Bollywood is formally referred to as Hindi cinema, though frequent use of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is common to see films that feature dialogue with English words phrases, or even whole sentences
Film poster for first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931)
Nargis and Raj Kapoor in Awaara (1951), also directed and produced by Kapoor. It was nominated for the Grand Prize of the 1951 Cannes Film Festival.
Guru Dutt in Pyaasa (1957), for which he was the director, producer and leading actor. It is one of Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies.
Raja Harishchandra (1913), by Dadasaheb Phalke, was the first silent feature film made in India. By the 1930s, the industry was producing over 200 films per annum. The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931), was a major commercial success. There was clearly a huge market for talkies and musicals; Bollywood and all the regional film industries quickly switched to sound filming.
The 1930s and 1940s were tumultuous times: India was buffeted by the Great Depression, World War II, the Indian independence movement, and the violence of the Partition. Most Bollywood films were unabashedly escapist, but there were also a number of filmmakers who tackled tough social issues, or used the struggle for Indian independence as a backdrop for their plots.
In 1937, Ardeshir Irani, of Alam Ara fame, made the first colour film in Hindi, Kisan Kanya. The next year, he made another colour film, Mother India. However, colour did not become a popular feature until the late 1950s. At this time, lavish romantic musicals and melodramas were the staple fare at the cinema.