As we all know Bollywood movies in the last one and half decades have been widely watched by people world over. So are other Indian movies like Tamil Malayalam, Telugu, etc., which are quite popular. The main reason is the presence of large Indian diaspora across the globe. In the last four decades several million Indians have moved overseas for employment, particularly to Gulf countries followed by Canada and the USA. Back in India, for Indians watching movies is an obsession, that is the reason why Hollywood movies are screened in many parts of India, though a large percentage of Indian population is glued to
|Fearless Nadia in 11 O'Clock.(1948.en.wikipedia.org/wiki|
various TV channels, watching sensational cliffhanger serials in their native tongues. The movie is so popular in India that more than1,600 films in various Indian languages of India are produced annually.
If you go back on the olden days in 1900 and before, in India mythological dramas sometimes in musical form, were the major pastimes on holidays, etc in rural areas. In Tamil Nadu it is called ''Theru Koothu'' in which males play female roles and such dramas start around 8 pm and go up to midnight. The entire village will sit on the dusty road enjoy Koothu. The first full-length silent movie came to India in the year 1913 - Raja Harichandra produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, a pioneer in Indian film industries and later talkie in 1931 - first Indian sound movie Alam Ara. In those days the natives liked mythological movies because of their strong religious belief. As females were not allowed to move out of home in those days, it was impossible to see Indian women acting in movies. The producers had difficulty in getting females to play the heroine and other roles. Over a period of time women were carefully allowed to act in movies on condition that hero and heroine should not act in close proximity, no indecent dialogues and no night shootings for ladies, etc. Song sequences are a must for movies, and in the olden days, the audience enjoyed them very much; higher the number of songs, the better the audience response would be. For the present younger generations, it would be boring to watch a movie that has innumerable songs.
At a time when no Indian woman was available to play a lead role in movies, the producers recruited foreign nationals They mostly preferred brunettes to act in Indian films. One Nadia, the daughter of a Scotsman was introduced to Hindi films by Jamshed "J.B.H." Wadia who was the founder of Wadia Movietone. In 1930s and she was an expert stunt artist. However, producer Wadia took risk and gave her a "Cameo" as a slave girl in a hand-painted color sequence in 'DeshDepak' and later as 'Princess Parizaad' in Noor-e-Yaman. The movie was a hit and the Indian audience liked her very much. The Wadia brothers helped her become a regular star as she became popular. Her brief stint in the circus made her become courageous and the best stunt woman in the field. Incidentally Marry Ann Evans changed her name to Nadia as an Armenian fortune teller advised her that any name beginning with 'N' would do the trick and she would gain popularity and fortune.
She died on the 9th January, 1996 (aged 88) in Mumbai, India.
01. Riyad Vinci Wadia, Nadia'grand daughter did a documentary on Nadia called Fearless: The Hunterwali Story.
02. At the 1993 Berlin International Film Festival this documentary was well received.
03. Dorothe Wenner, a German freelance writer, and film curator, wrote a book, Fearless Nadia - The true story of Bollywood's original stunt queen. Her work was translated in to English.