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Eve in Calcutta: The Indianization of a Movie Madwoman

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In 1913 D. G. Phalke modeled his mythological film, Raja Harischandra, on a Hollywood Biblical spectacle. Thus began the practice of the remake, or "Indianization": transformation of Western movies for the Indian mass audience. Hundreds of American films have passed through this process since then, chosen primarily for their box office potential in India. From early mythologicals through the family comedies of the sixties (The Parent Trap produced three Hindi and several Dravidian language versions) to the violent action films of today (Fatal Attraction turned into Haar Jeet in the North and Aksharathettu in the South), the choice of original has been influenced by changing audience tastes, as well as the dictates of strict censorship.

Keywords: "Indianization"; Indian mass audience; Remake; Western movies; censorship; original

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1997

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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