The 1970s thus saw the rise of commercial cinema in the form of enduring films such as Sholay (1975), which consolidated Amitabh Bachchan's position as a lead actor.The devotional classic Jai Santoshi Ma was also released in 1975.In the 1940s, many actors, filmmakers and musicians in the Lahore industry migrated to the Bombay industry, including actors such as K. Saigal, Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand and singers such as Mohammed Rafi, Noorjahan and Shamshad Begum.Around that time, filmmakers and actors from the Bengali film industry based in Calcutta (now Kolkata) also began migrating to the Bombay film industry, which for decades after partition would be dominated by actors, filmmakers and musicians with origins in what is today Pakistani Punjab, along with those from Bengal.
The name "Tollywood" went on to be used as a nickname for the Bengali film industry by the popular Calcutta-based Junior Statesman youth magazine, establishing a precedent for other film industries to use similar-sounding names, eventually leading to the coining of "Bollywood".
Kapoor followed the "tramp" style of Charlie Chaplin, Anand modelled himself after the "suave" style of Hollywood movie stars like Gregory Peck and Cary Grant, and Kumar pioneered a form of method acting that was similar to yet predated Hollywood method actors such as Marlon Brando.
Kumar, who was described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray and is considered one of India's greatest actors, inspired future generations of Indian actors; much like Brando's influence on Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Kumar had a similar influence on later Indian actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
These films expressed social themes mainly dealing with working-class life in India, particularly urban life in the former two examples; Awaara presented the city as both a nightmare and a dream, while Pyaasa critiqued the unreality of city life.
Mehboob Khan's Mother India (1957), a remake of his earlier Aurat (1940), was the first Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, which it lost by a single vote.