The Bombay Talkies Limited (commonly known as Bombay Talkies) was a movie studio produced 102 movies, founded in 1934 in Malad, Bombay (now Mumbai), Himanshu Rai, Rajnarayan Dube and Devika Rani along with businessmen like F. E. Dinhsaw, Sir Firoze Sethna and others Franz Osten and Niranjan Pal as its first full-time filmmakers.
It was a high-tech movie studio of its time, with sound and echo-proof stages, laboratories and editing rooms, and preview theatre. It was the first movie
company of India, which was a public limited company and was registered as a company under Indian Companies Act Soon, Bombay Talkies emerged as a well organized, self-sufficient, and profitable company, and made public issues, declared dividends and bonus, and at its heyday commanded a good standing on the Bombay Stock Exchange .
On account of its association with European technicians, particularly Germans like Osten, the Bombay Talkies set a high technical standard for film making in India. Bombay Talkies also imparted a higher level of dignity to the medium of movie making and acting. This film company gave some very illustrious mega-stars to the Indian film industry, which included Devika Rani, Ashok Kumar 'Leela Chitnis, Madhubala, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Mehmood etc. Bombay Talkies also gave a new dimension to themes of films, and produced films on controversial topics like the story of love, (Achhut Kanya) between an Untouchable girl and a high caste Hindu Brahmin boy. Other notable movies produced by the Bombay Talkies included famous movies of the period like Jawani ki Hawa (1935), starring Devika Rani, and Jeevan Naiya (1936), a romantic movie starring Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar.
After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Bombay Talkies faced a number of problems, resulting in a nervous breakdown and subsequent demise of Himanshu Rai, the founder and key figure of the studio.That time, the another founder key figure of the studio Rajnarayan Dube (The pillar of the Indian Cinema), played a very much important role during this crucial period by giving financial support (Rs. 4,10,000/-) to Himanshu Rai. After demise of Himansu Rai,. The control of the film company passed on to his wife, Devika Rani, who was also made the controller of production of the Bombay Studios. Devika Rani continued the high tradition of Bombay Talkies. Some of the famous movies of the period included Kangan and Bandhan, and famous artists who in films produced by Bombay Talkies were Madhubala and Dilip Kumar .
Soon a rift arose between Devika Rani and her managers, Sashadhar Mukherjee and Ashok Kumar were part of the rival camp. They tried alternating production between the two camps. In that crucial condition, Rajnarayan Dube and Devika Rani finally decided with their mutual understanding to close down the film company 'Bombay Talkies' in 1954. Among those who left Bombay Talkies after training there as a screenplay and dialogue and film story writer under Himanshu Rai and Rajnarayan Dube was 'Aghajani Kashmeri' (Aka Kashmiri and Agha Jani), who would go on to write more than 50 movies, including several silver jubilee (25 weeks), golden jubilee (50 weeks) hits. Aghajani wrote his very first movie for Himanshu Rai and Rajnarayan Dube called Vachan (Vow), which was directed by a German man, Franz Osten. Record of this movie is available in the U.S. Library of Congress. This is also a great fortunate of Bombay Talkies that all the mega stars who started their carrier in this company were awarded Dada saheb Phalke Award like Devika Rani, Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Devanand etc.
Rajnarayan Dube (10 Oct 1910 – 9 Dec 1990) was the founder of 'DUBE INDUSTRIES' , established in 1929, Its Head Office was in Marine lines in 'DUBE HOUSE'.He was a great financer and had a big construction company. He had played a very much important role to save the Bombay Talkies to run it successfully. Whenever any problems arose in Bombay Talkies, Rajnarayan Dube tried to solve those problems related to Bombay Talkies with all resources and supports. But in the last after 1950, the managers of Bombay Talkies created some major problems among them. After this, again he tried a lot to convince them for solve those difficult problems, but it was not possible to make the situation favourable.Devika Rani was alone in this disputes and asked help from Rajnarayan Dube. He helped her in all respects in that difficult situation. Devika Rani was a great personality.Devika Rani was awarded Padma Shri in 1958 for her great contribution in Indian Cinema, and She was the first to receive 'Dadasaheb Phalke Award' in 1969. She was the first lady to receive the honor of becoming the Member of Parliyament.
Bombay Talkies introduced 'Dilip Kumar', His first film Jwar Bhata was released in 1944. Devika Rani helped Khan's entry into the Bollywood film industry. Hindi Author Bhagwati Charan Varma gave him the screen name Dilip Kumar and gave him the leading role in his film Jwar Bhata (1944). Devika Rani and Rajnarayan dube spotted Khan in one of Pune's Aundh military canteens.
In 1944, Prithviraj Kapoor requested Devika Rani and Rajnarayan Dube for his son Raj kapoor (Ranbir Raj kapoor) to give a chance to work in Bombay Talkies. Raj Kapoor's carrier was carved in Bombay Talkies. After failing in his matriculation examination, Raj Kapoor first joined Bombay Talkies and began to work as an attendant on the sets ofBombay Talkies. Later, Raj Kapoor assisted another movies of bombay Talkies under famous director Kedar Sharma as a clapper boy. Once Kedar Sharma, while shooting in his studio, found that young Raj Kapoor did not obey his orders, he slapped him on the sets. Slap on his face changed everything for Raj Kapoor. This was like a turning point of his life. Devika Rani and Rajnarayan Dube saw young man’s determination to make it big some day. Later on, He became the greatest show man of Hindi Cinema.