She traces the emergence of the stunt film in the 1920s; examines the presence and function of women in action roles from the mid-1920s to the end of the 1930s; and analyzes the socioeconomic factors responsible for the films and for the popularity of figures such as Master Vithal, Ermeline, Fearless Nadia, Dara Singh, and Amitabh Bachchan as well as other, more contemporary figures.
About the Author
Valentina Vitali is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of East London. She is editor (with Paul Willemen) of Theorising National Cinema.
Table of Contents
Note on the Transliteration of Film Titles and Names ix
1 The 1920s 1
The 1910s 3
The 1920s 11
The Action Ingredient 20
Sharda Film Company and Master Vithal 32
2 Women in Action Films in the 1920s and 1930s 56
The 1930s 72
From Artistic Pictures Corporation to Wadia Movietone 80
Fearless Nadia's Stunt Films 100
3 Interlude: The 1950s 119
The Bombay Film Industry during Nehru's Administration 119
Post-Independence Euphoria and the Marginalization of Action 127
4 The 1960s 134
The Bombay Film Industry in the 1960s 134
The Economy in 1960s India 140
Dara Singh and the Hindi Small-budget Film 144
Dara Singh's Wrestling Films 154
5 The 1970s 184
The Literature on the 'Angry Young Man' 184
Indira Gandhi's U-Turn 193
The Bombay Film Industry in the 1970s 196
The Action Films of Amitabh Bachchan 206
6 Contemporary Action Cinema 230
What People are Saying About This
Impressive . . . clear and accessible.
An original piece of work which is pioneering in its study of the importance of exhibition and distribution to the Hindi film industry.