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Bollywood's movie milestones

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bollywood is completing a century of movies, which began in 1913 with the first all-Indian feature film "Raja (King) Harishchandra", a silent, black-and-white story of a virtuous king from Hindu mythology. As women acting was taboo, young men took on the female roles.

Here are six other Hindi hits that have been landmarks for the industry:

"Alam Ara" (Light of the World) - 1931

India's first "talkie", this also included the first song in Indian cinema, recorded live as there was not yet playback recording. The last remaining print of the film was destroyed in a fire in 2003.

A love story between a prince and a gypsy girl inspired by America musical "Show Boat", the film was hugely successful. Newspaper reports said police were called in to control cinema crowds.

"Mother India" - 1957

Mehboob Khan's blockbuster depicted the resilience of an Indian woman, while echoing fervent nationalism in the aftermath of India's independence from British rule.

Top star Nargis plays a self-sacrificing mother who raises two sons in a poor village, ultimately gunning one of them down to uphold the community's honour. For one famous sequence, a farmer agreed to flood his own land.

It was the first of just three Indian films nominated for an Oscar in the foreign-language category, which none of them won.

"Mughal-e-Azam" (The Greatest of the Mughals) - 1960

Director K. Asif's period epic still ranks amongst Bollywood's highest grossers, starring the legendary Dilip Kumar as a Mughal prince who falls in love with a court dancer, played by his one-time lover Madhubala.

Noted for lavish, palatial sets and an immortal soundtrack, it was the costliest Indian film of its time and took 15 years to make, running into production and financial trouble during India's independence struggle.

"Sholay" (Embers) - 1975

India's first "curry" western and one of its most-loved hits, Sholay combined songs, romance, tragedy and violence.

Influenced by "The Magnificent Seven", it tells a tale of two crooks who help a policeman gain revenge on a notorious gangster for crippling him and killing his family.

Badlands in southern India where the film was made are still a tourist attraction.

"Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (The Braveheart will get the Bride) - 1995

This is the longest-running movie in an Indian cinema, still showing on a big screen in Mumbai 18 years after its release.

Produced by Yash Chopra, known for his picturesque romantic hits, it was partly shot in Switzerland -- now a popular destination for well-heeled Indians thanks to its role as a Bollywood backdrop.

The film also cemented actor Shah Rukh Khan's position as one of India's biggest superstars.

"3 Idiots" - 2009

Bollywood's highest-grossing movie worldwide, this screwball campus-comedy departed from other mainstream "masala" movies, questioning India's education system and student suicides.

Superstar Aamir Khan took the lead, riding on the success of six previous blockbusters including his Oscar-nominated "Lagaan" (Land Tax) of 2001.

Finding success in China and Hong Kong, "3 Idiots" is set to be remade in Cantonese by filmmaker Stephen Chow, with talks also on for US and Italian versions.

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