Mughal-e-Azam (The Emperor of the Mughals) is a 1960 Indian film directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Durga Khote, the historical epic follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (who went on to become Emperor Jahangir) and Anarkali, a court dancer. Salim's father, Emperor Akbar, disapproves of the relationship, which leads to a war between father and son.
The development of Mughal-e-Azam began in 1944, when Asif read a play set in the reign of Emperor Akbar (1556–1605). Production was plagued by delays and financial uncertainty. Before its principal photography began in the early 1950s the project had lost a financier and undergone a complete change of cast. Mughal-e-Azam cost more to produce than any previous Indian motion picture; the budget for a single song sequence exceeded that typical for an entire film of the period. The soundtrack, inspired by Indian classical and folk music, comprises 12 songs voiced by playback singers including Lata Mangeshkar and classical singer Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. It is often cited as one of the finest soundtracks in Bollywood cinematic history.
Mughal-e-Azam had the widest release of any Indian film up to that time and patrons often queued all day for tickets. Released on 5 August 1960 it broke box office records in India, and became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years. The accolades awarded to the film include one National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. Mughal-e-Azam was the first black-and-white Hindi film to be digitally coloured, and the first in any language to be given a theatrical re-release. The colour version, released in November 2004, was a commercial success.
The film is widely considered a milestone of its genre, earning praise from critics for its grandeur and attention to detail. Film scholars have welcomed its portrayal of enduring themes, but question its historical accuracy.
Prithviraj Kapoor as Emperor Akbar
Dilip Kumar as Salim
Madhubala as Nadira (Anarkali)
Durga Khote as Jodhabai, Salim's mother
Nigar Sultana as Bahar, a court dancer
Ajit as Durjan Singh
Murad as Raja Man Singh
M. Kumar as Sangtarash, the royal sculptor
Sheila Dalaya as Suraiyya, Anarkali's sister
Jillo Bai as Anarkali's mother
Directed by K. Asif
Produced by Shapoorji Pallonji
Year of release 5 August 1960
Intresting facts about MUGHAL-E-AZAM
The movie was premiered in Mumbai's Maratha Mandir and released simultaneously in 150 theatres across the country.
Before every shot, Prithviraj Kapoor (who played Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar) would look into a full-length mirror. When director K Asif asked the reason for the odd behaviour, Kapoor said he did it to 'get under the skin of the character'.
K Asif took nine years to make Mughal-e-Azam. In 1952, Jhansi Ki Rani became India's first movie to be shot in technicolour. Asif wanted to remake his film entirely in colour too, but it is said the distributors lost patience and settled for shooting two songs and the climax of the film in technicolour. Some 85 per cent of the movie was filmed in black-and-white. In November 2004, the Indian Academy of Arts and Animation restored, colourised and re-released the film in 100 per cent colour. This is the first full feature-length movie to be coloured and re-released in theatres in the history of cinema. Some English films have been coloured but only released in the home video format.
Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya was shot in Sheesh Mahal at a cost of Rs 10 lakh at a time when entire movies were made on that budget. Most thought financier Shapoorji Pallonji would go bankrupt filming this one song itself. The song was written and re-written more than a hundred times by lyricist Shakeel Badayuni before music director Naushad approved of it. To provide the reverbration effect in the song, Lata Mangeshkar recorded it in a bathroom.
The director had initially thought he would release Mughal-e-Azamin three languages - Hindi, Tamil and English. The Tamil version did so badly, Asif dropped the idea of dubbing it in English. Madhubala's heart condition did not allow her to sign any films after this one.
To ensure a life-like performance, the chains Madhubala wore in the movie were real. The actress nursed the bruises caused by the chains for days 2, 000 camels, 4, 000 horses and 8, 000 troops were used in the battle sequence, many of them were sought from the Indian Army through special permission from the Defence Ministry. The soldiers were from the Jaipur regiment.
When the first shooting schedule began in 1946, K. Asif cast Chandra Mohan, D.K. Sapru, and Nargis for the roles of Akbar, Salim and Anarkali, respectively.
Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain says, "I was considered for the role of the young Dilip Kumar. But the role was eventually played by Jalal Agha."
The song "Ae Mohabbat Zindabad" had Mohammad Rafi sing with a backup chorus of 100 singers.
During Making Of the Film K.Asif was in huge debt so he even bought paan and cigarettes on credit.
The statue of Lord Krishna used in the film was made of pure gold.
For the battle sequence, 2,000 camels, 4,000 horses and 8,000 troops were used