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It was this "chance juxtaposition of two pairs of rhyming syllables," Holly and Tolly, that led to the portmanteau name "Tollywood" being coined.

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".

The naming scheme for "Bollywood" was inspired by "Tollywood", the name that was used to refer to the cinema of West Bengal.

Dating back to 1932, "Tollywood" was the earliest Hollywood-inspired name, referring to the Bengali film industry based in Tollygunge (in Calcutta, West Bengal), whose name is reminiscent of "Hollywood" and was the centre of the cinema of India at the time.

Mithun Chakraborty, Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol, which lasted into the early 1990s.

Actresses from this era included Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Raakhee, Shabana Azmi, Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, Rekha, Dimple Kapadia, Smita Patil, Jaya Prada and Padmini Kolhapure.

Several other Hindi films from this era were also ranked in the Sight & Sound poll, including Raj Kapoor's Awaara (1951), Vijay Bhatt's Baiju Bawra (1952), Mehboob Khan's Mother India (1957) and K. The writing of Salim-Javed and acting of Amitabh Bachchan popularized the trend, with films such as Zanjeer and particularly Deewaar, a crime film inspired by Gunga Jumna that pitted "a policeman against his brother, a gang leader based on real-life smuggler Haji Mastan" portrayed by Bachchan; Deewaar was described as being "absolutely key to Indian cinema" by Danny Boyle.

Successful actors at the time included Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, and Guru Dutt, while successful actresses included Nargis, Vyjayanthimala, Meena Kumari, Nutan, Madhubala, Sadhana, Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha.

The three most popular male Indian actors of the 1950s and 1960s were Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, and Dev Anand, each with their own unique acting style.

It combined the dacoit film conventions of Mother India and Gunga Jumna with that of Spaghetti Westerns, spawning the Dacoit Western genre (also known as the "Curry Western"), which was popular in the 1970s.

However, the 'art film' bent of the Film Finance Corporation came under criticism during a Committee on Public Undertakings investigation in 1976, which accused the body of not doing enough to encourage commercial cinema.

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