Dwarkadas Sampat

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Dwarkadas Narendas Sampat (1884-1958) was a pioneer of Indian cinema, which later came to be known as Bollywood.

In 1920, Sampat founded the Kohinoor Film Company, and went on to become a legend. Not least because he had a pet tiger. He introduced wooden sets, doing away with the painted sceneries of the past.


He made 98 films between 1919 and 1929. Some of them are:

Vikram Urvashi (1920)

This film starred Leena Valentine, who was billed as the'blue-eyed fairy of the screen'. During intermission, Valentine would appear on stage.

Anusuya (1921)

The actress Sakinabai appeared nude in the film, but the censors allowed it!

Bhakta Vidur

Kanjibhai Rathod directed this mythological allegory which alluded directly to political issues of the day. In the wake of the Rowlatt Act in 1919 -- which put restrictions on Indian imports -- protests and agitation broke out, thrusting Mahatma Gandhi into the national spotlight. This film adapted a section from the Mahabharata that concerns the fall of an empire at the hands of two warring clans -- the Pandavas and the Kauravas. More overtly, the film's main character, Vidur (Dwarkadas Sampat), is a dead ringer for Gandhi, complete with his trademark hat and khaddar shirt. This film became something of a cause célèbre in India, as it generated a huge censorship controversy and was ultimately banned in Karachi and Madras. The District Magistrate of Karachi ordered the ban, saying it is likely to excite disaffection against......
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