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.
- Genre: Thriller
- Runtime: 197 Minutes
- Awards: National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
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.
Cast & Characters
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.