Between 1920 and 1931 India saw its first boom in indigenous film production. Indian cinema was clearly set to take-off, but where to? Both the boom in production, as well as the kind of money flowing into studios and into movie theatres, sent deeply conflicting messages. India’s movie economy found itself, not for the first time, speaking for a larger economic sector of which it would be both a symbol and an anomaly. ‘Late colonial India’ outlines colonial ambitions for Indian cinema; the Lahore Anarkali effect on the Mughal epic; the reform of the industry with the introduction of sound in 1931; and the impact of the Second World War on Indian film-making.