Contents: Mihir Bose biography. Acknowledgements. Prologue: with Pamela in search of Bollywood. I. In step with the world: 1. The creators. 2. The mighty Banyan tree. 3. Growing under the Banyan tree. II. When Bollywood was like Hollywood: the studio era: 4. Mavericks, eccentrics, bigamists. 5. The road to Bombay via Munich and London. 6. Making a nation through films. 7. The children of Rai. 8. Blondes and Brunettes: Bollywood's white women. III. Minting film gold in Bombay: 9. Searching for the right masala. 10. The great Indian showman. 11. Bollywood's classic era. 12. Asif's Godot finally arrives. IV. A laugh, a song and a tear: 13. The explosion of the Bombay film song. 14. Laughter and tears. V. Anger and after: 15. A shy man and his use of anger. 16. The great Indian curry western. 17. Change in a time of darkness. 18. The final frontier. 19. Afterword. Bibliography. Index.
"Hollywood may define our idea of movies but it is the city of Bombay on the west coast of India that is now the centre of world cinema. Every year the Indian film industry produces more than 1,000 features films, every day 14 million Indians go to a movie in the country, a billion more people a year buy tickets for Indian movies than for Hollywood ones. The rise of Bombay as the film capital of the world has been both remarkable and amazing. Bollywood takes the cinematic techniques of Hollywood and uses them to produce movies that bear no relation to the original but have a compelling appeal that in the last half century has enthralled audiences throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The movies themselves are a self-contained world with their multiple song and dance routines, intense melodrama, and plots that contain everything from farce to tragedy but always produce a happy ending. The men and women who created these movies are even more remarkable and it is this fantastic, rich, diverse story, a veritable Indian fairyland, that Mihir Bose, a native of Bombay, tells with vivid brilliance in the first comprehensive history of this major social and cultural phenomenon." (jacket)