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Definition of BOLLYWOOD
: the motion-picture industry in India
Origin of BOLLYWOOD
Bombay (Mumbai), traditional center of the Indian film industry + Hollywood
First Known Use: 1976
Indian moviemaking industry that began in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1930s and developed into an enormous film empire. Bombay Talkies, launched in 1934 by Himansu Rai, spearheaded the growth of Indian cinema. Throughout the years, several classic genres emerged from Bollywood: the historical epic, notably Mughal-e-azam (1960; The Great Mughal); the curry western, such as Sholay (1975; The Embers); the courtesan film, such as Pakeezah (1972; Pure Heart), which highlights stunning cinematography and sensual dance choreography; and the mythological movie, represented by Jai Santoshi Maa (1975; Hail Santoshi Maa). Star actors, rather than the films themselves, have accounted for most box-office success. Standard features of Bollywood films include formulaic story lines, expertly choreographed fight scenes, spectacular song-and-dance routines, emotion-charged melodrama, and larger-than-life heroes. At the beginning of the 21st century, Bollywood produced as many as 1,000 feature films annually, and international audiences began to develop among Asians in the U.K. and the U.S.