Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Wanted Cultured Ladies Only!

An ad from filmindia July, 1943.
Came across above image in 'Wanted cultured ladies only!: female stardom and cinema in India, 1930s-1950s'
by By Neepa Majumdar (Google Books)
Leela Chitnis and Master Vinayak in ''Better Half'
from filmindia, January 1940
The above image (minus the caption) was recently shared on twitter by Pavan Jha. He posted it as a quiz. Quite a few comments raised the issue of 'Smoking in Indian Cinema'. I came to know about the image via Facebook where someone asked me if I knew the answer. I recalled coming across it in filmindia collection shared with me by Greta. I was able to recall it because of the appealing caption: kiss

The Kiss. Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai in Karma (1933)
Speaking of Captions...
From Filmfare, November 1989
 Speaking of Ads...
June 1982



  1. Reminded me of this ad I had seen in a major Czech newspaper ... :-)

  2. Imagined Kanhaiyalal reading that out in hindi. The horror! The horror!

  3. Hi, I'm trying to write a paper on the idea of the 'respectable' actress of the 20th century, focusing on a figure like Devika Rani, perhaps. I was wondering if you had any idea where I could get my hands on some old magazines like Filmindia or Indian Film or Rangbhoomi, or posters from the 30s. You always post such great stuff.

  4. @V

    I get a lot of these queries from people doing film studies. I realize finding original material is one of the biggest problems these studies face. So I am posting a generic response. Things I tell most of them.

    For me the interest was digging up material related to censorship. I here there is stuff...lots of magazines archived and accessible at Pune archive. Since most of these are not available online. I looked at buying stuff from online vendors...mostly on ebay. There are quite a sellers. I did post of my purchases from vendors named 'auctionz_unlimited' and 'shoryaa'. You can try your luck there. Some of the rare material isn't easy on the wallet but a lot of material is affordable.

    It's not much. But I hope this helps.

  5. Thanks I'll check it out.


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