Following World War II, a breakthrough for Iranian cinema came when Esmâ‘il Kushân channeled his profi ts from dubbing foreign films into the production of films with sound in Iran. In 1947, he established a film studio, Mitrâ Film, followed by the production of Iran’s first feature-length sound film in 1948, Tufân-e zendegi (“The Tempest of Life”), directed by Mohammad- ‘Ali Daryâbaygi. Despite the magnitude of its achievement, the movie did generate any enthusiasm and resulted in a financial loss, thus forcing some of Kushân’s colleagues to abandon him. Despite serious diffi culties, Kushan opened Pârs Film studio, under which his first venture was Zendâni-e amir (“The Prince’s Prisoner,” 1948), followed by his independently produced musical comedy the next year, called Vâryeteh-ye bahâr (“The Spring Festival”) . Hushang Kâvosi, producer of Yusuf o Zolaykhâ (“Joseph and Zolaykha”) , was one of the first directors working at Pârs Film. Kushân’s efforts were followed by Farrokh Ghaffâri’s introduction of Iranians to alternative and artistic foreign films. Ghaffâri founded the National Iranian Film Society at the Irân Bâstân Museum in 1947, and directed his first successful film, Janub-e shahr (“Downtown”). Though Kushân’s earlier films received somewhat lukewarm reactions, the release of his new film, Sharmsâr (“Disgraced”) , was signifi cant due to his employment of a heavy dose of songs and music—an imitation of Indian movies that remained very popular in post–World War II Iran. An Iranian ballet group that had successfully performed in Europe was in this movie about a rural girl who is seduced by an urban boy and then become a successful performer in a cabaret in the city. The impact of “Disgraced” extended into promoting the career of the female singer, Delkash, who sang eight songs for the film. Delkesh became the first popular singer involved with the cinema. The success of “Disgraced” laid the foundation for commercial filmmaking in Iran, encouraging investors, producers, and directors to view film production as a potentially lucrative venture. Kushan’s success opened up a different avenue for filmgoers who were no longer interested in subtitled films— Persian-language films featuring renowned Iranian singers and dancers became a real and attractive alternative. Furthermore, “Disgraced” also added another layer to the popular themes which were to dominate Iranian cinema for decades: simplicity of rural life versus corrupted city life, innocence of rural girls versus deceptive city men, and rich versus poor lovers whose parents opposed their union—themes that came to defi ne what scholars later called Film Fârsi. These were dreamlike melodramas imitating Indian movies. The happy endings offered an optimistic view of the society and changed viewers’ taste for movies. Much of their content were copied from stage productions— stories which, in turn, were drawn from classical Persian literature. A period of urban expansion and rural-urban migration in the 1950s and 1960s saw the expansion of a cinematic culture in the country, an increase in commercial film production, and growth in the number of cinemas all over the country. Most films produced in this period were adaptations of novels, plays, and Western films. While high in quantity (over 1,000), the quality of these films was not very good because production companies focused mainly on profi t and pandered to the common tastes of the public for love stories, sex, violence, and horror. Sâmuel Khâchikiân was a major director involved in production of such films. Others included Majid Mohseni ( Lât-e javânmard, “The Gentleman Vagabond,” based on Sâdeq Hedâyat’s short story, “Dâsh Âkol”); Bolbol-e mazra‘eh , “The Nightingale of the Farm,” 1957; and Parastu-hâ be-lâneh barmigardan , “Swallows Come Back to the Nest,” 1963); ‘Atâollah Zâhed ( Chashm be-râh , “In Waiting,” 1958), and Farrokh Ghaffâri, whose “Downtown” (1958) was banned by authorities after fi ve days of showing. Mohseni’s “The Gentleman Vagabond” was the first film in Iranian cinema to focus on the prototype of the jâhel (a kind of good-hearted hooligan), thus setting the tone for over 200 similar productions during the 1960s. Films in this period, fi lled with music and dance and focused on melodramatic themes of traditional hooliganism ( jâheli ), love, and simple contrasts of rural purity and innocence versus urban corruption and decadence or good guys (lower class and poor) versus bad guys (emerging upper middle class and rich), were to be characterized in the 1970s with the negative label of Film Fârsi. The number of films produced in this decade ushered Iranian cinema into what many would consider a phase of professional development during which an overwhelming majority of productions were grounded in Film Fârsi. Several important actors associated with this genre of films were Taqi Zohuri, Esmâ‘il Arhâm Sadr, Nosratollâh Vahdat, Mohammad-‘Ali Fardin, and Nâser Malakmoti‘i. Some actresses in this category included Puribanâi, Foruzân, and Jamileh. In 1965, a “poor boy meets rich girl” tale used by Siâmak Yâsami’s Ganj-e Qârun (“Qârun’s Treasure”) became a box offi ce hit. This was a combination of love and family melodrama with a heavy dose of comedy and musical. As such, it was a sequenced imitation of fantasized Hollywood productions whose revenue surpassed any film ever produced in Iran up to that time. It also became a model for many films to be produced in the coming decade. This film, and the others subsequently made in imitation of it, generated enough support for Iranian domestic production to withstand the onslaught of foreign films.