An actor, producer, director, Prithviraj Kapoor is one of the most prominent figures in Indian cinema. He is credited with the development of the Hindi movie industry and Indian theatre as well. He was associated with the Indian film industry from its very early silent era days. Prithviraj Kapoor was the active and key founding member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association. He is equally famously known for Prithvi Theatres, Mumbai (then Bombay) which was the founded by him. This was a traveling theatre, running plays and shows in different cities. Beyond everything, he is the patriarch of the India’s first family of Hindi movies – The Kapoor Clan. They have played a very important role and still continue to do so, in Hindi and Bollywood movies. It is the fourth generation of the family, still active very much as lead characters.
There may be very few in today’s generation, who have watched any of Prithviraj Kapoor movies. Times have changed in the era of highly technology and 3D’s.The silent movies may no longer gold a charm. But for everyone in India, Prithviraj Kapoor is a highly revered and respected figure for his contribution to the cine and theatre profession.
Prithviraj Kapoor started his acting career from the late 1920’s onwards. Some of his early silent movies are Do Tahri Talwar, Cinema Gril , Vijaykumar etc. He came to prominence through the first talkie movie Aalam Ara and through the movies of VidyPathi and Sikandar. The last movie is about the life and adventures of Alexander the great. He came in the lead role as Alexander himself.
It may not be very easy to get the links of these movies so easily on the internet and some dedicated search has to be done on the different movie-video sites or search engines. Once found, use the Vidmate app to download it on the smart phone device. Old is gold and every movie enthusiast is certainly bound to enjoy the very early movies of Indian cinema.
Along with cinema, the actor was equally promoting theatre plays. He was a regular stage actor and was highly appreciated for his skills and acting abilities. He founded his own group the Prithvi Theatres in the year 1942. It actively campaigned for India’s independence struggle and exhorted the youth of the country to be part of Quit India movement. The Prithvi Theatre was a hallmark in India. It conducted more than 2500 shows in the next 15 years and Prithviraj Kapoor was the lead performer in virtually every one of them. The biggest hit among these plays was the play Pathan that ran an incredible 600 stage shows in Mumbai.
From the 1950’s onwards, the actor moved more towards the movies again as the era of theatres slowly started to diminish. He started to come in more of senior roles especially the movies of his son Raj Kapoor and Sashi Kapoor. In the hit movie Aawara, he played as father to Raj Kapoor in reel life as well. From the 1960’s to the nest ten years and more, he would feature in some more memorable roles like Mughal-E-Azam as the emperor Akbar. In the year 1965, he enacted the role of emperor Porus in the movie in the Sikandr-E-Azam.
The movie Mughal-E-Azam is an all-time classic for its songs, camera work and storyline. It certainly has to be watched. Use the Vidmate to download it from YouTube or any other site.
The great actor has been conferred with the Padma Bhushan and the Dada Saheb Phalke Award by the government of India for his contribution to Indian cinema. A postage stamp was also released in the year 1996 in honour of Prithvi Theatres.